“Chechy wake up, Arjun is here” Liza shook my leg.
I must have slept off while reading the book.
But something didn’t make sense. i understood Arjun has come to see me. But that was not the issue.
Liza, my younger sister called me Chechy?
How could that happen?
I sat up quickly and adjusted my skirt and looked at Arjun. He was standing by the door.
“Arjun Bhaiyya, come and have a seat. Would you like to have some tea?” Liza asked.
“Your sister always complains that I wake up late and look at her. 12.30 in the afternoon and she is still sleeping” Arjun complained to Liza
“She is always sleeping. I think she even studies in her sleep” Liza responded
What nonsense. I never sleep so much, In fact I was up early in the morning. I just slept off probably half an hour ago. I looked at the book in my hand. Stupid book. If it was an interesting book, I wouldn’t have slept off.
“Bhaiyya, Do you like Masala tea?”
“Sure” Arjun replied.
I looked at the two of them, somehow I wasn’t happy the way things were going.
“I will make the tea” I got up and told Liza
“No Nina, let me. You always make the tea. I will make the tea today, What do you say Arjun bhaiyya? Would you like to try my tea?” My sister crooned.
Arjun smiled and nodded his head.
The idiot was smiling. How dare he.
I hoped the milk will curdle.
I went back and sat down on my bed. Arjun sat right across me on the chair.
“So how are you?” Arjun asked
“Fine” I snapped.
How dare he ask me how am I after he kissed me and turned my whole world upside down?
“Where is your mom?”
How was I to know. The last time I saw her, she was sitting on my bed and stitching.
“She went down stairs. Our land lady wants to learn how to do cross stitch. So Amma is teaching her” My sister came out of the kitchen to inform Arjun of my mother’s whereabouts.
“What is your plan for the day?” Arjun asked
“Nothing much” I answered
I watched Liza going to Amma’s room. I wondered what she was up to. I didn’t have to woder too long. My sister came out with a cup and saucer from Amma’s tea set.
My mother has been saving that set to use it for the right occasion since I was 7 years old.
“Why are you using that cup and saucer?” I asked Liza
Doesn’t she know Amm would freak out when she finds out that we used her precious tea set?
“What is wrong?” Liza looked at me
I didn’t want to create a scene, so I followed her to the kitchen and whispered
“Amma would freak out and you know that”
“Oh pinney ! It is time we used the stuff we have Nina.”
“You can take her screaming. I am not going to get involved”
I watched my sister pouring the tea gently in to the cup. I hoped she would spill.
“Move” She spoke
I moved to the side and my sister carried the cup and walked to the living room.
“Here Arjun bhaiyya, Try my masala tea”
Arjun took the cup and saucer from her hand.
He smiled and said “Thank you”
I hoped he would spill the hot tea on his legs and get burned or, at least he would take sip of the hot tea burn his mouth.
Arjun sniffed the tea and spoke
All tea smell good you nimwit, I spoke in my mind.
He held the cup high and blew gently in to it as though he was a tea connoisseur!
He just had to drink the damn tea nah? Why all the new style? What does he think, that he is RajaniKanth?
Arjun took a small sip and closed his eyes as though that one small sip was his ticket to heaven!
“Excellent tea” He opened his eyes and spoke
“Thank you, thank you, thank you” My sister did a magnificent curtsey
I was no longer sure who I hated the most.
A few minutes later I heard footsteps coming up the stairs and it must be Amma.
I waited anxiously for Amma. I couldn’t wait to see her reaction when she sees her precious cup and saucer in Arjun’s hand. I knew I would say, “I told her not to use those cups and saucers Ma, she didn’t listen to me”
Amma stood near the door and saw Arjun. I saw her looking at the cup in his hand.
I waited with bated breath for all hell to break loose.
“hello Arjun” Amma spoke
“You don’t celebrate Vinayak Chathurthi?” Amma asked
“We do. Later this evening we will be going to the lake near home to immerse the Ganesa”
“You celebrate Vinayaka Chathurthi? Where is my sweets?” Liza howled
Knock off your drama you idiot. Why should he give you sweets? He is my classmate for heaven’s sake. I stared at my sister hoping she would get the message.
“I am sorry, I forgot to bring. I will send some through your sister” Arjun spoke.
Enikku verey thozhil onnum illey? Don’t I have anything else to do? I wondered.
“Hey, do you want to go out for a movie?” Arjun asked
“I can’t Arjun. Anitha said she is coming to visit me today”
“Oh” Arjun mumbled
“What about tomorrow?” Arjun asked
“Sure” I replied
“Ok, I will see you tomorrow. Thanks for the tea Liza”
“You are welcome” My sister was smiling from ear to ear.
“Arjun bhaiyya” She called as Arjun was about to leave.
“yeah” He turned to look at her
“Are you going back to Jayanagar?”
“Can you give me a ride? I have to visit a friend of mine. She stays near 5 th cross”
“Give me a few sec. I will get ready”
Liza ran to her room to change.
Amma was looking at me as though she wanted to see my reaction. I didn’t want my mother to know how upset I was. When it came to my heart, Amma was the last person who would see me crumble.
Liza came out wearing a beautiful top. The one I got for her from Dubai, the one she would never let me wear.
“Bye Nina” Arjun spoke
“Bye Chechy” Liza spoke
I watched my sister getting on the bike and sitting behind Arjun.
I walked back inside the house, took the stupid boring book and lay down on the bed to read.
I watched Amma taking the cup from the corner table to the sink to wash. She didn’t appear to mind that we used her precious tea set.
But that didn’t matter
What mattered was, I was upset because my sister went out with my classmate, whom I don’t love, yet I was jealous.
Plain simple jealousy.