I couldn’t go back to sleep, I just lay down in the bed and dreamed. The optimist in me knew everything will turn out for the better tomorrow.
I remembered Methran Thambi’s wife’s favourite quote
“This too shall pass”.
I didn’t want to think about her because it hurt too much each time I thought about her. I could see her struggling to walk, sitting on the parapet wall and waiting and waiting.
I knew I was all she had and I knew I failed her.
I wondered if it was my ego or was it my pride that couldn’t forgive the one person who meant the world to me?
No , it was all her fault. She should have put her feet down. She should have told Appa off. She was the only person who had the courage to do so in our family and instead of telling him off, she encouraged him.
‘But you are not thinking about her Nina’ Sensible one spoke
‘Who said I am not thinking about her?’ I asked
‘Well then tell me, who would take care of your grandmother in her old age?’ Will you? Do you think your mother will?’
I wanted to say I will. I really wanted to say I will. But I knew it was impossible. I wanted to study further. I wanted to get married and live in the land of Nagas
‘Shut up and get lost’ I told off the sensible one.
She always had thee last word and I hated it. She just knew how to nail me, didn’t she?
I heard Amma getting up and wearing her slipper. I quickly closed my eyes. I could hear the footsteps coming closer and closer.
May be she was coming to check on me. May be she will tuck the blanket properly for me. I waited in anticipation for some motherly attention.
I could hear her walking by the side of my bed and then I heard her switching off the fan in the living room and going back to her room.
I pulled the blanket up angrily over my head. I felt I was a fool for even hoping that Amma actually got up to check on me.
Electricity bill was more important!
I waited for Amma to settle down in her bed before getting up and switching on the fan.
When I have children, I promise, I won’t be a pishukki (stingy) like my mother! I promised myself. After all how much money was Amma trying to save by switching off the fan for few hours in the morning?
It didn’t matter that I paid the electricity bill each month.

An hour later I heard the milk seller ringing the bicycle bell and I got up to get the milk pot. As I came out of the kitchen I checked Amma’s room.
Amma was still in her bed but I knew she wasn’t asleep. She was waiting for me to get up and go downstairs to get the milk. What is the big deal? Walking down a flight of stairs isn’t going to kill me!
I went downstairs, got the milk and brought it back to the kitchen.
I had two choices. I could leave it on the kitchen counter and wait for Amma to get up and boil it or I could boil it. I didn’t want to start the day with a fight, so I decided to boil the milk. I reduced the flame to low so the milk won’t boil over. It was so boring standing in the kitchen and watching over a pot of milk.
I opened the balcony door and walked outside. Mrs Nagesh had already drawn the kolam in front of her main door. She could really create intricate patterns. I wanted to learn how to draw a kolam. I tried to follow her pattern in my mind and at the back of my mind I could hear Methran Thambi’s daughter in law screeching
“Artist, you want to be an artist? You can’t even draw a straight line for heavan’s sake!’
But Amma was right. I could never draw a straight line.
That is because I have Astigmatism.
I felt so sorry for myself and tried to console myself. It wasn’t your fault Nina. Amma had mumps while she was carrying you. It wasn’t your fault.
“Are you planning to donate the milk to the gas stove” I heard Amma speaking.

Entey Ammo!! paalu! ( Oh no, the milk!) I ran back to the kitchen. My heart was pounding. I looked at the pot and milk was just beginning to boil
“It didn’t boil over” I spoke. I knew I sounded angry. But that was the truth. I did keep the milk on low flame and the milk didn’t boil over.
“Yeah, if I didn’t come now, it would have” Amma spoke
“No it wouldn’t have. I kept it on low flame”
Ninne onnum onninum kollathilla” ( you are all good for nothing)
That was so mean. There was no need for Amma to be so mean in the morning. I wanted to give it back to her. I wanted to make her feel guilty.
“Why didn’t you give me dinner last night Amma?”
“You were asleep!”
“huh?” Amma looked at me
“You couldn’t wake me up?”
Ennittu venam Amma maharani kku kali keran! ( so that Amma Maharani could get angry!)
“I wouldn’t have got angry if you woke me up from my sleep and asked me to have dinner Amma. When did I ever get angry with you for waking me up?”
“Yeah right. How many times you yelled at me for turning off the fan?”
“what has that got to do with this? And why do you want to turn off the fan anyway?”
“Wasting money! No one other than my children in Bangalore would use a fan in the morning. It is so cold and they still want to use the fan and waste money on electricity”
“What is your problem Amma, I am paying the bill No?”
“So stop annoying me in the morning” I yelled
“Morning itself you have to start the fight eh? Can’t you stay in your hostel? Why do you want to come home?”
“I didn’t start the fight. You did”
Ninakku vatta( you are mad)”
“It is hereditary. Did you not know jathya gunam thoothal poovulla ( try as you might,you can’t erase your genetic factors)
I stormed out of the kitchen and went and sat on my bed. I could hear Amma mumbling something and I knew she would be cursing
Nee orikkalum konam pidikathilledi ( you will never do well).

