Athey, Why do people display the dead body for everyone to see?”
I had enough of my mother. I was already too upset with the fact that my sister went out with Arjun, though it was only a bike ride and my mother was still talking about dead body!
“I got it Amma, you don’t want to be cremated. Now can you leave me alone?” I screamed
“Huh?” “Why are you screaming at me? What did I do to you? oodichal lekkillenkil moothammakkirunnottey Alley?” Amma yelled at me
“Huh?” What was she talking? What oodichal lekkillenkil? I looked at her.
“You are angry because Liza went with your boyfriend”
“He is not my boyfriend and I am not angry. I am just annoyed with you because one minute you say you want to be cremated and the next minute you say you want to buried. Make up your mind will you?”
Ninakku muzhu vatta. (you are mad! 100%) All I said right now was about public display of dead bodies.”
Really? Was that what she was saying? Then why did I yell at her?
“What is wrong with displaying the dead body?” I asked
“There is nothing wrong. You don’t understand!”
“I don’t. Why don’t you tell me”
“Every time I think of Mercy Kochamma, I can see her body being kept in the living room of our house. I keep seeing her face with the nose stuffed with cotton” Amma pointed to her own nose, just in case I didn’t know what is a nose.
I was just about to ask who is Mercy Kochamma, then I remembered she was my mother’s favourite aunt who died many many many years ago, even before my mother got married.
“She was so beautiful, I always think that if I had not seen her dead body, I would still be able to picture her as the beautiful person I had known instead of the horrible image of her dead body”
“Oh” I mumbled. I wasn’t really sure what my mother was trying to portray. But she did have a point. Didn’t she?
I looked at my mother. Why was she talking about death all the time? Does she have some premonition?
“So why do people display the dead body?” Amma saw me looking at her and asked.
“Don’t know ma, What I do know is, you are not going to die in the near future”
“Oh really. Why? Did you get a message from God?”
“I didn’t get any message, but I know he won’t take the most important person from my life any time soon”
“Most important! podi kalli! I know you like your father more than me”
“No I don’t” I lied. “I love you more ma” I spoke
Amma stared at me disbelievingly
“Really ma”
“Why?” She asked
“Because you gave birth to me, you took care of me, you wash my dirty clothes, don’t forget, you even wash my clean clothes that was folded and kept in the cupboard”
“No I don’t”
“Yes you do. Remember the last time you washed my top that I had kept in the cupboard”
“it was dirty”
“No it wasn’t. I tried it on and then decided not to wear it. I must have worn it for less than 10 seconds. There was no way it was dirty”
“Yeah right” Amma shook her head and walked back the kitchen. Losing an argument wasn’t something my mother would like.
“You are obsessed with washing clothes” I wasn’t going to give up when victory was this close.
“Complain complain complain. That is all you do. Doctor Madam, have you noticed that none of my children ever had any skin infection? All your cousins in kerala had I Rs size chori (Impetigo) None of you had any, Am I right?
“What has Chori got to do with clothes? Chori is a bacterial infection”
ninakkariyam THOPPI ! ( you know nothing) I pity your patients!”
Aiyyeda! How dare she tells me that I don’t know anything in Medicine? How dare she question my medical knowledge? I even passed dreaded anatomy in the first try! Aha!
“Amma, washing clothes and Chori have nothing to do with each other. You are obsessed with washing clothes. You probably are the only person on planet earth who would take the clothes out of the washing machine and manually rinse the clothes, because you don’t trust the machine to rinse well”
Kuttam kelkkan mathram oru janmam Entey thaley vara, allathenna ( A life time to hear complaints and complains. My Karma!)”
“See, you are now making me feel guilty. I didn’t kuttam parnajufy you(blame you). I was just telling you facts.”
“facts! mannakatti(My foot!) None of you are grateful. I raised you, lived with your abusive father, so you can have a life and all I get is complaints! I should have left you all with that mad man and had a life of my own. I was stupid to think that children are more important!” Amma started to cry and as each drop of tears rolled down her cheeks, the more miserable I felt.
What is wrong with me? Why do I make my mother cry? Wasn’t it true that she really suffered a lot living with my father?
“I am sorry ma” I got up and walked towards her and apologized
mindada ( Don’t talk). I wish I would just die”
“No Ma, please don’t talk like that” I pleaded while trying to hold her hand. Amma pushed my hands away and went to her room.
Sucker, you fell for her charms again’ Sensible one started to sing.
‘No I didn’t’ I denied vehemently.

2 thoughts on “

  1. Trust me…your mother was not the only one take clothes out of the washing machine and manually rinse them !!! My MIL does that! She has a semi automatic washing machine and she lets the clothes soak in the machine and then scrubs it too!!!

  2. Suddenly what made her think of her aunt? was there any connection with the situation that ur sister went with Arjun? Anyway this entry was so nice as I felt like its a swing… You and mom become like close friends, again become back like enemies… May be you both didn’t liked to accept that you liked each other in some sense…

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