The Flower that didn't bloom
Sunitha! Are you still sleeping? The roaring voice of Sunitha's mother Kamala woke 14 year old Sunitha with a jolt. "Amma, I want to sleep for some time, I am feeling tired". What! Don't you know there is hardly few more days left for the youth festival? Ambika has almost finished her final rehearsal. Sasikala aunty told me that secretly, when I went for the Samajam yesterday. I could find an aura of confidence in the face of Ambika's mother, Sheela. In fact she was grinning at me. Well, will show her what I am, let her wait and see!
Poor Sunitha was really tired, whole evening she was practicing classical, folk, semi folk dances and after that other items like Mono-act, Light music so on and on. Her mother was scrutinising thoroughly without a blink of her eye lids, just attending to some of the calls through her cell phone, the gossips pumped by some of the mothers who stood on either sides like the jackal waiting to overcome the thirst by drinking blood of the innocent goats it had provoked to fight.
After the rehearsal and a quick gobble of break¬fast, Sunitha made her way to school, Ambika her best friend was waiting patiently at the corridor. On see¬ing her she rushed towards her, "Suni, why are you late, I want to tell you so many things. My Aunt came from Mumbai, do you know a place called 'Lonavala'? It's near to Mumbai, that place is famous for Chikkys. Do you know Chikky? It's a kind of sweet made from ground nut, gingerly, channa, pista, etc. Oh! It's so delicious, Look! I have brought one whole packet for you." Ambika's sweet innocent blabbering was stirring confused emotions in Sunitha's mind for secretly her mother was forbidding her from mingling with Ambika. Whenever she brought a topic about her, her month cut short and retorted rudely "will you please stop this talk, I hate her mother, impertinent Lady I want to teach her a lesson. She is going to become purple when you get titled as 'Kala Thilakam'. I am waiting for that day". As day grew nearer poor Sunitha was getting nervous, one side she was sick of her mother's strict supervision and comments and on the other side she felt she was about to loose her best friend.
At last the day came, it was a sunny morning. Early birds were chirruping, playing the initial notes, the ray of the silky sun spread a carpet across the lawn, busy-bee started collecting the early nectar before contamination. But only Sunitha felt glum, she felt as through she has been given a 'test of fire', that was given to goldsmith, battered and beaten until it shown. She saw a tiny kitten moving slowly in research of its twin.
Suddenly, Sunitha too felt a pang of loneliness. She cut short her train of thoughts when her mother remarked that we have to do the final rehearsal, drink the glass of milk and dress up fast.
The quest began at a slow stride, the classical items were bagged high by Sunitha, but she felt a sort of guilt. She felt she was defeating Ambika. She didn't want to beat her. When she went to chat with her, her ¬mother pulled her off; she felt she was being strangled. A sort of uneasiness and a vacuum feeling filled her mind. It was the time of monoact, she had done the rehearsal very well, and it was an easy item to her. But when the event began, she didn't know what she had to tell, she only knew one thing, was it real or a dream ... she was sitting with Ambika munching 'Lonavala Chikky', "Can I meet your Aunt to thank her?" Oh no! My mother won't let me, she will scold me. Ambika, will you come to my home like before?" The whole audience sat spell bound. Her mother, Kamala, screamed. Sunitha didn't know what was happening. She was drifting to another world, a world of her own choice and in real that world was a mental sanatorium.
AG'S Office, Trivandrum
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