My sisters woke up a little later and I heard Amma saying
“Good morning” Then she pointed her hand towards me and told them
raviley vattu elaki irikkuva, ( she has gone mad) you don’t go and ask for a fight. Leave her alone”

I could smell Amma making uppuma. The smell itself made me hungry. But I knew if I had to get something to eat, I needed to wait for everyone to eat first. Amma wasn’t going to give me food after I yelled at her, would she?
I was so hungry, I regretted yelling at Amma in the morning. When will I ever learn to keep my mouth shut?
I closed my eyes and all I could see was a bowl of steaming hot uppuma.

I had to think of something to take my mind off uppuma.. Try as I might, I couldn’t keep the image off a bowl of uppuma with pickle, or may be some sugar and bananas.
vayinnu vellam ozhuki…Kappal odikkam!

Then I remembered Ammalu with her chanthu pottu and how she went to school only on those days they served school lunch.
I wondered what happened to her? I knew children like her ended up in the red lights streets of Bombay. But one can still hope No? One can still have hopes for those people who were part of your life however brief the time they spend with you, No?
I hope Ammalu where ever you are, you found happiness. I whispered slowly. I hope you would remember me and if you ever need medical care, find me and I promise I will not charge you.

Liza was taking a shower and she yelled out from the washroom
“Amma, can you iron my blue top?”
“ok” Amma answered.
I wondered when was the last time Amma ironed my clothes. I couldn’t even remember. Even while at school I always ironed my own uniform.

I watched Amma combing Sally’s hair. She put two hair clips on either side of the pony tail. I bought those hair clips for Sally. Sally looked so cute in her pony tail. I
“Bye Amma”
“Bye Sally, take care and be good Ok” Amma got up from the chair and kissed her on her forehead.
“I love you Amma” Sally spoke
“I love you mone” Amma whispered.
Sally took the bag from the floor and walked out. I was laying down on the bed next to the main door. She had to walk by me to leave the house. She didn’t even bother to say bye to me. But she had no qualms wearing the hair clips I bought for her. Absolutely no qualms.

Is there anyone who can help me?

Most of the days I don’t struggle so much after writing the blog.
I usually write before going to fetch baby from kindergarten, the walk up the hill to the school calms me down.
When I see my happy daughter I am back to being Sarah. the mother of Yaya, Toothless and Baby..
But some days the transition doesn’t happen that easily..
I need someone to talk to those days when I simply can’t function
Preferably someone in the same time zone, with tons of patience.. Is there anyone who can lend a shoulder?

