Tempest has arrived!

I woke up in the morning to find Amma was doing laundry.
“Where is Appa?” I asked her
“Must be sitting in the veranda and reading the paper. He just has to sit and relax. I am there to do all the donkey work.”
Aiyya, I only asked her where my father is. She just have to answer that. Why does she have to speak so much. I looked around to see, if Appa could have heard anything. My mother is bend up on starting a fight. If Appa is the fire cracker, Amma is the lighted match stick. I made a mental note to keep my parents as away as possible from each other.
I walked to the veranda. Appa was listening to the radio and reading the paper.
“Good morning Appa. Did you have your coffee”
“Yeah, your mother made her trade mark chappi”.(chaya(tea)+ kappi(coffee)
Oh god, we are all set for the world war’. I thought
“Appa, can I ask you something?”
‘hmm” Appa looked over the news paper at me
“When are you going back?”
“I came yesterday and you already want to know when I am going back?”
I looked at my father, trying to figure out what is his and his wife’s problem. They always answer a question with another question
“Appa, you are here for few weeks. Can’t we live happily as a family?”
“That you have to ask your mother. She is the one who starts all the fights”
“When she starts a fight, why do you have to fight?”
“You are questioning me in the morning itself?” My father raised his voice
“No, I am not”. I walked away quickly and he went back to read the paper.

I went to the kitchen to see what is for breakfast. Amma had made dosa batter yesterday. I checked the batter. It was nicely fermented.
“Amma shall I start making dosai’s?” I stood on the kitchen door step and yelled
Amma turned around and looked at me and asked
“Why Nina, all of a sudden you decided to help? You want to impress your father eh?”
“What is your problem Mary? Nina just asked you if she could make dosai. you just have to say yes or no for that.” I heard Appa shouting.
‘Oh God, here we go’
There was fire in my mother’s eyes. I knew she will blame me for starting the fight. All I thought was to offer help. Whenever Amma does laundry, she is in a bad mood. We have a washing machine. She washes the clothes in it, take it out, rinse it three times again manually, put it back in the machine and spin it. My mother thinks that the machine doesn’t clean the clothes. Today she is washing the bed sheets and that is a lot of clothes to rinse manually.
“Nina, make dosai” Appa ordered from the veranda
I looked at Amma. She huffed and turned back to rinse the clothes.
I lit the gas stove and placed the dosai pan. I have only watched Akkachi making dosai. I checked if the pan is hot and I poured a ladle full of batter on to the pan. I tried to spread the batter thinly and each place the ladle met the pan, there was a gap. My dosai was clumped up and my it looked something like a mini volcano with half cooked batter flowing out like lava. I tried to remove the dosai before Amma see it. I turned to see my father standing near the kitchen door and watching me and laughing.
“Kochumaharani, if you keep making dosai for the rubbish bin, you are going to make your mother mad” He spoke
“Shhh, I placed my hand on my lips and told my father to hush.
athey, my father was not a dosai seller. And he didn’t teach me how to make it. That is why my dosai didn’t come out well” I told him smartly.
“Oh like that ah? So what does your father do?”
“Oh him.. He just sit down in the veranda and read news paper!”
“You are your mother’s daughter. I have no doubt about it. You know how to speak.”
“Your father might not have had a dosai shop, but he can tell you that the fire is too hot. First you sprinkle some water on the pan, that will reduce the heat, pour the batter and quickly spread it with the ladle”
I followed his instruction and made my first proper dosai.
“Do you want to eat the first one Appa?”
I took a plate and placed the dosai in it and gave to my father. I was proud. There was no curry. So I gave him some mango pickle. Appa went back to the veranda and I continued to make dosai.
Amma came inside the kitchen few minutes later. She stood next to me to watch me making the dosai.
“That isn’t how you spread the batter. The center of your dosai is too thick. Dosai must be thin and round. You are good for nothing”
I ignored her.
Amma went to make chutney for the dosai.
I heard her asking Appa
“Will you help me rinse the bed sheets?”
‘Oh no, what is he going to say?’ I was so worried and was just so relieved to hear him saying “ok”
By the time Appa finished rinsing all the bed sheets, I finished making dosai and Amma made chutney.
“Liza, set the table” I ordered
We sat down to eat. Just as we were about to eat Amma asked Appa
“There is some left over sambar from yesterday, would you like to have that?”
I watched in absolute horror, my father getting up from the table and throwing his plate down on the floor.
“I have told you from the time we got married, don’t ask me when I am eating, if I need anything. I have told you time and again to put the food on the table and if I want I will eat it.”
“What is wrong in just asking?” My mother asked
Liza started to cry and Appa was just about to hit Amma
“Please Appa, please don’t hit my mother” I jumped in between my parents.
Appa stormed out of the dining room and Amma asked me
“What is wrong in asking if he wants some sambar?”
“If he doesn’t like you asking him, why are you doing it Amma?”
“Because I am not going to waste food”
“ofcourse!. You have just wasted a plateful of dosai.” I pointed the floor to her
“Shut up” Amma yelled at me and went back to the kitchen
“Nina, what are we going to do?” Liza asked me in between her sobs
I was angry with my mother and wanted to tell Liza to shut up. But I knew my sisters only have me and I didn’t want to hurt them
“Don’t worry, eat your breakfast and go and play outside”

