When I held my marks card, all of a sudden I became somebody else. Till now I was just a deaf and dumb and blind snake. All of a sudden, I found my venom. I knew I could bite. I finally learned, I am indeed Methran Thambi’s grand daughter and I will get what I wanted. I am capable.
My mother and sister were discussing about my pre-degree admission. It was no longer, which parallel college, I would be joining. It was now, should she join the CMS college or BCM college?
“I am joining CMS college” I announced
“No, you are not” Maria spoke
“You can’t tell me, what I should do”
“You are 8 years younger to me, you will listen to what I tell you to do. Appa isn’t here and I am in charge”
That is when I realized, I actually have a father and he doesn’t even know, I scored distinction. I contemplated, should I write to him and tell him? Then I thought, Appa never bothered to write a single letter in the last three and a half years. I don’t exist for him. Why should I waste my energy and write to him?

“You are not in charge of my life Maria. I want to study in CMS college and I am going to do it”
“No, Amma. We can’t let her. She will get spoiled there and fall in love with some weirdo instead of concentrating on her studies”
“What is your problem Maria? You studied in a co-ed school? You didn’t fall in love with anyone? Or is it that, nobody fell in love with you?” It was my turn to mock at my sister and I was really enjoying my new found thrills
“How dare you Nina? No wonder God created you deaf and dumb and blind and ugly”
“Yeah, but I still scored 90 marks more than you, so Imgaine, how much I would have scored, if I wasn’t deaf and dumb and blind?”
I could see that my sister was stunned, I also knew this would be the last time, she would call me deaf and dumb and blind.

The next morning, I got up and got dressed.
“Where are you going Nina?”
“Just over there Amma!”
“Over where?” Amma raised her voice
“Over there Amma” I said it in the same tone my mother told me the same sentence all the while, when I asked her.
“You are not going anywhere, without telling me” Amma was mad
“Well, I have many things to do today and I can’t tell you exactly where I am going”. I started to walk towards the main gate
“Don’t you dare come back to my house. If you can’t live here following my rules, then don’t come back”
“Too bad Amma, I will leave when it is time for me to leave, not a day before that!”
I walked towards CMS college. I needed to get the application. I was just so happy. I could finally do and say what I always wanted to. I was suddenly the Maria of ‘sound of music’. I felt like dancing and singing at the top of the voice. I really wanted to sing Climb every mountain But I didn’t know the verses.

CMS college was the heaven I always thought I would inherit. Beautiful colonial style buildings with white walls, red tiled roofs. Majestic cassurina trees everywhere and the best part of it all, there were plenty of handsome boys. After studying in an all girls school for the last 5 years, I was ready for a co-ed life.
There were lots of boys sitting on their bikes near the entrance. They started to whistle as I entered the college. 2 years ago, I would have got mad, today, I was enjoying every bit of attention that I received. I wanted to look at the faces of all the boys, but I was a bit apprehensive, So I looked down and walked fast.I collected my application form.
I was hungry. I had 2 Rs with me and I walked to the Jewel Box snack center in the Baker school compound. The snack center is run by the women belonging to the CSI church. Most of them knew me from the church.
“Aha, who is this? I am so glad to see you Nina.I heard that, you scored the highest marks for SSLC in our church this year”
“Yes Aunty” I was beaming
“How did you do it Nina?”
“I studied aunty. I revised and revised everyday”
“did you go for tuition?”
“yeah, I went for Maths tuition”
“hmmm” She nodded her head, as though she wanted justification, that my hard work alone didn’t enable me to score good marks. “So what college are you going to join?”
“CMS college”
“Are you taking both group 1 and 2?”
“No aunty, I am only taking group 2 science. I want to become a Doctor”
“But Nina, you should take the additional maths also, you can write both engineering and medicine entrance exam”
“No aunty. I don’t want to do engineering. I hate maths”
I ordered a plate of samosa. I had no money for a drink, so I had a glass of tap water. After eating the samosa, I went to the main public library. I had my father’s library card. I wanted to borrow Mills and Boon. There were 100’s of Mills and Boon books, I wasn’t sure, which one I would read first. I picked the author with the name starting with A.. Anne Mather. I borrowed 4 books.