I was laying down on my bed and was reading a novel when my sisters came back around 5.30 pm. I was waiting for them. The silence at home was killing me. I just wanted to talk to them.
“hey” I spoke as soon as both of them entered the house.
They looked at me stunned. Then they looked at each other.
“Hai Nina” Sally spoke and she quickly walked to Amma’s room. I could hear heated discussion from Amma’s room and all I could understand was something about Friday and how everything is going to be messed up.
Friday? What about Friday?
How would I explain, how it feels when your family members exclude you from their life and you are groping in the dark trying to make sense of what is going on?
How would I explain how it feels when you feel so unwanted by the same people who mean the world to you?
I tried not to listen to the conversation. But my heart was aching. I wanted to be a part of my family. I knew I had a foul temper. I knew I wasn’t perfect. But I am still Nina Thomas, still very much part of the Thomas family. How could everyone cut me off like this?
The words in the novel were getting blurred and I bit my lips so I won’t cry. I wasn’t going to cry for a family that didn’t want me.
But my stupid eyes wouldn’t listen to me
I got up quickly and went to the washroom to wash my face. I didn’t want anyone to see me crying. I didn’t want any one’s pity.
When I came out I noticed Liza had already gone to her room and shut the door. Amma and Sally were still in Amma’s room and I was all alone in the living room.
I wanted to sleep. I lay down on my bed and closed my eyes. Every time I tried to calm my mind, tears would flow and I knew there was no way I could sleep. I tried to read the book and after what felt like a hundred times reading the same sentence over and over I gave up trying to read a book.
The only sound in the house was from Amma’s sewing machine. I wondered what Amma was stitching. I knew she wouldn’t tell me even if I asked. I tried to imagine what it would be by listening to the sound. It was getting too frustrating and eventually the sound of the machine was driving me crazy.
I had to sleep. Perhaps the last few days of hardly any sleep was taking its toll.
If I had studied everyday instead of leaving everything to the last minute then perhaps I wouldn’t have had to stay awake the whole night and revise. I hated myself.
Nina Thomas was totally useless. Nobody loved her.
My brain was in a fission mode. There were too many thoughts in my head and none was pleasant. I knew if I could just sleep, then perhaps I would wake up in a better mood.
Then I remembered my treasure. I always had a strip of Valium in my handbag.
I got up quietly and took the Valium out of my handbag. I checked the expiry date. It still had another 8 months. I made a mental note to get new supply when I go back to the hostel. I had to steal a prescription from the medical ward. I felt guilty that I, a future medical doctor entrusted to heal patients was planning to steal a prescription.
But if I had asked my consultant for a prescription he wouldn’t have given. He would have needed reasons why I wanted Valium. How could I tell him that I rather take Valium and die than surrender to George. I knew it almost sounded like a Hindi movie.
I looked at the pills in my hand, 10 little tablets, 2 in a row.
How many would I need
‘No Nina, don’t even think like that’ Sensible one spoke
‘No seriously, how many would I have to take?’ I asked while trying to remember the Pharmacokinetics of Benzodiazepams.
‘What will happen to your sisters?’ Sensible one asked
‘What will happen to them?’ I asked back
‘You are not supposed to answer a question with a question’ Sensible one spoke
I nodded my head and mocked at her superior intelligence and said ‘Yeah yeah yeah’
But there was truth in what Sensible one spoke.
Already the chances of my sisters ever finding a suitable boy was below zero due to the actions of my father, mother and older sister. I didn’t want to add to that burden they were already carrying.
I took a pill from the strip and went to the kitchen, took some water and swallowed the medicine. I walked back to my bed and lay down
I tried to imagine a beautiful green meadow and me walking happily and peaceful.
I must have really been knocked off. I woke up in the middle of the night.The house was in pitch darkness and I was feeling very thirsty. I got up and walked to the kitchen feeling my way and trying not to trip on anything and wake everybody up.
I switched on the light in the kitchen and checked my watch. It was 3.20 Am. I took a glass from the plate rack and was about to turn on the tap when I noticed the dishes in the sink. There were more dishes and I noticed the remnants of motta curry( egg curry), (the egg shells were still in the sink) There was another empty rice pot in the sink, along with the empty moru curry pot and empty cabbage thoran wok.
I wondered why I didn’t take the rest of the Valium.
I knew why.
I wanted to live. I wanted to show my mother and sisters that I will survive. That one day I will have everything..much more than what they will ever have.

Ideas please

Kids have annual fun night this Friday and The theme this year is “everything leaps”..
“Aiyyo”.. is what I said when Yaya told me about the theme.
Then it became
“Aiyyo, aiya yaiyo x 3”
when I realized what I got myself in to…
I had promised them, I will bake a cake for the cake walk.. now that has somehow become a cake for each child( ie one for Yaya,one for toothless and one for baby!!!)
Anyone out there can suggest three different icing themes for the cakes that includes “everything leaps”??
Please remember the motto ” less work!!! oh please!”

