Sorry that I kept all my readers waiting for so long. I dont say that the break has done a world of good for me, but the hunger to write and cook stories has increased manifold. I bring to you another short story from my stable, "The Gift of Life". Hope you all forgive me for the long sabbatical and enjoy this story. Cheers!
“Meera, you are getting late for the flag hoisting ceremony at your school dear. It’s already 8:20 molu. The white uniform that you are wearing is just fine. No need to keep on looking at that small spot on the collar again and again. It won’t vanish by itself daa! Its hardly noticeable molu. Be quick! Ohhhhh…you still haven’t had your breakfast!! Come here this instant.”
I could hear my mom shouting from the dining room. How on earth did Amma know that I was glancing at the spot standing in front of the mirror here? “Mothers are mothers. The supreme beings. They know it all. Their sixth sense antennas are always turned on”, said a feeble voice within me.
Being Meera Krishnan was tough at times. After all why don’t these grown up’s understand that a 10 year old girl has better things to do than have breakfast. I consider breakfast a sheer waste of time. I could have slept a little more or had a longer look at the calendar to anticipate and plan my approaching birthday the next day, January the 27th. I wanted to simply stand there dreaming of the gift dad promised me this time around.
Another routine call by mom had me rushing towards the dining table. I glanced at the clock and wondered how mom managed to give me a call in exact 5 minute intervals from the moment I got up from bed to this instant. I threw my bag on the sofa and took my seat on the dining table. The seat at the centre of this dining table belongs to me, Miss Meera Krishnan. Though I dislike spending time munching stuffs made lovingly by mom, which I consider a sheer waste of time, but I do enjoy being made the centre of attention. Dad enquiring about my day and mom asking me if I would like another helping, my seat at the centre enabled me to have a clear view of both and bask in the attention being showered.
I made a dash towards the casserole and peeped into it. I closed it the very instant and threw an angry glance at mom. “Idli’s again??? Yuck….Amma, this is not fair! You keep doing this all the time. You promised to make me sandwiches for breakfast last night. I don’t want to take this to school. Kids have labelled me a South Indian ponytail because my tiffin always is stuffed with either idli’s or dosa’s. Stephen Gonzales of our section keeps bringing fancy items in his tiffin everyday. It’s a new thing everyday. Or take Asbah Alaena of Section B. She brings along sandwiches with a different filling every day. She has made so many friends in my section just because she is so cool. Mona Aiyar, Ani, Rajesh, Ttushar…ohhh…the list of the cool people in my section is endless mom. It’s only me with these idli’s and dosa’s. Yaa, there is this Sandeep Balan who brings the same stuff. But that’s precisely the reason no one hangs out with him. Students make fun of him and call him “Dosa boy”. At least I have some friends with whom I hang around. I don’t want to be like that boy and labelled as a “South Indian” mom. It’s not that cool when I have to give explanations that it’s not Parachute coconut oil that we use for cooking. I am tired of telling them that this is the costliest and purest oil around and not the cheap ones which are used for hair. It was just the other day that Mona Aiyar was making fun of me. She said that your mom applies the oil that remains after cooking in your hair. How embarrassing is that? I want to take sandwiches along to show them that we don’t cook in coconut oil mom. Why don’t you understand?” I looked up at mom and she didn’t even show a sign of registering my complaint. If I meet God one day, the first thing I would like to ask him is that why are 10 year olds treated so miserably by heir mothers. I swallowed two idli’s making faces and slipped the tiffin into my bag. I had school for only 3 hours today. Today being the republic day, we had a flag hoisting ceremony in school followed by some sports. I was looking forward to the 100 m dash in my age category where I was among the favourites. As soon as mom ordered me to stop and head towards the school bus which seemed to have arrived below, I jumped out of my chair. I could feel a feeling of triumph within me. I think this is how prisoners feel when they are set free after being behind the bars for years. It is so liberating. I made a dash towards the lift on our floor.
To be continued...