I wanted Amma to protect me, but I always felt she was throwing me in to the cave of Lions.
I knew how to protect myself, yet I let her do everything her way and then feel bitter about it.
I could have put my foot down and told her that I would collect the balance from the conductor when we reach the bus stand. I should have. I didn’t and I am angry with her for humiliating me.
This was not the first time and this wouldn’t be the last time. I always trust my mother, even when I knew deep in my heart not to do so. Even when I knew she would never buy me love birds, I still trusted her and let the barber butcher my hair. Even when I knew no good would come from meeting George, I still did and what did that bring?
I looked at my mother who was haggling in Tamil with the seller to reduce the price of a milk pot.
She gave birth to me and she tolerated Appa’s abuses for me and I wanted to love her.. but each time I loved her, I hated myself that much. I hated loving a woman who always got me in to trouble.
I wanted to walk away, but where could I go?
I was as free as a kite.. I could soar up in the skies , but Amma still had the string and I was afraid to even think what would happen to me if the string breaks.. Where would I go? Who would want me?
I had no idea, the mere thought of being all alone was scary.
I wanted someone to hold me and tell me that he would be there for me, each day, every single day.
Someone to love, someone to share the burdens I carry.
Some where at the back of my head I could hear the sensible one speak
‘You had that someone and you screwed it up royally babe’
I knew she was right, so I didn’t bother to argue with her.
I still had my tomorrow.. and I knew everything would be alright. All misconceptions could be cleared after a heart to heart talk. It has to. I love him that much.
“Come let us go” Amma pulled my hand
“You are not buying the pot?”
“Very expensive, Can you believe, it is 10 times more than what it costs in Kottayam! Why should I waste my money? Besides we still have our old milk pot No?. We don’t really need a new one. It is just that I thought that pot looked nice” Amma mumbled.
I thought of asking why then did she waste so much of her energy haggling with the seller. I knew what Amma would have said.
“Why are you taking his vakkalathu? ( Why are you fighting on his behalf?)”
“Nice coffee smell eh?” Amma looked around to see from where the smell was coming.
“There is a shop down there that sells freshly roasted coffee” I pointed to the shop
“How did you know that?” Amma looked at me suspiciously.
I knew what she was thinking and I was tired of trying to make her understand that I didn’t hang out with anyone at the Shivajinagar market, it was just that I saw the signboard when she was arguing with the milk pot seller.
“Do you want to buy coffee?” I asked
“Sure, it smells nice”
We walked to the shop. There were glass jars filled with different types of coffee and a matsalleh woman wearing a saree was busy buying coffee.
avaldey saree kando?” ( did you see her saree?) Amma asked
“hmm”
She was wearing a pink colour saree with lots of zari work on it.
“pelayan style eh” ( low class!). Amma snickered
I ignored Amma’s comment. Why do I have to bother what a stranger chooses to wear? It is not that my mother wears proper clothes. She always wore a cream colour blouse with all her sarees.
“Yes Madam” The owner of the shop was looking at us. He had three rows of vibuthi on his forehead. Three eyes of Shiva, sun in the right eye, moon in the left eye and fire in the third eye. “When Shiva opens his third eye, everything will be over” I could hear Ammachi telling me the story of Shiva’s third eye.
I looked at the vibuthi lines again. What are the chances that Shiva would open his third eye anytime now?
End of the world! Gosh that was scary.
“How much coffee do you want?” I asked Amma quickly
“Ask how much?” Amma spoke
“How much what?”
“The price!”
“You tell me how much coffee you want to buy first” I hissed
“250 gm”
“Which one do you want to buy?” I asked Amma.
The seller pointed to each jar and explained the goodness of different types of coffee and finally Amma made her choice and he measured the coffee and sealed it in a plastic bag.
“38 Rs” He spoke, as he handed the coffee to Amma.
“what?” I heard Amma screaming. “38 Rs for 250 gm of coffee?”
“Amma, it is freshly roasted coffee and it is expensive. I have the money and you don’t have to worry”
“You have the money? When did you start printing money? The money you have is your parents money. her money! Ha!”
I didn’t want to create a scene. I took my wallet and took out a 50 Rs note.
Amma chucked the coffee packet on top of the glass jar and turned around
“Come let us go. I have no intention of buying coffee that costs 100 times more than Brooke bond. Freshly roasted! ha! You think Brooke Bond company don’t roast their coffee fresh? Crookes” Amma hissed and walked out.
The matsalleh woman was staring at us and I looked at the seller. He looked so angry
“Sorry” I whispered.
He ignored me.
By the time I came out Amma was already walking towards the church.
I will never ever go out for shopping with my mother. I promised myself. I was so angry with Amma. What did she think? Freshly roasted coffee would be cheaper than Brooke Bond?
Amma stopped in her tracks and turned to look at me.
“Are you coming or not?”
I thought of making a quick dash across the road and get an auto and go to MG road. I could go to Gangarams and see what new books they have, then I can go to Eloor library and look for the books. But I knew I still have to go home in the evening. Go back to my mother’s house!
I walked quickly to where Amma was standing. I was still so mad at Amma. I wanted to ask her why she behave like this. But Amma acted as though nothing happened.
There were lots of people outside the church and most of them wore yellow colour clothes. Girls in yellow frocks, men in yellow shirts and women in Yellow sarees.
“What is going on?” Amma asked
“Don’t know”
“Why are they all wearing yellow colour?”
“Don’t know”
Inside the church, there were more people wearing yellow.
I heard Amma asking a lady standing near the entrance why is everyone wearing yellow. I heard her reply that
“We wear yellow to celebrate feast of St. Mary”
“Why Yellow?” Amma asked
“That is our colour” The lady replied
“But we Christians don’t use yellow. White is our colour. Only Hindu’s use yellow. You should really talk to your priest and tell him to get everyone to wear white colour”
I didn’t bother to wait and hear what the lady replied.
“Amma you go ahead and pray, I will wait for you outside”
I didn’t even wait to hear Amma’s reponse. I walked out quickly. I had enough of my mother. I couldn’t take anymore.

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