“Hungry?” Arjun turned his head towards me and asked
“no” I replied
“You want to eat something?”
“No” I replied
sheda, Didn’t I just tell him that I am not hungry? Why was he eating my head? I wondered. Then I realized perhaps he was hungry.
“Are you hungry?” I leaned over and asked.
He didn’t reply.
Perhaps he didn’t hear me. There were plenty of traffic on the road.
I tapped on his shoulder and shouted so he could hear me
“Are you hungry?”
Arjun turned his head and screamed
“No, how many times do I have to say No? Stop screaming Nina”
“Ok ok, you don’t have to yell” I wanted to add moron at the end. But I was a bit afraid of the consequences.
He rode the rest of the journey in absolute silence and I didn’t bother to talk to him either. What was I going to talk about anyway? We were forever screaming at each other.
Arjun stopped the bike in front of the gate and I got off. Even before I could say thanks, he zoomed off.
I heard screeching of brakes followed by honking
Arjun almost knocked in to an auto that was taking a left turn in to our lane.
I watched the auto driver and Arjun yelling at each other.
pagal hey?”
thoo pagal”,
“you pagal”,
“terey bap ka mal hey ye kya?”
I didn’t want to be in the midst of the fight, especially when I knew Arjun was clearly at fault. He was speeding.
I walked up the stairs and tried to open the door while balancing my bag on shoulder and the flowers in my left hand. It was locked.
That was unusual. Amma usually didn’t lock the door. I knocked the door once. Then I remembered something. I placed the bag on the floor and
I knocked
ta ta da duh da ta ta( star wars!) it sounded good. So I repeated agian and was about to knock the third time when Amma suddenly opened the door. I must have been a sight, holding something in my left fist and my right hand in a fist in mid air. I started to laugh.
“Why are you laughing? have you gone mad? How many times do you have to knock at the door?”
Only then did I notice Amma’s face. She was looking so angry.
Amma leaned over and looked down the steps
“Where is he?”
“Nina, stop acting dumb”
“huh? you mean Arjun?”
alla nintey mattavan
“oh, he went home”
Amma tuned and walked towards her room.
I stood there trying to figure out what exactly was going on? Why was everyone so angry?
I took the bag from the floor, Then I remembered the chempaka poo (flowers) in my hand. Amma had told me long ago that she used to keep Chempaka flowers in her closet. May be I will give her some flowers.
I kept the bag in the living room and walked to Amma’s room. Her bed was full of clothes and she was mending Sally’s clothes.
I heard Amma muttering
“Valla avanum keri erangi nadannolum. Bakki ulloru kashtapettonam.”( something like, I have to struggle because of Arjun!)
” What do you mean Amma?”
I really wanted to know the answer. What did Arjun do to her for her to be so mad? He only dropped me back home for heavan’s sake.
Amma stopped sewing and stared at me
I stared at her back half expecting her to accuse me of starting the fight as soon I came back from the hostel.
“Nooru vettam thuni maranam” ( change the clothes a hundred times!) Amma spoke and started to sew.
So that was the issue. She was angry with me because she had to change her clothes.
“I didn’t ask you to change your clothes. Besides Who asked you to wear your old nighty?”
“Then what should I wear eh?”
“Didn’t I bring you new night gowns from Dubai? Who are you saving that for?”
“If I wear it all and spoil it, who will buy me new ones? entha nintey thantha vangichu tharuvo? ( will your father buy it?)”
I could never understand my mother’s logic. How could she keep good clothes in the cup board under lock and key and wear old tattered clothes today because she is afraid that she won’t get anything new tomorrow?
“I will buy you new clothes” I spoke
“oh pinney, athinu nee medicine pass ayittu vendai ( oh really! for that you will have to pass medicine, which is not likely)
I squeezed the chempaka flowers in my hand. I didn’t want to stand there and argue. So I turned to walk.
I heard Amma say
valla avanteyum purakey nadanno, medical college il vittathu padikkana ennu ortha nallathu” ( having affairs! you should remember you have been send to the medical college to study)
That was twice in day. First it was Aparna’s grandmother. Now it was my own mother. I walked to the kitchen and threw the chempaka flowers in the rubbish bin. I looked around the kitchen. There were few dishes to wash in the sink. Amma must have known I would come back today!
I opened the pots on the gas stove. There was a some moru (yogurt) in one pot and cabbage thoran in another pot. I searched for rice. The rice pot was empty.
I was hungry. I only had one poori for breakfast. There was a huge crowd of students waiting for poori at the mess in the morning and I didn’t feel like waiting. So I shared a plate of poori with Aparna. I didn’t have time to eat lunch and now there was no rice to eat at my own home. I regretted telling Arjun that I wasn’t hungry. We could have gone to Mac’s fast food and had something nice to eat.
I heard someone yelling and screaming in the street below and I opened the balcony door to see what was going on.
Few of the boys were playing cricket outside and one of them was surrounded by others and they were arguing if it was LBW or not.
I never played cricket and I only watched criket when Imran Khan played!
I stood there, remembering my pre-degree days, bunking the classes to watch Reliance cup, How sister Savio threatend me with expulsion and how I forged Amma’s signature on all the permission slips!
“Akka, was it LBW?” One of the boys looked up and asked
“I didn’t see” I told him. I didn’t tell him, even if I saw, I wouldn’t know!
“he is always cheating.” he pointed to his friend and told me
“Where is Liza Akka?” He asked
theriyathu ( don’t know)
It was true. I didn’t know where my sisters were! They should have been home by now. I was getting a bit worried. Then I realized it was Amma’s job to worry about her daughters. I don’t have to worry.
I stood there watching the kids play cricket. Across the street the marwari ladies weree sitting down on the floor in front of the house and chatting. One of them had her daughter on her lap and she was plaiting her daughter’s hair. When I have a daughter, I will also plait her hair. I will buy Jasmin flowers and clip it on her hair. I imagined a child with long black hair and jasmine flowers wearing pattu pavada. I should get some kajal too. I thought.
It was such happy thoughts and I smiled. Then I thought I should make some tea. I was getting thirsty.
I turned and almost bumped in to Amma.
“Arey aadi nee chirichu vasheekarikunnathu? ( who are you trying to flirt with?)
“You think I don’t have eyes?”
“Don’ you know they are a traditional marwari family. They will kill him, if he marries a Christian girl” Amma spoke
“What are you talking about Amma?”
I looked around to see who was Amma talking about.
mandan kali nirthadi” Amma shrieked.
I looked at the Marwari ladies sitting in front of their house. There were no boys in their midst. My mother was going mad.
“Who are you talking about Amma?” I asked her angrily
“Who are you fooling Nina, from the time you stood here,I have been watching both of you and I saw you smiling at him. There he is still looking at you” Amma pointed towards the shops”
I looked at the shops. There was an old man in the first shop, he was reading the news paper and in the second shop there was a young guy and when he saw me looking he looked away.
A part of me wanted to kill him for looking at me
A part of me wanted to convince Amma that I wasn’t looking at him or smiling at him
A part of me knew it would be fuitile to convince Amma otherwise
I lifted my hand to wipe my face and my hands still had the chempaka smell on them. I rubbed my hand on my jeans hoping I could wipe the smell off, hoping I could wipe my mother off.

