Broken.. spirit?

“Nina can we do skiing?” Asked my sisters
“Skiing? in our house? What exactly have you in mind?”
“What if we stand on something and you pull us? we can take turns!”
“Good idea, but what do we use to stand on?”
“We can use pala(petiole of palm leaf)!” Liza suggested.
We ran to the areca nut tree in the corner of our house. There was one dried palm leaf on the ground.
“Oh we are so lucky” Exclaimed my sisters.
“Go and get the knife and find some rope” I ordered
Within minutes my sisters were back with a knife and a rope. I sat on the washing stone, cut the palm leaf petiole in to half and used the bottom part. I tied the rope on my body and Liza stood on the petiole and held the rope that was tied on my body.
“Akkachi we are going to do pala(petiole) skiing”. I yelled
Akkachi was inside the kitchen making tea and she popped her head out of the kitchen window and said
“Whatever you do, be careful, your mother would kill us all, if anything untoward happens”
“Don’t worry Akkachi, We will be careful”.
We took turns and were having so much fun, then the untoward happend.
“Oh No, what are we going to do?”
“it is your fault Nina” screamed Liza
“How is it my fault?”
“You ran fast”
“but you are the one who was standing on the leaf, so you broke it”
“No you ran fast and you are the reason the leaf broke.”.
“I am not going to play with you any more”
I pulled the rope away from her hand and removed the knot from my body.
“You are a mean sister, Nina, I wish I never had a sister like you”
“Too bad, it is too late to find a new sister.”
“I hate you”. She ran inside.
“Nina, can we get another pala(petiole)?Sally asked
“There are no more palm leaf, Sally. Amma cut them all up for firewood”
“There is one on the tree”
“ofcourse, it is a palm tree, it has to have leaves on it, bodoh(stupid).”
“No Nina, there is a dried leaf, just about to drop, on the tree”
I looked up at the tree, What Sally said was true. There is a semi dried leaf still hanging on the tree. I couldn’t reach it from the ground level. But if I climbed on the fence wall, I will be able to grab the leaf and pull it down.
“Tell you what, Move away from the bottom of the tree, I will climb the fence wall and pull it down.”
“Nina, you are not allowed to climb the fence wall”
“I know, but Amma won’t know, Do me a favour, go and check the road and see if Amma is coming, if you see her, yell and call my name. I will climb down quickly. ok?”
“Nina, are you sure, you will be ok?”
“Ofcourse, I will be, I am Methran Thampi’s granddaughter!”
“Nina, who is Methran Thampi?”
” He is our famous grandfather”
“What is he famous for?”
“That I have no idea, but there is a feeling, when you say I am Methran Thampi’s granddaughter!!!, Now go and stand near the main gate and look out for Amma”
Although I boasted that I am the courageous grand daughter of famous Methran Thampi, climbing the fence wall was no small task. For one thing the wall is 5 feet tall and the top part is curved and smooth to prevent people from walking on it. I analysed my options and finally figured the best way to climb the wall. I will stand on the washing stone and reach the top of the wall and slowly lift my body up. Once I am on top, I have to quickly grab the leaf and jump down. All I have to make sure is that my landing spot is free of stones and the leaf won’t fall on top of me. That is an easy task, so I thought.
Confidentally I climbed the washing stone, I reached for the top of the fence wall and I managed to lift my body up and slowly managed to stand on top of the fence wall.
‘Wow, I felt like, I am on top of the world’. I slowly craned my neck and looked all around me. That is when I heard
maram keri Mariya,maram keri Malaysian Maria”.(Maria, the tree climber from Malaysia). Akashavani’s son was jumping up and down and yelling .
“I am not Maria, I am Nina” I was so mad and I quickly turned. One minute I was on top of the Fence wall, the next minute I wasn’t. I landed on the washing stone.
I tried to get up , my legs didn’t move. I wanted to cry, but I couldn’t even breath.
“Akkachi, Nina fell down from the fence wall” Sally was howling
Akkachi ran out from the kitchen
“Did you hit your head Nina? Where does it hurt? Oh my goodness, Nina speak something.” Akkachi was shaking me
“I am ok Akkachi, but my leg is hurting”
“Oh my goodness, I think you have broken your leg Nina!, Oh god, What are we going to do?”
“Serves you right Nina, See Jesus punished you, because you are a nasty mean sister”
I turned to look and saw Liza grinning happily
“Go away Liza, How can you be so mean, Chechy has hurt her legs and you want to rub more salt in to her wound?” Sally asked her.
“Let Amma come, I am going to tell her, I am going to tell Amma everything and make sure, she beats the life out of you, Nina”
Before I could get up from the floor, we heard Amma opening the main gate
“Amma Nina climbed on the fence and fell down” Liza ran to the main gate to tell Amma the good news.
“How dare she disobey me”. Amma ran to where I was lying down, took the part of the palm leaf that I cut earlier and started to hit me
“How dare you Nina? How dare you disobey me? Your father is not here, if anything happens to you, who will take care of you? You are already deaf and dumb and blind and now you want to break your body too? What do you think I am? A millionaire? To save so much dowry for a disabled”
“Chechy, Enough” Akkachi splayed her hand across and tried to protect me from further blows
“You are siding and protecting her? You take care of her!” Amma dropped the leaf and grabbed my sisters hand and went inside.
I couldn’t cry till then, now the tears started to flow
“Never mind Nina, don’t cry, it is ok”
Akkachi slowly lifted me up. She held my hand and we walked to the kitchen. I sat on the kitchen door step and Akkachi slowly washed the dirt from my legs. My feet was getting swollen.

