Tuesday, September 4, 2012

30 day challenge. Day # 4

Think of two very different people you know. Invent a character who combines characteristics of both of them. Then put this character in a stressful family situation ...

"They say that the world was built for two", sang Tithiya, imitating her current favourite - Lana Del Ray, in the college fest. She could see her friends standing in the first row itself, Joy was flinging his hair wildly - he must be high on weed, she thought. Arundhuti kept looking at Joy with a mix of amusement and disgust. Karan and Nishi were trying to look romantically towards each other - but ended up bursting into laugher every time. Tithiya felt so happy seeing them there. They just made life perfect. Good friends, great parents, a fun college and a guaranteed internship at the media house of her choice. Life was good for Tithiya Sharma.

"Yohoo, Sharma! You were fabulous," Arundhuti came bouncing up the stairs even before Tithi had the chance to come off the stage. She smiled.

"Are you sure it wasn't bad? I went off key in some places".

"Bleh. You always feel that way about yourself, don't you? Under-sell to the world!" chided Arundhuti.

Tithi wanted to go back home. Rest for a while and tell her parents about the show. They would be proud. She has the most awesome parents ever. They have always supported her through whatever she has fancied at any point in her life. Like when she wanted to take up art in class two, her dad had brought her most of the crayons in the market. In class six she decided she wanted to be a dancer. And her mother went to each of her shows after that. By ninth she thought she had it made as a basketball champ. The only time her parents had become a bit strict with her was when she discussed her brilliant idea of leaving studies and going pro with the sport. They have been there through her life. To them, she was the perfect child. And to her, her parents were the ones whose words were the ultimate thing.

As she entered her house in CR Park, she could not smell her mother's incense sticks which she offered the Gods every evening at sundown. Her father's car was parked in the garage. And the light in the living room seemed to be on. She caught sight of Vohra aunty, her neighbour. Did she imagine it or did Vohra aunty just shake her head and clicked her tongue?

"Mumma! Papa", she called out as she entered the house. Her parents sat in the living room. Something told her it was not right. She went and sat next to her dad and looked from one parent to the other.

Her father broke the news to her," Your mother is leaving us."

"What???" Tithi was shocked.

"Yes, she wants to get married to Arjun uncle." Her father could hardly disguise the sarcasm in his voice.

"No. What! Is this a joke?" This had to be a joke. Her mom would never do something like this. It wasn't proper. It just wasn't. She loved papa. She loved Tithi. "Mumma, say something."

"Look beta, I wanted to tell you this myself. But the time was such. And.. and I was never sure how you'd take it."

"I met Arjun in college. We have been friends ever since. I must confess we have always felt strongly towards each other. But we decided to not take anything forward because I was about to be married to your father. I have had the best moments of my life in this family. Your father is a good man. He has been there for me. And you have given me so many reasons to feel happy and to be proud." Her mother looked down," And you are also one of the reasons why I have the courage to do this today."

"Did you just blame me for this mess? What is happening?"

"No beta. I am not blaming you. I am saying I am thankful. You have always been the girl who showed maturity beyond her years. And you feel that love is the biggest thing in the world. You were always falling in love with different things - sometimes dance, sometimes pets, sometimes algebra. And yet you gave them your best shot - your whole time. I know now that if I give my time, I can be happy too. And it’s not like I won’t be around. I will be next to you... through out your life - whenever you need me".

No. Stop it. Don’t make me a part of it. This is horrible. You are horrible" she screamed. With tears streaming down her face, she ran up to her room and slammed the door.

As she lay there thinking. She remembered all the days she had spent with her mumma and papa together. How perfectly in love they had looked. Had mumma ever been unhappy? Had mumma always been unhappy? Was it ok for her to do this? It couldn't be, could it?

But... but then. If she did love someone how can she, her mumma's little daughter, not be there to encourage her. Ok. She didn't love papa. But they were still not fighting. Then maybe it is ok to fall in love after an age. Maybe it is ok to let go of the things she had just take one more step towards an unknown future.

Her mother had waited all these years till Tithi was in the final year of college, therefore old enough to take care of herself. She didn't need her mother to be around her all the time. In all probability she would be studying in Mumbai for her masters. Why then should she leave behind her mother, unhappy and never being able to talk about what she wanted to anyone? It would hurt her. It would also be embarrassing to admit that she came from a broken home. But she had to do what was expected of her. She had to be the perfect daughter once more.

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