In the Shimal- Chennai flight………
As soon as the flight took off Kartik moved towards Meghna for his answers…..
Kartik: Well I borded the flight as you said. Now it’s your turn so start speeking.
Meghna: Well what do you want to know? Ask…….
Kartik: Well how about your childhood which you were so mysterious about to start with.
Meghna: Ok fine listen…….. I was born as Anantmaya Devi Varma, in a small village near Palaghat, Kerala. We were a happy family consisting of my mother Geeta, my Avi cheeten bhiya, and appa Vijay Pratap . Although Appa was in constant travel but we really used to enjoy the short period he was with us. Life was heaven in those days…….. I was appa’s princesses. But as grew up his visits started becoming shorter. Amma used to cry constantly at night but I never knew the reason. But as the days passed by his visit was marked by only fights between him and Amma. I being a eight year old never understood what was going on, my chetan used take me to other room as my parents fought. I can never forget the night he visited us last………..
Geeta: Why the hell have you came here Vijay? Just go back………….. Go back to your wife and kids….. They are waiting for you.
Vijay: Just listen to me once Geeta….. (trying to calm her down and pleade)
Geeta: What must I listen Vijay, isn’t it enough that I have been listening to your lies all this years, believing you….
Vijay: Geeta try to under me I was helpless………
Geeta: Wow you were helpless…….. do you even know the meaning of that word. I will tell you what is helpless….. Helpless is when you left your family for the man you loved and he cheats you…… Helpless is when your son asks you some questions about his father and you don’t have an answer……. Helpless is when your friends call you whore, house breaker, another women etc and you can’t answer back as you know some where they are right….. (Sarcastically)
Vijay: Come on Geeta you are no such thing…….
Geeta: Really Vijay then tell me who am I? What is the status of me and my children in your life? Tell me?
Vijay: Geeta you are my wife my love…. And Anu and Avi are symbols of our love……..
Geeta: Wow than, let’s go to your father. Tell him that you have a family here, whom you visit monthly….. Tell our kids your real name and why do they don’t share your last name… Tell your wife and kids that you have another family here in kerala and they meet their half siblings……
Vijay: Geeta you know I can’t do that, I am helpless……
Geeta: There you go again, helpless. You were helpless when you married, you were helpless when you had three kids with that lady, you were helpless when you need to talk to your father…….. Now you what I am helpless………. Helpless to open the door of this house for you again, helpless to even let my kids talk to you, I am just helpless Vijay go….. and never return…… (crying)
Vijay: You can’t do this me Geeta…….. You are wife….. They are my kids……. Anu can’t live without me……
Geeta: Go Vijay don’t create a scene here in front of kids………..
Meghna: My father left that day and did not come back. I never understood why he left us, but whenever I used to talk about him Amma used to get angry and chetan just shut himself off. As the days went by the questions of neighbors also increased finally we left that place and came to Trivandrum where one of Amma’s friends lived. Life there was never easy but we tried to find happiness in whatever little we had. Amma went to work as maid and cheten left school for driving auto. I was bright student and always studied with scholarships. But my life came crashing the day of my 10th standard exam result day.
I remembered that like it had happened yesterday only…… I was at my friend Riya’s house waiting for news paper as we did not have one at our place…. As soon as paper came her father took it to see her result she had scored first division and there was a celebration at her place the paper was passed along with the sweet box and payasam( a type of kheer) like a trophy.
It was nearly two hours after that I finally got the paper to check my result, I was ready to faint with tension. I knew if I failed then my Amma and cheten won’t be able to take it, I wished to pass as I never had tuitions or guides like kids, just self study.
As I was trying to search for my roll number, I heard the taunt from Riya’s mother that now a day’s even the maid’s kids see the news paper for results what will they do by passing when they have to wash someone’s plates only
I just ignored her words though they cut me like a blade and started searching for my roll number, but I was shocked to find it nowhere.
But that was not what brooked me but a photograph in the next page that showed my father with his kids and wife inaugurating a new factory in his village. I was shattered beyond repairs. I could never believe my father for whom I cried day and night was enjoying with his wife and kids when my Amma and cheten had nearly lost lives. I felt betrayal at its worst…..
Soon I started to cry, Riya was shocked of my behavior and took the paper from my hand and started to search for my roll number. Soon my sobs were broken by a shrilling shout of Riya. I did not kew what happen….
She just started jumping around and picked me up to dance with me. I could not understand what had happened. Just has her parents came to room she took a deep breath and said
Riya: You know mom why she is crying? (excitingly)
Riya’s Mom: Why had she failed? I knew it….. (laughing)
Riya: No mom don’t be crazy she has passed…….. (Shouting with joy)
I was shocked now I did not find my roll number there…..
Riya’s Mom: So why are you shouting, you too passed that too with first division…… (Sarcastically)
Riya: No mom you don’t understand, she just didn’t pass she has topped in entire Kerala state…… She is the first rank holder………..
Riya’s Mom: Are you sure Riya have you checked it correctly, check again it’s not possible.
Riya: Well mom its true our scholar Anu has done it again. The impossible…..
As she said those words I was not able to understand her fully, I was still in daze from the other news. All the people were congratulating me but I was just moving towards my home like a dead body…
Nothing mattered, not smiles, not happiness, nothing. Only thing that mattered was the lie I was living till date, the lie that was my father, the lie that was my existence. Nothing more………….