Of my school, residence, locality, friends.. wait, were there any?
When in 6th, our school was to perform in National School for Scouts and Guides on 12th August- only a day after my birthday. In 7th standard; that happened to clash exactly with my birthday. Of course, I was more than excited- no studies, performing on stage and enjoy my birthday.
Upon reaching my class, after my morning prayers, I had whispered that to him in a hushed tone. Himanshu had become upset!! That was My birthday, and I wasn’t going to spend my day with him.. I had found a nice gift sat in my school bag. a pretty pen set wrapped in pink wrapping paper. I had thanked him for the surprise and the gift- both. He had blushed.. how cute..
The day there was spent fooling around with my seniors. Smart guys roamed around in that NSGS compound. I had teased everyone asking their preference. As if to retaliate, all the other performers had joined head and had collectively asked my “choice”. I had looked around and pointed out on one. Later, it turned out that he was the school head-boy 😛 He was called upon to hoist the flag; after which he had winked at me.. Had he been aware of what was happening- OMG..
Nice things come to an end faster than we realize.
After that ugly incident with Tara Robertson, and Himanshu’s silence, I had decided to “move- on”.
School had closed. We had shifted to Chetna Apartments- IP Extension. Samanta resided in the same house, till a year back that I know of..
Upon school re- opening, I had started going to my new school- LIS. Dixita stayed in the next apartment and travelled with me in the same bus. She was in D section and I in B. Vandana/Pooja duo (who studied in my previous school) too stayed in Dixita’s society. Passing on letters had begun- to Parul. I would give them to Dixita, she would then to Pooja and then, Pooja would pass them to Parul. Himanshu had only to be contented hearing that some chain linking was happening.
I was fast asleep one Wednesday afternoon; when the doorbell had woke me and mom abruptly. Mom had answered that. Not really wanting me to know what that was; she had made me go back to sleep. It was my 3rd day of going to my new school.
Himanshu had sent a letter to me. Mom had certainly not appreciated the contents.. She had gotten scared that perhaps Himanshu would “kidnap” me and … ALAS..!! If only he had the b*lls to. Mom had blown that out of proportion and had never let me see the letter in original.
Recalling what he had made of my last letter- 2 years back; I had never written anything to him. Instead, I had told Parul to tell him that he was not to “post” any more of those love- letters. Wait, I had shifted from Dilshad Garden; how on earth had he managed to get my new address? Parul? Yeah, maybe.
Lets go back a little. I was not the “we’ll get married- asap” type of girl. I had known that Himanshu had a huge crush on me. He had started talking to me about getting married after growing up too.. Only that I had never appreciated. Even though that I like that kid. Reason..??
I was of the idea that once married, I would not be able to pursue my career/interest. So, if at all to be married; that would be only after a certain age or period. In most probabilities, only after I had “achieved what I had wanted to”. Quite uncannily, I had harbored the thoughts that not many men/all men would agree with my way of pursuing goal.
Yeah, I had aspired pretty big. I wanted to do research in Microbiology or Genetics. None could happen. I had earned myself a seat in AIIMS- PMT. Uncle had gone to check the entrance result and had lied about my having flunked both in Medical entrance and also in 12th..!! THANKS Samanta. You had only managed to ruin my everything.. from Career, to Social Status to Self Respect, to ….
Anyways, getting married and “settling down” (as if otherwise I was being boiling milk ready to spill and spoil over, and getting married would have turned me into a set curd), was nowhere in my priority list. He would quite foolishly keep threatening me to commit suicide and harm himself. Of course that was kiddish and I knew that; yet, I didn’t wish to take that piece of crap.
I had written a detailed one to him one day. In Hindi- the words were- Listen Himanshu, eloping and getting married would never be on my list. I have other things I wish to pursue. If killing oneself over the other would resolve things; then I too could do that. Don’t forget that you have a sibling who would have to take the direct repercussion; so that would be nice if you don’t talk about “marriage” and “suicide” anymore.
As my fate would have it, the day I had asked the letter back, he had announced my name in the class. It was a free period; and they all wanted me to sing something..
I had cried for him for hours.. Was that an infatuation or another hopeless crush? Maybe not, he had managed to get across to me. He ate supari a lot- to get some deadly disease to end his life since I had not “agreed” to marry him. The idea was more sick and un- appealing instead of being kiddish.
