April 11, 2014

A Day in the Life of Me as an 'Adwitiya’ - Shyamasree Muhuri

The below post is part of the Blogging Contest which was organised by BiH - Adwitya (ladies wing of Bengalis in Hyderabad) during Women Day celebrations. This is judged as the winning post in the category, "A day in the life of an Adwitiya".

I guess I should say something about my brother ‘Bullet’. I would call big brother, except he is not even bigger than me in height. Ma always told us to keep our mouths shut if we didn’t have anything good to say about somebody, but, if I did that about him, I should have to stop right now. We were very close as kids. 

I don’t know what happened to him, he has totally changed now. Maybe it’s because he is a boy. He Is Ma’s favorite, I knew that much. I am, maybe a little jealous of him because of that. He doesn’t do anything in the house to help out. He is selfish, loud and rude to me all the time but he acts nice with me in front of Ma. That is, when he needs money.

It is hard to sometimes understand how he is Ma’s favorite. He is always troubling her and doesn’t seem to care about her. My Baba left the three of us in Andhra Pradesh (Ma, Brother and Me) on the road to die. When I was six and brother was 8, Ma somehow managed the family with 1000 rupees a month on a teacher’s meagre salary. She rented a small house for 500 rupees a month. 3 of us had to survive on 500 rupees for the rest of the month. We would eat only once a day for years to come.

After a few years, one day Baba came back. We were very happy and that night we had a proper dinner after a long time, I still don’t know how Ma managed to pull that Dinner off. In the morning, Baba called both Brother and Me to discuss something important, He said, “I want to take to both to Delhi with me, I have beautiful new mother waiting for you there, way beautiful than your mother’. I turned to Baba and tried to sound as disgusted as I was felt by his proposal and asked, “What about Ma?” Baba shrugged and let an oily smile slide across his face and said, “Ma is free to go anywhere she wants” and after a pause, he asks us, “So what are you going to do, Ammu & bullet, staying with Ma or going with Baba?” 

“Who do you think can give you a better life?” Bullet remained silent. I don’t blame, he properly didn’t understand the complexity of the situation. All of us were quite for a while, then, I looked at Baba and all I felt inside for man was ‘Hate’! I know that he is my father and blood is supposed to be thicker than water, however at that moment, all that I wanted to do was forget him, forget that I ever knew him at all, forget the face that was laughing at Ma’s misery. Instead, I walked up to him and questioned, “What would I do with a beautiful new Mother? I need my real Mother”. We never looked back ever since.

That was the day that made me an ‘Adwitiya’.

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About the author: Shyamasree Mandiga is a retired teacher with over 30 years of experience in the field of education and Learning. She teaches music and loves to experiment with cooking.  She is an expert at all things that can be possibly made with "potato'. She read books of all genres but mostly about literature, music and philosophy. Her association with Bengalis in Hyderabad is less than 3 months. She likes reading the posts shared in the Adwitya group and hopes to participate more in the future.


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