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My son had this habit since he was a toddler. The first time I saw it was when he was two years old. I had left him in his room to play with his toys and was trying to finish a presentation. I was as usual running against time and had exactly an hour to finish the presentation. For once my son was quiet, not bothering me and busy playing. Rather that’s what I thought. I finished my presentation on time and was pleased with my son. He was being an understanding child I thought to myself. He definitely deserved a chocolate today for having behaved so well. I clicked on the ‘send’ button and decided to check on my son.
His room had pink walls. Well you must be wondering why? I had expected and wanted a daughter so badly that I had painted the walls pink. Although I had been a little a disappointed with the news of a son, the first time I held him, I was filled with love and happiness I had never experienced before. My own flesh and blood in my arms and then the gender hardly mattered. I entered his room to the familiar Johnsons & Johnsons smell.
But the minute I entered his room, I knew things were not right. His toys were strewn all over and I couldn’t find him. Where was he, the paranoid mother in me surfaced and bile rose to my throat. I called his name aloud. “Ansh where are you…mamma is looking for you.” Only to find him emerging from his soiled laundry basket. My first instinct was to scold him; however I decided against it and asked him why he was inside the basket. My son in his childish English responded, “Ma I was searching.” Now when I look back I feel I should have taken cognizance of the incident then. But who could had expected the turn of events.
My son was an exceptionally intelligent child. He was good at academics, sports, music, arts, et all. He was also very sociable. My friends and their children loved him. But he had one habit that I ignored throughout. He was searching all the time. By the time he was 10, I got a little worried. His search was never ending. He would look up encyclopaedias and the internet for hours.
Once when he was 15, I confronted him to ask him what he was searching for. Ansh had no reasonable answer. He responded saying he was searching for the unknown. I brought this matter up with my ever busy husband who dismissed it saying it was his thirst for knowledge, and as long as his grades were not affected, we should not worry. I was termed a paranoid mother refusing to let go off control over her son. So I retreated, maybe I was imagining way too much.
Ansh passed his board exams with flying colours and we were all very proud. We had hosted a party on the 15th of June, immediately after his results. All arrangements had been done and the house was decorated as if it was a marriage. It was a proud moment for me and my husband. It was 3pm and guests were due to arrive at 6pm. So I decided to take a short nap. My husband was as usual working on an important document in his study. I decided to check on Ansh before I could retire to my room. I entered his room, the pink walls staring at me but the familiar smell of J&J replaced with the masculine fragrance of Armani. His room like usual was in a mess with clothes and books strewn all over. “Ansh where are you?” I called out, but got no response in return. I was once again the paranoid mother looking for my 2 year old. I checked the bathroom but Ansh was nowhere. “Ansh, Ansh” I yelled till my throat started hurting. And then on his table I saw a piece of paper folded and kept neatly, standing out in his messy room. With trepidation I took the paper and opened it to read two words written beautifully ‘IN SEARCH’.
I dont know what happened to Ansh, was he depressed? Was he really searching for something? Or was he searching for the unknown? But i definitely know one thing that Ansh's parents could have paid heed to these signs early on and taken some steps.