When I reached home in the evening, I knew there won’t be any food. So I didn’t even bother to look for the food. I took 2 eggs from the fridge and made myself a nice omlette. Liza was staring at me
“Do you want some?” I asked her
She looked at me, at my plate and at Maria.
“You don’t need Maria’s permission to eat food Liza. Come, take some” I divided the omlette in to two and gave her half. I knew Liza was scared to eat.
“Open your mouth” I ordered. I fed my sister her share of the omlette.

I filled the CMS college application form. I waited for Amma to come back.
When she came home I asked her
“Will you please sign the application form?”
“No. You aren’t going to CMS college”
“Ok, I will sign on your behalf”
“Amma, see what books she borrowed from the library?” Maria came to the dining room with the evidence. 4 Anne Mather books.
“What is your problem Maria? You read them too!”
“Not at the age of 15. You can’t read Mills and Boon at 15 Nina”
“Too bad. I will read what I want to.”
“Amma, do something, she is getting spoiled” Maria pleaded
“Nina, give me back the library card” Amma ordered
“No Amma, I won’t, it is my father’s. he gave it to me, before he left. Are you going to sign my application or not?” I asked Amma again
I really don’t know what happend, Amma actually signed my application form.
“What are you doing Amma?” Maria shouted at her
“Let her do what she wants” Amma shrugged her shoulder
I wanted to do a dance of victory. I couldn’t stop grinning.
“Nina, I got the application form from the BCM college(Women’s college). Put in your application there too, just incase you didn’t get your admission in CMS college.”
I didn’t want to fight with Amma, not when she signed my application form for the CMS college. So I agreed.
“Apply for the Maths and science”
“ok” I replied. I knew I would get admission in CMS college, so I didn’t bother what course Amma wanted me to join at BCM college. I would have even agreed to the home science course, if she had asked me.

2 weeks later, I got the admission card from the BCM college. I waited and waited for the admission card from CMS college. It never came.
“May be you didn’t get admission, because you are a Jacobite Christian Nina. They prefer to give admission to CSI students”
I couldn’t believe my bad luck. I scored such good marks and I didn’t get admission in the college I wanted to join, just because I belong to a different church. I joined the BCM college with a heavy heart.

2 days before my college started, I decided to organize the clothes in the godrej cupboard. Amma’s sarees were all in a mess. I took all the sarees out from the cup board. I removed the news paper lining at the bottom of the shelf. Something pink colour fell down as I removed the newspaper. I bend down and picked it up. I saw my own hand writing. It was my admission card from the CMS college. I was asked to report 3 weeks ago, if I didn’t join, my seat would go to someone else next in the line.
The 35 paise Gandhiji stamp was looking at me and laughing
“You bodoh(stupid), even after you scored distinction in all the subjects, you still fell for your mother’s schemes”

27 thoughts on “Bodoh

  1. Nina,
    What she did was extremely selfish and egoistic. She would have learnt her follies by now. I do not know how i would have reacted and hoe it would have affected me.
    But you struggled and got where you are now.
    Like i said earlier, my admiration just keeps on increasing. You had to face many difficulties unlike many otehrs and yest you reached the top.

  2. Here u go

    Song frm sound of music.

    Climb every mountain, search high and low
    Follow every by way, every path you know
    Climb every mountain, ford every stream
    Follow every rainbow, till you find your dream
    A dream that will need, all the love you can give
    Everyday of your life, for as long as you live
    Climb every mountain, ford every stream
    Follow every rainbow, till you find your dream
    A dream that will need, all the love you can give
    Everyday of your life, for as long as you live
    Climb every mountain, ford every stream
    Follow every rainbow, till you find your… dream…

  3. Hi sarah

    I really dont know how to react reading this post. Its really heart wrenching that she hid the admission card.

