Wednesday, September 28, 2022

സുചിയുടെ ഓണം, മമ്മൂട്ടിയുടെയും...

ഓണം പ്രവാസി മലയാളിക്ക് രണ്ടു മാസത്തോളം വരെ ആഘോഷിക്കാം എന്നാണല്ലോ. ഞങ്ങൾ ശോഭ മലയാളികൾ മാസാവസാനം വരെ പോയുള്ളൂ എന്ന് സമാധാനിക്കാം. ഓണത്തിനിടയിൽ പുട്ട് കച്ചവടം എന്ന് പറയുന്ന പോലെ ഒരു സംഭവമാണ് ഞാൻ അവതരിപ്പിക്കാൻ പോകുന്നത്. 

തിരുവാതിര ഇല്ലാതെ എന്തോണം അല്ലേ? അങ്ങനെയൊക്കെ ഓർത്താണ് ഞാനും തിരുവാതിര എടുത്ത് തലയിലേറ്റിയത്. ഈ പെണ്ണുങ്ങളെ കൈകാര്യം ചെയ്യുന്നത് അത്ര എളുപ്പമല്ല എന്നറിയാമല്ലോ.അതും പത്ത് പെണ്ണുങ്ങൾ! ഒരു മണിക്കൂർ പ്രാക്ടീസിൽ മുപ്പതു മിനിറ്റ് വർത്തമാനം, ഇരുപത് മിനിറ്റ് ചിരി ഒക്കെ കഴിഞ്ഞ് പത്ത് മിനിറ്റ് കളിക്കാൻ കിട്ടിയാലായി. വഴക്കും കുശുമ്പും അടിയും ഒക്കെ കഴിഞ്ഞ് അവസാനം എത്ര പേർ കാണുമെന്ന് പരിപാടിക്ക് ഒരാഴ്ച മുൻപ് മാത്രമേ അറിയാൻ പറ്റൂ. അങ്ങനെ സുചി എനിക്ക് കൊണ്ടു വന്നു തന്നതാണ് മമ്മൂട്ടിയെ. മമ്മൂട്ടി എന്നത് ഇരട്ടപ്പേരാണെന്ന് മനസ്സിലായല്ലോ. എൻ്റെ ഗ്രൂപ്പിൽ മമ്മൂട്ടിയും സുരേഷ് ഗോപിയും ഒക്കെ ഉണ്ട്. അവരുടെ നൃത്ത ശൈലി പിന്തുടരുന്നത് കൊണ്ടാണ് ഇവർക്കങ്ങനെ ഒരു വിളിപ്പേര് വന്നത്. കുറ്റം പറയരുതല്ലോ വളരെ കഷ്ടപ്പെട്ടാണെങ്കിലും മമ്മൂട്ടി തിരുവാതിര എന്ന കീറാമുട്ടി പഠിച്ചെടുത്തു. 

മമ്മൂട്ടിയെ പറ്റി കൂടുതൽ അറിയും തോറും ഞങ്ങൾക്കെല്ലാം ഒരുൾ ഭയം. കൂടോത്രം ഒക്കെ അറിയാത്രെ! സുചിയുടെ മകളുടെ മുടി കണ്ടിട്ട് ഒരിക്കൽ പറഞ്ഞത് കേട്ട് ഞങ്ങൾ ഒന്ന് ഞെട്ടി. "ഈ കുട്ടീടെ ജനിച്ചപ്പോ ഉള്ള മുടിയല്ലേ? ഈ മുടിയെങ്ങാനും ഞങ്ങടെ നാട്ടിൽ കിട്ടിയാൽ അത് മതി, കൂടോത്രം ചെയ്യാൻ ബെസ്റ്റ് ആണ്."
സുചി അതോടു കൂടി അടുത്ത ആഴ്ച തന്നെ മുടി വെട്ടാൻ ഉറച്ച തീരുമാനമെടുത്തു. മമ്മൂട്ടിക്ക് വേറെയും ഒരുപാട് സ്വഭാവ സവിശേഷതകൾ ഉണ്ട്. അതെല്ലാം കൂടെ എഴുതാൻ എനിക്കൊരു നോവൽ തന്നെ എഴുതേണ്ടി വരും എന്നത് കൊണ്ട് അതിനു ഞാൻ മുതിരുന്നില്ല.

