I was exhausted after walking all the way from my home to the school where my sisters study to fetch them and then walking back home. Amma was home when I came back from my school and she and Maria were already fighting when I left to fetch my sisters.
As I opened the metal main gate, I could see Maria waiting for me sitting on the step and leaning on the door frame.
“Nina, I decided to do medicine.” She announced loudly.
“Why, what happend?”
I saw Amma’s shadow moving across the room and I knew exactly what happend.
My sister is a wrong candidate for studying medicine. She didn’t even go to the hospital to visit Amma, when she gave birth to Sally. She is scared of the sight of the blood and everything associated with hospitals. Amma is making a sacrificial lamb out of my sister and I am not going to let her do it.
Maria showed me signs to hush and approach her.
“Nina, help me, I don’t want to do medicine”. She whispered in my ears.
“I will” I told my sister and I had no idea how to help my sister.
I went to the kitchen to have my tea. Amma was sitting at the dining table and reading the paper. she hasn’t changed her work clothes. Appa was very particular that we change the outside clothes as soon as we come home. My mother was very much enjoying my father’s absence.
I wasn’t sure if it was the right time to approach her. But I had to do it. I have to stand up for my sister.
“Amma, why did you tell Maria to do medicine.”
My mother lifted her head up and adjusted her glasses and I knew instantly i woke the lion and now there is no turning back .
“Who are you to tell me, what I should or shouldn’t do?” She yelled.
“Amma, Chechy wants to do engineering and she should be allowed to do what she wants to do. You are the one who taught us to follow our heart!”
“Follow your hear!, yes you can, the day you step outside my door. Till then you will do exactly what I tell you.”
“Amma let chechy do engineering”
How dare you tell me what I should do? If she had listened in the first time, your father wouldn’t have gone, now she will do what I tell her”.
“No Amma, she won’t”
“How dare you”. she got up from the chair and in an instant she slapped me. It was the first time someone ever slapped me. I felt 1000 bees humming in my ear. I tried to shake my head to hush the bees. My face was stinging.
I thought, my god, this woman is more vicious than my father. ‘wait till my father comes back and I will make sure he will slap you the same way you slapped me’ I promised myself.
By now my sisters were crying.
“Amma, please don’t hit Nina”. Sally and Liza was howling and Amma was going after them.
I jumped infront of my sisters and raised my hands to protect my sisters from Amma’s blows.
“You have something against me, take it on me. Not my sisters”. I pushed Amma away from us.
I stood between the living room and the kitchen door. Amma on one side and my sisters and Akkachi on the other side.
“How dare you raise your hand on me, you deaf and dumb and blind daughter”. Amma was enraged. She hit me till her own hands hurt
When she was satisfied hitting me, she took her handbag that was lying on the dining table and walked out.
I ran after her
“Where are you going?”
“Who are you to ask me where I go? I will go where ever I want!”.
“Amma please don’t go” Liza and Sally ran after her. they held her hand and she pushed them away and Liza fell down.
“Go inside both of you”. I screamed at my sisters. I didn’t want them to get hurt.
I followed quietly behind Amma all the way to the bus stop and watched her taking the bus to Kottayam town. I had no idea, where she went.
My sisters were waiting for me as I walked home.
“Where did Amma go?” They asked in unison
“She took the private bus to town”.
“Is she going to come back, Nina?” Sally asked me.
“yes, she will, she might have gone to town to buy something”. I consoled my sisters.
I knew, if she didn’t return, I will feed my sisters paraquat and end this nightmare once for all.