“Shoo! Aishu be quiet. Don’t make noise around here. Can’t you see they are discussing something serious with your Mom.”
Following this statement, I was forbidden from the living room.
Being a kid obviously I had curiosity regarding what the matter was.
The thing that had this secret affair with our living room.
Mama always seemed to be angry with me on one thing or the other. But at times she would shower affection on me by hugging me so intensely and thereby making it hard for me to breathe.
The only relief for me, the one person who filled me with affection always was my Daadu. Daadu would lift me up and swing me around when I get burnt by Mama’s flames of anger.
Mama was never like this before. It was only after Sachii was gone that things changed. Sachii, my papa.
Sachii, that was how I used to call him. He was the exact opposite of Mama. Quite chilled out and easy going, we made the best father daughter duo. But whenever Mama and Sachii came together all I could hear were shrieks and shouts. And once he came to me, he would become my old Sachii again. Once when the fight reached a bad stage, Sachii left home. He still comes to visit me but he no more comes back home. I used to miss him a lot in the beginning but gradually it too got buried with a thousand such other feelings.
Mama grew more and more silent as days went by. She now barely held me, kissed or even smiled at me . Daadu too was growing dull and silent and I missed Sachii. But why had Sachii left home? I pondered over it in my mind but couldn’t bring myself up to give voice to those thoughts to anyone.
Even to Sachii.
As the days passed the house became a sullen place where three strangers assembled together only at the time of food. I never voiced my queries which grew along with me. Even after completing my schooling , college and being the head of our company, taking mama’s place but no longer turning living rooms into office rooms like she did, I continued to have those queries that the younger me lived with.
Mama and I , never did we have a one to one conversation. It was always business that ruled our talks . And as to Sachii he had long stopped visiting me. Nor did I try to meet him.
One day I received a call. It was Sachii. I found it hard to recognise him in the beginning but soon felt the warmth pouring in and knew that it was him.
I asked him were he was all these years and why he hadn’t come to visit me..but his voice was trembling and amidst sobs all he repeated was that he was a coward and will not ever dare to face Mama or me. He hung up saying a sorry which got drowned in his sobs.
That day back home I was determined to ask about Sachii and why he left us to Mama. After some minutes of thought I went into her room.On finding her sleeping , I turned to leave with the idea of postponing my queries. But it is when she woke up and enquired as to why I had come to her.
“Why did Sachii leave us, Mama?”
Something of a mixture of grief and disgust filled her face as it slowly reddened . She shouted asking to not dare to repeat his name in front of her once more as he was nothing but a coward. She continued to shout and curse and held me responsible for this life of her’s. Enraged and frustrated I too spoke out, blaming her for making me live the life of an orphan.
That silenced her. And her silence made my heart grow heavier.
After a small hiatus, she started speaking.
“Sachii, though he is your father, is not my husband . You are the result of our extramarital affair. I was married to Sachii’s brother Prabhu. But once I got pregnant with you Prabhu knew that you weren’t his progeny. It led to constant fights between us which ended in his suicide.”
“Mama but why?
Why did you develop such an affair with his brother ?”
Fighting with her sobs, she replied,
“Sachii was always her lover and the marriage with Prabhu was done under the pressure Daadu had put on her. Thus against her will . Even after marriage she was unable to keep herself away from Sachii.
After Prabhu’s death it was decided that Sachii would live with us. He was interested in inheriting the position and company of Prabhu but not his wife. He feared the impact it would have on his name and clear-chit character. That conflict continued for a while . And one day Sachii left the home and never came back.”
Daadu who cursed himself for this spoiled life of his daughter lived as a silent witness till his last breath. Mama never called Sachii back and never did he come back.
But in this tug of wars, I was the one who actually lost, my childhood, my parents and all the love that I deserved.
I shouted , finding it unable to control my tears and banged the door behind.
I can no more sleep when I realise I’m getting victimised and silenced same time even without me knowing. All had a say i my life except me. I’m not even left with a colorful memory of my childhood with my parents in it atleast to brag upon ; its all filled with “Aishu shoo! “
Even while strangled by such thoughts I do realise one thing.
However entangled one might be in the relations of blood, some stay orphaned.