Monday, April 04, 2011

Angel for a Sister.

How could I have been so foolish, Mohini? How? I still think of him. In spite of the empty nights he has left me with. Instead of our soft warm double bed, he prefers to sleep on the sofa. I go to him at night, my body smelling of lavender or rosemary or thyme, but he pushes me away. Why Mohini? Do you hear me? Do you feel my weight shifting on your bed? How long will you lie here, locked inside that hazy misty dreamless state?
I can make you empty this bed in a minute. Press my fingers against that throbbing place in your neck. Or the pillow on your face. Or take off those tubes silently. Those tubes that go in and out of your mouth, nose, ears. You wouldn't even come to know, Mohini. You wouldn't. You would just lie there. Just like that, I could finish you off. But I have saved you for the last. For me to, once I'm done with you, relish my gluttony n lick my bloodied fingers afterwards. Long slow licks. I practiced u see. Licking myself. Licking my arms or my calves, to know what it would feel like. Who taught me? Why, you, Mohini ! I saw you. Observed you. Learnt. Bet you didn't know that.
The Doctor comes to me every morning with his troupe of nurses. All white, clickety-clack, clickety-clack they go around. Their shoes echoing loudly in the corridor, while they go about with their fingers touching their lips. Shhh. Shhh. The bitches. And then they tell me, 'We are sorry for you. We know how much you love your sister. Don't worry she will be alright.'
Haha. I laugh at them. The trolls. The Doctors rips out pages after pages of medications for you. I would have thrown them out, burnt them, trashed them, were it not for the Nurses. But I don't grudge you these small expenses. I know you will pay me. In kind.
Your sonogram results are in. 'Oh, Look, it is a perfect baby. See the fingers and the toes.' I reciprocate with fake noises of Delight. Little hollow shrieks of Happiness. I send out the ward boy to buy sweets for everyone. Receivers mumble thanks. Or prayers. For your quick recovery. For the baby's health. Some of them whisper into your stinking ears 'You have an Angel for a Sister, Mohini'...Ha. Sympathy. Pity. I'm used to them.
Don't worry if you don't understand the meanings of these words. They are nouns. Emotions. The adjectives are Sympathetic. Pitiful. But my adjectives are different from the ones used for you. Beautiful is one of your adjectives. Yours. Not mine. That word stings me every time I hear it.
We are two halves of the same egg. When Daddy's tiny sperm could not have a whole egg, it split the egg into two. And consumed both. But because it ate one half with Soy sauce and the other half with Tomato Ketchup, we are not identical twins. I'm the Soy-dipped half.
You were always Sweet, Popular. Bitter n Dark was me. Unfortunately like Chocolate, the boys at school didn't want to have me, even with wine.
You were doe-eyed, curly haired, dimpled, slender. The Beautiful One. Mohini. The Enchantress. I was dorky, introverted. Shyamala. the Dark-complexioned one. 
The letters were for you. And so were the Valentine's Day cards. And the Red roses. The gifts, the dates, the telephone calls.
I, like a sore on a leper's body, festered, rotted. Left alone to pick at the scabs, I spied upon you. Through the car windows. Through the chinks in your bedroom door. I witnessed the boys fumbling with your clothes, spreading you, pushing inside you. Fumbling. Biting. Groping. Kissing. Slobbering. All through it, you made little 'cute-sounding' noises.
But you were nice to me. Angelic, like Mum said. You took me everywhere you went. You gave me all your toys. You gave me the bigger portions of all the nice things we ate, n the smaller portions of all the tasteless things. You applied nail polish to my large, white-speckled nails. You clipped pretty pins into my hair. You scrubbed the soles of my feet clean, in the bath.
You must have managed to make me look human. For Subhashish noticed me. That day while you were dancing away to glory, I sat in the corner. Downing glasses of Smirnoff vodka. One large Vodka on the rocks. Four cubes of ice, please. Thank you. Burning with shame. Hatred. My gaze followed you. Followed you. Followed you. Until Subhashish stood in front of me. 'Aren't you dancing?'. He asked.
You came back to find me gone. Then you saw me on the dance floor. Gyrating with wild abandoned joy.
Eyes wide with surprise,you hugged me from behind. Later we went back to the house and stayed up all night. I remember you handed over a spare strip of your Pills. 'Use this.' You advised.

