Once when I was around 10 yrs old and my dee 12 yrs, my Amma was doing the routine combing to remove the head lices / jua (they are now extinct or endangered species I suppose, haven’t seen even one lice for a long long time now) which flourished and nourished on my long thick black lustrous hair I had then (and now I have something black on my head in the name of hair 😦 ).
I hated this (Indian mother’s favourite pastime) sooo much. Just the sight of the comb used to make me a rebel. All my pleas to leave my hair alone fell into deaf ears. Finally I had enough and I decided to leave home for good. I escaped my Amma’s hold, declared my intention to leave home.
My dee, who was bathing, was hearing the commotion outside. She rushed out of the bathroom with water dripping from her hair and body, wetting the frock she wore. She ran behind me and pulled my arms.
“Please don’t leave, please “
“I have to. I can’t stay in this house. Amma doesn’t like me”
“Then I will also come with you. Please wait for 5 minutes.”
“No am going. I can’t stay here for another minute.”
“Don’t go alone. I will come with you. Please wait for 5 minutes. I will join you.”
“If you want to come with me, come now. I can’t stay here for another minute”
“Please wait for 2 minutes at least. I will come with you. Please.. please..”
I thought, may be she was not stupid like me, wanted to pack some clothes. After all she used to scare Ammamma (granny) often by packing her 2 favourite dresses in a polythene bag and declaring that she would leave home and come to us. (Me and Bro were with parents in Hyderabad till I was nearly 9 yrs old and my dee was left with our Ammamma in Kannur )
“Ok.. I will wait for you at the konipadi (steps at the gate as in picture). But why do you want 2 minutes ?”
“I rushed out of the bathroom hearing that you were leaving. I could just pull on my frock in a hurry but did not wear chaddi (underwear). How can I leave home with you without wearing chaddi ?”
She ran towards the bathroom.
I stood there unable to react. My dee came back running in 2 minutes. I looked at my Amma who was enjoying the whole drama.
My whole anger had vanished but just to teach smiling Amma a lesson, we did not go back home immediately. We both sat at the konipadi till our hunger forced us to return home when Amma called us for tea. We had tea as if nothing had happened.
So what kept me from leaving home that day ? My dee or her Chaddi ?
PS: I wanted to post this on 9th Dec (her birthday). But last two weeks were too hectic at office and awful at home with Babs falling sick.
PPS: Sorry Dee.. I know you would want to burn all my chaddis and leave me chaddiless for posting your chaddi story.