I just wanted to see Amma. I wanted her to hold me.
A part of me knew I shouldn’t expect any support from Amma, but I yearned for it and nothing I could do, to stop feeling like that.
I knew I will end up getting hurt, if I depend of my mother for stability. But at that moment I only had her.
Just as I turned in to the street in front of my house, I noticed the Amma’s saree and my sister’s t shirts hanging in the balcony. It was such a welcoming sight!
The gate was locked. I knocked the gate a few times.
Amma must not have heard.
The gate that opens to my landlord’s house too was locked. I didn’t want to disturb aunty and her family, so I knocked at the gate again.
“Amma” I called out a few times and waited.
There was no sign of Amma.
Was she ok?
Did she have a heart attack or something?
I climbed the gate.
I could hardly lift my own weight and that tiny gate indeed was too difficult for me to climb.
I remembered the times I could climb a tree.
What happened to that Nina, I wondered.
Gone, I told myself. Not really knowing where that part of me vanished.
I ran up the steps and noticed the padlock outside the door.
Where did Amma go?
I was annoyed with her for not being at home.
Then I felt sorry for thinking like that. There were so many reasons why she couldn’t be at home.
Amma must have gone to the market.
At this time? I checked my watch to confirm my suspicion.
1.20 pm. Nah nobody goes to the market at this time of the day.
I didn’t want to stand there and imagine a whole lot of unpleasant things.
I walked downstairs and rang the door bell.
“hey” Aunty’s son opened the door.
“Hi, Did Amma leave the key with you?” I asked.
He looked at my lab coat and then looked at me.
“No, she didn’t”
“Any idea where she went?”
“No” He shook his head
“oh” I mumbled.
I didn’t know what to do.
I could hear my mother’s favourite words of wisdom when it came to my habit of making impulsive decisions.
Oru arishathinu kinattil chadiyal, nooru arishathinu thirichu chadan pattuvo?
I knew standing there and talking to the only son of aunty and uncle was not a smart thing to do.
“Can you open the lock?” I pointed to the gate.
He looked at me.
“Our gate is locked” I spoke
“How did you get inside?”
I looked at him sheepishly and mumbled the answer.
He turned away quickly.
I knew he was laughing( at me) and didn’t want me to know.
He came back with the key.
“Do you mind if I keep my coat here?” I didn’t want to carry it along.
He opened the lock and I gave him my coat.
Without even looking at him, I walked away quickly.
I didn’t think climbing a gate was a sin.
But I wasn’t a kid anymore.
It was pretty confusing.
To be not a kid and not exactly be an adult.
I wasn’t sure where I was going. I walked to the bus stop, stood there and tried to think where I could go. Every few seconds I looked around. Every time a bus stopped in front of me or across the street, I watched the passengers disembarking hoping to find my mother.
It was hot and I was tired.
I decided to go to the British Library, hoping I wouldn’t see any of Amma’s relatives in front of Koshy’s. It was always tricky to meet Amma’s relatives. You don’t know what they know and you have to be very careful in what you say.
There were few guys standing outside the restaurant and smoking. I didn’t even bother to look. I walked quickly.
I hated to run and hide like this.
But I didn’t have a choice.
My mother belonged to a well known family and we had relatives every nook and corner. Amma wasn’t ashamed to establish contacts with her friends and relatives. But I was.
I didn’t want to be judged.( not that any of my actions saved me from judgements! Going out with a Hindu guy, hanging out in the pubs, dancing like a mad woman etc etc had certainly set the tongues wagging..)
I walked in to the library. The lady I know was busy checking out the books for someone. I waited for her to be free.
“Hi” I greeted
“Hi, Nina right?” She asked
I nodded my head and smiled, pleased to know that she remembered my name.
“Haven’t seen you in a while”
“Busy” I replied
“What can I do for you today?” She asked
“Do you know who is Rasputin?”
She thought for a while and shook her head.
“I really want to find out more about him” I told her
“Why don’t you check the Encyclopedia” She suggested.
It was an Archimedes moment.
Why hadn’t I thought of it before?
“Thank you. I will”
I took the Encyclopedia and checked under R and found out who was Rasputin.
I knew I had to read Russian history.
I also had 2nd MBBS part 1 internals in a few weeks time.
I also had to tell someone that I knew who was Rasputin and why he asked me that question.