It was the time of all festivities and everyone was celebrating.. When suddenly my aunt cried loudly. Then the music was lowered and everyone rushed to the poor lady to ask what’s ailing her. She told everyone that her little son aged 2 years was standing right next to her, watching us dance, only a few minutes back but now he was gone.

Then quickly a search mission was executed. Elders of the house rushed in every direction looking for the boy. Women of the house started searching every possible corner of our home. Aunt was constantly crying and we were try to hold the other kids in place so that noone else goes missing in the heat of the moment. Our family was searching every neighbors house for the kid like a local police, only difference was that a police would not interrogate without a search warrant. Only 15 more minutes passed like this and the whole locality came to know about our younger cousin brother. These are the perks of staying in a joint family and that too in India.

Uncle called from a nearby bus stand to inform that he isnt even there. And our grandfather was at a mall when he called to tell he is getting announcements done over there.

Our neighbors too came to console. One of them scared my aunt saying it could be acase of witch craft and another suggested the possibility of child theft. Listening to their horrible speculations we had to escort them home by making highly innovative excuses. Atmosphere of my home was getting so tensed that the news reached even to the most distant relatives living across the borders. It was wierd when even they started consoling over phone.

Then my another cousin arrived home in his car which he parked at a distance . Watching everyone restless and anxious he walked out and asked the reason. Being informed what has happened,  he made a really grave face and went back to his car. I followed him thinking he would like me to join him in the search. But he was hiding something.

When I reached near his blue baleno,  I was taken by surprise when I finally found out that my seemingly lost brother was calmly sleeping at the back seet of his car. We both knew about his whereabouts but if we told others they would have certainly beaten us up for creating all the tension. And none of us wanted to face the sudden rage of the family. So we concocted a plan, that we will make up a story that the child was found playing in a neighborhood playground and we brought him back safely.

My brother and I informed everyone that our little brother is safe with us and we are bringing him home. After reaching home I went upstairs to put the sleeping child back in to the bed. Everyone was happy and appreciated our apparent successful resque. We even got thousand bucks each as a reward from our aunt.

To this day I know we are guilty of not telling the truth to the family but we are always glad that the outcome was quite rewarding. We, the partners in crime,  have successfully kept that secret just between two of us and we often laugh about the incident remembering good old childhood days.

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