Amma was ranting non stop after they came back from Chengannur. From her rants I learned that boy was from US, he is working in Newyork as a doctor.

Apparently the future mother in law came to the kitchen to inspect the house on the pretext of wanting to use the washroom and saw Maria who was standing near the kitchen door. She didn’t even let her son see Maria and they left immediately. Amma was upset that they didn’t even stay for coffee, especailly after she struggled with the wood fire and made coffee.

Maria never spoke a word. She went to her room. I wished I could do something for her. I knew all she ever wanted was Appa and Amma to agree on they guy she ought to marry. Even that won’t happen in our house. Why can’t my parents for once think of their children? Maria is already 25 years old. When is she ever going to get married? I was so worried for her

Things at home went back to as normal as it can be in a mad house. Amma went to work each day, Maria slept most of the time, I send and fetched my sisters from school. It started as yet another normal day. Amma asked me to buy grocery and gave me 20 Rs. I decided to buy the grocery in the evening on the way back from my sister’s school. I was sitting at the dining table and reading the newspaper and the phone started to ring. I don’t like to answer the phone, as I had no way of telling who is the caller. I didn’t want to speak to certain people.
“Nina, pick up the phone” Maria yelled
“Why don’t you pick up the phone?” I yelled back
Anyway I didn’t have anyone to phone me and I had nothing to lose. I ignored the phone and continued reading the paper.
Phone rang for a while and it stopped. After 5 minutes it started to ring again.
Maria came out of the room and picked up the phone.
I tried to listen to the conversation. I heard my sister saying
“Suzy, Oh my goodness, I haven’t seen you for so long”
I was relieved that, it was Maria’s pre-degree classmate, not the villain from Bangalore. Suzy did medicine at Kottayam medical college.
“Getting married? Wow ! What is he doing?” Maria asked
“Doctor? You are moving to US?”
Maria’s voice had changed and I looked up
“What is his name?” I heard Maria asking.
I watched Maria slowly sitting down on the floor.
I thought ‘Oh my goodness, it must be the same guy who came to see Maria’.
Maria didn’t speak much, she just mumbled yes and sure and put the phone down.
I desperately wanted to hug her. We were so close, just 5 feet away from each other. Yet I couldn’t reach out and hold my sister. I couldn’t tell her ‘it is ok, you will find someone else’.
Maria got up slowly and went back to her room.

I wanted to kill my parents. If I had a gun, I would have shot both of them dead. I rather speand 12 years in jail than see my family suffer like this. If only I had a gun!
“Tell Amma, I am going back to Bangalore” I looked up to see Maria holding her bag and walking towards the door.
“Wait, I will come with you”
I quickly got up and locked the house and ran to the main gate. I was actually surprised to see her waiting by the gate. Together we walked to the railway station. We passed by the thattukada(tuck shop) near the Railway station.
“Wait” I told Chechy
She turned and looked at me.
I walked back to the shop. I still had 20 Rs in my pocket that Amma had given me in the morning.
randu naranga vellam”( 2 glasses of yummy delicious sweet lime juice) I ordered
“With Soda?” The seller asked
I shook my head and said “no”
I saw Maria checking her watch.
“Don’t worry, you still have time. The train won’t be here for atleast another hour”
I passed one glass of line juice to Maria and walked to the back of the shop and sat on the cemented railing.
“Do you remember a little girl who went with her grandmother to church 20 years ago?” I asked Maria
She stared at me
“Do you remember how she stopped, when she reached the thattukada(tuck shop) near the Chengannur ITI junction?”
Maria was staring at me
“Do you remember how she wiped her forehead and said ‘avoo vallatha daham’(ah! I am so thirsty)”
Maria was grinning.”How did you know that. You weren’t even born then?”
“I am pyschic. Don’t you know that yet”
“Psychic! ninte ammayippante thala(your father-in-law’s head!)
“Let the head be on his neck!”I answered
“True, He needs his head, if he gets you as his daughter in law!” She was laughing.”Who told you about the lemon juice story?” Maria asked again
“Sorry, super secret. I am not at liberty to reveal my sources”
Some secrets just can’t be revealed.
“Appa must have told you that”
“May be” I played along.
“Do you want kadalamuttai( indian version of M&M’s, but better)”
“Euh, I am not going to eat those filthy candies”
“Too bad” I bought 10 kadalamuttai(candies) and together we walked to the railway station.
The red colour coating on the candies started to melt and stain my palm and I wished I was a little girl. I could have licked it. Sadly I wiped my palm on my dress.
Maria bought a ticket to Bangalore. She managed to get a reservation. When she collected her ticket, she spoke
“Oh I forgot, One platform ticket please”
“What for?” I pulled her away from the counter
“Don’t you want a ticket?”
“Nah,Don’t waste your money I will just jump over the fence”
“You are mad”
“That is genetic!” I replied
Together we walked down the stairs. We still had another 45 minutes
“Hungry?” I asked her
“Are you nuts? I just had a glass of lemon juice”
“I didn’t ask you, if you are thirsty? I asked you if you are hungry”
“I give up” She raised her plam and walked towards the cement bench
“They have excellent vegetarian lunch here” I showed the shop to Maria.”Come,let us eat some lunch”
“You have money?” She asked
pinney(ofcourse) Amma gave 20 rs in the morning”
“What are you going to tell her, when she asks you what you did with the money”
“I will deal with that later” “Come” I pulled Maria’s hand and went inside the railway restaurent.
People were staring at us with the look that said’how dare you? How dare you girls come inside a restaurent without a man accompanying you’
We found a table in the corner and ordered 2 veg lunch. The waited placed the banana leaf infront of us. We ate the rice in silence.
After the lunch I still had 2 more Rs.
“wait here” I told Maria and I walked towards the Milma store on the extreme end of the platform. I bought 2 pedas(sweets) and asked them to pack it.
“This is for you.” I gave Maria the small packet
“What is it?”
“Elephant’s head” I replied
“Hmm” Maria looked at the small parcel” which part of the elephant’s head?”
“When you eat it, you will know”
We sat on the cement bench. We had so much to talk, yet no words were spoken. We watched the train approaching the station.
“Take care” I hugged Maria
“You too” She hugged me back
I watched the train leaving the station. I felt uneasy. I couldn’t really pin point why I was feeling that way. I walked to the end of the platform and when no one was looking I climbed the fence and jumped out.

