Friday, September 11, 2009

Appavum Nanum - Part 5

Back to the routine. 'The stay was refreshing and boosting. To know you are not alone....The Doctor wasnt sure on how long the waiting will take. Let me wait and see for a few days. I need some buffer to think of a good plan. I must finish off my exams asap....'

She was at the library, she had to come late due to aggregated work at the office. She finished rearranging the books. Then she remembered. 'Hmm, I wonder what is the year of publication of that book.... Let me check the library database'.... 'Hmmph, the book is not in the list and ha, I didnt notice it!! Lemme google for it.....1985, 87,....90....I cannot find it. Let me check the book if I can find the appa has signed saying 'to my lovely daughter sapna'.... is it a fake?? can't be...i can recognize the tone....'

Her curiosity grew. She started looking for articles about Rathan in old newspaper, internet... born 1965...started writing in 1986 till 1998....blah blah...list of works...married in child..accident broke his left ankle....became alcoholic...returned home in 2002...the trail ends there....' is a poster on his hand-written famous quotes....' Her mind raced, trying to join the dots backwards.... blood rushed to her head and her face became red. Her hands became numb and tears rolled down her eyes as she kept staring at the handwriting that said ''To my lovely daughter Sapna".....

It was like heaven falling on her head. She went to the Librarian uncle, "Uncle! Can you find me the photo of Rathan, the author?" "Give me a few days ma and I will get back to you" Hunt in his university, signature records, couple of phone calls to the publisher, her convent, the doctor's father, press reporters, confirmed her the heart sinking truth.

Her heart is shattered!! Her hero, her inspiration to her life, her role model, it was.... 'How????' All these years she has known her father as a lowly alcoholic who has lost all hopes in life!! 'The warden knew all along... she never once told me, even my mother.... ma!!! she LIED to me!!! she gave me the wrong picture of my father!! ("No other woman would have lasted longer") ma, how could you!! ' ".....he still didn't get it. Then it dawned on him that he was looking through the wrong window!" 'oh, appa!!! forgive me... will you ever forgive me.... I misjudged you... appa!!! appa!!! Im a fool!!'

She felt cheated, all her anger turned towards her mother. ' lied!!!!'

Appavum Nanum - Part 4

A Big hug, tears of joy, quick updates, snacks, short introduction ends the welcoming ceremony. "Its been years. You have to stay here with us. Its a big place and we have made all the arrangements.", Shreya said. "But, you know my father...I dont want to cause any trouble here". "Thats the very reason we want you to stay Sapna!", it was Shreya's mother. She had met her during the parental visits in the convent. "You and Shreya are best friends. You knew all of us already. Further, staying in a hotel with your father's condition is not advisable. I have always seen you as a daughter and even now. You refused to come and study from here. You have to let us do this atleast.". "Au(hh)-nty, thannks...." . Shreya's mother patted her on her head and smiled.

" will be staying in my room only...", "Where is appa?", "You dont worry on that ri. your father is my father's responsibility from now on. They know about his health conditions. Father has arranged for a full time guy to look after your father and make sure he stays away from drinking. Appa will be staying with him. I know you have not come for vacation alone. Appa will handle all his medical expenses." "No, no...pls..." " If your self-respect irks you, you can pay him back with interest after you have started your CA-ship." "but, how am I going to repa...." "Hey old lady, will you pls stop with your formalities!! Dont bore me di!! I had planned a lot of things on this vacation. four years... wow!! come lets unpack your stuff..."

"ha ha, You still hold onto the Rathan guy is it??", Shreya asked her holding a book. "Yup, I always will!!!" "I guess you will be his biggest fan ever... there is no year of publication, publisher, etc etc page..." "yeah di, its a very old book. appa had given me when you-know-what day. The front page must have been torn. It even had printing mistakes you know." "Hmm. anyways, tomorrow Karthick is coming. You remember him right?" "yeah, that thadiya guy right? One who ruined my assignment instead of yours!!! how can I forget.." "Sir has changed now after becoming the (whispering cid)... his style and attitude is getting onto my nerves these days" "ha ha, it will be fun watching a bro-sis fight after a long time" "you bet!!!"

