“Hurry up, walk fast” I ordered my sisters. I had things to do as soon as we reached home.
“You are always nagging Nina. Nina is a nag, Nina is a nag” Liza started to sing
I ignored her. Anyway she doesn’t know about the 1 lakh I am going to get.
Wait till I get 1 lakh rupees. First I will buy all the magical rulers from Jacob’s store. Then I will buy a huge house. I will have my own room with a beautiful balcony. Then I will construct cellars in the basement. I wanted store rooms to store my favourite things. One room will have pakkavada(crisps), another room will have banana chips, another room I will store my favourite white rabbit candy. I made a mental note to write to Tante Ida to send me some white rabbit candy from Penang.
I will buy a big fridge and store ice cream. I like vanilla ice cream, I also like the milk peda(sweet) that is sold at the milma ice cream shop near the post office. May be I will buy 2 fridges. One for the ice cream and one for the peda(sweet). I was very excited thinking about all the things I am going to have. I walked faster.
“Akkachi I am home” I opened the living room door and yelled in my excitement.
“Nina, why did you have to scream? You scared me !”
“Aiyya Akkachi, why do you get scared like this? i was only letting you know that I am home.
I saw Akkachi folding a sheet of paper. “What is that?” I pointed to the paper in her hand and asked.
“Oh, this!, remember the last time when we bought rice, it came in a colourful paper cover? I opened the cover today to see the pictures. Look at this photo Nina, see how pretty her earrings are”.
“Whose picture is this?” I asked Akkachi
“Aiyyoo Nina, don’t you know who this is? This is Sheela. She is a famous actress. Look at her, see how pretty she is?
I looked at the photo, I had to agree with Akkachi. She was very pretty.
“Look at her earring. That is a Jimikki. When I earn enough money, I am going to buy myself a pair of Jimikki!.”
“That earring look like a bird cage Akkachi!”
“Bird cage!, nonsense. It is so pretty and you know something, when you wear it, your earring will jingle everytime you shake your head”. Akkachi showed me a bhratha natyam move with her head
“Akkachi don’t. your will break your neck!” I warned her
“Go away, I should be whacked on my head for talking to you.”
“You want me to whack you?”
“Aiyya !! Oh Nina, what will I do with you?”
“You can make me a cup of tea!!”
” No tea for little kids. There is a glass of milk on the table.”
“Please Akkachi, make me cup of tea. You are my darling Akkachi, right? You will do anything for this poor little child right?”
“You? Poor little child? No way. You are a cheeky child!. I will make tea for you. Don’t tell your mother that i gave you tea. That would be enough for her to start another fight.”
“I promise I won’t”
I sat on the gas cylinder and waited for Akkachi to make me some tea. I thought of the jimikki earrings akkachi wanted to buy. May be when I get my 1 lakh I will buy Akkachi a pair of earrings. I wondered how Akkachi would react when she opens the yellow colour Alappattu jewellery box and open the purple tissue wrapper and see the Jimikki. I imgined Akkachi jumping up and down in happiness and then hugging mme. I wanted to make Akkachi happy.
“Where is Amma gone? Why is she so late?” I asked Akkachi
“Who knows? May be she went to buy groceries”.
I desperately wanted to execute my master plan and just when I wanted my mother to come home early, she is late.
I went to my room to do my home work. I couldn’t concentrate. If only the schools were run by good people that never gave homework like my art teacher Mrs. Issac. How wonderful life would have been if I didn’t have to do tons of home work each and every day. I thought, If I have enough money, then I can pay someone else to do my homework. I will never get caned in school!!!
Amma came around 8pm. For once I wasn’t angry with her for coming late. I was just relieved that she is home and I could do what I want to do. I didn’t ask Amma where she went or why she is late. I was concerned that because it is late, Amma might not have her shower.
“Akkachi Amma is home, did you heat water for her?”. I wanted to make sure Amma will have her shower.
“I will heat it now .”
‘parumala thirumeni, please make Amma have her shower.’ I prayed.
I watched Amma placing her hand bag on top of the fridge and going to her room to take her nightdress. I waited for her to enter the bathroom and close the door. I stood outside the door to make sure that she started to take her bath. The moment I heard the water falling on the cement floor, I rushed to the dining room. Akkachi was setting the table for dinner
‘Hurry up Akkachi, go back to the kitchen’. I said silently hoping that she would understand and leave the room. After all I will be buying her a jimikki earring.
Just when I thought the coast is clear, Akkachi came back to the room with the water jug.
“I will help you fill the glasses Akkachi.” I grabbed the jug from her hand.
“Ok, if you want to do it, fine” Akkachi went back to the kitchen
I quickly grabbed Amma’s handbag. She keeps all the coins in her black leather coin pouch. I took it out of the bag and ran to my room. I hid behind the door and quickly opened the coin pouch. My heart was beating faster. All I needed is 75 paise more. I took the coins out and started to count. There were two 25 paise and four 5 paise coins.