Killing the Red God

A serialization of my novel, "Killing the Red God". | Copyright: Hari Kumar | website: www.harismind.com | If this is your first visit, please start from the bottom (start of Chapter 1)

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Location: Singapore, Singapore

Friday, August 19, 2005

Chapter 1 -- Part 20

“What kind of a father are you?” she asks before even saying “Hello, Aaraa?”
I am ready for it: “Not a very good one, Amma” I say and then adds with some sarcasm, “Not as good as the one I have, anyway,”
“Let’s not bring your father into all this, okay. Don’t forget that it was he who taught you and brought you up under his close supervision.” she stresses those words.
“Let’s not talk about that, Amma”
“Yes, let us not. Let us talk about what you are doing to that lovely angel of yours… I received a letter from Poojamol today… Do you have any idea that the poor child’s school has closed for two weeks? Any idea that she is alone out there?” Amma’s voice is shrill.
“You know about my problem…”
“What is your problem?” Amma cuts me off. “Why can’t you get her enrolled in Singapore? Why? Why?”
“You know that Nisha does not approve of it. How many times have I told you that, Amma.”
“How many times did we tell you not to marry this Christian girl?” her voice is softer now. “You could have got such a lovely proposal…We had such dreams for you…”
“You never did, Amma. In fact you said you would support me whatever my choice was. It was Achan who was against… Anyway, it is more than thirteen years now, Amma. We have gone through this so many times…”
“Hmm. It just pains me still…You have to call me this way… like a thief…” I hear her sob.
“Amma…” I pause hesitantly, “…why don’t you visit Pooja, she would be so happy.”
“I wish I could, monay…You know how stubborn your father is even now. He says, if I go, I need not return. Last time I went to Kochi, supposedly to attend a marriage, I had visited her. When he came to know about it, I received such a scolding I cannot forget.”
“You worship him too much, Amma…Once in a while, you have to stand up for what you think is right…I can understand, he may hate me for what I have done, but why show it on such an innocent child?”
“You think that way, because your wife does not respect you,” Amma’s tone is suddenly harsh. “If only she had an ounce of respect for you, none of this would have happened. Poojamol would be happy living with the both of you and everyone would be happy.”
“Let’s not bring Nisha into this, Amma…That’s something I cannot help.”
“Then don’t ever tell me to rebel against your Achan,”
“But…if only he had seen her…at least once.” the words choke in my throat.
“He doesn’t want to see her, because if he did, his heart would melt.”
“That is, if he had one…”
“You don’t know your father, monay. The other day, Chellappan was telling me that one night after everyone had slept, he saw your father quietly opening the doors of your room, where all your things are still there untouched as you left them. Your books, your bat, your photographs, your posters, your cassette player…everything undisturbed for the past thirteen years. Even Shanthamma is not allowed inside your room; that is the only room in this big house that I still have to dust and sweep, myself. Anyway, when Chellappan peeped in, he could see your father holding your photograph — the one in which you are holding aloft that cricket trophy — and looking at it longingly. Chellappan then told me one thing which I myself found hard to believe, but he swore upon his family deity, so I believe it is true… He told me your father’s eyes were wet.”




(To be continued...)

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