I wanted to study. I tried to read my text book. But the bitter tears refused to stop and my vision was getting blurred.
May be my vision was blurred, because I didn’t wear my specks. I looked around to see where I had kept my glasses. I had left it on the floor
I looked at my crooked specks on the floor. Stupid specks. It was a part of my signature, ‘deaf and dumb and blind’. I couldn’t break free from the chains that bound me. I couldn’t be perfect like my sisters. There was no magic that could make me hear everything. There was no magic that would make me see everything without my specks. There was no magic that would make me prefect.
It wasn’t my fault. I didn’t chose to be born like this. Did I?
I was in a storm of regrets. Why didn’t I ever think of myself? Why didn’t I tell Amma that I won’t drop my sisters to school? Why didn’t I eat all those candies, instead of saving them for my sisters? Why didn’t I buy things for myself instead of buying for my sisters when I went to Dubai? Why did I chose to live for everyone else? Why couldn’t I be like Maria? Why couldn’t I be like Appa?
I wanted to. I wanted to walk away from my mad family. I wanted to teach them all a lesson. I promised myself that I would stop worrying about my family and start to think of me. I hated the Nina, who put everyone else first and me the last. Because at the end of the day everything was kanakkai poyi . No I wasn’t going to be stupid anymore. I am going to be the new Nina Thomas, the one who is going to think of herself first before anyone else.
The thought of new Nina and all that she was going to do finally calmed my mind.
It was getting colder and I decided to go inside and get my blanket. Perhaps I will make myself a cup of coffee, hopefully that would keep me awake.I opened the kitchen door leading to the balcony to go inside. I saw Amma sitting at the sewing machine trying to stitch a fall for the saree I got for her. She must have heard the door being opened, because she looked up and saw me. I pretended I didn’t see her. Ignoring everyone was part of the plan for the new Nina.
I took the pot from the plate rack and filled it with water. I thought asking Amma, if she would like to have a cup of coffee. Then I remembered I am the new Nina!
I lighted the gas fire using the brand new lighter I got for Amma from Dubai. Instead of sparks, this one actually had a flame and it was so easy to use. I remembered the electric kettle I got for Amma and made a mental note to get the plug fixed. Then I thought, would the new Nina have to do that? Is getting a plug fixed be considered as caring? Nah, I am not doing it because I care, I am doing it because the kettle is useless without a plug and my mother wouldn’t be able to get it fixed because she doesn’t know to speak Kannada and get it done.
‘You are still caring’ Sensible one spoke
‘No I am not, I am just getting it fixed, otherwise it will sit in the cupboard till eternity’
“So who is he with now?”
I almost jumped back when I heard someone speaking while I was arguing with the sensible one.
I noticed Amma standing near the kitchen door
“What?” I asked
“So who is he with now?”
“What do you mean?”
“stop acting dumb Nina”
The water started to boil and I turned to get the coffee powder and sugar.
“I am talking to you Nina”
“Amma I have no idea what you are talking”
“Nintey thantha arudey koode aa ipplo thamasikkunney?? ( who is your father staying with now?”
I took the teaspoon from the plate rack and measured the sugar. I knew what Amma was asking. I knew the answer too. But how can a daughter tell her mother about her father’s mistress? I looked inside the pot, I couldn’t remember how many spoons of sugar I put inside already. I couldn’t see the sugar inside the boiling water either. I looked at Amma to see if she had noticed how many spoons of sugar I put inside. Amma was staring at me.
“I know your father is not an angel”
“I don’t know what you are talking about Amma” I spoke. I didn’t want to add anymore sugar, just incase Amma had noticed how many spoons of sugar I have already added. Anyway I can always add sugar at the end.
I tried to open the coffee powder container. It almost slipped out of my hand. No Nina Not now, don’t even dream of dropping the container. I told myself. Old Nina or the new Nina, you drop that container and you will be doomed!
I held the tin close to my body and opened the lid, carefully taking a tea spoon of coffee powder. I wanted to make sure, I didn’t take more than the required amount to make a cup of coffee. I didn’t want to be yelled at for wasting precious coffee powder.
“I know he is living with someone” Amma spoke
“How do you know that?”
“because I know”
“How?” I watched the coffee in the pot starting to boil. I quickly reduced the flame. I knew Amma was waiting for a chance to yell at me and I felt pretty good that I wasn’t giving her a chance.
“I found him with Akkachi once”
It took a few seconds to actually register. Akkachi? Akkachi who?
“What?” I almost screamed when I realized what my mother just now said.
Perhaps I didn’t hear it correctly. It couldn’t be Akkachi. She meant the world to me. She wouldn’t do anything to hurt me.
“Once I had severe migraine and I took half day leave and came home. Your father and Akkachi was in bed” Amma spoke casually
“How many Akkachi’s do you know” Amma asked
My hands started to tremble. I held on to the kitchen counter. I had loved Akkachi more than I loved Amma and I couldn’t believe that she would do such a thing.
“What did you do?” I asked Amma
“Then who would take care of you?” Amma was looking at me. “You were sick all the time, I couldn’t quit my job and take care of you because I didn’t know when your father was going to abandon us. I needed a good maid and she was a good maid. So I pretended nothing happened. Entey kunjungaley valarthi edukkendathu entey avashayam ayirunnu( don’t know how to translate). All the neighbours used to tell me what was going on between your father and Akkachi. I kept telling them that I knew my husband. He won’t do any such things. I had to save my face, No? If I had fired her, what are my chances that your father won’t sleep with the next one? what was the point Nina? Who was there for me? Who would have taken care of you?”
Sorry can’t type anymore today.