I cleaned up the mess on the floor,cleaned the dining table and was doing the dishes when Liza ran to the kitchen
“Nina, run, Appa and Amma are fighting again”
“In the laundry room”
I ran outside to the laundry room to find my father hitting my mother
“Stop it Appa.” I tried to pull him away from my mother.
“Do you know what she is doing? She asked me to rinse the bed sheets and I did, but she didn’t like my rinsing. She thinks that I didn’t do a good job. She is rinsing the clothes I rinsed already”
“Shhh Appa, neighbours can hear. What will people think?”
“Let them think. The day I married your mother, is the day I lost my dignity”
Amma was just about to retort and I placed my hand on my lips and pleaded with her silently”Don’t Amma”
As my father walked out of the laundry room, I couldn’t wait for him to go back to Rhodesia.

21 thoughts on “Tempest has arrived!

  1. 14 posts…i read your last 14 posts today in one go…after pushing it off all this while!
    i am telling u…u got a winner in your hands when u publish your story.

  2. πŸ™ It must ve been real tough for you. You are a gem Sarah…The way u care about ur sisters who at times pave way for a good trashing for u….You are too good …

  3. OH! Sarah..that was sad. parents sometimes forget that there are children who are also being hurt.Sometimes we are so selfish just thinking about ourselves that we fail to see the children.

  4. Arrgghh!
    I thought we had something good when your father came back.. but they are fighting again!! πŸ™

    So sad that you had to think that it was better that he went off to Rhodesia..

  5. Hi Nina,

    I am a regular reader of your post. and checking everyday for new post. I can imagine the situations. Thank God that you have a wonderful life now.GBU

  6. That was sad, so sad !!

    But I can’t agree here about the beating of a woman, what ever fire she spews in her words.
    Yes of course, it is something that happened long ago and my mind may not be synchronized with those times, country and culture.

    The last thought you had about him going back, so natural and so real.

  7. Made for each other couple :)) Your Dad inspite of his temper had parental instincts, while your mom seems to be thrust in the role unwillingly. Sad for both of them. The games fate plays!!!

    I second Jiby’s observation that you have a winner here πŸ™‚

  8. Thanu: I waited each day for my father to come home, then when he is home I waited each day for him to leave. No child should go through this kids of torture

    Shankari: Most often kids have choices, if they don’t like their father, they like their mother or vice versa..But in my case, I had no choice.. both were terrible

    Jiby: Thank you..
    one day!

    Anon: I did my job. I didn’t want them to suffer like the way I did.. I had to be there for them

    Visithra: Oh visithra..if only my sisters said tht to me

    Rocksea: there were never any serious reasons. According to Ammachi,My parent’s marriage was one proof that God takes nap.. There was no other way, they should have got married to each other.. They were so wrong for each other

    Starry: There are parents, who traumatise their children so much that they carry the wounds all their life

    Techno:Thank you

    Neihal: oh to be able to live each day not worrying if my father would go to jail for killing my mother…I would have done anything for tht

    Rose: Some parents don’t bother.. why should they? their ego is more important

    Geetha: The excitement tht I had when i saw him, and the fear he brought along and the trouble he created each day, the worries he and his wife gave me…

    Salini: In a way, I don’t have a wonderful life. I don’t know where my father is, I don’t speak to my sisters or to my mother, I don’t know when, where how my grandmother died, I haven’t been to her grave yet!

    Jac: thank you

    Hope and love: Appa is such a nice way to call eh? Daddy sounds sooo formal..

    Hillgrandmom: All my life all I ever wanted was peace.. that is just so hard to find

    Silverine: I agree completely.. they were made for each other just for fighting..

  9. nina!! i am so sorry for this hardships, but i think my parents were also not made for each other,they were not fighting so bad, but not at all suitable for each other, so i decided at a very early stage, no arranged marriage for me, and yes i have found the perfect partner..!! fate is in your hands and u make it, but traditions still pull us down,…the chains are hard to break…but once u break the freedom are like lakes of joy!

  10. Jac: !

    Ronnie: I am just so happy to hear that you found a perfect partner. I know the chains that bind us..it is just so hard to break them..

    BVN: The reason i always thought I would marry a matsalleh was I can be away..far away from my mad family.

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