6 years ago
Making Amends Part 1
The same evening, Wed, May 13 @ Munirka. an hour after he spoke to II
.. Bala fought traffic somehow found a parking spot 6 blocks down
and walked up the stairs
meeting the young couple, they wondered why an addition to the balcony water outlet was needed and that the family on the 1st floor werent
crazy about water dripping outside their bedroom window, neither were the Khans on the ground floor
"The awning is canvas so it will get ruined over time" he smiled insincerely
"Well we dont know what to say to the people on 1st and ground"
"Let me handle that"
"Also your Dad borrowed India Today and Business India yesterday can we pick it up after dinner?'
"Sure I will send it with Shravu" he smiled "Sorry he has all the channels on TV not sure why he does that"
"Thats perfectly fine Bala... I have parents too" the man spoke kindly
Bala trudged up, he had two kg of milk packets and atleast 5 kg of veggies, he had asked Vandu not to step out in the evenings as Munirka market was a mess... nobody followed any rules, cars and autos freuqnetly bumped into
people knocking them over as they haggled over veggies or house hold stuff on the street, with hawkers
Vandu saw him from the kitchen but didnt step out or smile, shut the cooker off and turned to chopping veggies
Sweated poured all over her face, neck and back, her tan blouse was soaking wet... she hated sarees when she was pregnant wonder why she was wearing one today...
His parents watched TV in the living room with the loudest volume
Shravu lay, leaned in bed, on the head board, shaking his feet starting at his toes...
He set the veggies on the dining table
"Appa marundu vangineyo?" did u buy appa's meds" Amma asked
"Ille ma... I left work at 7, kariga paal ellam vanngindu ippo daan varen" (i just got veggies and milk) he was damn irritated
Sweaty and tired, the living room had no AC.. looks like Shravu's AC was still not commissioned... he was infuriated...
the days Shravu was too sleepy to walk over to their room (he was too heavy to be lifted now)
He would be soaked in the morning under the fan... he felt a lump in his throat
He would appreciate some cold water now... but... he had to help himself to it... most bottles were half empty or wholly empty
He found a couple he drank and walked to the kitchen... he would steal a kiss or get frisky... mostly every evening.. without fail
Unless they were fighting
She turned on the gas stove under the wok and poured oil...
Turned to a huge bowl of wheat flour and poured water and sifted with her fingers
"Enna panninaan?" (what did he do the whole day?)
She didnt respond...
"Shravu enna panninaan?"
"He sat on his bed the whole day" she said not looking at him
He wandered to his son's room the buy stopped shaking his legs and got off the bed,... there was no balcony now... no door it was all taken out and the glass doors sat over the rail... he just peeked out
Kids played down stairs... gully cricket... he was their boss... 8-18.. came asking for him...
A shiny sports car slid by... a visitor? His eyes sparkled and paused... hoping it was Uncle R?
Vandu entered the room and found his bournvita sitting on the bedside table "Kudi kanna" she urged
He returned... took it from her and drank it in one gulp
She wiped his upper lip off with her wet/sweaty saree pallu...
"Poi sloham solreya?" (will u say the evening prayers?) she asked softly
"No Amma" he hugged her FAT belly and began to cry the sound from the street below killing every resolve he had
She cried too "Do paar, one day over... two days this week and two next, BAS 4?" "OK raja?" she cooed
He shook his head and sobbed...
"Innikki 20 over match ma" he begged (there was a 20 over match)
"I KNOW kanna" she kissed the top of his head
Paati came "Vandu... appa mookannadi enge vecha teriyale tedi taruviyo?" (Will us search for Appa's glasses?)
Vandu quickly nodded hiding her face...
"Kozhandai edukku azharan?" Paati asked
Bala was leaning on the newly installed fiber glass windows, feet cross, arms crossed across his chest
"Cricket pohanum solraan" "he wants to go for cricket" she said
"Anuppendi? Session daane homework illai" (session has barely begun, no HW)
"No Ma its too hot" Vandu lied
Her kadhai began fuming she walked to the kitchen with the boy attached to her belly
"Ice cream kudukkatum?"
She cried many tears as she threw chopped beans in the wok and closed it with a plate...
"Inime yaaroda PENCIL kooda edukka kudaadu cheriya pattu kutti?" (dont even bring a pencil home)
MAATAVE MAATEN AMMA" (NEVER Amma)
She kissed him all over his face
"Umachi is watching Raja... the boys that steal, he will steal their hands first then their legs...
Virat Kohli madiri apram cricket aada mudiyaade?" (u cant play like him)
He looked frightened
"HOW DOES HE EVEN KNOW?" he asked logically
"HE knows everything Raja"
"Does he have a computer?"
"MANY" Vandu said grabbing ice cream from the freezer, and scooping it into a small steel bowl
"Go eat raja... kitchen is very hot kannappa"
He nodded a smile broke out at the sight of butter scotch ice cream
She sobbed by the sink
"Azhaade kanna" Bala said softly
She stopped shut the faucet and turned... and began kneading the dough
He stood there... she made chai for him quietly... he drank it in the burning hot kitchen... sweating more
MIL came back asking for glasses
Bala was irritated... he went to look
When Vandu was done close to 9 he followed her to the bedroom
"Inga va da kanna" he begged
She shook her head and went out to the balcony to bring the basket of dry clothes
She hit the AC and sat on the bed and began folding
The AC creaked and sputtered
"Neeche bhej na usko khelne" Bala said
She froze... crying.. more
"Inda room ku koopdu" (Ask him to come here)
"U will hit him again" Vandu waved a finger warningly... whispering choking
"NO I SWEAR toda maaten kanna" he said (I wont touch him)
"NO... I wont.." Bala took his shirt off and flung it on the bed, his vest was soaked and grimy
He sat on the bed and held his head in despair
"Innikki Ishita va kathitten" (I yelled at her )
Vandu threw a half folded vest of his
"Did u hit her too?" she asked calmly
Bala was not facing her, he turned... angry
"WHY will I hit her
"U CANT LAY A FINGER ON HER... aval purushan pinni pedal eduthuduvaan " Vandu said with pride (her hubby will cream u)
Bala was JUST BARELY GETTING OVER HIS ENVY ... FOR NOW
This did NOT help
"I bet u cant wait to see me in jail" he sniggered
"WHY DID U EVEN TALK TO HER" Vandu shouted
"She called, she wants something" he said grumpily
There was a knock on the door... Bala opened it Shravu stood with his cup..
"Amma innum tareya... konjoondu please?" he asked innocently ( another small scoop?)
"IDO raja" she attempted to get upp
Bala approached the door attmepting to open it wide so he could get out and serve him,
the boy assumed he is going to be hit and dropped the cup and the spoon and leaned on the wall TERRIFIED
"Ammma" he groaned
"Adikkale kanna" Bala begged ("I wont hit you")
"I dont want" he scooted along the wall
Vandu walked out and dragged him before her in laws could witness the child in terror
"Shhh shhh inga va" she cuddled, he buried his face in her fat belly... "Vendaam ma" he said softly
Vandu looked at Bala helplessly
Bala felt a tear roll down his cheek, his lower lip shook uncontrollably...