In Chetna Apartments- IP Extension, Anu and Pooja were my friends. Mom was becoming incorrigible. She would make them sit and narrate that how she still washed my undies and I was being careless!! They had stopped visiting my place. I fail to understand- what was wrong with her?? I was only 14, and not that conscious- so what? Atleast I never messed up my outfits during my cycle. Oh, nevermind.
After a couple of years later; after my 10th, I had managed to drop in Himanshu’s home- with Anu. I had worn my red galice dress. I had remembered his address well- 123A EAN, St- 4 KN.. Hell with my remembrance. Shashi auntie had been nice; him- scared!! He had kept sitting mute and had gestured me also to be quite. Anu had liked him so much that she would have probably fixed us up for the wedding there and then. I had again not liked his not even offering to see us till the bus- stop..
Was that hinting to something?? YES..
After reaching home; a foreign feeling had gripped me. I had so desperately wanted to read the letter that Himanshu had sent me 2 years back. Seeing his silence and his being so dumb; I was convinced that he could not have written that would antagonize anyone- was mom building it up and why? I have this peeve of finding out or pulling out the old forgotten articles without much effort; and I had located his letter too.
The contents- where have you gone missing? I had so wanted to talk to you. I have spoken with my chachaji (uncle); he has kind of agreed to support us. I had kept waiting at the playground for your bus to arrive everyday and don’t know why you didn’t come. All I want is you to be back in my class. Please comeback.. waiting for you. Himanshu.
Dear Readers, do you feel that this guy intended or was “conspiring” to kidnap me? A couple of things that I could never forgive my mom about- one happens to be this. Mom had discovered that I had fished out the inland letter from some place. Even before she could say anything; uncle had picked up a wooden stick and beaten me up till that too was broken.
My mom had cried- I had not. Even if I had done something wrong; wasn’t it between a daughter and her mother? And even then- is that how one was supposed to punish a grown up girl. I had stopped communicating with mom too.
She kept so busy with uncle all her time anyways. I had lost faith in everyone in my so called- whatever was left of- my family. Yet one day, a family friend of my neighbor had dropped in to complain that I had asked her daughter about her boyfriends.. In reality, Pooja had, I was only around and wasn’t even aware of any such conversation- but who would believe me.. Oh yeah, my uncle in urge to prove about his manliness had beaten me up black and blue.
My school friends had wanted to know what was happening at my place. I had kept mum. I had only focussed to get out of that mess as soon as was possible. While reading; it may be appearing simple. However; getting beaten up (and not slapped once alone) in your teens is not pleasant. And when it’s not an ounce of your daughter’s fault; you being the mom, should have retaliated- she didn’t. Maybe she was under the constant pressure that her voicing against his act (s) would have curbed the financial aid..
Actually, it was more than that. Where would we have gone then? Who would have let us stay with them; funding for my studies and our food? Mom had lived under constant scare:
- What if dad had claimed me; since mom was in- capacitated??
- What if we were turned out by Samanta too?
Whatever my mom may have done to aid my sustenance; she was more of a nuisance to Samanta.. I mean, would you want to let two women, who were only your cousins; to stay with you for years and fund them? So what, if mom had quit her typing classes for uncle’s tuition? So what if she had let Uncle stay with her when he had come to Delhi bare- handed for a job? Would it mean anything if I say that I was born after 6 years of my parents’ marriage? All 3 of them had lived in one room together.
Dad had only come to Delhi a few months back then and was himself struggling it out. He could have turned him out- rightly so; like my masi had. Even when both of them were employed and stayed in their own house.. My mom, as she had told me- had let uncle stay, so she could save herself from getting beaten up by dad. What a mess was she planning? Couldn’t she walk out on him? 6 years is a pretty long time; I guess, more than dad and uncle, mom is responsible for everything. Things that had happened to her and is still happening to me. She was educated, both her elder sisters were in Delhi; well settled- and yet..
Not playing a blame game really- these things were discussed with mom too; would come at a later post in detail. She had idiotically handed over her reins to- 1st dad and then to uncle. She had agreed upon her lack of insight and foresight- till it was completely out of her hands and beyond any reapir- BY ANYONE. I am still trying..
She had agreed upon the fact that she had not been so witty- not at all. Of all, she was the typical brain-dead woman.
I am sorry; I do agree with that.