My mother was shocked to hear this and gave me a disgusted look and asked.. “Oh my God! This is not over yet?”
“I want to know who my real parents are”
“We are your real parents”
“Then why should things you do for me must be considered as a sacrifice? I can see even the monkeys take care of their kids without bragging much about it”
“So you feel we are not even as good as animals to you?”
Now this is the place where I get stuck. I knew that was not what I meant. But also I did not know how to put it properly. I wanted them to know that I wanted them to treat me equally. I do not like when they do not serve on the first come first served basis. I am very particular that I should be not late. So without much vocabulary to say what I wanted to say I just blurted out
“You think you are better than the monkeys? Have you not seen them loving their kids? No one has ever loved me like a monkey has loved its kid. I wish I was a monkey baby”
That set my Mother weeping and wailing out few things like
“This child is really very difficult to handle. I love my kids so much. I get into all sorts of trouble just to give them good life. What do I get to hear in the end? This is the reward for all my hard work? How will I ever manage this girl?”
My grandmother who had been praying all that time with the beads.. came out angrily.
She felt I am torturing her daughter.
“My daughter has sacrificed all her life for your father and his kids. She works from morning till night. Never eats good food. Never wears good clothes. She provides everything nice for you and suffers so much. I should have never married her to your father in the first place. Do you know she sold all her gold to get your foot treated in
That was very hurting for me. I was hurt and angry. I still wonder why people say such painful things to small kids. Do they really deserve to be abused so emotionally? I somehow could not allow someone to talk in such a way and get away with it. I know there is truth in what my Grandmother says but she should not have said that in the way she told me.
Again I have always thought that my father loved me dearly. It was very shocking to know that he told them to throw me away. So I first wanted to clear that matter.
My mother had stopped weeping and was trying to calm down her mother now who was now furious and looked ready to attack me any moment. I was very angry with my grandmother and did not wish to talk to her anymore. So I asked my mother whether it was true that my father had really said that.
“He very badly wanted the second child to be a boy. When he heard the second child was a girl he was upset and more so when they told him you had a twisted right foot. He said that in a fit of anger something like … ‘then why don’t you dump that kid?”
“Did my daddy say that?”
“It was before he saw you dear. When he saw you he was so happy to see the fair chubby girl that he would not put you down”
“But he told to throw me away. I will him ask about it later when he gets back home. Anyway it would have been so nice if you had thrown me away and some monkeys would have carried me. I at least would not have to deal with grandmothers there. I see the grandmothers of monkeys die before the young ones are born. I have a feeling that no one should give birth to kids until the grandmothers are dead and shut in grave”.
My grandmother was a very superstitious person and hated any reference to her death and grave. She always avoided hearing them out. That was something I did on purpose. To hurt her because she had wounded me very badly and there was no way I was allowing her to get away with this. But what followed my outburst was not even expected by me. My grandma gave a very wild shriek, something which I was hearing for the first time ever and then just fell backwards to the floor. She started beating on her chest and then started beating up the floor with her hands and legs. I was scared stiff inside but put on a brave careless attitude outside. She started cursing me and sobbing and then suddenly she changed. She was taking the part of a very angry woman. Sitting there on the floor she ordered my Mom to make me say ‘ Tauba Tauba, Allah forgive me for what I have said and may my grandmother live long’. My Mother angrily turned towards me and ordered me to say it. Now, I still have no clue what made her think I would say those words. I will rather be killed before saying them and she knew I was always a stubborn child. Yet she asked me and I just turned away. She held me and shook me and said “Say it. Just to please your grandmother”.
“ Who says I want to please anyone in this house?”
“What have I done to deserve this child?”
“May be something very bad. Now find that out and ask forgiveness of God so that he will forgive you and take me away”.
“Oh! Darling, you are my princess, my sweetest child. For mommy’s sake please ask Grandma to forgive you and end this”.
“I am not going back ever on anything I say and I mean and wish that grandma’s were dead before grandkids are born or at least my grandma was dead before I was born”.
Now my grandmother started such a commotion and later seemed to have a fit. Our neighbors rushed in to see what was happening and when they enquired my grandma pointed to me. They gave me nasty, curious and all sort of different looks which had me terribly embarrassed. I will never know what they concluded. I was too shy to stand there so I went away into a room and locked myself up. I was all alone now and could cry without anyone knowing it. But I did not cry. I did not want to cry and feel weak inside myself. So I tried to forget what happened and concentrated on my reading and actually I could forget everything after sometime and went on reading an interesting book.
I decided never to touch anything from that topic again until someone else provoked it and no one has done that until now. I am waiting for my dad to say something which will prod me ask why he decided to throw me away. Though I never talk about it I do feel the events of that day most of the time. They hang around me most of the time like mist of the cold mornings. There were lots of emotions in me which I could not name. It changed me a lot. I have never been able to be a careless, funny, naughty child again after that particular day. And I will never stop hating my grandma for what she said to me. May be later much later I will forgive her someday.