I watched my mother walking out of my room with her head held high. I knew she was pleased, not because I passed the exams, but because, she could hurt me by telling me that Sujith got married.
Are all mothers like this? Do they get some kind of satisfaction when they hurt their daughters? Why does my mother treat me like this. I am always her enemy. Her only purpose of having me as a daughter is to defeat me in everything I do.
I wasn’t sure why the news that Sujith got married was upsetting me so much. I felt so sad. My heart felt heavy. Why am I this sad? When I should be happy for Sujith?
He was a part of my childhood and my youth as much as I was part of his. As kids we shared our Balarama children’s magazine. I remembered all the times I fought with him because he did the dot to dot picture puzzle in the Balarama. I felt he was too old to do those puzzles and I should be allowed to do them.
I remembered during my pre-degree years, how he used to buy Nana magazine for me, so I could collect the coupons to get the autographs of Malayalee film stars.
We had so much in common. We read the same story books, listened to the same music. In fact he used to record old English songs for me. He is the one who introduced me to Don Williams. I closed my eyes, because the ache in my heart was extremely painful. I could hear Don Williams singing
You are my Best friend
You placed gold on my fingers
You brought love like I have never known
You gave life to our children
And to me a reason to go on
You are my bread when I am hungry
You are my shelter from troubled winds
You are my anchor in life’s ocean
But most of all you are my best friend
When I need hope, an inspiration
You are always strong when I am tired and weak
I could search this whole world over
You still be everything that I need
May be somewhere along the line, I thought Sujith gave me that tape for a reason. He was my best friend and may be I hoped one day he would sing this song for me. And now he placed the gold ring on someone else’s finger.He wouldn’t be singing that song for me.
Although I refused to talk to him that day when he gave me the love letter, somewhere in my heart I was sure he would wait for me, that one day everything would change and we would be able to live our dreams.
And now all I had was empty dreams, an empty shell. I felt so suffocated. I got up from my bed. Amma was in the living room stitching a fall for the new silk saree. I needed to talk to someone.
“Can I have Chechy’s phone number and address?”
“I don’t have”
“What do you mean you don’t have?”
“She is staying as a paying guest. Her house owner doesn’t like her to have visitors.”
“Oh Really? Did your brother tell you that or Did Chechy tell you that?”
“What is your problem Nina? Why don’t you mind your own business? If your sister wants you to see her, then she would give you her address”
“Of course. When will you stop playing this divide and rule game Amma?” I was so mad at my mother, who won’t give me my own sister’s address.
“Why are you eating my head Nina? It is not my fault your boyfriend married someone else!”
“He isn’t my boyfriend” I was so mad at my mother.
“Of course. And you think I was blind all these while.”
“What do you mean by that mother?”
“You wait for me to go to work, so you can go and talk to Sujith. You think I never noticed all these?”
“Amma, Sujith was my friend. He was my best friend”
“Of course. That is why he didn’t even invite you for his wedding!” Amma mocked
I had to get out of the house. I was going crazy. I walked to the main gate. I was planning to go to Paico and buy some books. I checked my jeans pocket to see if I have enough money. I had 50 Rs with me.
When I reached the main gate, I saw Sujith standing outside his house and smoking. I thought ‘oh my goodness, he started to smoke! That too outside his own house. How come his mother didn’t kill him yet?’
I thought If his mother could’t straighten him, I will do it. I will give him a peace of my mind. I knew he would listen to me. I wanted to ask him,What does he think of himself? Does he not know Cigarette smoking is injurious to health?
I walked up to his house and he looked at me. I wasn’t sure why, but I could feel the pain in his eyes. I thought, may be I am imagining. Why would he be sad?He just got married. May be it is the cigarette smoke that is irritating his eyes.
“Hey, Congrats” I spoke.
May be his wife heard my voice because even before Sujith could respond, she came out and stood next to her husband, like a goal keeper watching his net. She gave me one look that said stay away from my husband. He is mine.
I watched her whispering something to Sujith and together they went back inside the house and slammed the door shut. Sujith didn’t even say hello to me. I felt so hurt.
With a heavy heart I turned and walked up the road, Amma was standing near the gate.
“avante kanjiyil pattaney ittillinkil ninakku urakkam varathilla alley?” (you wouldn’t be peaceful till you wreck his married life! Right?)