അങ്ങനെ കാത്തു കാത്തിരുന്നു ഓണാഘോഷം ഇങ്ങെത്തി. ഫസ്റ്റ് പെർഫോർമൻസ് ഞങ്ങളുടെ. അതും ഏതു നേരത്താണോ എനിക്ക് ഫസ്റ്റ് നമ്പർ വാങ്ങാൻ തോന്നിയത്. ഒരുത്തി ഉടുക്കാൻ കൊണ്ടുവന്ന സാരി മാറിപ്പോയപ്പോൾ, വേറൊരുത്തി മുടി കെട്ടാൻ കൈയും വീശി വന്നിരിക്കുന്നു. കുത്താൻ സ്ലൈഡില്ല, പിന്നില്ല. ഒരുത്തിക്ക് ലിപ്സ്റ്റിക് വേണ്ട, വേറൊരുത്തിക്ക് കണ്ണിന് വാലെഴുതണ്ട!  നീയൊക്കെ തിരുവാതിരക്കു തന്നെയാണോ വന്നതെന്ന് ഞാൻ അലറി. ഭാഗ്യത്തിന് മേക്കപ്പ് ചെയ്യാൻ മമ്മൂട്ടി റെഡി ആണ്. ഫാഷൻ ഡിസൈനിംഗ് പഠിച്ചിട്ടുണ്ടത്രെ. ഹോ! മുഖമെങ്കിലും വൃത്തിക്കിരിക്കുമല്ലോ...! 

ഫുൾ മേക്കപ്പ് കിറ്റും ആയിട്ടാണ് കക്ഷി വന്നിരിക്കുന്നത്. കണ്ടു പഠിക്കെടെയ് എന്ന് ഞാൻ ബാക്കിയുള്ള തരുണീമണികളോടായി മൊഴിഞ്ഞു. മമ്മൂട്ടി സ്വന്തം ഒരുക്കം പോലും മാറ്റി വച്ച് മറ്റുള്ളവരെ ഓരോരുത്തരെ ആയി മേക്കപ്പ് ഇട്ടു കൊണ്ടിരിക്കുന്നു. എത്ര ആത്മാർഥത! മനസ്സ് കൊണ്ട് മമ്മൂട്ടിയെ തെറ്റിദ്ധരിച്ചതിൽ ഞാൻ ഖേദിച്ചു. എല്ലാവരും സുന്ദരികളായിരിക്കുന്നു. സമ്മാനം കിട്ടില്ലെന്ന് ഉറപ്പിച്ച് കളിച്ചത് കൊണ്ട് പിന്നെ മത്സരത്തിൽ തോറ്റതിൽ ആർക്കും മനോവിഷമം തീരെ ഇല്ലായിരുന്നു.

അങ്ങനെ രണ്ടു ദിവസത്തെ ഓണാഘോഷം കഴിഞ്ഞ് വീട്ടിൽ വിശ്രമിക്കുകയായിരുന്നു ഞാൻ. പെട്ടെന്ന് വാട്ട്സ്ആപ്പിൽ സുചിയുടെ കളകളാരവം. ഇവളുമാർക്ക് തിരുവാതിര കഴിഞ്ഞാലെങ്കിലും ഒന്ന് വായടച്ചിരുന്നൂടെ എന്ന് ഞാനോർത്തു. "നിൻ്റെ കണ്ണിന് കുഴപ്പമൊന്നും ഇല്ലല്ലോ?" ലവളുടെ ചോദ്യം. ഇതെന്ത് കൂത്ത്! എൻ്റെ കണ്ണിനെന്ത് കുഴപ്പം? ഇനി ചാറ്റ് മാറി ഇട്ടതാണോ? ഞാൻ തിരിച്ച് ഒരു 'കൺഫ്യൂഷൻ തീർക്കണമേ' ഇമോജി ഇട്ടു കൊടുത്തു. അപ്പോഴാണ് ഒരുത്തി കഥയുടെ ചുരുളഴിക്കുന്നത്. മമ്മൂട്ടി കൊണ്ട് വന്ന മേക്കപ്പ് ഐറ്റംസ് എല്ലാം എക്സ്‌പയറി ഡേറ്റും കഴിഞ്ഞ് അങ്ങ് പരലോകത്തെത്തേണ്ടിയിരുന്നവയായിരുന്നത്രെ!! മമ്മൂട്ടിയുടെ കണ്ണിൽ ഇൻഫെക്ഷൻ.  അപ്പോഴാണ് ഈ സത്യകഥകൾ ലവൾ സുചിയോട് തുറന്നു പറയുന്നത്. കാജൽ ആണ് മെയിൻ വില്ലൻ. കണ്ണിനുള്ളിൽ എഴുതാൻ മമ്മൂട്ടിയുടെ കൺമഷി എടുത്തവർക്കൊക്കെ പണി കിട്ടിക്കാണണം. ഇന്ന് രാവിലെ മുതൽ സുചിയുടെ കണ്ണിനും ആകെ ഒരു പിരുപിരുപ്പ്. 

