A fortnight before the summer vacation was to commence, we stopped taking interest in studies. Every one of us made ambitious plans to tour this or that place. But man proposes and God, in his turn, disposes of. On the very first day of the vocation, my mother developed serious pain and she was to be operated upon. My tour to Srinagar was cancelled. The decision did not make me unhappy because the pressing problem of mother’s illness made me indifferent to the tour.
My mother was hospitalised the next day. Worry was writ large on father’s face and tears rolled down mother’s cheeks. Unfortunately, serious trouble developed after the operation. I took the responsibility of preparing breakfast, lunch and dinner. After giving it to my brothers and sisters, I would go to the hospital.
In the hospital, the screaming, wailing and praying patients made me unhappy. Mother’s condition used to upset me. When I came home, my youngest brother who was three years old would cry for going to my mother. She would refuse to take milk or food. I could not arrange a bath for the youngers for two days. Our clothes were dirty and the kitchen was in bad shape. The rooms were untidy.
Cooking was a big problem for me. The dishes were often spoiled. Many a time I burnt my hands. It is at this time that I came to know about the hard work my mother used to put in. I, myself, could not eat the food that I cooked.
I could not talk out my heart to anyone. My brothers and sisters were too young to give me any comfort. My friends had gone out of the station. Sometimes, I used to dream of their happiness and compare it with mine. My life had become a dull routine; going to the hospital and preparing lunch, dinner and breakfast. It bored me a lot. I suspended the reading of detective stories. I did not visit the cinema halls. The days passed and the summer vacation came to an end. I was bored so much that I never wished for a summer vacation.