I hated Amma for the way she was treating me. I wanted to teach her a lesson. I wanted to be better than Maria or my little sisters. I wanted her to tell me that I was good. I will make her say that. I will.
I will study hard and become the world’s best doctor and she would have to admit one day that I am good, may be even better than Maria.
I was better than Maria, wasn’t I?
I was deaf, blind and dumb, studied in Malayalam medium and still managed to do medicine? I wouldn’t have passed first MBBS if I wasn’t good, right?
I remembered Amma’s reaction when she saw my first MBBS marks card. She didn’t say congrats, she didn’t say she was proud of me considering the fact that even George’s daughter failed first MBBS.
Instead all my mother asked me was What does MR- MCI stands for. I didn’t know what MR-MCI stands for and I remembered the disgusted look on my mother’s face. The look that said, yeah you passed first MBBS and you don’t even know what MR MCI in your marks card means! What was the point in passing the first MBBS Nina Thomas when you don’t even know that? See Nina, I knew I was right, you are just deaf and dumb and blind, useless, hopeless child born to bring misery and heartaches to your parents.
I hated Bangalore University and all their stupid codes, if they didn’t have the codes, then perhaps Amma would have seen the four letter word written in capital letters on the right side of the marks card. It was written in red ink ‘PASS’
Why was life so unfair to me? What did I do so wrong? I never hurt anyone, I never cheated anyone. Yet all I have at the end of the day is curses and more curses
“nee orikkalum konam pidikkathilla” ( you will never do well in your life)
I wondered if Amma’s curses would come true. I told Sally, it won’t. But I wasn’t sure. What if her curses worked?
What if I failed the exams? Then I would never be able to do my PG.
No! I told myself. I didn’t want to be a dookkily MBBS. I wanted to Be Dr. NINA THOMAS, MBBS.MD.MRCP
I looked at my text book on the floor. Whatever is in that book, it has to enter my brain! It is the only solution to all my troubles. I kept the coffee cup on the floor, took the book and started to read. I was still on page 4, I flipped the pages to see how much more I have to read. Almost half the text book!
Why don’t I ever learn not to leave studies to the last minute? How am I going to study half the book in three hours? Tomorrow I have to study Pathology.
‘Concentrate Nina, concentrate, stop wasting time’ I told myself. I wrapped the blanket over my legs and started to read.
The silence around me was amazing. It was as though I was in a vacuum, nothing moved. I didn’t feel sleepy, so I decided to keep reading.I had to finish Microbiology.
The silence was broken by a sudden clang of metal against metal and I almost fell off the chair. My heart started to pound. What was that sound? I looked around.
I remembered Akkachi telling me that Yama comes riding on a buffalo, and a person about to die can usually hear the metal sounds of the chain yama carries with him to take the soul from the body.
I was so afraid. I didn’t want to die, not now, I haven’t sung the song I came to sing. Then I remembered Akkachi.
I hated her. I hated her for betraying me. If she had loved me, then she wouldn’t have done anything to hurt me. She was a liar. Big liar.
I heard the sound of water splashing on the ground and I knew instantly it was not Yama with the metal chains that made the sound. Mrs Nagesh must be cleaning the entrance to her house to draw the kolam before Sunrise.
Sunrise? What time is it now? I checked my watch.
wow, I was impressed with myself. I studied until 5.45 am!
“nee urangi illey?” ( You didn’t go to bed?)I heard Amma speak. I turned to look at her.
“No” I replied
For a brief moment, I saw the surprise in her eyes.
She wasn’t proud of me, but I knew she was impressed.
That is all I wanted. A tiny flicker of hope that one day she would be proud of me.