Remembering the missing two by Champa Srinivasan

It was sometime in the last week of July 1965. I was just two year and two months then. I was sitting with our old maid, Annor Ma, at the cemented platform, outside our main gate. It was past the usual evening playtime for the local kids and the elderly neighbours who were passing by, all stopped at us and enquired, what made the two of us sit out in the dark.

‘Her mother is coming back today’, Annor Ma said.
‘From ?’ and ’Oh we never knew that she is away’, were the responses we heard from them.

The taxi, for which we were waiting, arrived pretty late. Baba got down from it first and then came out Ma. I ran towards them. Both smiled at me but both were busy. Baba’s hands were full with bags and baskets of different sizes. Ma was holding a bundle on her arms, wrapped all over by a towel.

The moment we entered the house, I lost all my patience. I turned around facing Ma and in a very firm and unusually shrill voice cried out, ‘now throw away that wrapped parcel and take me in your arms.’

Ma was visibly embarrassed.This is a story from almost decades back and I was only little more than two but I somehow remember all the happenings of that evening like I have seen it in a recent film. She called Baba, handed over the bundle she was holding in her arms to him, hugged me tight and softly said,’ B, she is not a parcel but your sister, dear. This little baby is our gift for you and from today, we would always be Four.’

Remembering the missing two, Ma and Baba, on my sister’s birthday.

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