Joined: 29 March 2012
Joined: 21 March 2006
Joined: 21 March 2006
Joined: 15 April 2013
Joined: 21 March 2006
Joined: 21 March 2006
I overheard my father talking to them in the sitting room. He was talking about me. Poongodi onum vivaram theriyathe ponnu ille. Ethu sari ethu thappunu yosike therinja ponnu". I sensed the confidence and pride in his quietly-spoken words. I teared up. Usually if anyone said that about me, I would reply cheekily "Athil santhegam enna?" But no more. I don't think I am quite the confident and worldly girl my father and the rest of the world think I am. Indeed the doubt about me is huge, as huge as the pink elephant in the room which no one else sees but me.
I have had a strange childhood. You would have thought that two people like my parents, who were so in love with each other that they would defy their families to elope, would lead a happy life. That was not the case. For as long as I could remember, my house was dominated by my mother. My father was an appendage, a necessary fixture who brought in money every month so that my mother could rule the roost according to her whims and fancies. And her biggest whim and fancy was money. No, let me reword that: MONEY. I swear she has dollar signs in her eyes instead of irises. She was always moaning about money or rather lack of. Either that or she would spit venomous drops of jealousy at my aunts, Vani and Rani. Admittedly she may be jealous of Vani Athai - she is successful, smart and strong. Everything my mother aspires to be but cannot. Deep down she knows it and that is yet another grudge that is eating her insides like an acid burn. But what I really cannot comprehend is her ill-feelings towards Rani Athai. From what I was told, my father duped Ranima to come to the Registry of Marriages and both he and my mother duped her (again) into getting them married. As a result of this duplicity, her own twin refused to talk to her. For 25 years. And yet my mother and her mother make fun of her. That was their favourite pastime. Other women would fix themselves in front of the television glued to the serials but not these two. Our lives were episodes of a serial. People think that serials have negative impact on society and family, but my life is a serial itself!! In fact, sometimes I'd think my family life would be a perfect fodder for serials. How I managed to deal with my mother and grandmother without going bonkers, or worse, becoming like them is a miracle. Thank God for my intelligence, my sense of humour and my father. Being able to laugh and having a carefree attitude towards Life generally helps. That is what I thought until recently.
Sara. Or his full name Saravanan Swaminathan. What a mouthful, eh? Just like the guy. Complex. Convoluted. Confusing. Really, I do not understand what I saw in him. He is exactly the opposite of what I am. The contrasts between us are so glaring. He is bookish. Head always bent over his books. Me, my books serve as table rests, steps when I want to get something from the shelves, somewhere to put my coffee on. He looks as if he is carrying the burden of the world on his shoulders. I on the hand think that the world is my playground. He respects the elders in his family. You know the kind of elders I have, how would the respect come? He looks up to Gautham, who is hardly the role model any young man could have. Gautham??? HAHAHAHAHA!! I can easily take Gautham on - I can match him courage for courage, gumption for gumption, dare for dare. Hardly MY role model, but apparently it is Saravanan's. I don't know what makes him tick. You tell him a joke and it takes 10 seconds for it to register. Not that he is stupid, but he takes time to understand humour. Sometimes a looong time - even little Thenu can grasp it faster than her smarter elder brother. And you should see his face when I barge on him. Have you heard of the idiom "Like a deer caught in headlights?" It means being scared or frightened when confronted with a situation or person unexpectedly. That is how Saravanan looks when he sees me. Eyes widened in fear, jaw tight, lips trembling. You would have thought that I was going to gobble him up. I used to laugh outright at the expressions on his face.
But somehow, without me realising it, I started teasing him not so much as to disturb him, but to see that gorgeous smile, to hear that hearty laugh, to see those eyes crinkle up in enjoyment. I started to appreciate him more. A young man so committed to his family, determined to succeed in life. It was new to me. It was refreshing. It was heartwarming. I found myself falling for him. And I knew that he was falling for me too. I just knew it.
How things have changed. How he has changed. He does not give me the time of the day. He snubs me and at times he is downright rude to me. I am a girl, who once decides that she wants something, will go all out to get it. He hardly smiles. The laughter has gone. I wish he was brave enough to be honest about his feelings for me. Yet I never gave up. I even feigned that I was hospitalised. The look of fear mingled with worry on his face when he came rushing to the hospital would have been flattering if it was not sad. His priorities have become all mixed up and his reasoning even more so. Deep down inside he was still the goofy Sara that I know and love, not the goonda Sara he tries to portray himself to be. But how long can I go on like this? Being a girl does not meant that I do not have any self-respect, that I do not have any dignity. There is only so much that I can take.
And then there is Karthik. What sin did I commit in my past life that I should attract the attention of a spoilt brat like him? I don't hate him but he has become an annoying pest, like an irritating mosquito that keeps buzzing in your face. At least you can get rid of the mosquito. It is not as easy with Karthik. Grandfather has spoilt him and now he expects everything to fall on his lap. Even me. Everywhere I turn, there he is, an idiotic smile pasted on his smarmy face. And he dares to compare his "love" for me with my love for Saravanan. Could someone please get rid of him? There is only so much I can take.
Why can't life be simple? Why can't a boy fall in love with a girl and vice-versa without any complications? We are marrying each other, not our parents or grandparents or uncles or aunts. I don't want a man who is not honest with me. I do not want a man who does not respect my wishes. I want someone who treats me the way I deserve. I am tired of crybabies and spoilt brats. I want someone who is strong, exciting and at the same time honest enough to admit his feelings for me.
I switch on the television in frustration and they are playing "Irrukum idathay veethu illatha idam thedi, engego aleygindrar, gnana thangame". Is Someone up there trying to tell me something?
The doorbell rings.
I open the door. Standing there with a smile on his face and a rose in his hand is
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