Too soon

He set foot on stage and the crowd fell silent. He raised his arms and the crowd went wild. He was baffled, he seemed to think that he was imagining what he was seeing and hearing. “The crowd seems to be drawn to me.” Bablu thought to himself. But when his arms went down the room fell silent. He posed for a moment with the stage lights bright and the audience was barely visible to him.

He raised his hands once more and the auditorium was filled with gasps. Bablu was so confused; his facial expression resulted in a bout of uncontrolled laughter from the audience. He was even more confused by what was going on. He was received the audience response that he had hoped he would elicit, but he hadn’t began his act yet. There was something off. So he turned around briskly only to find the curtain raising. “It wasn’t something behind me, then what was causing such a stir with the audience?”

Bablu walked off stage to a standing ovation, he was dumbfounded. “Ai? Kitu gani hii?” He stood backstage for a few minutes trying to grasp what had just happened and then walked back on stage and he began to clap a rhythm and the audience joined him gleefully. He did a series of claps occasionally trying to see his audience, to see what it was that was drawing so much enthusiasm and excitement. It didn’t make sense he wasn’t a standup comedian, he was just there to share something fun he had tried out with friends.

Bablu called out and chanted something that he used to hear his grandfather say at spiritual dedication ceremonies to the ancestors. The crowd fell silent then he heard claps repeating the rhythms that he had just done. The claps graduated from an enthusiastic individual to a symphony of sounds. Bablu began to nod to the rhythm and he raised his hands and the auditorium fell silent.

An audience member emerged on stage and Bablu fell silent and began to tear, he couldn’t believe what he was seeing. He looked down at the ground beneath him, the staged seemed unusually familiar; he laughed and cried at the same time. “Why did you people lie to me?”

“It was only to protect you son,” the gargantuan audience member uttered in a sleek, treble bass voice. The man reached out toward Bablu and guided him down the stairs to the audience; there he saw his entire family standing there. People began to part like the red sea and at the farthest end stood Bablu’s great Grandmother, she stretched out her right hand toward him. Bablu ran in to her arms for a warm embrace. “You were destined to entertain and share the legends of our ancestors, but your time is not neigh. We will show you how.” Bablu broke down and cried in his grandmother’s arms.


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