By Padmini Krishnan

I closed my eyes for a minute, exhausted. The train huffed into Eunos. We had five more stops to reach our destination. I opened my eyes to some unknown fear and confusion. My hand felt empty. Had I missed my handbag?

“Vikas!” my inner voice said.

“Vikas! Where is Vikas?” I screamed.

My husband raised his head from his mobile in confusion.

As the train doors closed, I could catch a glimpse of Vikas running in the platform, his little head bobbing up and down.

I stood near the train doors, shaking; my body soaked despite the chill.

I vaguely heard a woman assuring me that my child would be found soon. As soon as we got down in the next stop, we hurried over to the passenger service center. My husband calmly reported the particulars of our child.

“How old is your son?”

“Five.”

“He knows his name and address, of course?”

“He knows nothing. He has the Down syndrome.” replied my husband, looking at me, irritably, as if it was my fault.

It was evident from the guy’s expression that they did not come across missing cases frequently.

He seemed sure that Vikas would be found. The authorities concerned had been notified.

We sat in the platform, waiting, as the trains rolled across, spilling out a few passengers and taking in a lot of them.