New year

“Children, tomorrow is the first day of the new year. For heaven’s sake,please don’t fight with each other tomorrow. Whatever happens on the first day of the New year, will happen all through the year. So if you fight with each other, then the whole year you will be fighting with each other. If you are happy then the whole year, you will be happy, if you cry, then the next full year you will be crying” Amma spoke as we were eating our dinner.
“Ok Amma” we spoke in unison
“Nina, are you coming to the church for the watch-night service?” Amma asked me
“No” I replied
“Why not?”
I shrugged my shoulder. There was no point trying to make Amma understand, why I don’t want to go to Church.
Around 11 pm Amma and my sisters went to Church. I switched on the TV to watch the countdown. Suddenly I remembered my anatomy answer sheet. I had brought it home with me to get Amma’s signature.
Aiyyah, I should have given it to Amma to sign earlier. Now if I give it to her, she is going to scream and yell at me. I didn’t want to start my new year badly. I had to do something. Then inspiration struck. I went to my room, took the answer sheets from my bag. I thought of forging Amma’s signature. But Maria had signed on behalf of Amma at the college and her signature is very difficult to forge. Then I remembered, there is no record of my father’s signature at my college. I knew Amma had few blank papers with Appa’s siganture in the Godrej cupboard. I took the paper out from the cupboard, went to the dining room and slowly copied Appa’s signature on to my answer sheet.
The funniest moments of the year was going on the TV. I knew I should put the papers back in the right place. I didn’t want to miss the program, so I sat down to watch the TV, promising myself to remember to put the answer sheets in my bag and Appa’s paper in the cupboard.

Amma and my sister came back around 12.30Am. Amma found me sitting in the living room and watching TV.
“Oh, you didn’t want to come to church, so you can watch TV ah?” Amma sounded angry. I quickly switched off the TV and went to my room. I didn’t want to start a fight.
I woke up late on New Year’s day morning, thinking of pleasant things. I silently wished Appa, Ammachi and Maria a very happy new year.
“Nina Thomas, Haven’t you got up yet?” Amma was standing next to my bed and screaming.
‘Oh God,not today, this is the first day of the new year.’
I thought of pulling the blanket over my face, so I won’t have to see my mother’s angry face first thing on New Year’s day(nalla kani!). But I knew it will only make matters worst. I got up from the bed and looked at Amma. Her face looked like she has been stung by 1000 bees. I looked at her, waiting for the outburst at the same time trying to figure out why is she so mad?
Did kapalanga (Sujith) tell Amma our secret?
My heart was beating nonstop. I knew I am going to be in hot soup. I tried to think of all the excuses I can give for asking Sujith to send the telegram. I couldn’t think of anything that would save me.
“What is this?” Amma shoved a piece of paper on my face. I looked at the paper
“My answer sheets”
Oh no, how stupid was I to leave it on the dining table! Why was the damn TV program so important? Oh God, I am so, so, so, Stupid.
“Whose signature is this?” Amma pointed to the signature on the answer sheet.
I looked at the signature. It actually looked very much like the real one!
“Did you hear me? I asked you Nina, whose signature is this?” Amma was shouting
“Appa’s” I answered meekly
“When did your father come here to sign this?”
I didn’t answer. I looked at Amma. I knew, she knew the answer to that question.
“Why did you cheat Nina?” Amma asked
I didn’t respond.
Her slap was quick. I didn’t try to stop her.
“Tell me Nina, Why did you try to cheat?”
I didn’t bother to answer her. My cheek was burning and I rubbed my face gently.
“Answe me Nina” Amma started to shake my body.
I didn’t have any answer to give her
“You are so defiant ah? I will teach you a lesson. I am going to call Acha. I will make sure,he will inform your college principal that you have been forging your father’s signature. I won’t let you get away with this Nina.”
I was so mad at Amma, for trying to use that damn man to get at me.
“Give me the answer sheet back” I spoke
“No. I want proof. I am going to send this to Acha, so he can show your principal” Amma screamed.
I wasn’t going to let her do that to me
“Sorry Amma, that paper isn’t yours. That is something I bought with the money my father send. So give it back”
For a second I thought Amma would slap me again. But I was surprised to see her throwing my answer sheet to my face and walking towards the phone.
“I will teach you a lesson”
I watched her picking up the phone. I was so mad
“You know Amma, you act like a little girl running to her daddy for help each time things don’t go your way. You are so pathetic. You are not even capable of raising your own daughters. You need your brother, sorry lover to help you! No wonder Appa left you”
I watched Amma running towards my room and I slammed the door shut and quickly put the latch on.
“Open the door” Amma was banging on the door and yelling.
I wasn’t that stupid to open the door and get beaten up. I sat on my bed. I could hear her curses
“If there is God, I swear, you will suffer for all these Nina. You will suffer! You will never do well in your life. You will pay for all these.”
Before I used to get all worked up each time Amma cursed me. Now I am no longer afraid of her curses. I knew whatever has to happen will happen, with or without Amma’s curses.
“Liza, you stand here. Tell me when your stupid sister opens the door. She isn’t going to get out of that room. She thinks she is too smart. I will show her how smart I am. I will teach her a lesson today”

