Baba, why are you going?



-Baba, how many days make a year? Pixy, my little five years old baby whispered in my
ear two days before my departure.
I just smiled and adored her closely. I took her to the shopping mall and bought her
everything she desired, like video game, battery operated doll etc. items that I could not
buy her before. I took some loan from the bank and had enough money in my purse
unlike earlier. I don’t have to worry much because I would be able to pay off the loan
with my one month’s overseas salary.
Pixy remained overwhelmed with her new and coveted gifts. The calculation of how
many days make a year did not sway her for the time being.

I left for my overseas employment keeping Pixy in the realm of her new toys.
She just stepped into her fifth year. She is our first born. We love her wrenching last drop
of feeling from our heart. We had to change all our habit and routine to adjust
with her as she was born.

Begetting a child does not only mean of arrival of new soul from mother’s womb and a
new member of the family. This is altogether a new feeling, a peculiar experience like
none before. The milestone incident like, first time we noticed her movement in the
womb, first time she opened her eyes and pursed her eyebrows for the ambient light or
the moment she held my finger with her soft hand or the day she hid her face in my
bosom seeing the movement of a spring doll. All such incidents and moments are really
especial. It’s not possible to understand all those without begetting a baby and also not
possible to make others understand the experience.
She is our little fairy. I call her pixy in adoration.

I do a govt. job and routinely move on posting almost every two years. After her birth, I
always took my family along wherever I was posted in hills, jungle everywhere. I
couldn’t simply stand her absence.
But this time, I had no option left when I was posted in Mozambique, a war torn country in an UN
Peace Keeping Mission for full one year. I had to go across half the world away from
That was my first ever overseas employment, all my relatives and friends were excited.
It would also bring us a lot of earnings. We thought.
-One year would pass just like that. My wife consoled me. She was happy as the extra
income would take away the strain from our financial hardship, we were experiencing
ever since Pixy was born.
Pixy did not understand anything as she did not attained that age. But she clearly
understood that something exceptional was happening and she remained a bit confused.

Mission was quite challenging in the alien country. But nothing could really make
any deep impression on me.
I kept searching the answer of the query, Pixy whispered in my ear. Every single
day appeared to be unbearably long. I did not know what to do. I felt very helpless and
suffocating. I felt to like a prisoner.
I was undone and tried to invest my mind fully. All the time I felt every single parts of her soft body;
hair, soft hand, leg and all her organs and heavenly smell of her.

Somehow, two months passed. One C-130 UN Military Cargo Plane was going to our country to
bring vehicles for the battalion deployed here in Mozambique. It would come back after
loading of vehicles which would take twenty four hours at our airport. The plane would
go empty but would accommodate nine passengers while coming back as it would be
loaded while returning.
That created a scope for nine passengers to visit our country for twenty four hours.
Alas, all human minds are same. All of my fellow officers have someone like my Pixy
back home and they also do not know how many days make a year. I felt.
All forty of us opted to avail the opportunity. But seat was only nine. So names were
picked through lottery and I was one of the lucky ones.
Ah! My body and mind filled with pleasure felt never before.
Those who could not go, all gave some gift items to hand over to their near and dear
ones back home. Like others I also got a big chunk of gift items to be carried and
distributed. Carrying was no problem but concern was how to distribute in
that short period. However, all wrote the address and telephone number of the recipients
on the packets.


Aircraft reached home at around 11 AM, having a stopover at Colombo, Sri Lanka . It
was well past noon to get out of the airport after completing all formalities.
Reception was crowded as usual. I saw my wife standing along with my little fairy. She
was looking around inquisitively.
My little fairy was looking gorgeous in her yellow frock. It seemed that God has sent
His angel, stunningly beautiful as His envoy to receive me.
But Alas! She did not recognize me.
My Pixy were not recognizing me! She was looking from under her short fringe in
amazement and I was just one of many to her.
Having exchanged customary pleasantry with others, I wanted to cuddle my
little fairy and she refused. I was astonished to see that a big gap has been created
between us in just two months’ time.
All standing there smiled over the change in her.
Was it her expression of sentiment? But she was not yet grown to the age of showing sentiment. In the
last two months my little fairy has made a realm of her own.
The All Powerful, the Super Controller, the Master of Adjustment has taken care of my
little fairy. I heaved out a sigh of relief and bowed in silence.