ഇത്രയും കേട്ടതും ഞാൻ മൊബൈലും വലിച്ചെറിഞ്ഞ് കണ്ണാടിയുടെ മുന്നിലേക്കോടി. കണ്ണുരുട്ടിയും കോങ്കണ്ണ് പോലെ ഇരു വശത്തേക്ക് ദൃഷ്ടി ചലിപ്പിച്ചും കണ്ണിന് കുഴപ്പമൊന്നുമില്ല എന്നുറപ്പിച്ചു. രണ്ടു ദിവസത്തോളം എനിക്ക് കണ്ണിനെന്തോ കുഴപ്പമില്ലേ എന്നൊരു തോന്നൽ. ഇടക്കിടെ കണ്ണ് തിരുമ്മിയും കണ്ണാടി നോക്കിയും കഴിച്ചു കൂട്ടി. പിന്നെയാണോർത്തത്, കണ്ണിനുള്ളിൽ ഞാൻ എൻ്റെ സ്വന്തം കാജൽ തന്നെയാണ് ഉപയോഗിച്ചത്. പുറമേ എഴുതാൻ വേറൊരു കുട്ടിയുടെയും. ഹൊ! ഞാൻ ദീർഘനിശ്വാസമിട്ടു.

എല്ലാം കഴിഞ്ഞ് ഗ്രൂപ്പിൽ സുചിയുടെ ഗദ്ഗദം, "എനിക്കിത് തന്നെ വേണം!" 
ചിരിയുടെ ഇമോജി ഇട്ടാൽ ലവൾ നാളെ എന്നെ വീട്ടിൽ വന്നു തല്ലുമോ എന്ന് ഭയന്ന് ഞാൻ വീട്ടിലിരുന്ന് ചിരിച്ചു മറിഞ്ഞു.



Wednesday, September 14, 2022

The Chronicles of Siya

Her Type Of Love

Write to me something...

Something that makes me feel good,

Makes me feel loved,

Makes my heart pound,

Makes my mind heal,

I need something from you,

To ignite my thoughts,

To look forward to life,

To learn that hope is not hopeless,

Do write something to me, something...


I need some love,

Some genuine love,

Will you love me for sometime?

Will you love me like crazy?

Will you love me like real love?

Not the possessive love,

Not the egoistic,

Not the caring one too.

I need you to love me

Unconditionally...

I need the liberated love,

Where you let me live,

Let me breath,

Let me be myself,

And I let you be the same,

Then we live together in love!


This is how Siya defined her kind of love. Yet it never happened to her because she let them go and they never came back to her. After all they were not doves to return. They were more of migrating birds. They migrated from one heart to another if you would let them go. She could have caged them. But she believed if you cage then slowly but surely love will fade away. You will be left with a vacuum, nothingness. You feel the void when you are not in love. She did not want that anymore in her life as she had seen it enough. Done and dusted. 

She always sought love. Never ever love came to her or whatever came to her was not love. So whenever someone asked her "do you have a boyfriend?" or "what's your love story?", she never had one in particular to talk about. Instead, she had a lot of them! Each time she unfolded a different story to different people. They called her Junior Madhavikkutty who was known as the princess of love. Those who read Madhavikkutty would know. Hence, Siya P Mahesh always had an ocean of love stories to tell. The most favourite of hers was her first love. Again, it can not be referred to as love to be precise. When you read along, you may decide.


The Unforgettable First Love

For anyone, first love is always unforgettable. It was no different for Siya too. The indelible story goes like this; Siya was in third grade when she met Moni. Moni was the studious boy in the class. The class leader of boys. Being the leader of girls she tried to impress the boy as far as possible yet never even a glance he returned. His shy demeanor made him more appealing to her. He looked at girls as if they were some weird creatures. Later, at some point he began to converse with her when there were no other ways left out rather than communicate with the other leader of the class. Siya too deliberately made some scenarios to keep the conversation on. She was thrilled. Unfortunately the next two incident trails made all her dreams turn into nightmares. It was difficult to tell whether the first one or the second one was more pathetic. That most unlucky day, appeared like a bad dream. 