I was simply furious. I walked quickly hoping I could walk off my anger. To hell with Aparna and her grandmother. To hell with my upbringing. There was rock in front of me and I kicked it as hard as I could and I watched it flying. I looked around for more rocks to kick. I couldn’t find anything big enough to kick. I continued to walk faster.
Then I asked myself, where are you rushing off to? Don’t you know that you are going back home? Back to the nightmare?
What was the point in rushing to go back home? The ladies hostel was my refuge. I did’t have to worry about anyone except me while I stayed at the hostel. I got three meals each day and I didn’t have to worry about fighting with Amma and my sisters for everything. I didn’t want to go back home. I didn’t want to see Amma or my sisters.

Somewhere deep in my heart I knew there was another reason I didn’t want to go home.
Beautiful Eyes.
I had no idea where he was. I didn’t want to miss meeting him if he did come back to the hostel the next three weeks.
May be I should stay back. I told myself.
But What would I tell all my seniors when they ask why I am not going back? There won’t be any clinicals during exam time. So I can’t use that as an excuse.
I knew technically me being a Bangalorean there was no way I could stay back at the hostel without inviting too many unnecessary questions. even those from Kashmir goes home during semester break and how can a Bangalorean not go home, that too for three weeks vacation?
How much ever I hated my family, I didn’t want to belittle them in front of others. I didn’t want anyone to judge my family members.