We boarded in a microbus. It took about forty five minutes to reach
home. I re-established my relation with my little fairy during our journey. She queried
so many things sitting on my lap.
-Tomorrow about this time I have to leave. The thought dawned in me the time I got
down from the vehicle. My heart wrenched and I felt a pricking pain.
My wife helped me rearrange the gift items as per different addresses. We put the items
of nearby addresses separate with a plan of reaching them visiting their houses and for
the rest we phoned and asked them to collect from our address.
Since there were very little time I had in my hand, I thought of keeping Pixy along with
me wherever I went. We toured till eleven at night that day and till twelve noon the next
day for gift distribution and meeting some of my friends and family.
She did not show any sign of annoyance or disliking and did not also show any sign of
We talked all the time without any mentionable subject.
-Pixy, I’m going to leave for Mozambique in few hours. I mentioned about my leaving
so many times in the midst of our talking.
But I could not inject the issue in her mind. My wife also joined me to make her
understand about my leaving in matter of hours. But nothing worked.
In the process of injecting the issue in Pixy, we rather implanted the issue in our mind
and the issue rather started pricking us much before the time of my departure.

Finally time arrived for me to leave. All my family and friends said good-bye and
started leaving wishing me luck. I could clearly understand that my wife could barely maintain
a smiling visage with difficulty.
A vehicle was waiting in front of my house for taking me to the airport.
The sun, light and warmth giver to the earth has already lost its vigor and was taking a last
look before sinking across the horizon. My little fairy, sitting totally nonchalant in her
mother’s lap, observing the rigmaroles of my departure.
Our hectic movement for last two days failed to stamp any sign of ennui on her face. No
sign of emotion was evinced in her.
Having bade good-bye to all, I ventured to cuddle her with what I spared for the best.
But she stubbornly refused to come to me like the way she did yesterday at the airport.
But no one laughed at her queer behavior like before. I tried hard to grin. 
-Oh God, the master of reconciliation, you have created enough pretext for my little
fairy to pass her days in my absence. I bowed and thanked the Omnipotent deep in my
I heaved a sigh of grief and helplessness and boarded into the waiting vehicle.
What pricking pain was going on in my mind is beyond power of my narration.

– Baba! Why are you going?
Suddenly, my little fairy, my gift from heaven burst out into cry with her two soft little
hand stretched.

My ear numbed for a moment and my other organs also started numbing.

I dare ask you Lord, I know you are Despot!      And don’t know what is in your thought
You are above any dearth, Oh Master of Heaven & Earth,

A simple query to thine,          as answer to my little fairy from mine:
Baba, why are you going?
In universe, more than me
Is there anybody dear to thee?

Her query deafened my ear
Of all noise, everything present and future.
What an exponential pull and unbearable pain
Tormenting me every now and then.

What do you get, I am wretch, putting me to test
You know I’ll surely fail with all my best.

I’m flesh and blood incarnate,           not a marionette
If you want to give me pain,        you could very well made me of stone then.

Everywhere in your domain,          the pull is real and hurting, not a meme
Same pang for all parent, no option but to pay their rent.

Alas, we are incarnate encaged,          tied with hard shackle and live in daze.
All are sure and aware of departure             with the call of nature.

Temporal pull of earth          and final call from God’s berth
Between pull and call            we are helpless all.

Earth won’t let us go,         we also do not want to do so
Though all knows finally,        they have to depart willy-nilly.

Category: English, Short Story

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