Winters in Rajasthan were never this cold then they were this year. A sleepy town of Osian near Jodhpur was feeling this unbearable chilly weather as the shops used to close by six & the town went to sleep by nine.
Monu, a six-year-old boy was the heart of the town. People knew his house by Monu’s house even if seven members were staying in that mud house. His father & uncle were both craftsmen so was his grandfather. It was a profession their family was known for in the town. Their house was also known for being at the border of their oasis & from there on started the long never-ending Thar desert.
The boy was playing outside with his set of wooden toys — father, mother & son just like his own family. Colourfully clothed with ornaments, he loved his toys & used to carry them in his school bag every day. He was playing outside when he heard his mom’s voice, “Its 7 pm, why are you playing alone in dark? Do your homework & come inside for dinner’’. Monu got up & went inside near the stove where his mom was cooking. Relishing those rotis with his family was the only time in a day when he used to meet everyone & talk about his whole day. He felt today particularly a special day as there was no homework to do & he can still play with his wooden toy family. Instead, Monu was forced to go to bed by his father's orders.
Bedtime is a boring time according to Monu. He never understood the concept of going to sleep, Why waste precious nine hours to sleep? He would rather wander outside & play around in the desert. Those were his thoughts when he dozed off. At 2 am, he woke up by a strange sound coming out of his house. When he woke up, he thought its dawn but it was still midnight. The room was so dark that he couldn’t recognize anything except seeing the radium on the wall clock.
It was strange for him to see such darkness so he got up & started moving towards the door. What he saw outside was scary yet fascinating, the desert was shining like a carpet of glittering diamonds in a cave. The night gave him chills & he started missing his family, a tear trickled down his eyes. He wanted to cry loudly but he was scared of the night & didn’t want to wake someone who might hurt him in the dark. The sobbing continued as he was missing his mom & wished for her return.
Monu was looking out in the desert for his family when he noticed someone calling his name. He turned back & saw his wooden toys of life-like size with a smile on their face. Though he was happy with his favourite toys to come to life, he felt sudden chills when they welcomed him to be part of their family. He heard that & the next thing he did is to start running towards his house. There was something wrong about this & the loneliness has crept in like the blood in his body. The house was getting farther & farther as he ran towards it, felt like a lost cause as he fell down to wake up screaming on his bed & calling for his mom.
It was just a nightmare. His mom was beside him soundly sleeping & holding his hand with her’s. Monu tried sleeping again but something was glowing in his house at the kitchen corner. The wooden toys were glowing with the same smile.