Third period Clara Miss was going on and on with her amazing Math skills. Siya has a fear of Mathematics. The hate towards Math insisted her to go to the washroom often in the middle of every Math class. Most of the time it was a fake act to scoot from that period. But that day was different. She really felt the pressure. When asked, the teacher denied. Obviously Clara Miss knew her tricks well by now. After a few moments it was unbearable that she couldn't hold it anymore and the pressure released. Sitting in the front row, she could feel her wet skirt touching her skin. Imagine the embarrassment. Tears made her little cheeks wet too. Later what happened, she can not recall clearly until now. Everything was foggy while the teacher took her out of the class.

Post this incident whatever image she was trying to build up in front of Moni was washed off in utter embarrassment. Apparently, those who excel in naming ceremonies in the class, gave her some fascinating new names. 'Siya Pee Mahesh' , Siya peeya, CM (Classil Mulli in Malayalam) etc were a few amongst them. Leave all that aside, then came the second thud. What a plight! Listen to this now.

Siya and her friends used to walk to school daily. Moni's house was on the way to school which was news to her. Recently she came to know that the red house with a dog on the front porch, that she was too scared of, was Moni's. Apart from Math, Siya had a fear of dogs too. Apparently, Moni's dog was a huge, scary one. Always his tongue outside, with a predator look on his face, he reminded her of a monster. Their front gate used to be always closed. Still Siya was scared to death even to look at the monster. She never knew this monster dog was going to play the role of the villain in her first love story. 

That particular day, Siya and her friends were dawdling back home after class. They reached near Moni's house and Siya spotted the monster lying on the left side of the road showing his shiny monstrous fangs. How did he come out? Did they forget to close the gate? How should I pretend that I am not scared of him? So many questions and no answers flashed in front of her like a term exam Math question paper. Her heartbeat raised to the extent that she could clearly hear the "dhak dhak karne laga…" song running in background. She changed her side from left to right cunningly. But Mr.Villain was the cleverest. He could smell something fishy from miles away. Perhaps, Siya and the dogs shared some kind of telepathic relationship. They always knew when Siya was around and came for her.

"Aiyooo!!..." She made a subtle cry. Disney her best friend, warned her not to say Aiyyoo anymore because her grandmother told her that Aiyyoo was the devil's son's name. If you utter that word he will come for you right away. True that! "He is right in front of us now." She cried again.

Our villain too got up and changed sides seeing the suspicious moves of Siya. They both performed some kabadi movements and finally the villain was almost near Siya. He was gunning for the perfect prey. That moment of lightning, she chose to run as fast as possible. She screamed for help on top of her voice and ran for her life. Till then with all suspicious looks there stood the villain like a vigilant police officer. Upon hearing the loud cry and seeing her running for no reason, the villain was indeed certain about his assumptions. He too started chasing the culprit. 

Moni's mother who was about to drink her evening tea after a tiring day, came out running towards the gate hearing the loud cry of a girl and opened the gate. In that hurry the gate hit her chest in full force and she fell down with a thud. Siya's friends came running towards her. Meanwhile, Siya's marathon came to an abrupt end in front of Moni and his father who went out to buy veggies. Siya hid behind Moni's father. The villain too stopped seeing his boss. For the first time, Siya saw a wide smile on Moni 's face. She couldn't really figure out that deep smile though.

What a pity! She was shattered into pieces. The rest of the story need not be told I guess. 

Next day, the whole school was giggling at her. She and Disney were discussing the evil day occurred and took some strong decisions.

Siya pouted and blabbered, "Now they will give me new names again yaar. Moreover, the whole village would have come to know about this now. I don't think I will get a bridegroom from this village anymore." At that tender age she believed marriage was the ultimate goal of life and if you didn't, you were useless. Your life was wasted. Hats off to the social conditioning.

Disney was very thoughtful in this regard. She said, "Don't you worry. Look, though Kerala looks like karela, we have fourteen districts and so many villages in each district. If not from this village you will get your match from any one of these. So just calm down girl. Just forget this Moni... Maani and all. He doesn't deserve you."

Siya felt the breath of life. So there are still chances, she sighed. Though her first love went in vain, she felt happy to go by the board. 


