Goolrookh tried to cheer Bapsi. She squeezed beside Bapsi on the small dining room chair meant to hold only one. She squeezed and pushed until Bapsi fell on the floor, laughing. She got to her feet and hugged her young cousin-sister. “I have such a silly family.” The phone rang and Bapsi rushed to answer. She frowned, spoke a word or two then hung up. Everyone stared in anticipation.
Mother finally broke the silence. “Well? Was that Jahan? Will he be here soon?”
Bapsi shook her head. “It was someone from work,” she said, disheartened. “They need me to come in.”
Father threw down his napkin and stood from the table. “That’s it! Come, Dastan! We’re going to find Jahan and Adar.”
“In Mumbai?” Auntie said. “It’s too big. You’ll never find them.”
“Yes we will,” Father said. He barked instructions to the women. “Mother, use the phone in my office and call the zoo. Tell them to make an announcement. Jahan Cama must call home.” Mother scurried into Father’s office as Bapsi explained that she’d already called the zoo and no one answered. Father considered that for a moment. “Goolrookh,” Father said. “Get on your computer. Contact everyone you know. Send them a photo of Jahan and Adar.”
Father and Dastan Uncle had just put on their shoes when Mother came running out. Breathless. “Aban, wait,” Mother said. “The zoo is closed.”
“What!” Bapsi said. “How can it be closed?”
“That’s all the message said. No explanation.”
“We should go there anyway,” Dastan Uncle said. Half a tick later, Bapsi’s cell phone rang. She answered in a fury. Everyone gathered around; tense with anticipation. Bapsi’s continence fluctuated wildly from relief to concern to panic.
“Who is it?” Father said.
“Jahan,” Bapsi said, covering the mouthpiece as she spoke to Father, still listening to her frantic husband. She motioned to her family. “We must go to the hospital,” she said after she’d hung up. “Adar fainted at the zoo and Jahan took him to the emergency room.”