18 thoughts on “pedas

  1. Hi,
    That was a beautiful posting… Finally after many days, the sun is out,the birds are chirping,and there is a nice breeze….
    and once again proves that blood is thicker than water.
    Keep it up!

  2. The future mother in law , rejected maria after just throwing one glance at her ??

    i was under the impression tht maria was a beautiful girl (with long nails) , .. y did she reject maria?


    kadlamutais are red????
    nyan idu varey kanditila..:-(

  3. nina you’re so sweet.
    when my marriage proposals dont work out for some reason, my sis used to sing appropriate songs which sounded like..i was hoping for some thing nice but didnt happen and then when i look hurt, mom and sis would laugh at me.

  4. I have spent the whole of yesterday (Thanksgiving weekend) reading all the posts right from the start. I am amazed with your memory. After reading through your accounts, I tried to see how much I remember from my childhood. Some incidents did come back to me but never in the way you have weaved this. Its been fascinating reading so far….Congrats!!

  5. I loved reading this post. Felt really light. Not much said, but I am sure Maria felt so much better. At least she didn’t reject you on these moments that you wanted to be there for her..

  6. Sigh….!!! u were so sweet sarah… to go out of ur way and treat your sister so nicely.. i so miss having a sister after reading ur post. :o)

  7. Madhavankutty: blood is always thicker than water

    Sujit: You know the railway fences..almost my height!!

    Toothless: Nah.. Canadians celebrate thanksgiving a month earlier than Americans

    Silverine: I too wish I had a sister who cares for me

    Vidya: Kadalamuttai was always red

    Alex: I tried to make lemon soda here last summer.. It didn’t taste like the ones we get in India

    Techno: Well I am sure, Appa would have send Maria;s photo.. and the real one that day looked really really different from the photo

    Phoenix: I know how much it hurts..
    for me, if my sisters laughed at me, it was ok.. but what was heartbreaking was to see my mother joining them.. as though I was never her child

    Scribbles: I was always there for them.. always

    Rocksea: I had her for a moment

    jac: Thank you

    Rajesh: Thank you for visiting my blog.. Sometimes a good memory is an advantage.. but most of the time it is a curse!

    Di: Thank you

    Jane: Pedas are made by boiling milk for a very long time, till most of the liquid is evaporated and then sugar is added.

    maya: It was such a nice time

    Hope &Love; thank you

    Geetha: That was one moment I remember that I can say confidentally the chechy knew I love her

    SK: I too wish I had a sister who would love me for what I am !

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