Shades of love

Years went by, Siya had many relationships. Unfortunately or fortunately, nothing worked out. Her friends considered her gullible enough to fall in love over and over again. However, she felt like falling in love with love itself each time. She was not in love with those people, she was in love with love itself and that made the difference. 

Neverthless, at some point of her journey Siya found out love is not the thing for her though she sought love everywhere. She learnt that education and being independent is most important. She also learnt many other lessons. Love comes and goes. And love is not a thing for all. Love is not that simple too. If it was that simple, no one would have been interested in love because people like to stick with complex things. They do not like simple things in life. 

Most of the time relationships are loveless, she felt. Let it be living together, boyfriend-girlfriend or married couple. Either you or your partner controls the other. It is fine as long as both are happy about changing themselves for love. But when it is a deliberate act to change someone in the name of love and the other person feels suffocated in your love, the scenario turns unpleasant causing distress. That's not her type of love hence her lovelife was loveless always. 

One such partner whom she crossed her path with was Sharan. As usual this also looked like a perfect relationship in the initial stages. So much love and care. Later she noticed her friend circle had reduced. She was an outgoing, bubbly person. She made friends everywhere she went. But Sharan made faces if she made a new friend or been close with any friend. If she had a girlfriend then he named her as a lesbian. If any boyfriend then he blamed that she was in another relationship. He isolated her in all means in the name of love and care. She couldn't even recognise the trap at first. But going forward she was loosing her energy, weight and enthusiasm even in daily chores. Whatever she did, he found some or other issues and convinced her to quit. Each day went in distress and fights. Two years felt like two centuries for her. The harm he caused to her self respect was beyond words. It took another year to bounce back to normal. From then on she could spot the red flags anywhere and anytime. Possessiveness can not be named as love. You can be possessive but there is a thin line between possessiveness and controlling. Once you cross it you will ruin your relationships. 

Once she found the right partner though. It was all glittery, cheesy and chocolaty like any other love. It was her type of love, the liberated one. No ego; only love. No conditions; only respect. Now you are thinking what went wrong then?! Nothing was wrong, it was just a mutually agreed thoughtful break-up. At times we need to realize that we are not going to live only for ourselves. We need family too. According to them, what if they got married and yet could not lead a peaceful life! What's the point in living together in the absence of love? Do not live for love, instead love to feel the liveliness of life. It is not necessary that all love affairs should end up in marriage in order to be called successful. Sometimes you might have to give up on your 'right partner' and move on. It is alright. 

His father got an attack and did not wish this marriage to happen. His mother too begged Siya for her husband's life. As Siya knew how much he valued his parents and family, she knew without family it was not going to be a happy ending for both of them. It was a thoughtful, planned break-up. Both on the same page, with heart wrenching pain, both wept for days and then accepted the truth. Love is painful. It is not all about roses. Love taught her to be kind, tolerant, compassionate and to unlearn many many theories. Love made her a better person. 

Siya could have become a love guru! It is all magical and she knew the magic pretty well. She understood the tricks way before they were performed. Many lovers were looking forward to her love quotes and they were the most celebrated among them. Many approached for advice and some for counseling.

We are all prejudiced about love and relationships. Love should be like this, that etc. Let go off the prejudices you are holding on to. Be in love with love. Only then you can love peacefully. She is at peace with love now.

It was a pretty tough, emotional yet beautiful journey she had. Love comes with pain and without pain no masterpiece is born in this world.  In spite of being detached from love, Siya still loves to be in love. She loves all the different shades of love which transformed her into a conjurer of love, moreover a better human being.

Let you too find peace with love!




Friday, September 2, 2022

The Changeling

Breaking news was flashing continuously on the channels. 

"India unlikely to allow return of four women who joined ISIS." 

Post lunch, Annie was indulged in sewing. That's her routine for past few years. A depressed widow living in a huge house, whose only daughter ran away with other religion boy, couldn't hold more options for time pass. Her only entertainment became sewing forever. In front of the television she sat in her wooden armchair leaning forward with a periodic back and forth motion and sewing at the same time. For her sewing was Yoga which made her calm and undisturbed of all that happened in her life. She stitched curtains, pillow covers, cushions and if nothing else then she went on with some nice scarfs and gave those to the children who came to the Church on Sundays.

Hearing the breaking news, she took her eyes off from the needle and glanced at the TV. Annie's body trembled seeing the photographs of those four ladies. Not four exactly, that one and only one photo pierced her eyes. Her rocking chair stopped, the cloth and needle fell on the floor whilst she got up with a thud. She anxiously waited for the photos to appear again and confirmed that was Anitta, Anitta Mary Peter - her only child!

