At the stroke of midnight,a car screeched to a halt in front of the quaint little home, at the fag end of the small town,and his heavy boots landed on to the ground with a thud! Backpack in tow, he looked up at this household that he had known for an eternity , before embarking on a grave mission three years back! He felt he had lost all of his identity, due to the rigorous schedules and coded communications, but the nature of his job prevented him from having any contact with his own folks, because it was of national importance that he stayed incognito . He looked at the rear view mirror , once more, to check how his gaunt face appeared, before letting the driver go away. As he trudged up to the porch, a myriad of feelings crossed his mind. Would his Mom take her "Babusona" back in her arms with the same warmth? Would she be angry and not speak to him? Would his aged Dad's eyesight work in this hour? Would the cropped hair & shaved brows shock them , and they might think he's an impostor ? All the blood and gore, the breakneck sprints to save his skin on enemy soil,the feigning of identity, the trysts with death , came flashing back to his mind as he got hold of the door latch. With a whole lot of effort, he knocked thrice....paused.....then knocked three times again. Apprehension ran through his veins , was this the right hour to revert back home after a hiatus of three long years?
There wasn't any enquiry from inside, nor was there any anxious face peeping from behind the door as it opened steadily. She was all calm and composed , with not a speck of fear or query on her face as she held the door ajar for him. His Dad stood in the back ground with a twinkle in his eyes. As he weighed his options about what to do, his Mother was the one to break the silence , " Babusona, i know you're a Spy,but doesn't our Government grant you permission to reach home at more earthly hours?"