I continued to walk towards the canteen. May be, just may be Beautiful Eyes came back and was waiting for me at the canteen. I was always full of hopes.
But the thing with Hope is, it doesn’t cost anything, It only returns heartaches in multiples.
“Going home Madam?” Canteen operator asked
“hmm” I mumbled. I looked around the canteen. There were so many students inside the canteen discussing and studying.
“Arjun sir is waiting for you at the main entrance madam” one of the junior boys spoke. May be he thought I was looking for Arjun
“Ok, Thanks”
I walked out.
It felt as though I have lost myself. The Nina who was walking towards the main entrance to meet Arjun was someone else. The me belonged with Beautiful Eyes. All I wanted was to be with him. But how was I going to get out of the mess I got myself in to?
Arjun was leaning on the bike and when he saw me, he started the bike and was revving the engine. As though that would make me walk faster. He was still a good 200 meters away and I was not in a hurry to go back home.
There was a nice smell and I looked around to see where it came from.
I remembered there was a Chempaka(Michelia chembaka) tree by side of the lecturer’s quarters. I looked at Arjun, he had already reversed the bike and was looking at me. I kept my bag on the ground by the side of the road and walked towards the lecturer’s quarters.
The tree was very tall and I stood underneath the canopy of big green leaves trying to figure out why I do things like this? I knew Arjun would be pissed off with me, yet I chose to annoy him by making him wait rather than walk faster. I looked up at the tree. The home of Yakshis and Gandharvas. Did any of them can tell me why I act like this? Wind was blowing and leaves started to sway and dance and I imgined the leaves telling me
‘nah Nina nah Nina nah Nina, we have no idea’
I found few withered flowers on the ground and I picked them up and smelled them. It smelled heavenly.
I collected few good ones from the floor, few I will keep in my cupborad and the rest I will keep inside my text books. I started to walk back towards the main road. A part of me hoped Arjun would just push off. A part of me tried to figure out a good excuse if in case he was still waiting for me.
I was a tad disappointed to notice that Arjun was still waiting for me. he had switched off the engine and was staring at my direction. I picked up the bag from the floor and walked towards him.
He looked so angry and like a little girl I opened my palm and showed him my treassure.
He looked at the dried withered flowers in my palm and then at me. I thought of telling him to smell it, may be he will understand why I went to get it. But one look at his mad angry face and I knew it is better that I shut my mouth.
Without another word he started the bike and I sat down behind him. I wanted to put the flowers in my bag, so it won’t get squashed in my hand. But Arjun was in a real hurry.
I held the flowers gently in my palm.
Arjun was riding the bike like a mad man. I opened my palm and smelled the flowers.
Flowers tells you the story of waiting, don’t they? When they are little buds, they wait for the day they could bloom, then they wait for the bees, then they wait for someone to come and gather them and make garlands, then they wait with that someone who wait for that one person. Both grow old and withered, but the wait.. that is eternal.
Tears were beginning to flood my eyes and I was glad Arjun was riding like a mad man, at least I can tell later that the dust went in my eyes..But what would I do with the heart that was broken in to itsy bitsy tiny pieces?

Anyone from Yorkshire, England( Sheffield precisely)? Could you email me at daofto at gmail.com

Rarely have I given excuses for not updating the blog two days in a row.. But you see, I am just so happy today that I simply can’t quieten my mind and type..
Why am I so happy?
First of all, toothless has been selected for the gifted children program. I received the letter from the school yesterday. I am so happy for my son. It feels so good knowing that he earned the scholorship all by himself.

There is another reason I am happy.. Toothless was selected because he is exceptionally good in maths.
Only my Amma knows how many Novena’s she had said before my maths exam each year while I was in school.
Because the kids are good in Maths, there would not be much requests from them (hopefully) asking for help to do their homework!!!
Can you even imagine how I could help them when I think 1+1 =1 and 1×1=2!!!

Both Yaya and toothless do evening news paper delivery after school twice a week. Yesterday I watched my 7 year old son delivering the newspaper at the door( instead of leaving it at the mail box in front of the house) of my elderly neighbour. He didn’t want the lady to walk all the way to the mail box to get the paper. I knew he was tired because he played soccer at the school. But he still thought about the elderly lady. These are the moments as a mother I cherish.
Oh, I must write why the kids do the news paper delivery. Yaya wants to go back packing all of Europe.. Toothless wants to buy a hummer with his own money when he gets his driving license in 10 years time.( he probably knows his pishukki mother would buy him a pazhanchadak!!!!)

Lastly, yesterday for the first time in seven months since I started taking skating lessons, I could walk on the ice without holding on to the wagon. When I wrote walking, it really was walking..not skating..It will probably take me another 7 months to learn skating!!! but still…..

And now I am going to make a nice cup of teh tarikh(tea) and a cup of milo and read a story with Baby..
See ya all tomorrow..

Forgot to mention, there will be a total Lunar eclipse this evening ..more info here

Anne of Green Gables

Yesterday Yaya borrowed Anne of Green Gables by Lucy aud Montgomery from the library…. She told me it is a good book and judging by the way she was reading all evening, I knew it would be a good book…
I am not the one who would want to miss out on reading a good book.
I was waiting for Yaya to go to school this morning, so I could read the book..Now the problem is, the book is too good.
“My life is a perfect graveyard of hopes” So said Anne and I just can’t stop reading the book about Anne with an e..
I got another 4 hours and 30 minutes to read the book before Yaya returns from school!! If I haven’t finished the book by then, you can be assured of the beginning of the Third world war..( it is my book!!! no it is a library book kind of war!)
So sorry.. no update