24 thoughts on “Broken.. spirit?

  1. Nina,You must have missed your father at such moments. I can understand your feelings because I also grew up without a father. Even now, it pains me when I think I grew up without experiencing his love. I want to share this poem I wrote:


    How can one fathom out
    One’s loss
    Of something
    One never had
    Ever since one’s memory began?

    I know not.

    You were not by my side
    When my memory began
    But I do sense your loss
    Every minute of the day.
    I believe that
    An invisible veil
    Separates the dead from the living.
    I just have to tear it apart
    And there you are
    Close to my heart
    Just a thought away.

    I know it.

    When the wind
    Rustles through my hair
    I feel your hands –
    A father’s touch –
    Gently ruffling my hair.

    When the new rain
    Falls on my face
    I know it is
    My father’s kiss.

    When the sun shines
    And scatters the gloom
    I can almost see
    My father smile.

    I don’t remember
    Your image
    Except from old photographs
    Yellowing with time.
    But I can sense
    Your presence
    Close to me
    Protecting me
    Guiding me
    Consoling me
    Just as you would’ve done
    Were you alive.

  2. Thats sad… like how can mom be thinking about dowry and disobeying than taking care of you… of the hurt!.. Like could have taken care and then made a understanding of the consequences!…. you must have really been hit every now and then with the saying.. dum and deaf!!

  3. Was liza ur moms fav? She seemed to join ur mom in torturing u now n then – akkachi must have been a wonderful respite to what u were going through – the rainbow in the storm – kids will always be kids – how can u hurt an injured child –

  4. I can’t believe a mother who carried a child around in her body for 9 months could be like this to that child, unless there was something seriously wrong with her mentally!!!

  5. I got a lot of punishment for climbing …trees …walls…whatever…

    Veezhathe nadakkan padikkillalo… go ahead… climb more. enjoy the thrill of climbing.

    “Wow, I felt like, I am on top of the world”…thats the spirit.

    Kayararuthu ennu parayendathu avarude duty. Kayaruka …veezhuka..athu nammude ishtam.
    btw hows your children !!! Are they started mountaineering?

  6. Where’s the fun in being a child when you’re not allowed to climb trees and walls etc. I climbed trees, fished in the longkang (monsoon drains), went on imaginary missions with my cousins – all boys except for me.
    But yes, then came back and got it ‘nicely’.
    Nevertheless, your amma’s words are very cutting. 🙁

  7. Sarah..I feel sad ..I think you made the best of the circumstance you were in and tried tohave fun, I remember being dragged around on a Coconut branch by my brothers, it was a lot of fun.

  8. I was a maram keri too 🙂 And that was such a sweet improvisation, I mean skiing with the leaf. When we don’t have toys, we use our creativity to amuse ourselves. That way, today’s kids are missing out…

    I hate the way your Mom beats you.. what is wrong with her, how can you hurt a child??? grrrr

  9. lol

    “pala” skiing was one our favourites…. but we used to do something diffrent also, we used to sit on it and someone else will pull it with a rope and run…that was fun..

  10. Hmm.. People, children and adults alike, say hurtful things at the heat of the moment even without meaning to.. But it somehow stays in the mind of the person it was aimed at..


  11. Telling kids not to do something dangerous is out of love, but beating an injured child over caring the child, is heartless!

    So, this is how you broke your bones.. (referring to June 25th post in Tagworld).

  12. Techno: That is a beautiful poem. hope you will find peace..

    Chandu: at home the saying was, ippathan arinjillegil, pinnethan ariyum..

    Thanu: it didn’t matter, if I listened or not.. touble was in love with me..

    Jac: thank you

    Sujit: there is an advantage.. when you hear insults at home everyday, you get immune.. so even now, when people try to hurt me, it doesn’t feel so bad!

    Maya: things like this, made a good doctor, because I was always able to see the other side..U know wht I mean!!

    Neihal: True.. I wouldn’t survived if it wasn’t for Akkachi..

    Visithra: Tht wasn’t the first time, mom hurt me when i was already hurt.. that wasn’t the last time either..but later I learned, it is better not to tell her, when I am injured.. Liza and Sally were her favourite..

    Hillgrandmom: She didn’t do this to my sisters.. so she can’t be mentally ill.. I was the chosen one to bear her abuse..

    YSAJ: I know why u asked tht question abt kids..jathyagunam thoothal poovulla alle? My son is just like me.. he climbs anything that he is not supposed to climb… But I don’t scold him.. I see myself in him and understand the need for him to climb, to be on top of the world!

    Ashok: thanks

    Cynthia: When you go out exploring, you know in your heart, you are going to get it..but u still do it.. still get it..I think tht was the best part of being a child.. to see how much you can push the boundary!

    Starrynights: W didn’t have any toys. Appa would buy them, Amma would lock them up, saying tht we would spoil it. So everntually he stopped buying. Till I got married, my mother still had a doll with blue eyes that my father bought for me, when I was 5.. the only thing is.. I never even had a chance to hold it.. So we had no choice, but to improvise and play pala skii..

    Dawn: thank you so much..

    Silverine: The fall wasn’t tht bad, broken bones can be mended..but the spirit takes time..

    Monu: I never tried the sitting down on the pala.. chanthiyele tholi donate cheyyan budhimuttayirunnu..

    Q8techdrive: So u too had fallen down and broke your bones!!

    Rose: Then it used to it is ok..I am immune to Amma’s insults..

    Geetha: there were plenty of times..The other time I broke my leg was when i fell down from the mango tree in chengannur..tht time too Amma hit me.. I blogged abt it earlier

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