“You can eat the rice and the fish curry” Amma pointed to the lunch box in my hand when we came back home.
“I don’t like pomfret Amma”
“Why not?”
“I don’t like the taste Amma”
“Then what am I going to do? I spend so money to buy the fish you know!”
Of course I knew. It was my money and she knew very well I hated to eat pomfret. She bought it for her precious youngest daughter and now I must eat it, because her wonderful oldest daughter made sure that she wouldn’t get to see her youngest child?
“You can eat Amma, or you can wait for Liza to come back and give it to her”
“Liza doesn’t like to eat Fish molley”
“And I don’t like to eat pomfret”
“Please Nina, don’t hassle me like this. I am already so upset and the least you can do is be nice to me, Come, I will feed you”
“Amma, I don’t want to eat it and I am not hungry”
I watched Amma going to the kitchen. I was relieved that she gave up trying to make me eat something I didn’t want to eat. My legs were dirty after walking all the way back from Sally’s school and I went to the washroom to take a quick shower.
There was a big bottle of pink pearlescent shampoo by the side of the wash basin. ( I think it was a Suave 2 in 1, it had a picture of a peach in front). Liza must have forgotten and left the shampoo in the washroom. My sister hated anyone using her shampoo or soap and always kept her toiletries in her cupboard.
Ah the temptation!
Should I use her shampoo or not?
I opened the bottle and smelled it. It smelled heavenly. Much better than my Pert plus shampoo. Then I remembered I needed to conserve my shampoo, because I have no money to buy a new one.
What the heck, I decided to use Liza’s shampoo.
After bathing, I kept the shampoo bottle exactly the same place where I took it from. I didn’t want to take any chances of my sister finding out that I used her shampoo.
As I combed my hair, I could smell the peach fragrance on my hair.
Would Liza be able to smell and find out that I used her shampoo?
I looked at the bottle. She might notice that the volume of shampoo had reduced since she last used it.
I opened the bottle quickly and filled it with a bit of water.
Now the top part of shampoo looked slimy, so I shook the bottle to mix the water evenly.
I had not closed the bottle cover properly and there was shampoo everywhere.
vinashakaley vipareetha budhi!
Quickly I took a bucket of water and started to clean the washroom. Cleaning the physical presence of shampoo in the washbasin, on the floor and on my body was very easy.
But the peach fragrance, that simply lingered as though some evil force wanted my sister to know my dreadful criminal activities.
I didn’t know how to get rid of the smell.
I looked at the window. Perhaps I should open the window. But it was too high.
The only way I probably could get rid of the smell was to leave the washroom door opened.
I hoped my sister’s sports practice would last all day! May be she will miss the bus, or whatever. I just didn’t want her to come back home early.
Amma was sitting on my bed with a steel plate full of rice and curry. I looked at her
enney kanda kinnem kattunnu thonnuvo, hoping she won’t notice the smell.
She looked at me and thought for a second
“Did you use Liza’s shampoo?”
“No” I mumbled
“No?” Amma stared at me and I knew she knew!
“Nina why did you? You know how fuzzy Liza is! Why do you want to have unnecessary fights?”
“Amma please don’t tell her” I pleaded
“Come and eat” Amma mixed the pomfret and the rice in the plate.
We stared at each other.
“My hands are hurting Nina, come quickly and eat.”
I sat down on the floor in front of her and she fed me.
I have always wondered if it is my destiny that I simply walk in to trouble or is it that my mother knew how to manipulate me.

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