I wanted to tell Maria the truth, that Amma didn’t start the fight. But there was a part of me that blamed Amma. She knew Appa got angry with anything and everything. Why did she have to sing the songs? She just had to keep her mouth shut, No?
No! I screamed.
I opened my eyes to see if anyone heard me. Luckily my room mates had gone to the mess to have their tea.
My mind was so restless, I looked at the microbiology text book in front of me. I flipped the pages to see how much I have read so far. I still had plenty of chapters to read. I didn’t feel like studying anymore. .
I got up from my bed to check on the crow. The sun was setting in the distance and I couldn’t find the crow. It must have gone back to its nest to check on the young ones!
I watched the senior boys dribbling the basketball and walking back to the hostel. I hummed slowly
day is done
gone the sun
from the lakes
from the hills
from the skies
all is well
God is nigh.
As I hummed I hated Appa. All my Amma did that day was to sing a song. He didn’t have to hit her for that.
I wondered if his actions that day preplanned? Did he purposely borrow that tape from his colleague and played it at home, so Amma would perhaps sing along and he could hit her for singing? Was he looking for a reason to fight with Amma?
I was sure it was preplanned, because my father’s motto was ‘neither be a lender, nor be a borrower’.
Gosh! How much I hated my father. I always thought I was his favourite daughter. I didn’t want to be his favourite daughter anymore. I didn’t want to be the daughter of a man who looked for a chance to hit his wife. I was so glad Appa was staying in Dubai. I didn’t have to see him everyday.
I wanted to sit. I moved the books from the corner of the table and was just about to sit when I noticed there was coffee stain on the table cloth. Appa had brought that table cloth few years ago when he came to visit us and I took it from the cupboard without telling Amma. I knew Amma would freak out when she finds the stains on her precious cream coloured ‘foreign’ table cloth. I had to find a cloth to clean the stain.
I opened the cupboard and stared inside.
I looked at the upper shelf, middle shelf and the lower shelf.
On the top shelf, apart from all my clothes, I had Three bottles of Oil of Ulay night lotions, 2 Yardely lilly of the valley body spray, 2 bottles of perfume, a bottle of Johnson’s baby lotion a blue round tin of Nivea and a bottle of seven seas codliver oil pills. Appa bought all that.
Second shelf had all my textbooks and an electric hair dryer
I could almost hear Methran Thambi’s son speaking as he took the hair dryer out from his suitcase
“This is for my kochumaharani. Now you can dry your hair after your shower. You no longer have to worry about catching cold!”
I was 12 years old then and how much ever Amma had tried to convince Appa that Maria deserved the hair dryer and not me( especially because Maria had long hair and I had motta thala(short hair), Appa had stood his ground.
I closed the cupboard quickly and walked to my bed and sat down. I knew the mattress and the bedsheet on it was also bought by Appa.
How do you hate a man who gave so much?
Tears started to well up in my eyes.
I heard sensible one speak
‘there is no hatred without love’
Ah! Wilhelm Stekel.
May be she was right.