By the time the dinner was over, I had heard enough times of how wonderful my father was and how lucky my sisters and I were to have got the best father in the world. I just wanted to shout.
Shout at the top of my voice and tell Shobha that all this was nothing but a lie. I wanted to tell her that she has no idea what this wonderful man has been doing to his family. I wanted to tell her that this wonderful, kind, gentle man doesn’t even send a single cent to his wife and 2 younger daughters.
I wanted to say,Lie, lie, all lies. The words were there right in my throat. I could almost feel them. But the words didn’t come out. They just stayed put in my throat.
I knew, I was nothing but a coward. I didn’t have the courage to humiliate my father in front of others. Besides, there was no point trying to explain to Shobha the true colours of Methran Thambi’s son. There was no way Shobha would have believed me.
So I sat there, watching my father enjoying all the attention he was receiving.
Shobha’s husband came with us to the lobby to see us off. It was a good thing. I didn’t have to worry about Appa leaving me in the lift. How would Methran Thambi’s son be able to do such a horrible act in front of Shobha’s husband?
I didn’t want to talk to Appa. So I looked outside.
“So what did you buy today?” I heard Appa asking
“Cloths” I replied
“Sarees?” Appa was looking at the sarees in the plastic cover
I looked at Appa to see if he really thinks that I am stupid? Don’t I know he was waiting for me to say it was for Amma, so he can start another fighting session!
“For me” I replied looking at his eyes
“hmm” I mumbled.
“Tomorrow we will go to Al Ain” I heard Appa telling to Rafiq
Oh no, Is it going to be yet another self glorification event at somebody else’s house?I wondered
I had no intention of attending another dinner party and listen to how benevolent my father was.
“Al Ain?” I asked Appa
“Oh yeah. You would like it” Appa spoke
Oh yeah, do you have any idea what I like? I wanted to ask Appa. But there was no way I could ask him that.Not if I wanted to complete medicine. Again I kept quiet.
“We will leave at 9” Appa spoke to Rafiq
“Yes Boss” Rafiq answered.
Rafiq dropped us near the apartment entrance and we walked silently back home. I watched Appa checking his watch.
“too late” I heard him say
“The shop would have closed by now, other wise We could have borrowed a video tape.”
“hmm” I mumbled
“you have been ‘hmm’ ing a lot today eh?”
“hmm” I replied
Appa stopped in his tracks and was staring at me. Oh no, I broke the golden rule. I shouldn’t have said ‘hmm’ when he was already complaining about me ‘hmm’ ing.
My heart started to pound. Did I push my luck too far? I looked at his eyes for the answer. His eyes were small and I waited for the explosion. I cursed my own stupidity. What was I thinking anyway? That Appa is like Beautiful eyes and would understand the humor?
“Like mother, like daughter” I heard him mutter and he started to walk towards his apartment.
phew! at least he didn’t yell. I didn’t mind being compared to Amma. No yelling is anytime better than being compared to Amma.
Appa opened the door and I quickly went to my room. I didn’t want to be any were near my father, if I could help it.
I wanted to pack my bags, then I remembered I didn’t bring a suitcase with me. I didn’t want to spend the money Appa had given me to buy a suitcase. I knew Appa would have a suitcase that I could borrow.
Appa was in his room. His cupboard door was open and he was standing in front of the cupboard.
“Appa” I called
“Did you open my cupboard?” Appa was screaming
“No” I replied.
“Really?” He asked
“Really” I answered.
I knew I was sinking. I did open his cupboard to see if there is any evidence of arathu lady in the house. But I couldn’t tell Appa that? Could I?
“You didn’t enter my room?” He asked again
“I did” I replied
“For what?” Appa screamed.” Did your mother send you here to investigate? to check on me? Detective work? Tell me Nina, is that why you are here? Do you think I am stupid? Did you think I wouldn’t know you had some other reason to come here? You have another 3 more years to finish medicine and you wanted me to help you with your master’s degree!” Appa was walking towards me and I knew he might hit me.
“I entered your room to vacuum” I replied quickly.
“Why? Did I tell you to vacuum my room?”
“No you didn’t. The kitchen was dirty after I finished cooking. So I cleaned the kitchen and since I was cleaning the kitchen I thought I might as well clean the whole house. So I vacuumed your room.”
Appa was staring at me. I wondered how Appa knew that I entered his room. I had no idea.
“So why are you here Nina?” Appa asked
I stared at him. I knew I finally had the chance to get back at him for all the deceptions he has been weaving. Confidently I replied.
“Because I missed you Appa”