From the diary of Major Subedar Connington.
All the children have run away from Kayamgadh.
They have vanished with the rain clouds and the last fragmented strains of the early morning muezzin call. Nobody knows where they have run off to, and nobody wonders.
People know that to wonder is to question. To wonder is to probe and doubt and disturb the perfect absence of every child.
They simply know that all the children have run away from Kayamgadh.
But If, upon this disappearance the traveler were to venture south of the city walls, he would find footprints and stories of these vanished children.
Here a kachori vendor recalling their voices, and there a firki seller recalling how their little feet traced across the desert sands that surround Kayamgadh.
And these traces would lead the traveler to another city, much like Kayamgadh. Only younger.
Where all these vanished children would be found holding their firkis and wooden tops and fried bananas wrapped in squares of cut newspaper.
And these children, would stare at the traveler, wonderingly. Disturbed by this intrusion in their perfect escape. Resenting the presence of an older person.
Because they would believe that all people have run away from Kayamgadh. And only the children now remain.