Tuesday 1 September 2009

ShortStory 2009 FeaturedWriter Kamalika Dutta

God Crying

14th September 1998.
God is again crying for me today. Mamma’s saying that He will continue to cry if I don’t finish my food. Okay, I will eat that yucky sabzi , but I don’t want You to stop crying, okay God ? ‘Coz when you cry, it rains…and when it rains...the earth smells so good! 

I tasted the soil once, after you cried the whole night (I wonder why?). Perhaps it left marks on my face. Mamma slapped me that day…..called me ‘mad’, again and again…then burst out sobbing herself. I felt so confused! When others call me that, she fights with them, now she herself….I don’t know?! 

My Mamma fights too much. She fights with everyone! With the medicine man who comes every month, the milkman, our maid…and Mamma’s boss who keeps calling every night when we play scrabble ( which I always win ). 

Once, Rahim Chacha had come to our room, she fought with him too. I had broken a toy in his shop. But I never intended to! How do I know that the plane won’t fly after I left it in the air?! It always flies over our heads in the night?

You know, that day he took away ALL the money we had, for that stupid plane. But Mamma had hugged me hard and told me not to worry…her thin bones were hurting me...but it still felt so nice, so warm…and I thought, we don’t need money for this…isn’t it God?

15th September 1998
Mamma is ill. Twice a day, Pushpa Tai comes and gives us food and a big yellow tablet for Mamma. I have seen lots of such yellow tablets in Rahim Chacha’s shop. Big jars full of them. Kids come and ask for them. Tomorrow I’ll ask Tai to bring one for me too.

16th September 1998
Tai scolded me. God, I don’t like her. She shoos me away as if I ‘m a dog. But I love dogs….they have such nice twinkling eyes. Last night, even Mamma’s eyes were twinkling…but I saw, they had tears. I don’t know why I felt so unhappy. Was she missing my father? They say, he left her because of me. Once, when I was small...I had tried to bite his hand. That, was his last day in this house. 14th September 1998. He never could slap me again.

Rahim Chacha says he got a new daughter after that…and a new wife too! She goes to college now I heard! Wish…I could see her once. But Mamma cries when I ask about them, so I stopped. Wait. Mamma‘s calling me... Oh God, she’s been crying again…

17th September 1998
I am wearing a new dress. A sari. It’s starched and making noise like a newspaper. Pushpa Tai made me wear it. She says, from now on I’ll be wearing a sari always.
Always?!! Oh no God?
I’m going to a place where Mamma will not be coming with me. Last night , she told me about it. I am going to a doctor with Tai. If he likes me, he will let me live in his BIG house and play with ALL his toys he has !!! I wanted to ask mamma if I can tell him to buy those yellow tablets for me?...But she had closed her eyes, still holding me so tightly that it hurt. Last night we slept like that.

18th September 1998
I’m sitting in a big room. Two windows on both my sides. Sister Puja standing near the door. I like this sister. She has a kind voice, unlike any of the others. She keeps her word, unlike ALL the others…

Nobody came, after they left me here. Tai went back that day even before the doctor came. How did she know that the doctor will like me? I haven’t seen Mamma for so many days. Sometimes I try to remember her features, but her face looks so cloudy. I wait for her every night. The soft tinkle of her bangles when she used to come in with the scrabble. Nobody plays that here. I hate mamma. Why doesn’t she come to me God? Doesn’t she love me too?

19th September 1998
The woman sitting next to me is saying that the new doctor eats human flesh every night. She has seen. One day we all will be eaten up.
I don’t want to listen to her. I am writing a letter to Mamma. You know, last night she came (!) and said she’ll come today to collect it . I don’t know what is the date today. Sister Puja gave me her pen and I’ve written a LOT.
I’ve written about everyone , everything.

The friends I have made here , the cooking I am learning ( and the burn I got ..),the dresses they give us to wear..the bad girl of the last bed, who vomits every night, nothing comes out Mamma, I have seen, but she tries religiously…the Sister who slapped me that day..when I refused to sit on that horrible chair…the bread I eat every night…

And the little son of the Maali. Mamma, he calls me ‘Didi’…and it makes me so happy.
I have decided to teach him scrabble. I’ll make one for myself, as you had taught me? Oh Mamma, I so wish to hug you!

20th September 1998
She didn’t come that night. Something in me says, she never will. They say she died the day after I was brought here. I don’t believe them. I won’t. I feel she is here, she is there…she is everywhere….I know it…! But she isn’t coming to me. Why? I don’t know. My head spins and swirls. I have never felt this way before. It seems that finally I am turning mad and again…..

God is again crying for me tonight.

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