Previous- Scars of Early Mishaps- II
Our Weston B/W TV was bought in 1982; The Godrej refrigerator too. Sumeet Mixer was also bought. I had only reached home when mom had made the Engineer give the Instructions again; she had believed I picked the “important instructions” clear and fast. Mom..!! Sundays used to be mini- fest; with the newly bought mixer and grinder, as if the only work left was to grind everything available. Both of them argued huge since there was a cutoff mark for running the motor. Anyways, I would never know who paid for what.
Flying of utensils was the order of the evenings. Often Masi would come over to meet us. “Look at how she drapes it below navel”, I would whisper in my mom’s ear. In summers, I and dad often washed on the terrace- with my undie on- please. He fitted a hose and I giggled as if a child would in a lake or river- whichever. Mom would sit and watch. DDA flats that I have stayed in there, were huge houses. The verandah was big enough to accommodate a folding bed/cot, and also a couple of playing kids. Mom had planted a few plants too. She was an avid gardener.
A few memories: that I still carry of that house.
Alok Mama had come over for a stay. Ashok’s younger brother. I had often fooled around with him. I would place his toothbrush in his vest neck at the back without him knowing and then make him run around finding that, till mom pulled that out from his back. At times, I placed my head in his vest and followed him like a tail. He too had played around saying he couldn’t find me- now I know- he too had joined me- kidding.
Mom would give me those small plastic loops from her STs. Earlier, STs used to be with strings; stick ons came much later. She would give me those plastic beads for me to play. I eagerly looked forward to the Monthly Grocery unpacking!!! Red and white they were. Mom had bought a USHA sewing Machine before I was born. She stitched too. And real well. The churidars that she stitched were so perfect, that I haven’t been able to wear the readymades available- since then. Tailors have not been able to stitch one to my liking 😦 One such time, that she had finished stitching a churidar, she had called me to her to try that on. My dad had just come in with a Lakshmi Calender. I had run to him to open that roll up and see the Goddess’ picture. Dad had kept telling me to be gentle; how could I be slow in slinging that rubber band out. I rolled it out fast over that metal lining and then, I had hurt my finger. Not wanting him to show that, I had left the calendar and run to mom. She asked me several times that why I looked pale, I tried to brave that.. I passed out. My index finger bled. It was cut at the 1st finger mark.
I still pass out whenever something hurts me. I may be physically able to take the pain but my brain relents. In 2nd standard, Mrs. Madan had run to the Medical Room carrying an unconscious girl a couple of times over. I was then “allowed” to not wear the tie and also not attend the assembly standing under the sun anymore. I owe her.
I had remained un-conscious for an hour. I woke up on my bed with a bandage and hurt. A glass of milk was emptied soon. I kept mute in fear- of what? Of being scolded that how dare I had cut my finger? I had been hurt only a couple of times in my childhood- I was over protected. In fact, was practically suffocated in care. Look at me now- left all by myself with absolutely no one to worry about whether immediately or otherwise. I wore glasses since I was 2-1/2. There were bands that fastened that at the back of my head. I was strictly instructed to stay steer clear of fellow- kids. Often class- mates had tried to grab my glasses and break the break and in the process hurting me. Younger kids strangely looked at me- as if I was an alien.
I was beaten up even when I was unwell. Even when running a temperature, dad had insisted solving Math sums. When I had not been able to, I was slapped. Harder; when I had cried. My uncle had intervened, all those stances. He had dragged me to my room asking me to stay there. He had then argued it out with dad against that. Remember- they didn’t talk? Previously in Kalyanvas flat, mom had made me have my milk-glass without brushing. Dad had beaten me up like a dirty worm. I had needed to eat, I was sick; instead, I was beaten up with slippers. He was so strict and disciplined; wanting everything in order. Now, someone tell me what do I need to beat him up with for his intentionally and well thought of committed crime towards mom and me? A mistake is till you haven’t realized; I wonder if he has any argument to offer in defense.
