LOVE That Has No End 2

Posted: November 6, 2015 in STORY

Residing in India’s most overcrowded place Mumbai is not in many people’s destiny. You may not have spacious parks to jog but those overcrowded local trains, Mumbai’s well known brand Vada pav, those chat pata street chats, filthy joo beach, street vendors in Bandra, people begging and crying to Mother Mary in Mahim, which with time gets into your daily life. I am proud to say I was born and raised in never sleeping place metropolitan Mumbai. Staying in 4th floor of multistory building I enjoyed my early childhood playing cricket in our building parking lot, knocking everybodys door during deewali, dancing for the building’s annual get-together. As a boy I enjoyed riding cycle in the jammed road and helping with Rahim chacha to fix my punctured cycle tyre. With all the given description if anyone assumes I had a happy childhood then they don’t know that their assumption is merely built on the foundation of cyclone, shaky and windy. With my father working in gulf like a typical Indian Christian family, I was never attached to my father. Once in three years I would see his never smiling face and wait with hope for his date of departure. With my mind occupied with complicated math’s problems, relationship-with-father was the last thing I wanted to worry. I enjoyed my every single day playing with my building kids, running kites from the terrace of my building, day and night, until my father’s arrival from the gulf.

My father would arrive unannounced, all of sudden, without prior notice or clues. I still remember those times when I will be in the toilet , wasting water and singing some Hindi songs I picked from music channel, When I come out after half an hour find my father scanning me head to toe. Before my nerves could take in the news of my father’s arrival I would wish him and run into the sanctuary of my room. Even my friend’s father’s were working in abroad unlike me they waited for their father’s arrival. They talked about the gifts and clothes their dad bought for them. While I just sat and watched the excitement on their face.

To begin with my father was a sadist, sadist who hated his own kids. He wanted us to wish him every morning before we brush our teeth and at night before we go to bed. If we miss one day he made sure he punished us. Not talking was his way of punishing us, sometimes I felt I merely die without talking just listening to the nearby train whistle and traffic sound. The cold war was worse than any violent blood shed I felt. His cold blooded eyes would follow our every move. If sometimes we drop anything by mistake he would start scolding and make us stand outside the house for hours. When he was home he wanted us at home no matter Saturday or Sunday or any other vacations. Place like Mumbai where playing with your building kids is heaven we were locked in our house watching the TV with our father. He would put the channel he liked making sure we watched it along with him. While changing channel he would put cartoon channel and wait to watch the excitement on our face. As soon as we focus our eyes on TV he would change the channel. Most of the time I would doze off on the couch or go to my room. But my poor sister, she never had the guts to walk out on my father. She would sit there forcing herself to keep her eyes open. Till date I am not sure why my father hated my sister so much. In every move she made he would find fault. Whenever my father was at home it was like living in hell. My mother cried seeing us locked up in the room but she refused to shed tears in front of us. Many times she tried to talk to him but all he would say “you stay away Helen, you don’t understand all this”. My mom Struggled to be a good wife and good mother. Being a polite person she never raised her voice knowing how much her kids were suffering. When my father used to go to take his bath she would give us bowl of gajar ka halwa and assure us this ordeal will get over soon.

For my father his brothers and their family were everything, unfortunately he never considered us. He never really got anything for us from Dubai while the goodies he bought for his family mocked at us from his half opened bag. But it never bothered me and Hazel because my mother made sure she bought nicest things for us.

Sometimes he would say “get dressed and pack your bags, we are going to visit our relatives.” It never seemed important to him to mention which relatives we are visiting. Always we would end up packing our things and getting ready not knowing our destination. It was like boarding the train without knowing the desination, a total mental torture.

With little money he used to send to my mother, it was very difficult to spend the days without worrying about next day. I still remember the day when my mother asked for 5 grands for my school fees,all he said was “I don’t have money Helen, I will send once I get my salary”. Months passed and the promised money never came. Later we got to know that he paid one of his niece college fees which was around 50 grands. How much I cried under the cold water of shower only I know. That’s when I started to hate him even more.

When my mother realized how easily our father could ignore us she started the dabba business. Thanks to busy Bombay life where there is lot of demand for homemade food. With her firm decision and hard work business started to bloom. Every day she would get up at 3 and start preparing the food. Sometimes I and Hazel helped her with chopping vegetables. When we had exams Savitha ayee would ring our door bell at 5 with smiling face. My sister couldn’t see out mother working day and night when she started giving tuition. Even though we didn’t had enough money we had peace, we had each other to comfort. I never missed my prodigal father. I just prayed may his soul rest in peace whether on earth or hell.

Days passed no contacts with father and we thought it’s for the best. One night suddenly he came unannounced as usual and went to bedroom and slept like nothing had happened. When I saw my sister trembling with fear I got up from my bed walked to my parents bed room. Something had to be done immediately I knew it. Caught him by the collar and dragged him to the main door. He was never my father in anyway so I didn’t care. My sister was trying to intersect. With my boiling anger and hatred to the man there was no one who could utter a word. Growing as hot blooded teenager gave me the strength and my anger within me helped me to take a stand I didn’t know. He was bit surprise but he didn’t say anything. I went to his room and bought his unopened bags and told him to get lost and never show his ugly face.

When he looked at my mother and said “you are not going to do anything about it?” , my mother walked away without saying any thing. What’s the use of having a husband who is not around when you need him?

When he left the house with his still unopened bags and those gulf tags without saying a word I was boiling with rage. With my mother and sister by my side I was able to cool down. All I wanted was to get the degree as soon as possible and start working. With all hope for future I cleared my HSC with Distinction.

Days passed without much worries. With my mom’s ever smiling face and sister’s laughter life looked beautiful to me again. When my mother feared anger, hatred building up in me she got worried and spoke to the church priest to talk some sense into me. One Sunday after the mass the priest stopped me near the church door . With his 5.3 feet he didn’t even made up to my shoulder. When he realized I was not at all interested to see him or his office he signaled other waiting people and walked with me. He selected an isolated place and started to talk. He spoke about Christianity, beautiful life, future. When the topic slowly turned into broken families I got to know his real interest. To play along I nodded as if I listened to everything. After 15 minutes of non stop chattering with the priest when I glanced at my wrist watch to indicate I am getting late, he said “there’s a national level youth meeting next week. Try to come, it will be fun”. I chuckled and walked away. Mother’s worry too much and priests talk way to much.

To Be Continued(without delay….)

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