Every evening, I would lean on the balcony railing, pretending to pluck the arching gulmohar's flowers. Ma would freak out. Always. Mani would join me in mocking Ma. Mostly. Except for those years when we were on a break, of sorts.

The gulmohar tree does not shed its flowers in the balcony any more. The Grovers on the ground floor cut it down long back.

The Grovers. The Punjabis.
How could I have ever known that this one single fact would shape the course of my life? And take me far away from Ma and Pa.

I was the good boy, who would deliver Ma from this hole we called home.

I have made her numb now.
I call her once a week. We talk for 5 minutes. She has lost all hope of deliverance.

No one mocks her any more. Her resignation is too pathetic, even for Papa.

I am told it is all because of me.
And my zid.

Pa, I am not done yet.

I have more news to share.

I am sorry, sis.


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