I was in the middle of my office work when my dad rang me up to tell me that 'Kaloo' is back home.
It was after long six months. I was elated to know that he had come back at last. First, I did not believe this, though unlike other family members, I had a premonition that he would surely come back. They were firm that he was dead, reason being he could not live without food and that, had he been alive, he must come back right now.
I questioned dad, whether it was really he or someone else. He confirmed me, “No it was your Kaloo”, My Kaloo, who after a sudden hiatus for such a long time, remembered me and returned.
Oh! Thank you God, thank you very much. I could never say anything to my boss for the early leave, since so many things had to be done at office. Those were far more important than my impatience to see him as early as possible. I could have been permitted to go early, if he were a human being. My Kaloo might not steer the same emotion in my boss’s mind. He would not understand my exigency to see him at the earliest.
I was working silently and thinking of him: how did he look right now? Had he become fatty or thin? Had he been looking for me? Had his sound been changed?
In a rainy night, awakened by a meow sound outside my house, I opened the door to find one little cat, fully drenched in the rain. I gave it milk and shelter. And from that time onward, she had been staying with us. After that she gave birth to three litter of kittens, one of whom died some days after and the other two we called by the names: Kaloo (reason being he was black) and Bhuloo (fully white).
Both of them were male. They were running, playing and mock fighting to each other. One day suddenly their mother left the house. Bhuloo was a charming rogue and a bit naughty. Bhuloo used to climb the tree and one day when he was missing, we found him after much searching on the top of a coconut tree. This sight amazed everyone. He was found surprised when he was brought back from there. And he had a peculiar habit of getting inside the vacant hampers silently. So many times, we found him inside of a basket thinking that to be empty.
It was really a fun finding them nudging and gnawing each other in a playful mood. I always maintained two separate dishes while giving them food, but Bhuloo always came to eat Kaloo’s food first, though Kaloo always vacated his place when his dear brother came to eat his food.
Kaloo was not that much restless like Bhuloo. He seemed like an intelligent big brother. He every time slept on my open books and copies. I thought a strong obsession took hold of him near the books. He even stared at me relentlessly to garner my gaze, if I was thinking something deeply. He even used to sit outside the house in the evening time and I found him sitting on the pavement; to me it seemed someone near to my heart awaited me and after I had come, he started hovering around me, as though he tried to complain my late come back.
However, when he was out of sight for long six months, his image grew more prominent in my mind, though others in the family forgot him. So, I started waiting for him every single day and every single moment, thinking how long he would take to come back, because I was sure that he could not die. He ought to come back, if not for anyone, but for me, so that I would also hover around him like he did.
I had completed that days work in the office and got out twenty minutes earlier than the usual departure time. Way home I had bought fishes for my dear Kaloo and when I entered my locality some of my neighbors looked at me with smiles; somebody even replied “aaj Raja khub khusi!”… ‘Today Raja is very happy’, because Kaloo had come back. I found him sitting on the window sill, looking at the road just the same way as he used to do six months back. I looked at him and called him loudly “Kaloo!”. He jumped from there and started running towards me. I almost cried seeing him coming to me. I took him on my lap and he had become arrogant and healthy, too and started licking me like a dog.
“Yes you’re my man…my Kaloo” I said to him, he closed his eyes in satisfaction as my hands were patting him carefully. He behaved perfectly as a lost child did when it found its parents.
What about Bhuloo? He disappeared long before Kaloo went for his vacation blues. In a stormy night, we lost him. Before the storm, he went out and after the storm, he never returned.
“Where have you been for such a long time?” I asked him, as if I would get an answer. He stared blankly and called “meow”. He might be looking for his lost brother.
Now, I still had a hope that Bhuloo too would come back. “What if he would, like Kaloo?” I was thinking. Right that moment Kaloo was sitting on the table staring at me with his half-closed gaze, as though he tried to tell me the same thing by his “M-E-O-W”, but I heard him saying to me, “I also hope so."