In North Vietnam there was a village by name Timpenh. In that village there lived a young farmer called Hoochi along with his wife Sung and his one year old son, Kin.
The family had a small piece of land near the river. The farm produce was just sufficient to fulfill their needs. Even though the family was poor, the three of them used to love each other immensely. This extraordinary love made them happiest.
North Vietnam, even though a very small country the residents thereof are all dedicated patriots. It was this spirit of burning patriotism which enabled the countrymen to withstand a fierce battle forced on them by the biggest and richest country of the world viz. America.
The President of North Vietnam gave a clarion call to all the youths of his country to join the army and repel the agression from America. In response to the clarion call Hoochi joined the army forthwith. Sung,wife of Hoochi promised her husband that in his absence she will till the land and bring up their small child.
So Hoochi joined the army. He had kept a photograph of his wife and son with a smile beaming on their faces, permanently inside his pocket. This photograph of loving wife and loving child provided him with unending inspiration to fight with the enemy.
Five years rolled on. There was no news from Hoochi received by his wife. The war was over. But Hoochi was neither reported killed nor missing. Sung swallowed the grief with fortitude. She had faith in the God. She prayed the God everyday for the safe return of her husband.
Another two years had lapsed. So the Government of Vietnam declared that Hoochi was legally considered as dead. Actually, Hoochi was held as a prisoner of war by the enemy.One day he eloped from the prison. After going through lot of difficulties he reached his village Timpenh.
Hoochi had gone weak. His hair were overgrown. His clothes were tattered. He had no footwears. But the flame of love for his dear wife and dear son had kept him alive.
It was evening when Hoochi reached his village Timpenh. He reached his house in extreme eagerness. He saw a boy of eight years sitting at the entrance of the house. He could recognise that the boy was his son only.
Hoochi enquired with the boy about his mother. The boy said she had gone to the farm.
The boy could not obviously recognise his father.
Hoochi then asked the boy where his father was. Hoochi was shocked to hear the reply from the boy. The boy said, ?My father visits our home everyday at night and he leaves the home before the daybreak.?
Hoochi was crestfallen. His dream was shattered. His wife did not remain faithful to him. She had turned debaucherous.
Hoochi went away all in rage. He decided to stab his wife and commit suicide thereafter. So he purchased a knife and decided to wait till night.
It was now night. Hoochi was standing covertly outside the window of his house.
Kim asked his mother, ?When will Daddy arrive?
Sung said, ?Wait he will come within a short while. He will never miss his visit.?
Inside the house an oil lamp was burning. The lamp was placed on a wooden stool. The white wall in front of the lamp was covered with light. Both mother and son sat near the wall. Soon Sung shaped her fingers in a specific manner. The shadows of the fingers fell on the wall. The shadows assumed different shapes like flying birds, mountains, crocodile, dog and so on and so forth.
The child too joined the game slowly elbows, hands, etc. entered into the game. Now shadows of man, woman, and child appeared over the wall. These three shadows jumped, danced and flapped their hands. The child was repeatedly exclaiming, ?Oh my dear daddy, be not away from us.?
Hoochi knew that there was no photograph of his left at home. So his dear wife and dear child had kept his memory alive by projecting shapes of hands and fingers to look like his own shape. They too had preferred to take part in the jolly-meet turning them into shadows.
A wave of joy passed through the spine of Hoochi. He said, ?Had I been impatient I would have transformed this heaven into hell.?
Kim, was repeatedly telling his Daddy-shadow not to leave them alone.
Knief fell down from the hand of Hoochi. Hoochi rushed into the house. Embracing his son tightly, Hoochi said, ?Oh, here I am.?