Monday, September 11, 2006

Broken Patterns

Certain patterns remain the same even after years, despite the many emotional turmoils one goes through in life. Why does the mind always remember what one ate and puked at the Annual School day right after lunch at the neighbourhood Aunty's ? How and why did it make that connection?

There were patterns everywhere, even in the randomness of her mundane life, like the way she would stand in the living room and watch TV while brushing teeth. Years of shouting by her Mother and Ammayi did nothing to change that. Initially it was fun just to make Ammayi restless at her lack of finer feminine qualities. But soon she grew a liking for the burning sensation in one's cheeks when the froth had been held inside for too long. She would then slowly walk to the bathroom to rinse her mouth. When there was no TV, like the time she spent in the hostel, she would just come to her room and sit on her bed and stare at her sleeping room mates. But the pattern never changed. Not once.

Ammayi always stood at her post, in front of the kitchen with a tumbler of steaming, hot coffee and a big frown. That was another one of her pet peeves. "Young girls shouldn't drink coffee. Coffee will make you dark and your skin wrinkled like mine," she would claim. Shalini grinned widely and went to her room with the morning paper and wouldn't return till she heard Ammayi screaming about her being late for college.

For as long as she could remember, Ammayi had always been around. Shalini couldn't think of a moment not stamped with the smiling brown, wrinkly face, revealing her paan stained teeth. The day she rode her new Lady Bird bicycle and fell down, before she could feel the pain Ammayi was beside her, hurling insults on the many bicylce makers for their lack of integrity while manufacturing cycles. Shalini forgot her pain but not that soothing voice.

It was Ammayi's booming voice that announced guests and chided Shalini for her unkempt room and 'boyish' haircut. It was those knobbly hands which caressed Shalini's head and put her to sleep, every night. Every birthday, it was Ammayi 's voice that woke her up, softly humming a devotional song she didn't know the words to. And one day, just like that, without any rhyme or reason, that voice stopped announcing visitors.

She loved to stand and watch TV every morning, while brushing her teeth. One her way back from the bathroom, she would stop at the kitchen for a moment, grinning at a vacant spot before walking in to make herself a cup of coffee. Certain patterns remain the same how much ever we try to break them.

P.S: Title flicked from one of Suzy's latest beautiful renditions. Story was inspired by the title.


Anonymous amma & appa said...

indruthan paditom .nandraha irunthathu. Aamam athu yar antha ammayee

7:47 AM  
Blogger Kumari said...

@Amma/Appa: Thank you :) Ammayi is just a character i created.

10:55 AM  

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