When the bell rang, I walked down the steps and waited in line to hand in my answer sheets.
“Attempted all the questions?”Prof asked when he took my answer sheets.,
“Yes sir”
“What is your name?” He asked
“Nina Thomas, sir”
“Oh Nina!” He nodded his head
Oh mannankatti! I stared at him hoping he would understand not to Oh Nina me. He was busy collecting the answer sheets from the other students. I turned to walk off. Then it occured to me, why did he say Oh Nina?
Did George tell something to him? Is he going to fail me? How do I ask him why he said Oh Nina? I turned to look at him. He was talking to Shiva Kumar. I was getting worried. George’s shadow followed me where ever I went.
I continued to walk.
Shylaja was standing by the door and when she saw me, she walked up to me and asked
“What did he say to you?”
“Prof” Shylaja was staring at me as though I am the world’s greatest idiot.
“Nothing, he asked me my name”
“How do I know?”
“hm” Shylaja grunted and walked off.
I didn’t understand what was her problem. Why does she want to know what the professor asked me? Why was she mad at me? I watched her talking to Aparna excitedly and walking towards the to the hostel.
Damn her.
“So what is your plan for the holidays?” I was startled. My heart started to pound. I turned to look and found Arjun standing right behind me. I didn’t hear Arjun walking towards me because I was so damn deaf.
I hated not being able to hear things, I hated being bossed around by my room mate and I hated my inability to stand up to my room mate and tell her to mind her own business.
“You scared me” I yelled
“You certainly have periods” Arjun was laughing
“knock it off” I yelled
“You look so damn cute when you are angry”
“Shut up” I hissed
“Oh Nina”
That was it. I was just so mad, I started to walk as fast as my legs would carry me. Away from everyone.
“Hey, hey. wait” Arjun started to follow
“entey ponnalley” Arjun called after me
What did he say? Did he actually say entey ponnalley? I was angry with him, but I was also curious.
“What did you say?” I asked him
“I said entey ponnalley, entey chakkara alley”
“Where did you learn all these?”
“Did I say it right?”
“yeah you did, but where did you learn?”
“From the mallu gang”
“You went and asked them to teach you Malayalam?”
“Oh yeah”
“Mallu gang? Which one? Mallu seniors?” I wanted confirmation
“Oh yeah Super senior Jomon and the gang”
why on earth would he have to go and ask my nemesis how to speak Malayalam?
“Why what?”
“Do you know how much trouble Jomon and the gang gives me?”
“What trouble?”
“nothing, leave it”
“I thought you would be happy that I made the effort to learn Malayalam. Do you know how hard your language is? You have to roll and roll your tongue” Arjun tried to show how to roll the tongue and he looked hilarious.
I started to laugh.
“Why are you laughing?” He asked
“no reason” I replied while trying to stop laughing.
“Get lost” It was Arjun’s turn to walk off.
entey ponnalley, entey chakkara alley” I called after him.
I wasn’t really sure why I said that. I knew I shouldn’t be angry with him for trying to learn Malayalam. He didn’t know Jomon and the gang were harassing me all the time. I never told Arjun about it. I didn’t want to be the reason for Northie Vs southie fight at the college. I was guilty for blaming Arjun for no fault of his.
Arjun stopped walking and turned to look at me. He was smiling. I realized he actually had a very beautiful smile. I also noticed he was wearing a check shirt.
‘Nah, nah nah Nina Nah, Don’t think that way’ I scolded myself.
“Go, get your bags. I will drop you home”
“ok” I spoke like an obedient child.
Aparna’s family car was parked outside the hostel entrance.
Lucky her, I thought. Every time someone from her family would come and fetch her from the hostel. I had no one.
Nah, that isn’t right. Arjun is dropping me home. Suddenly ir felt good to have someone!
Aparna’s grandmother was in the room when I entered.
She and Aparna were talking something in English and when they saw me they both started to talk in tamil.
“Hello” I greeted Aparna’s grandmother
“Hello Nina, how are you?” She asked
“I am fine patti” I replied.
I wondered if I should have spoken the whole thing in Tamil. Nah, not yet, I will have to explain where I learend Tamil.
I opened my cupboard to start packing
I heard the grandmother ask the grand daughter in Tamil and I listened to the conversation.
“Is she the one you told me about having a love affair?”
“Yes grandma” I heard Aparna reply.
“Does her parents know?”
“I think so grandma”
“hmm, Why ah? Why people come to medical college to have love affair ah?”
“Don’t know grandmother” Aparna replied
“She should learn from you na? You come from a good family, you know you are send here to study. Why didn’t you speak to her and guide her?”
I looked at Aparna. She was busy folding her clothes. How does it work? She was having an affair with Jacob and now she was acting like a goody two shoes in front of her grandmother and I was the villain?
I was so annoyed with the whole thing. I wanted to be a good person. With all the mess that I have at home, I struggled to be a good person. I wanted to be good in front of others. Some how a strangers opinion about me mattered, because I knew when the fingers start pointing, I had no defenses. Everyone would say that I am just like Amma or Maria. That ‘it’ runs in the family. I wanted to protect myself from the effects of my family.
I just wanted to cry. Instead I picked up my bag and said
“Bye Aparna, poyittu varai patti” and walked out.

