One after the other, the festivals had come up.. and gone too. On both the Divali fest, he had been missing. Sitting and boozing with his dad; at his home. I was left alone- all to myself.
I had called up Ruby. Asking for help. Monetarily.
She had asked me where I was. An embarrassed me had tried to explain how she could reach me- without an address. I had borrowed a suit from my class-mate in my college the day Ruby was supposed to come. She did and alongwith her boy-friend. The same guy who had accompanied her earlier also. The same guy, who I used to call- up to chat with. The same guy who she is married to now.
I often called him up to talk and with Ruby too. We (I, Ruby and Sanjay) were at one point of time kid buddies. Of course Ruby was closer than I was- they were neighbors. I was more than surprised to see Sanjay alongwith her, coming at my place and sitting on the bed and making himself so comfortable. OMG, I owe him too.
Ruby was my friend- understandable. Here, I had Sanjay too- barely acting surprised seeing my setup. He had known of the arrangement. Alright, my room was big, compared to the others. It was practically in a mess. My Painting stuff, the stove and other such articles lay all across the room. She had asked me a few questions and had left.
I had no money left to pay the last installment of my college fee. The money I had earned giving Painting tuitions in my Apartments before uncle was married was spent too. I gave tuitions to the landlord’s grand children too. Another one of their tenant’s son too had started coming over. He studied in Sylwan Public School.
Often I had pointed out Grammar mistakes in his “class work” copy. Which means, his teacher taught him wrong English. I am certainly not boasting about my grammar skills; however, I had taken that up with his school principal. I was offered a job soon after the completion of my TD.
Blotch had been a big burden financially. Yeah, I was not only studying, but also was bringing him up. I had gone to masi’s place to request for that amount. I had needed 4500/- for my Longlands affiliation certificate. I had already requested my college to exempt that amount for me- they had wanted a favor in return.
Masi had become tensed. She had sent me to elder masi’s place. One whose both the sons were employed and practically my Manu masi and mother’s age..!! The older couple had listened to all quietly and expressed their helplessness. This is what they had said- “Meena, all though our lives we haven’t really spent any time with each other. We now wish to travel to some outstation destination. We are sure you would let the oldies spent some time with each other with that money..”
I had gone back to masi’s place straight. I had wanted to leave when masi said that she would help me but with a condition. She had loaned some money to my mom once. (Mom had told me about that. Masi had refused to take that amount back and mom had deposited that directly in her bank account then..) She had said that all she would want is me to acknowledge her gesture and not be rude like my mom had been.
I wouldn’t know what brewed in her mind that she had felt my mom had been rude to her; but definitely, I appreciate her favor. She had not let me down- for once. Thank you.
A couple of days later, my mesho and a friend of his (I had known him through Masi) had come to my college and deposited the requisite amount. Bless him too. Masi had then slogged and returned that amount. Thanks for asking- I have returned that amount to Runa, only a year back. Masi had refused to accept it. (details: another post)
This Blotch guy was more like the orthodox prude; underplaying the womanizer act. I understand that now. He had only wanted a Doll. One, to play around with. Not that he cared for me anyway. He had only wanted a girl to show- off to the world. To his other loafer friends.. There isn’t anything bad in someone wanting to display me. As long as he showcases his “pretty one” with care. With Love..!! As long as there is one relationship that holds the two of them.
Till the time- one’s educated, mannerly and earning.. and WELL.
I was only a Doll. To be shown- off and to play around with- in the bed. Often he would come drunk and demand to “sleep” with me. The whole night would go by listening to his undecipherable- blabbering and trying to …
He looked like a dead man in his sleep. He behaved like one too.
I had suffered of food poisoning. The entire night I had kept getting up to throw up. I was so helpless that I even shat in my skirt. I couldn’t as much as pick the bucket to fill up the water from the hand-pump and reach till the loo. Damn him- he had not even as much as moved.
He was a boozer- a compulsive one. And a smoker too. He may be doping as well. I didn’t see anything of the sort. A couple of times he had smuggled the locally available liquor too. I had stopped giving over my bag. I had discovered a leftover “pouch” in my bag. Wearing my clothes, jackets, stoles, shoes; he loitered around the shoddy places.
That reminds me- I still have that bag with me. That’s my veggie shopping bag now.
Once so happened that my Babaji’s younger son, Asha didi’s husband had brought an unconscious Blotch home. He was drunk, way to over- board. He had indulged into some fight with some local punks, was being beaten up when one of them had suggested to take him to the Mukhiya’s house. Asha didi’s husband was called over. Recognizing his tenant, he had braved all of them and had dragged him back. His T- shirt was torn, make that mine. Jacket was gone and so was the stole and so were the shoes. I had then carried a still abusing Blotch to the bed and dropped.
Next morning, the facade was broken.
My land- lord had acted as if nothing had happened. Only I could not lift my face up in embarrassment. Ammaji had broken that awkward silence. She had been somewhat sympathetic to me. I had bared it all. About Me. Babaji was beyond any word. He had called the Blotch and had asked him to either behave or leave.
That wasn’t really enough. A few days later, I was beaten up very badly. Thankfully, he wasn’t too big for me to handle. I had escaped out. He was drunk and I had demanded to know the reason. The earlier instance had happened only a few days back. It was becoming too much for me to handle.
Babaji had demanded him to leave. He had sternly ordered him alone to vacate within 24 hours.. Bless him.
My course had ended in April- 97. I had topped again with distinction points. My college teachers had helped me learn the most of 3rd year course after my college hours. I would stay back and the teachers would humbly run me through the 3rd year curriculum.
After completing my course, I had as if become a little relaxed. I used to go to college in the day time. Sit and complete the college assignments staying back in my class. Comeback in the late afternoon and give tuitions in the evening.. and complete the printing job- work that my neighbors and their relatives had started to give me- in exchange of money of course.
Meals- a pack of Uncle chipps and FP (fountain Pepsi)
The forms that I had filled up in IGNOU for English Hons., went for a waste. I had not known where the Maidan Garhi was. Neither had Blotch helped me. So much so for my secured and guided upbringing. The course material had kept piling at Samanta’s place for the lack of change of address. I had not gone to collect them either.
I had started to go out to work soon.
Nopes, my agonies didn’t end.. Men, their mannerisms and manipulations- how I have played to the Gallery and come out remaining unscratched will all come here soon.
As far as the Blotch is concerned, he would still be around- for some more time. Till I kick him in his arse. I had only wanted him to be a support. He had failed to become one. Yet, him being around; I was saved of the prying and preying eyes- both. Instead of becoming a public humor; I had been one only across to myself.