Stolen Ride: A True Story

“Ma’am your son is missing from school and Father has requested you not to abandon class and come down.”

“We Shall find him soon enough.”

This incident dates back 15 yrs when my son was in LKg and I was teaching in St Anselms Sr Sec School Alwar. Though he was otherwise a docile boy he could be exceptionally naughty when would choose to be so.

Just imagine what I must have gone through…! My little baby all of 3yrs was lost. He had gone missing and no one knew where he had gone! We could only speculate that he had gone on a Joyride in any of the school buses, vans or autos.

As per Father’s instructions, I did not come down and kept teaching my students. It was difficult. A part of me wanted to run down and look for him. But I knew that it was not practical and had students to look after too. I couldn’t do anything but to wait for the busses, vans and autos to come back as the answers were concealed therein only. And I kept teaching half-heartedly as my whole being cried and eyes kept darting towards the parking lot… Waiting for the buses to arrive… They did arrive eventually but there was no trace of my son!

“Where had he gone?”
“Did he get off at any stop?”
“How will I search him?”
“He’s too small to be out alone!” So on and so forth…

There were a thousand queries plaguing my soul. And I’m sure same thoughts must have been troubling the school authorities and his class teacher. After all, he was their responsibility too. After about an hour the autos came in and out jumped my little imp very happy after his stint in the auto!

We didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. To scold him or be happy that he had returned back safely. But Father was not going to let him off so lightly both he and the autorickshaw driver got a piece of his mind. The rickshaw driver learnt his lesson of life that much I can say for sure, but for my son, I doubt if any scolding even got registered in his little head. He was too excited after his ride to even register anything and let a scolding dampen the euphoria of his stolen ride.

Today as my son boards his train alone from his hostel in (he is now studying Hotel Management) to come back home I am filled with these memories of his childhood and his solo stolen ride he had eventually managed 15yrs ago. Now my only fear is that he shouldn’t keep sleeping when his station comes and gets up and gets off at the right time…!

Guess a mother’s anxiety knows no end…

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