I still spent my weekends at masi’s place often. Once it so happened that during my stay, Runa had come over with Pradeep (her husband). She had as if completely ignored my greeting her. She had reacted as if I was one menial trying to seek her attention uselessly.
The following morning, she had taken me to task.
After masi had left for her work, I had tried to catch up with my cousin sis. I had kept somewhat disturbed because of her ignoring me. We had sat on their Dining Table Chairs just outside the Kitchen. It was a small gallery like area just before the hand- pump in the adjoining veranda leading to the back door. That was for the upstairs tenants.
Runa had not replied to any of the pleasantries that I had tried to initiate to break that awkward silence. She had demanded to know that since how long I had been staying there. Like an idiot that I was, I gave her all the details of how I spent my off days with my masi- her mother.
With utmost rudeness and hatred; she had then enlightened upon the fact that how she had hurriedly gotten married to give her parents some peace and space with each other. My stay over at Runa’s maiden home was nothing but an intrusion in her parents’ privacy.
I had gotten up quietly and packed up my stuff without any word after that. The 1st floor Kakima who was their tenant, had come down to inquire about what had happened. She had overheard talking Runa with me in a very low pitch but not volume.
Only one more time I had gone to her place thereafter. Blotch had sent me over to patch up. Reason- there wasn’t anything to spend on food. Despite my resistance, I had still gone. Good that I had. Mesho had answered the back door and said that masi wasn’t home.
I had vowed to never go to my masi’s place ever again. So my dying mom was right after all. Even within her last few breathing seconds, she had made me wiser with some of the greatest learnings of her Life. Soon to become the truth of my Life too.
- Not expect any help from masi and dad.
- To never look back at what is past.
- To never ever be dependent on anyone- even if it was a blood relationship.
To this day, that learning has stayed with me. Loyal to me. After 15 years, I may have been able to type the essence in as many words. Back then, it was far confusing. Clashing with how it was supposed to be otherwise. Completely alien and unheard of. As children, how many of us have faced such naked and raw truths?
Were we expected to even?
Even though the learning had stayed with me ever since, I was barely able to stitch them together in words, for others to hear and understand. They were too bare and brutal, to be even talked about; much less openly.
Ruby had felt that pang in me and had wanted me to change. She now understands that that remains as my nondetachable twin. If at all; in the past few years, it has grown in me and is still growing on me.
Perhaps the “faults” lay in me- maybe.
As a defense Technic, I had killed my vivacious self within, in no time. The more I kept quite and forgettable; less curiosity I rose amongst people. Them around me had taken to my “Minding my own business” look kindly. At work I was considered as a serious employee. Till it had turned towards being snob, high up attitude, Blah..!!.
I had not known that I was becoming a strategist in my own “world”. I had learnt the rules a little too early and without much damage. Or may I say that I had managed to stay un- affected? I was mastering the art of becoming a silent observer and making notes. So I could use them to my advantage at a later time- if need be.
Sadly, anywhere I have tried to play with mind/heart/or whatever instead of with strategies; I have failed- miserably. So this is my 4th and 5th lesson –
To stay focussed and play to the Gallery..
Or else- quit.. So far, I haven’t. My each day is as it comes to me. Uncalculated, non- cognitive and highly adventurous. My one single hot- headed move can put my existence and survival well below the starting point. Lets not get there now- that would come up in the posts to come anyways.
I had stopped visiting masi for all times to come. Atleast that’s what I had decided then. Reserving one time to go back and pay her help back. Why? Because if my mom being her real sis had returned her help, I was to only abide by that. Masi had helped mom once- that was maybe when my dad was struggling to look for a job. An instance shared by mom and then later confirmed by masi.. Mom had deposited that money in masi’s a/c since she had refused to take that back.
- I ought to keep my mom’s pride unaffected.
- Not because she was my mom; but because she was dead and couldn’t be around to make any possible amends.
- I was to only imitate mom.
- I was one more relationship distant (they were sisters, I was sister’s daughter)
Lets not forget that if only I had stayed with my masi, I would have been able to save my mom’s jewellery. An abortion. My stay with a loser- Blotch and loads of other mis- happenings. The money could have then be utilized to complete my 3rd year too. Nevermind.
As I always say, God watches over me. My course still awarded me an enviable certificate of successfully completing my 2 years.
I don’t know of how I know this- her son was born the same year when I worked with Hotel Siddharth, on 7th August. That way, she would never ever be able to forget me. My DOB is 11th August. Years later, in 2001, Maya had bumped into me. I had gone to Lakshmi Nagar to collect my suit given over for stitching. She had expressed concern- really and had wanted me to go over to my masi’s place. Although I had asked her not to speak a word about me- because I didn’t want to be talked; she had done what suited her mind. Vomited my meeting her on the road.
Once I had spotted my masi crossing the road from the bus stop; I had stepped back to escape her eyes. Ditto one another time with Anup Patra too. They were all around to load me with their sermons. No one had wanted to bear my load of responsibility.
This is exactly where I feel that I have lived my Life. That there’s no more to experience.
I am not in a position to experiment- anyways.
OMG!!! Your cousin is so rude.
Yes.. that she is.. I had yet another encounter with her after then.. only a year back.. I have bid her farewell forever now..