"AAghh!!!" "You HAVE to bathe one day my sis and I did the honour of saving the world!!!", it was Karthick and it was not Shreya. "uhhh..... Sorry... i thought... Shreya..." "ha ha ha!!!! You SHOULD have worn glasses years ago, Brahma had wasted a pair of eyes???!!! ha ha ha!!!!", Shreya came down to the ground floor balcony laughing. Sapna had left to her room in shock. "She was Sapna na, do you remember, my twin friend??!! She has come here for vacation. will be staying for a few days. Now, you go and save the world!"

"Sorry Sapna, never thought the meeting would turn out to be another disaster, ha ha!!", Shreya entered the room while Sapna was drying her hair. "Its okay di. He couldnt identify who was sitting, from behind my chair" "Oh okay, we have planned for a three day trip to Ooty starting tomorrow as Karthick also has come. We have to leave sharp 4 a.m. Do not oversleep." "Hey Shreya... Im leaving home di. I just came to arrange for the money and was also feeling little dull. The doctor's words still buzzing in my head. I want to get this operation done asap." "Hey!!! its been just two days di..... No, no... You HAVE...." "Pls di Shreya. If I fail in this, all this would be a waste ri!! its personal..." "But how are you going to ensure that he doesnt drink...??" "I'm going to admit him to the hospital di until the operation is done. Hopefully, it will be for a few days only. I also spoke to the doctor yesterday itself about it" "hmm.... okay....."

Appavum Nanum - Part 3

The smell of lemon is so fresh. People in white dresses, a child's cry, the sickly faces reminded her of the museum old father of the watchman in her convent. Whoever loses the bet has to go to his room and get a string of thread from his blanket. Entering the room of the sickly mummy like old man was the daring most thing they could think of those days. 'Doctors take their own time', she thought.

Finally the nurse nodded and asked her to fill some application forms and gave a list of tests for her father. The doctor will attend to her father only after the test results. Lucky for her, they were kind on her pocket. Basic urine, blood tests... Her father escaped her last two attempts of testing by fully loading him. This time she was prepared for him.

The results came and doctor called her. 'Do the doctor always give this grave look or what??'. "Miss...", "Sapna!", "Ahh, Ms. Sapna. I had already told you to stop his drinking habits. Looks like you were being careless!". "Doctor, let it out. How bad is he?". "Well, his liver can fail anytime. Single drop more and nothing will be gauranteed. I suggest that you apply for liver transplant and it is better to transplant early than to wait for it to fail..... I know your concern.... Sapna, my father is a close friend of your father. I know your family situation. Even if you apply now, we will never know when we will get one... the liver has to match... Give him these tablets regularly which will sustain the current situation and give us a buffer time... blah blah blah..."

'It had all come to this now Sapna!'. "How many days did he say?", her father asked her. She gave him a desperate look, "Appa, why don't you give me a chance? why can't you help me prove that I took the right decision? (sigh) I wish you would listen to me once". "You are like your mother, even she wanted me to listen to her. but its no use...".

'A single drop more and nothing will be gauranteed, the doctor had said. How am I going to stop him? How to arrange for the transplant? I had saved some from all my pocket money which barely meets. scholarship money... how much was it???'. She won the outstanding student award in her 12th and was awarded scholarship for higher education by 'Tamil literary society'. She was safe keeping it as it is the only family savings for emergencies. 'The bank branch was in my convent place. may be i can take appa along with me stay there for a while. I need a break. it will be a good change. shreya is also there...Shreya, my only living moral support after ma left...'

Appavum nanum - Part 2

It was still fresh in her mind. She had finished her 12th and came home. Her mother was packing all her things. It has been decided. It had been three days since the shock came in. 'May be, I knew this would come. After what ma has been through all these years...', she thought. But still it is hard. What difference would it make to her anyways. She had always been away from her parents since she remembered. Convent food, hostel mates, warden, empty vacations, postal gifts, monthly letters, calls from ma, occasionally pa.... this had been her world. 'If not for the warden.... she's like a mother to me.... all those days of longing for father would have been difficult otherwise. May God bless her...'

"Get ready Sapna, stop day dreaming. Your thatha's car have come! uffo, this is still unpacked... how did you manage alone in the convent I wonder...blah..blah...". "Coming ma!! give me a break... After all these years I thought I would get my family again... Why did I ever come here to see all this happening? why did you bring me back!..". "Thats enough! don't start this again... You are grown up and mature enough. All these years, I have been putting up with this man only for your sake. for your studies to get over... Do you think any other woman would have lasted longer??. Now, hurry up!"