    How are you now ?? Are you talking to your mother and Maria without the grudges ??

  4. How cruel???? I just can’t imagine what I would have done in your situation!

    I really hope you still got your way into your preferred uni.. waiting for the next post.

  5. Here’s what we used to call SSLC : Stop Studying, Learn Cooking.
    Sarah, you know what I like best these days? Waiting for your next post. You really are gifted. Even the dreariest things light up when you write. And to imagine that you learned English by yourself!!!
    Is the high and mighty Maria married? Or is she a die-hard professional? Just curious to know how she is getting on now.

  6. Too very bad. i dont know what to think of ur mother.

    i am a big fan of ur blog. the first thing i do when i switch on the comp is read ur post.

    i am eagerly waiting for the next.


  7. Actually, I know of quite a few parents of that decade (and earlier),who would have done things like that especially in the case of daughters–to protect their daughter’s ‘virtue’ and their ‘good name’. Apart from that there are even now parents who just decide what course their children are going to pursue and force them into it.

  8. hi nina,

    so sad, how your mother could do that, really really , i would not expect that from anyone to their child who is 16yrs….i would not forgive my parents at that age,and have u forgiven your mother, i am the vindative kind…;)
    i would not forgive, why, why , should you forgive…i do not believe in forgive and forget…sorry.
    Time should teach them, your value, and good to see you putting a stand

    support u nina!

  9. Alex: You have no idea, how much I have suffered.. and how much I suffer even to this day..

    Anon: when there are 800+ students vying for 200 seats.???

    Thanu: thank you..for the lyrics.. have been climbing every mountain!

    Jithu: I am honest..

    Madhavan Kutty: Yep, from the pot to the fire.. imagine the free spiritted Nina under Sister Savio’s scrutiny..

    Sk: the thing is how naive, i should have been to fall for such a stupid reason.. I should have used a tiny bit of my grey matter and figured out that, it was impossible,not to have got admission at CMS college

    Sujit: My mothe was capable of more than that

    Revathy: I don’t speak to my mother anymore.. You will know why soon

    Visithra: was it jealousy or something else? I was their captive, was n’t i?

    Geetha: No Geetha, by the time I found the card, they had already closed the admission.. there were over 800 students, trying to get in to the 200 seats!

    Silverine: U know what my problem was, I can’t fight.. I hate to fight. It has to do with the way my parents were fighting..I always walked away, even when I knew I was right, than confront

    Techno: That voice got drowned in the debts of ‘carrying you for 9 months’, not abandoning you when your father left etc!!!!

    Jay: It was me, I am the one at fault, i let them manipulate me.. I should have seen it coming

    Suemama: It was odd, that Maria could go to a co-ed… nobody had to worry abt her name..but me.. they had to choose everything for me

    Salini: roam and spend the best days of my youth in tht heaven was a dream..

    I love munich: I don’t know why they treated me like that.. I want to know..

  10. Roniie: For years, i have struggled with the fear that, when mother die, I would regret not trying hard enough to make things work between us.. I was so worried that, I would live a life of regret, if I don’t do my part as a daughter well…. I kept forgiving my mother, but then it reached a stage, where she knew, I was like a rubber band.. she could stretch me and I would return.. till she stretched me fully and it broke..

    I called her 9 moths ago, to see if she has my dad’s contact number. She didn’t give me.. she wants me to sweat and find him.. ‘you want your(good for nothing, lousy, irresponsible) father, you find him yourself’

  11. nina!! i know as a daughter you have a responsibility, but did she(your mother)not have one too…so you owe her nothing if she did not fulfill her motherly duties, other than giving birth!! yes , it sounds hard that is how life is, , do not feel bad, every old lady in difficult times can be looked upon as a mother whom u can help.

    my own mother , has turned against me, because i married whom i wanted,i said to her, accept it and live or live without a son, traditon on one side makes you a prisoner to others wimps,,, break it and have no chains attached to your mind.
    your reply touched me really.thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *