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“My older brother is here too,” he adds. Abin’s brother, Albin, is 16. He lurks behind other boys, a typical teenager. He says little, but observes much.

“He’s very protective of me,” little Abin says. “My brother looks out for me and when I miss our parents, he makes me feel better.”

Abin and Albin’s parents did not have enough money to keep both boys with them in Delhi, but Abin is sure he will see them soon.

“I will see them after Christmas is over. When it is the New Year, we’ll all be together,” he says, though he is not certain which year, which Christmas.

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Anubha George is a former BBC editor and writes on Kerala culture. Based in Cochin, her work has been published in, The Good Men Project among others. She also teaches journalism at India’s leading media schools.

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