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.

2 thoughts on “

  1. There are so many clues – I can sense a very moving and happy post coming up… (probably because I’m wishing it that way.)

    “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.”

    Deja vu… but add a zillion cockroaches and pallikal fleeing as the tubelight flickers on in the kitchen, while the cheeveedu whines away outside. There’s the art of noiselessly extracting a glass from a mountain of the most sonourous metallic plates and pans. Then, pressing down on the tap in the sink before turning it to let out the water very slowly… Also sprinkling some water on my hands and feet and returning underneath the rickety ceiling fan and feel the coolness of water evaporating… and returning to sleep as the fan drones its lullaby…

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