Arjun was waiting for me outside the gallery. I didn’t feel like hiding from him, so I continued to walk towards the gallery entrance
“Hey” Arjun spoke
I just nodded my head. I was still annoyed with him for not thanking me for the bread.
“Thanks for the bread” Arjun spoke
I was so mad yesterday when he didn’t send a thank yoy note, yet when he told me ‘thank you’ just now, I didn’t feel anything.
“You are welcome”
“Do you have your periods?”
“What?” I stared at him. How dare he ask me such a personal question?
Arjun started to laugh.
“what is so funny?” I was getting really angry with him
“Why are you cranky in the morning? Here, I got something for you”
Arjun took something from his lab coat and I noticed it was a bar of Amul cholcolate.
I looked at the chocolate in his hand and then at him.
He was still smiling
I could hear the Amul ad at the back of my head

Amul Chocolate, a gift for someone you love.

“Arey Bhaiyya, What is that? Is that chocolate I see?” I heard Rupesh asking
“Oh oh” Arjun spoke. “Here” Arjun passed the chocolate to me.”Run, before he gets it, or you will only get the wrapper”
“hey, hey Wait” Rupesh yelled
I ran inside the gallery and found a place to sit somewhere in the middle. I hid the chocolate in the inside pocket of my lab coat. Arjun and Rupesh walked in together.
Rupesh looked at me and whispered
“I will get you later”
“yeah yeah” I nodded my head and laughed.
Then it occured to me that all my classmates were busy doing last minute revision and I was busy laughing and playing. There was something definitely wrong with me.
Arjun and Rupersh sat 2 rows in front of me and when the professor handed the questions, he turned and whispered
“Good luck Nina”
“Thanks, good luck” I spoke
“You wish him good luck” Arjun pointed to Rupesh. “If he doesn’t know the answer, I am doomed!”
There was something about Arjun that was so funny. He always knew how to make me laugh. I was happy at that moment. I almost forgot I was about to write microbiology internal exam.
Then I realized I shouldn’t be happy. He wasn’t the one who was supposed to make me happy. I wasn’t in love with Arjun. I loved someone else.
I took a deep breath when I thought about Beautiful Eyes. I had no idea where he was. All I wanted was to talk to him. Tell him how much I love him. Take him home and introduce him to Amma, make him write his exams quickly and marry him in three or four years.
Gosh, I couldn’t imagine getting married in three years time!
That thought itself was scary. I shook my head.’ No , no I don’t want to think about it’

Namratha Kaul passed the question to me and I quickly read all the questions.
I calculated the marks I would get for each question and figured out which are the ones I should attempt. I just needed 20 marks to pass.
I wrote the answers in less than 30 minutes and got up to leave the hall. I had an hour and a half free time. May be I will go to the library and read the news paper.
I walked down the steps and handed my answer sheets to the professor.
“Done?” He asked
“Yes sir”
I was about to walk off when I heard the professor speak, “Wait”
I waited, while he went through all my answers. He then looked at me.
“You didn’t attempt all the questions”
“No sir”
I thought of telling him, because the sky is so high. What is his problem if I attempted all the questions or not?
“That is because Sir” I started to stammer
“here, go and write the answers for all the questions. Write whatever you know. But I want you to attempt all the questions. Understand?”
“Yes sir” I spoke.
Moron! he didn’t want me to get 1 hour 30 minutes of free time! I took the paper from his hand and walked back to my place. I could see Rupesh and Arjun laughing at me. I stuck my tongue out and everyone started to laugh.
“Quiet” Professor yelled.
I quietly walked to my place and sat down. Arjun turned to look at me and he was still laughing
“Get lost” I whispered
He winked.

Wishing all of you a very happy Valentine’s Day.
May your heart be filled with love and happiness.