I knew I am stuck in my room. I needed to get out. I thought of opening the door and let Amma get the satisfaction of beating the life out of me. But somewhere deep in my heart, I didn’t want her to have that satisfaction. Anyway she will use that mad man in Bangalore to make my life miserable. I am not going to let her beat me and also make my life miserable

I brought my answer sheet home, so she could sign it. But I was afraid of her taunts. I didn’t want to hear her telling me, what a loser I am on the first day of the new year. If Amma was good to me, there was no need for me to cheat her. Besides, all through the engineering college, Maria was forging Appa’s signature. Amma didn’t have any problems with that!

I climbed on my bed to see what Liza is up to. She was standing like a security guard staring at me door knob, waiting for me to turn it. I thought, she actually looked pretty good, all that was missing was a gun. She looked up and I ducked my head quickly.
How pathetic is that, my mother uses my sister to guard my room? I looked at my watch. I had another five hours to catch the train, but I wasn’t going to let Amma use my sisters against me. I changed my clothes, packed my bag and opened the door
“Amma, Amma, Nina opened the door” Liza was shouting, while stretching her hands and trying to block my way.
“Liza, move” I ordered
I pushed her hands away.
“Liza, this is between Amma and me, don’t get yourself involved in this”
“No, Amma asked me”
I shook my head. My sister will never understand the games my mother plays.
“Amma come fast, Nina is leaving” She started to run after me. She grabbed my hand and I pushed her away and walked quickly to the living room. I could see Amma running towards me from the kitchen.
“Where do you think you are going?” Amma was shouting
I quickly ran out of the house. I knew Amma won’t, rather can’t hit me infront of the neighbours. Confidentally I walked to the gate, opened it, got out and closed the gate. After closing the gate, I looked at Amma. She was standing near the veranda. I felt sorry for hurting her feelings. I shouldn’t have spoken to her like that
“Bye Amma” I spoke nicely, hoping she would forgive me. She huffed and went back inside. I watched her slamming the door shut.
What a wonderful way to start the New year!

7 thoughts on “New year

  1. forged ur father’s signature .. mm not a good thing .. guess lesson learnt that day is ‘if u try to do the misakes tht others did u will become them’ for tht new year. but hope you had nice time after tht inspite of tht day being bad. Also hope u had nice times every new year day after tht year.

  2. Shameer: Thank you.. yes I had a great new year this year..My son made me sit behind him on his toboggan and promised me he will go slow down the hill… it was so slow…that my sceams were heard over the hills and far away!

    Sneha: Vinashakale..viapreetha budhi!

    Chandu: Sho! entha ethu.. pathu nalu mungiyathinu ethrem sankatamo??

    Thanu: Thank you!

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