Than pathi, daivam pathi.. (Your 50%,God’s 50%=100%) I remembered the old saying as I sat at the dining table to have my coffee. Like Bobban and Molly, I too was suddenly inspired. With God’s 50% I will atleast pass the exams.
“Will you pray for me Ammachi?” I knew she would, but I just wanted to hear it from her.
I thought I didn’t hear it well, so I looked at Ammachi. Chakki too turned to look at Ammachi
“huh?” I asked
“Nina, you will reap, what you sow. You are responsible for your own actions. You should have known, if you don’t study, you will fail!”
I wasn’t expecting such an answer from the one person who loves me the most. I was expecting sympathy. Ammachi should have known life was really hard for me. How could she be so mean
“Then why did God say” Ask and it shall be given?”
“Nina, if I pray for you and you passed, then you will always expect God to bail you out, every single turn in your life. You will only look for God, when you are in trouble. That is not what God is all about.”
“Then what is God all about?” I was so mad at Ammachi
“That you will have to find yourself!. You will have to find out yourself What is God for you!”
I thought of asking Ammachi, what is God for her? But I had no time. I didn’t want to stay in Chengannur house another minute. All I ever wanted was someone to support me and all of a sudden, I learned, I am all alone, in this whole wide world. The least my grandmother could do was to stand by me.
“I am going home. I have to study” I got up
“Ok” Ammachi too got up
I glanced at Chakki, she patted her chest, folded her hands in front and gestured that she will pray for me. I nodded my head. Ammachi walked with me, I normally give her a kiss before I leave, But I was angry. She is not getting any kiss from me. As I reached the steps that leads to the courtyard I heard her saying
“sukha-duhkhe same krtva
tato yuddhaya yujyasva
naivam papam avapsyasi”
I turned and looked. Ammachi was leaning on the door with her hands folded and looking at me. She had such a beautiful smile on her face.
“What does it mean?” I asked her
“Nina, Joy and Sorrow, success and failure, victory and defeat are all the same. Fight your battles, irrelevant of the results”
I walked back to where she was standing. I didn’t feel angry anymore. Why should I be angry with Ammachi for me not doing my work? I hugged her and kissed her on her cheeks. The moment I lifted my lips, Ammachi used the back of her palm and wiped her cheeks.
“Why are you removing my kiss?”. I kissed her again on her cheeks.
“Don’t wipe it off” I ordered.
“Bye Ammachi, I will see soon”
As I walked on the bund road, I kept turning and looking at Ammachi, to make sure she won’t wipe my kiss off her face. As I crossed Chackochan’s field, I could still see a bit of Ammachi’s mundu. There was peace in my heart, knowing that, I still have my Ammachi. While I stood near the junction waiting for the bus, I knew one thing, that I will pass the exams. I have to. I am Methran Thambi’s grand daughter!.
When I reached home, I went to my room and organized all my books on the floor. I will read each subject for 2 hours. In that way I won’t get bored. I read through the english guide books. I will by heart the poems later.
I heard my sisters coming in. I didn’t have time to talk to them. I continued to study. A little while later I heard a soft knock on the door.
“What is it?” I scremed
“it is me Nina, would you please open the door”
“Sally, I have to study. Go away”
“Oh, you are such a pest” I got up to open the door. I was just about to whack Sally on her head, What I saw in front of me was unbelievable. Sally was holding a steel glass in one hand and a cream bun in the other
“I made hot chocolate for you Nina”
“Oh Sally, I am so sorry, I screamed at you!” I took the glass from her hand. I hated myself for screaming at her.
“Try the hot chocolate Nina”
I looked at the glass. There was a lump of undisolved bournvita floating on top of the milk. I slowly drank the cold chocolate made with so much love.
“Is it good”
“Hmmmmmmmm, It is the best hot chocolate I ever had in my whole entire life”
“here, eat the cream bun. I know you will be hungry” Sally gave me the cream bun
“I am not hungry Sally. I am full, I just had a glassful of yummy hot chocolate. You can have the bun. Thank you for the hot chocolate”
“You want me to help you with your studies?” my baby sister asked me
“That would be wonderful. When I finished learning the poems, I will recite the poem and you can check for mistakes. Can you do that?”
“Yes, yes. I can”
“Ok, go and play now. I will call you when I finished studying.
I watched Sally going and telling Liza
“Nina said I can help her with her studies”
“What about me Nina?” Liza asked
“You too can help”
I closed the door, happy that I have wonderful sisters and worried that, the clock needle is turning non-stop. Time waits for no one.