The soft gesture of a motherIt was pitch dark outside. Even the moonlight was not there. Mother came downstairs from the kitchen on the first floor. She was a very cautious and alert lady. After the early death of her husband she was managing the show with the help of the grain crop which was just sufficient for one year till the new crop was ready. Her elder son Nitya was doing high school and she hoped that he would get a job after that and then things would be better. She had three sons and two daughters. It was a big family but as they had some resources in the village like vegetable garden and fruit trees and some paddy fields in a nearby village so they were able to survive the odds. Only problem was money which they did not have and paying school fee was the biggest challenge. One of the late father's cousin sometimes helped the family for school fee and with that they were somehow surviving. There was no electricity and kerosine lamp was used for lighting.
India was under British regime at that time and independence movements were going on indicating that India may get independence in the next 1-2 years. There were job opportunities but one had to qualify at least High School after which only many clerical options were available in various offices in the nearby town. All the top positions were held by the Britishers and it was hoped that once India gets independence, more positions will be created and job opportunities would increase.
Mother opened the door and peeped outside. The wind was blowing slowly and noiselessly. Crickets were chirping. She tried to see through the dark but no speck of torchlight seen which Nitya often carried with him. Nitya had gone to the other village that day where some work in paddy fields was there. Whenever some work was there either the Mother or Nitya had to go to attend it. Normally, they returned to house by 9 PM and it was already quarter past nine and there was no sign of Nitya. It was time to go to bed and Mother closed the door and kept it unlocked from inside. She went into her room and came back with a candle and matchbox and kept it on the small rack just near the main door. She never forgot to keep it when Nitya was late. Nitya knew that mother will keep it ready for him so that he simply lights it and then enters the kitchen and other rooms easily. It was a silent and soft gesture from the mother which always helped Nitya in the night whenever he reached late.
I have used the pair photo by Mallela and this is my entry for the photo challenge creative writing contest Part-2.