The kitchen is not a pleasant sight, if you have your dishes undone and you are in a hurry to cook something for your dinner. Crumbled onions’ outer coverings and drops of water that lie all over my dining area makes my migraine worse. This isn’t the way my day is supposed to start. The drumming sound of the compressor in my refrigerator sent a mild shiver in amidst of the cold weather. With my milk going sour, the black tea was the only choice to soothe my parched throat. My palms were cupping the mug to enjoy the little warmth of my tea. I know I can be rude and mean sometimes, before moving further, let me introduce myself. I m Amuda… Amuda Rajasekar.
That’s how they call me, but I m here to talk about Amuda and not Amuda Rajasekar. A girl born in a quiet little town in Tamil Nadu, where it showered every month and housed no crimes. I came to Melbourne to pursue my lost dreams of my childhood; the fantasies that I craved for when I rotted in voids in the name of rooms. The girl, Amuda transformed or went through metamorphosis to become a woman, ironically ending up in a cocoon called as marriage. A failed marriage but the butterfly is out in a new tinsel habitat with a new companion, Parvati.
I was married to Rajasekar rather than saying, “I married Rajasekar”. Everything starts pretty good with beaming smiles all over, but once days and my age started to wane, life took a drastic turn. My marriage souring up like my milk and me shedding my surname ‘Rajasekar’ like an old skin. I neither believed in God nor in fate until Parvati came into my life. Parvati, my 17 year old daughter seems to be the lone solace after my years of struggle. Right now, I need to make my dinner, before that I need to alleviate my migraine. Before moving to Parvati, let me dump some potatoes in the pan to make some curry.
The noise in the name of music that escapes from Parvati’s room seems to reverberate my old home. Parvati is a spoiled brat but still she can be a mother to keep a tab on me. She knows a lot more than me, like online stuffs, using apps to go places and all tech savvy stuffs. Having spent your childhood in a posh environment and western culture, it’s no wonder; Parvati could know so much, which I had barely dreamed of. She is a guitarist, sorry electric guitarist, that’s how she wants me to say. I wonder if they have categories in being a guitarist.
She wants to be a rock star, that’s her dream. The guys who haven’t been to saloons and but lives happily in marijuana. Now she wants to go her friend’s birthday party. I don’t have any issues of her attending a party, but as a mother I can’t allow my daughter to go to a bar with five guys. So she is furious and not talking to me since this issue has turned up in our routine. Now she tries to piss me off by her amplifiers. What I see behind the door is my pattukutti, Parvati and her dumb argument waiting for an upheaval. Okay let’s take one at a time, I m going to knock her door.
Parvati stepped out of her room after me yelling her name… I know it was a stupid thing to do when the speakers go in full blast, that’s how mothers can be sometimes.
Wassup ma ??
Turn down the volume Parvati? You ll lose ur ears if u r hearing like this…
Phew! (with a sigh) what’s your problem ma? Do I need to ask permission even to hear music??
No Pattukuti !!! I don’t want my child to go deaf. What shall I make for your dinner?
I m done with my dinner, you fix something for u.. (Parvati was shaking her head as if my answer offended her)
What did u eat? The maida stuffs?? Pizza’s are no good for you. You look skinny, Parvati!!!
Amma !!! Please stop ur godammn suggestions and advice for every fucking thing!!!
Parvati!!! Watch your language!!! Where do you learn such things?
From you!!! When u and dad were fighting...
(Damn!! I cursed myself and her answer felt like a blow across my face, leaving me to shut my mouth)
Are you done with ur questions ma? Shall I go now?
Parvati !! I m your mom, don’t see me as a folly!!!
Oh great!! Thanks for reminding me that! But you don’t sound like one…
Stop ur stupid mockery, Parvati! Don’t you understand why I don’t want you to go the party???
As a matter of fact, No!!! Don’t you see how parents treat their children here??? All my school mates go out with guys, I m the one who does nothing, but bull shit!!!