I was slowly become detached with dad; I still slept with dad though. Mom on ground and uncle on bed- in the other room. Once I had tried to place a dad’s snap in the Mandir; mom had scolded me huge. I had suffered of chicken- pox too.. now no marks 🙂
Mornings used to be torturous. Cod Liver Oil was mixed with milk for me to drink. Eeauh!! That house too had the same system of Godrej locks. Like my present house. One had to be careful in not locking that up without clutching the keys. As mom had stood talking to the neighbors, I had sneaked out. I slammed the door knowingly to see what would happen next. A young boy had then climbed through that narrow opening though the side wall, to reach the upper terrace, jump to our terrace, and to break the glass window to enter the house and then open from inside. 😛 Sorry, I wasn’t matured enough to foresee the consequences. The boy had injured his palm real bad. Sorry again.
Mom would massage mustard oil all over and make me sit in the sun before wash in winters. I have a tan- hence. I hated that part. I wish I could go back in time and tell mom that just because she wasn’t fair; it didn’t mean that I couldn’t be fairer.
Mom had told dad that he shouldn’t be moving around in underwear anymore. I was “growing up”. Obviously, dad had thrown a huge tantrum; may I ask why? Uncle wore Lungi and dad often Kurta pajama. Hopeless, is that why I like men in Kurta Pajama- I hope not!!
Maggi was bought the 1st time- don’t know what flavor. I didn’t like it then. Dad had eaten the entire preparation, I ad sat with him on the floor. We sat on floor for food on “Aasanas”. Hand crafted embroidered mat, often cross- stitched. The Jute or the casement was often with a lining at one side I had once helped in beating the besan mix for ghiya- kofta. Dad was fond of cooking. Mom had been away- maybe to one of her wool buying missions. She knit too. I still own a few of her knitted sweaters. Maybe she had known of the future and so, had knitted so many of them and stacked. I do wear them- with nostalgia. All the sweaters that I have ever worn barring 3- 4 of those, were all mom- knitted; I mean hand- knitted. I muse at the fact that even after becoming medically unfit for practically everything, how dedicatedly she had knitted so many of those for everyone. For my cousin, neighbors.. one was given to P.Usha for her submission in SUPW too.
She would sit on the folding cot, on the terrace- under the sun in winters, and spend the whole afternoon quietly playing with the knitting pins. I would compare the picture of “mahila”- woman in my book and tell her she didn’t look like one because she didn’t wrap that garland string. She would laugh upon that. My hair would mishebave whenever shampooed; I would get so messed up while going out. Short hair and all sat on my face. It looked sweet; but hey, I was little too picky.
I had scratched with crayons on the Wall- this is not a Facebook jargon; this is what I had done on the Living Room wall. I was learning to read and write and was extremely enthusiastic about colors. I would often draw images of Goddesses’; Saraswati being my pet. It didn’t take more than a few minutes before I could draw a Goddess with four hands, sitting on white lotus or swan at times, with every detail etched about her Veena and ornaments. I had soon won an award. Gold medals in Painting Competition organized by Nehru Baal Samiti, under the age of 5 years. While traveling back, I had kept asking for the medals, wearing them and then giving back lest I lost them. I had been so elated that upon reaching home, I had blissfully dozed off and skipped food.
This was a huge achievement; given the fact that Talent Exhibitions (Reality Shows) were not yet a part of Indian television. I was happy- that’s the only emotion you know of when you are awarded a Certificate that is recognized at a National Level. Proud, sense of attainment or to boast about; such displays and phrases didn’t exist then. I was encouraged for extra- curricular activities by dad more. Mom only had wanted me to “study”.
Fair n Lovely sales- girl had rang the bell and wanted me to test that sample. Of course, she may have wanted my mom to; I had pointed out that that was not good for skin and had “shooed” her away. LOL.
Once, and once, I had broken my toothbrush. It had developed a crack and dad had been delaying to buy a new one. I didn’t go out to play with anyone. I went to Vivek Vihar branch now. How unknowingly a child’s childhood is robbed out before him knowing of the fact. With me, it was a constant chaos; 3 school branches and two houses in less than 1-1/2 years. It was only a trailor of my never letting me to settle Destiny; one that was to hit me- soon. Or maybe, had already hit me?
Growing up, I never missed any sibling at home. I was contented. The only thing that pinched me often was my parents’ ugly fights. Masi had once asked me- who I loved the most. I had replied that none. Playing Diplomatically.
I don’t think that I was behaving my age at all. I was being far too matured. That wasn’t a conscious effort or wanting. I was becoming..
Next- Shaping of my Mind- II
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