It's been almost 8 years she lost contact with her daughter. It was an intercast marriage and obviously Annie was not happy with it. Peter wouldn't have agreed to it as well if he was alive. 

"If I support this then his soul will never forgive me..." that is how she justified herself whenever someone raised the matter. But underneath her heart, there hid a mother who always wished her child all the happiness. Any mother would have that right?

Annie and Peter had raised their child with so much love and care like all other parents. A pious and orthodox family. Peter was an army man and Annie a teacher. As a result every aspect of their life was strictly regimented. Anitta grew up with such discipline and belief. That is what they believed until the day they got the shocking news about their daughter. Anitta eloped with a boy from another religion. With their shattered self-esteem they were ashamed to face the society. The mountain of pride they had built in all those years erupted like a volcano.

But there was a small glitch which only Annie knew about her child. Anitta had a best friend Niya. They were together from childhood. Later in her teens during a birthday party at home Annie got the shocking truth of their actual friendship. They were connected in all means. How one earth Annie, the believer could digest the idea of homosexuality. No! never ever. She thought about all the aftermaths of this relationship coming in limelight. For a believer this is obviously an unforgiving satanic act. If her father came to knew about it he wouldn't mind being a murderer himself.  

From then Anitta and Niya were separated by Annie. She somehow convinced her husband then Anitta was sent to her uncle's house in another faraway city. Annie carried the secret like a heavy rock on her heart. Perhaps, in reality somewhere inside her heart the news of her daughter running away with a boy gave her a little bit of relief as well as happiness. Better than the worst, she thought.

The news spread faster than wildfire. Neighbours tittle-tattled as much as they could. That's how Annie came to know her son-in-law's name, Rahman. Once Anitta left the house, all their routines collapsed. They spent their days in silence, not eating on time, gazing through the windows. Sleepless nights gifted them more older looks than their actual age. Neither they were interested in picking up telephone calls nor seeing kins. Some of them came home to visit. But Annie and Peter made faces and did not pay attention to the conversations. Annie found peace in prayers so she spent her days indulged in praying. She hoped her daughter will return one day. Later, Peter went back to warfront and never came back home. She searched for Anitta to inform her father's demise. Unfortunately all search went in vain. She lost the last hope of meeting her daughter. She lost her faith. Annie's single journey began there. 

It is not easy to live alone for a lady in a society where women empowerment rests only in the posts of armchair activists. Living single is not a thing for all. You need to be little more bold, little more strong. Literally you must be a boss lady. Else you are going to be washed off in a jest in the gossips. Annie was not one of that kind until her husband's death. Like all other housewives she too was submissive and duteous. But inside, she was strong. She knew it well. That's the reason she acted passive. She could handle all those tantrums of her army strict husband. The real Annie, the bold avatar emerged later which was something new for the rest of the world around her. 

Some of them recommended a second marriage. She was fifty and looked much younger than her actual age. So that was the most suggested option. A pretty widow living alone is not a good sign for the society.

She fought alone all these challenges, and finally God brought her child back! She couldn't believe her eyes. She slapped her own wet cheeks to make sure it was not a dream. The next challenge for her was to bring her daughter back home. She pleaded to all kind of Government authorities through her husband's army contacts. Annie came to know that Anitta has a little boy with her- Annie's grandson. That just whetted her appetite to meet them as soon as possible. It took few months to convince the Government. Annie was successful in the task. She went to the extent of traveling to Delhi. As per the Government, her daughter was an anti-national, radical moron. There was very less chance to release her to India. The only chance was Anitta's son. That was the only point she got - sympathy. She fought, she pleaded for her grandson. As per the officials who went to talk to Anitta, she was not even changed a bit. They said she is still poisonously radical and is a threat to the country. Annie was sure whatever her daughter be, she can change her mind, she will change her. When she got an opportunity to talk to her, Annie made her convince that at least for the time being act appropriately or else she will have to live her life in the prisons of Afghanistan forever. Finally everything fell in place. 

The night before their arrival was a Christmas - Hanukkah moment for Annie. She couldn't sleep all night. And the big day arrived. Her eyes were moist with tears of joy that she couldn't even see clearly her daughter and grandson stepping out of the car. She ran into Anitta and hugged her tightly as if she was not going to leave her anymore to anywhere. Anitta too cried like a small child. Years of affection and love poured out of both of their hearts. The whole scene made others who gathered too sob. There were media persons, relatives, neighbours and many others who came to know the International news and wanted to witness the great uniting moment of the mother and daughter. 