You don’t get my point… we’re Indians and we have our own tradition. Moreover, I m a mother who wants her kid in a safe haven than in a pub.
Amma! We’re in bloody Australia, not in ur shitty village!!! You want all swanky stuffs and education from them, but not their culture.. Bullshit ma!!!
Stop it Parvati!! I don’t think their education has done much to you, other than using your smart phone and a rich vocabulary of shit words. Try to imbibe the good things from them…
I don’t find anything wrong in going to a concert, ma!!! Those guys are really cool ma!! You don’t know how much the thing means to me!!! Do you???
Pattukutti!!! You are in your adolescence, everything looks good and attractive, but they aren’t? Let me cook something for my sweet heart.
Stop treating me like a kid!!! I’m 17 godammitt!!! I know what’s a fucking condom, also to clear your doubts; I don’t have any plans of getting laid in the party.
I know my involuntary muscles got the better of me, that’s what you expect when your child speaks such gibberish that rips your heart. This time the blow was across Parvati’s cheek. I slapped her. She didn’t say a word; perhaps she was surprised of my act. I could see tears brimming her eyes; anger and embarrassment basking her face. I felt like crying and hugging her, but her harsh words and anger was keeping me in bay. With few minutes of silence hanging in thin air, which seemed like hours, Parvati went into her room and banged the door. I learnt two things, never ever beat your child, no matter what they do, the next one is, don’t try an argument with potatoes in the stove.
Heralds of spring
My presentation for tomorrow’s lecture came to a halt, when the phone came alive with it’s stupid ring tone. Every time it rings, it leaves a sickening feel in my stomach. After her tantrums, Parvati finally went to the party this evening. I don’t want to see tears in her eyes, perhaps she’s the only soul left for me and now this phone doesn’t sound good. When I lifted the receiver, I heard a thick Australian accent,
Is this Parvati’s residence??? If so, can I speak to Amuda Rajasekarrrrr ???
I know something was wrong, with fear sucking in my breath, I choked for my words, “yup, this is Amuda speaking!!!”
We’re calling from Monash Medical Centre, we have a situation here. It seems your daughter and couples of her friends were assaulted by couple of hooligans in the local pub. She is hurt but nothing to worry, just superficial ones.
The floor below me was moving, I was about to lose my control, but the voice at the other end shoved my mind. “Just say she is alive, please say, my Parvati is alive!!!”
Amuda?? Are you here with me??? Your daughter is alive; we’re located in Clayton locality. If you could….
The next moment I was in my car, with my ignition keys twisting the lock. Tires were screaming due to friction and my engines whined, every time I stepped on my pedal. After agonizing minutes of my travel, I pulled my car just in front of the hospital, without minding the security yelling at me, for parking there. With anxious moments binding me, I stepped in to a room with bold letters embedded on it – Trauma centre-Level 3
Parvati looked small in the bed which was lying in a scary white room. She was breathing slowly with a sling that hooked her elbow and neck. The nurse beside was busy checking the IV and managed a weak smile, saying that everything is going to be alright.
The patient is on a pain killer, she needs some rest, could please wait outside madam?
When I was about to turn back, a voice echoed the room, “amma!!!” I saw Parvati was trying to hold my fingers with her lips trembling.
“Am I still ur Pattukutti, ma? “
After a long time, my self control got shattered leaving me in a déjà vu. The night when I saw a bunch of divorce papers waiting for my signature. The night in which I lost my strength; the night which ended my marriage; but tonight I m vulnerable to the love of my child. Probably this night will end in a new day. With tears running down my cheeks, I gripped her arms and said,
“No matter what you do, you‘ll always be my Pattukutti!!!”
Author' Note: I m deeply grateful for all, who have been buzzing me with honest critics and a pat when I come up with a decent one. If not I wouldn't be kissing my 30 th blog now. If you really like this story, try to share in the social networking sites, which you earn me a lame publicity. :P