Seven months later I was to be married. You picked up my dresses, shoes, jewelery. You decided the make-up and the hair. The Salon and the Spa. You fussed over me. In spite of your divorce from Rishabh, you were happy. For me. We spent every minute together. Shopping. Hanging out with your new boyfriends. You helped Subhashish pick out the ring. I wouldn't have known unless u guys spilled the beans.
Did you have a premonition of what was to come, Mohini? Did u?
The pre and post-wedding celebrations. The Honeymoon Trips. You arranged it all. You were my Angel.
What changed it Mohini?
I found them much later. The SMSes in his phone. The mails to him. The engaged dial tones when I called both of you together. But I did not for a minute doubt you Mohini. Never.
Until your Doctor called seven months ago. You said the baby was Atul's. That the gorged balloon under your dress was Atul's doing. I bought gifts for that insect now growing inside you. I smothered it in kisses. Framed the Ultrasound scans in my bedroom, showering them with this love for my Sister's baby.
Displayed pictures of us together in my bedroom.
Did Subhashish look at them, while he was inside me? While he sat up late writing his novels? Did he look at me and feel pity or perhaps, did he laugh secretly?
He tells me he has loved me all throughout. 'My heart belongs to you, Shyamala, but Mohini has my soul.' What should I have done, Mohini? Waddled up to you on my short legs and said 'You can have him, because u r my twin? A part of me?'.
So I plotted. It would be just a slip on the stairs. Nothing more. A slight slip to get rid of that bump under your dress. Nothing more.
I mopped the staircase. Poured a little oil on the top steps. Then I went down. Called the landline from my mobile. 'Subhashish is calling you, Mohini. Says he doesn't know what to buy for me. Help him, will you?' My voice echoed in the empty house. Thin, reedy. Did it sound frightened? Murderous? Hateful? Did it jar your ears? I will never know. You came running out of the room. Radiant. Happy. You ran to the stairs.
I lurched, telephone dangling off its hook. 'No wait, Mohini, Stop right there'. But of course no words came out of my throat. I stifled them. Pummelled them inside.
I saw you falling down. Once. Twice. Thrice. You bumped your head on the marble steps. I waited. Crouched next to you. No Blood from where I expected. Only your head was bloody. Some scratches on your legs. Your wrist was bent at an unnatural angle. Dismayed I dialled the Ambulance.
I failed. I failed Mohini. You always did win, didn't you? Now the Doctor says the baby is safe.
I will be done with you only when I hand over your bastard to Subhashish. Thrust it in his face. Dump it on him.
The house is in my name. I will not be the one homeless. I don't care where Subhashish goes.
As to you, the Doctor shakes his head everyday. 'I see no hope for her.'
And then, I will lick my fingers. Satisfied. Like, after a tasty meal. Maybe, even burp. 


monty said...

oh yours is nice and dark...i like the finger licking was a good read...:)

Shilpa Nair said...

Oh, Thank You Monty!! Ur comment is finger-licking good ;)

the critics said...

nice......But because it ate one half with Soya sauce and the other half with Tomato Ketchup, we are not identical twins. I'm the Soya-dipped half..................

The engaged dial tones when I called both of u together. But I did not for a minute doubt u Mohini.

I bought gifts for that insect now growing inside u. I smothered it in kisses. Framed the Ultrasound scans in my bedroom, showering them with this love for my Sister's baby...................beautiful, i loved those lines

Shilpa Nair said...

Thank You 'TC'.... :)
The paragraph about the twins is my favorite too....!!!
Looking forward to hearing more from u :)

Vetri said...

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Shilpa Nair said...

Many Many Thanks Vetri !!! I will spread word about ur website too.... :)

Jaidev Jamwal said...

Loved the stories. Really good work

Shilpa Nair said...

Thanx Jaidev :)

Prateek said...

A very well written post Shilpa. Congratulations.

sulaiman sait said...

very well written, your command over the language and a good flow of the language made it really interesting to read...

Enchanta said...

Read this

Awesome story... Reminded me of Vicky, Christina, Barcelona