Annie hugged Anitta and sighed in her ears, "Anitta... my child!"

Anitta replied softly, " I am not Anitta. I am Sadeekha, Sadeekha Rahman."

Annie was dumbstruck for a moment. The next moment she regained consciousness and kissed Anitta's forehead.

Days passed. Annie learned that her grandson doesn't speak any other language other than Urdu. One more thing she noticed was Anitta and the boy share a brother-sister kind of relationship! Whenever she picked this topic Anitta will give some excuse to escape. Annie observed each movement of Anitta. After a month or so she understood one thing. It was not Anitta, it was Sadeekha living with her whom was unknown to Annie. Her acts, her character, her beliefs, her mannerisms nothing remained similar to Anitta. 

One particular day, Annie deliberately made a conversation during tea time. Both sitting in the verandah gazing at the clear sky as if nothing was wrong between them. For a minute no one spoke. Then Annie decided to be the ice-breaker, slurping her hot tea.

"Anitta, today you have to speak. I am your mother and I have the right to know about my child. Tell me why are you still there?? Why don't you just start a new life? I am here to support you. Let go off the past."

"Mummy please... I can't. I can not talk about this. If I talk, I belch all of it and you won't be able to digest it."

"Honey, I know I had hurt your feelings. I am sorry but, do not punish me like this. I waited only for you all these years. I can not bear this burden of guilt anymore. Forgive me and forget all."

"Let me make this clear for you. It is impossible for a come back. You never tried to understand my feelings. You were living for the society not for me, not even for yourself. You were afraid of society. Do you remember the day I begged you for my life. I will never be able to forget my Niya. Nevertheless you did not care about what I wanted. This is my revenge, my life is my revenge. You did not let me live my life. You couldn't accept your child. I couldn't love anyone in my life after that incident.  You know one truth? I have never been married to Rahman. Rahman just helped me for my revenge. This boy... he is not your grandson too. I was using him to escape from the prison. I knew there will be a chance of sympathy. Do you want some more ...?"

Annie stood like a statue. She cried,

"Why did you kill innocent people? What did they do to you? You could have killed me instead. My child can not kill anyone...ohhh God...! Forgive my child, forgive..."

"Stop this drama Mummy. Enough is enough. Killing was a part of my job. I wanted you to be ashamed of your daughter in front of this society, the society you were scared of. You were afraid that my homosexuality will shatter your pride. And now see... the same had happened! ha ha ha... You must die out of shame. I have either killed or helped my mates to kill many soldiers. Who knows, if I had killed my father too! Then am much self-satisfied." She sighed.

Annie felt petrified. She couldn't take it anymore. She ran out of the verandah to the backyard. She wept like a baby sitting under the mango tree. All of a sudden she stood up and murmured, "This is not my child. This is a changeling. Devil has taken my child. This is a changeling, am sure...am sure..." She blabbered on and on like a mad woman.

Annie did not eat, sleep nor talk for rest of the day. The next day she acted perfectly normal. Anitta was surprised to see her mother's casual behavior. How could she act as if nothing has happened! 

Annie looked happier than any other day. She made special dishes for lunch. When Anitta peeped inside the kitchen she was busy making the dessert. Anitta guessed, mother might be acting weird because of the shocking talks happened yesterday. Let her overcome. She went back to her room.

Annie looked around before taking out the small glass bottle from the cupboard. While slowly pouring the liquid in to the rasmalai mix with a spiteful smile, she kept on blabbering, "changeling...you are devil's child..." 

Anitta loves rasmalai, let her eat how much ever she likes today. Let her have the sweetest death ever. 

"Oh my child... I miss you, I miss you..." Annie muttered in silence. Tears rolled down her cheeks and fell into the sweetest death.


സുചിയുടെ ഓണം, മമ്മൂട്ടിയുടെയും...

ഓണം പ്രവാസി മലയാളിക്ക് രണ്ടു മാസത്തോളം വരെ ആഘോഷിക്കാം എന്നാണല്ലോ. ഞങ്ങൾ ശോഭ മലയാളികൾ മാസാവസാനം വരെ പോയുള്ളൂ എന്ന് സമാധാനിക്കാം. ഓണത്തിനിടയിൽ...