Her mother took her luggage to the car outside. She was packing her backpack. Her father was standing by the door and watching her. He was too weak and not in his senses to walk properly. She was angry at him. If not for him, this would not have happened. Why can't he be like the other fathers? She used to get cards and gifts from her father. but after a while, there is void in their relationship. Her father entered into the room and went for the bed. She ignored him. When she was about to leave, "Sapna! here, keep this with you.", he handed her a book. It was Rathan's, her favourite author. She smiled, 'How come?'. But she was too angry to say thanks.

"Sapna, hurry up!!". "Yes mother", she was rushing towards the car. Her father was trying to catch upto them to say Good bye. As she turned to have a last look at her father whom she was longing to see four days ago, she saw it happen. Her father lost his balance and fell off the entrance onto the mud road. He brushed all the mud and was struggling to stand on his legs. she rushed to help her father and it continued ever since.

"you are out of your senses!!! Now, you better come with me... you are not going to achieve anything staying with this man. I have experienced everything. You are being naive and emotional and you do not know the real world. Listen to your mother... You will become a failure living with this man!!!" It didn't enter her senses. "Ma, all these years I have always longed for a father's affection. Now that I have him, I dont want to ditch him like this. I know he is not a good man. But he is my father after all..."

"Listen young lady... you will come to me one day!! you will realize what's more important to survive in this world. When you get back to your senses, come to me alone, I will always be there to receive you" She gave a big hug to her mother. That was the last day she saw her. Occasionally she used to get letters from her mother. It used to be frequent. As months passed, the letters also faded. Now its been a year since she heard from her mother.

Her mother has found herself a new family. She also has a son and daughter now. During hostel days, she is the one who used to send gifts for her birthday, letters every month. 'Ma, you even forgot my birthday for the last two years... Everyone has a family, what did I do to be devoid of one...' tears rolled down... "Only fire maketh the steel" (his quote), she continued the accounts.

Appavum nanum - Part 1

".....he still didn't get it. Then it dawned on him that he was looking through the wrong window!" Sapna closed her book and gave a satisfactory smile. Its always been the case. Her favorite author Rathan. Her sole inspiration to life and whenever she faced trouble, his words pushed her through the phase. Her dream is to meet this author once within her lifetime. He doesn't write anymore and she wondered if he is alive... [CRASH!!!!!!]

"What happened appa...??" she came rushing down the hall. Hmm.. as usual the man had no sense of reality and was drifting in his own world and had fell down. "Appa, will you ever stop this thing?!??!?... How much can that liver stand!!! Hurgh!! whats the use....!! God only knows.." She helped him into his room. His father gave her a soft smile, "he he... not this... its the usual left leg twitching again...I forgot the leg band.." and laid down the bed.

'Why did I ever choose this? If only.... "Obstacles are for the losers..." ',his words came to her mind and resigned the thought. She packed her lunch, took the book she finished this morning and set off for her office. CA-intern, salary is barely sufficient to meet the ends being the sole bread provider of the family. She is hoping things will be better after she finishes the course.

She was staring at the file, 'Next month exam fees needs to be paid. And also the extra course I need to take for the CA!! hmm.. appa also needs a check-up, I'm seriously worried about his health. even adulterating that thing with water doesnt help much' . She looked at the time and realized its late for her class. After seeking permission for extension of exam fees, she left for the favorite stop of her day, the library. The owner is a family friend and she is been there ever since they moved there. She takes care of the accounts unofficially and also helps in sorting out the books at the end of the day. She also manages the book collection. Extra cash will always help.

She came back home at 10 pm. Not bad... The food was only half eaten. Her father had gone as usual. She finished her dinner and returned to do accounting for the library which usually goes till 12. A knock on the door.. it was her father... looks like he ran out of money... 'Good thing' she thought. She went back to her accounts. 'Its been four years and I have done only two exams... It ll take another 1-2 years.. (sigh)'. "You will become a failure living with this man!!!", her mothers words flashed into her mind. 'Why did she leave us? Ma, I miss you....' (To be cont...)