“Where are you going Amma?” I heard liza asking Amma. I was trying to sleep. I looked at the clock it is 6.30 pm. I was not going to get up and take care of my sisters. I need to sleep now and wake up later. Amma just have to find means to take care of her precious daughters. I turned to the other side, kept the pillow on my face hoping that Amma would leave me alone. No body came to my room and I removed the pillow from my face. I slept off
“Nina, Wake up. Suma is here, there is a phone call from Appa” Liza was shaking me.
“Appa?” I got up from the bed.
“Hurry up Nina, he said he will call back in 10 minutes”
“Ok, ok. I will go”
“Nina will you tell Appa that I need a new pencil case?” Sally asked me
“Me too, my pencil case is also broken. Also tell him we need new uniform”
I quickly changed my clothes. As I walked down the road, I remembered Aunty Reena’s husband.
“Suma, where is your father now?”
“Oh, he went back to gulf. He will come back again for Christmas. This time he promised us he will bring a toy car, that will turn around when it hits an object”
“Wow, that will be fun”
Aunty Reena was in the kitchen when I reached her house. I stood outside, because her mother was standing like a security guard near the main door.
She was speaking to Aunty Reena
“Edi Reena, how did we get the phone connection?”
Aunty Reena announced from the kitchen, “Ahachan had to pay a deposit at the telephones Amma”
“Oh, You have to spend some money ah?. So how much did he have to pay?”
“He paid 10000Rs Ammachi”
“10000 Rs ah? So Sunny is making lots of money in the gulf ah. He could afford to pay 10000 Rs ah!”
I knew where the conversation is heading. The gulf malayalee made enough money to pay the deposit for the phone, while the Malaysian malayalee is still without a phone. She is trying to show off., I ignored her, although I was upset with the fact that we have no phone at home.
The phone rang and Ammachi stood to one side of the door. I felt she was giving way to Her Royal Highness Kochumaharani. I couldn’t stop grinning.
“Why are you laughing?” Ammachi asked
I didn’t tell her.
I quickly went to the phone table aand picked up the phone and said a very happy “hello”. I was planning to tell Appa in Malay, what had happend just now.
“Hello” I said again. There was a silence. I was just about to put the phone down,thinking that the connection wasn’t good, I heard a husky “Hello”.
That certainly didn’t sound like my father. A thousand lights sparkled in front of my eyes. There were too many thoughts flying through my head. I couldn’t understand anything.
“Is this Nina mol?”
Nina mol? My father never called me Nina mol. He calls me Kochumaharani. I am my father’s daughter. Nobody else’s.
I could feel the the phone was on fire, my head was already on fire. I put the phone down. Said a quick bye to the Ammachi and I ran.
I heard Ammachi shouting
“koche, wait here, if the connection wasn’t good, your father will call again. I am not going to let my grand daughter walk up all the way to your house. What do you think? We are your servants ah?”
I didn’t bother to stop. I ran all the way home. I wanted to kill Amma. I knew I would go to prison for life. But she is not making me anyone else’s mol.
I was like a volcano about to explode. My chest was like a tight bundle. I couldn’t breath. I started to pace up and down my room
“Did you tell Appa about the pencil case?” Sally came to my room and asked
“Get out of my room now, before I kill you too” I screamed
“What is wrong with you Nina? Why are you screaming like this?” Sally was crying. I pushed her out of the room and slammed the door shut. I could hear my sister standing on the other side of the door and crying.
Poor thing, what did she do? I quickly opened the door
“I am sorry, I screamed at you. Please forgive me.” I tried to hug Sally. She pushed me away.
“I don’t want to talk to you Nina”
“Come here, you are my baby sister. Aren’t you? You know Nina loves you the most on planet earth”
“That is why she always scream at me!”
“I promise, I will never scream at you again. That is the promise made by Nina Thomas, grand daughter of world famous Methran Thambi”
“hmm, Bring your hand here”. I made a hook with my index finger and hooked it on Sally’s finger. “till I die, I will never scream at you. I promise”
Sally hugged me and the Volcano in my chest suddenly didn’t feel as bad as it felt before.
“Nina, what did Appa say?”
“I couldn’t speak to him. There was no connection”
“Will he call again?”
“Don’t know. If you are good girl, then he might”
“I am a good girl” Sally responded
“Right! Who is the one who made paper boats by tearing paper from her work book?”
“Aiyya Nina, that was just a silly mistake”
And I consoled myself. That phone call too was a simple mistake.
mol: is the typical way Malayalees call their daughters. Anju mol, Sally mol etc.