Nostalgia, etymologically,  comes from Greek roots nostos meaning returning home and algos meaning pain. This story literally justifies the roots.

We were living in a small house by the road belonging to a church. Two pastor houses were around, one adjacent and one facing ours.

One summer night, only my brother, sister and mom were around. My father was always travelling and hardly at home. I was in 6th and my brother in 10th.

I was studying and my mom was in the easy chair reading some crap novel. I was dozing as usual and she asked me to go and wash my face.

The wash basin was in the verandah, which was just netted as if anyone can barge in any time.

There was a guava tree outside.  It gives unshapely fruits with luscious white flesh and one or two seeds. Those days there was no Nipah and we used to gobble whatever birds pecked and dropped. Such heavenly guavas I have not had ever since we left that house.

As I stood there, I felt a man was standing close to the guava tree. I rushed to my mom, terrified, and told this. She said, just cooking up, and rose to inspect.

That was all, I contributed, the tale unfolded on it’s own afterwards.

She reached there and expectedly, said there’s no one here and was closing the door opening to the verandah, the power went off.

My sister who was leaning to see whether the street lights are on got hit on the shoulder by a cane by my brother, all of 15 years, thinking that the thief is already in. Had it been on the head it would have been a case of outright sororicide, but the scar on the shoulder stayed for more than a month.

My sister thought the thief hit her, locked herself in a bedroom and started wailing…

My mom thought the thief was inside and in  angst punched the door with all of her strength, strong she was, the latches of the door broke and all were together crying and weeping and wailing.

I, totally unaware of what was happening, joined!

Hearing the commotion the pastor came with someone and hearing the story, warned my brother against use of weapons.

Reminiscing now, was it all my imagination??

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