All my life up-till now, I witnessed a gradual erosion of relationships. First it were my parents, who stayed in different rooms of the same house. Then it were my grandparents who stayed in different houses. Then my aunt who spurned her love because he did not earn enough. And then it was me.
Ma was my anchor in those turbulent times. My father lashed the whip of his marital frustration on our bare psychological backs and ma healed those wounds from turmeric of her love. She stitched clothes and carried bags of garments door to door to sell them off. Her stories have made me stronger.
How she dared to sneak money from her father’s pocket when she was just 12 to buy her notebooks. How she was flogged by her father when her misdeed was caught. How she revolted to not cook for 30 people because she was a housewife. How she fornicated when my father had no time and respect for her. I know of my delusional friends becoming comfortable carpets for their husbands. My mother refused to be one and ran into all kind of troubles because of her indomitable attitude.
I’m her masculine daughter. I always wanted to be an artist. I sketched, sang, read and wrote stories. But I decided to shun it all and earn so that I can get my mother out of that abusive house. Indeed I was able to do it. But I was wrong. If you rain a parched land, it will yield no fruits. The barren period of loss has made her heart acidic and acerbic.
If a person refuses to develop his potential, it can lead to personal degradation and a mental disorder. Ma has become one. Time has eroded her spirit and she has fallen in depths of degradation. She shouts, humiliates, dirts, strips, and regrets. And I have become her receptacle which I refuse to be. I cannot empathize with her as my own journeys have made me intractable.
Yesterday, she non-stop watched 4 hours of television at a high volume, as she has a hearing loss. I had my periods and I could not sleep in the other room as it has a thin bedding and my back ached. I think I howled as I asked her to switch off the TV. But she did not. As she switched off the TV at 9 PM, we both fought. We again fought when she wanted to use the air conditioner and I shivered.
Materials impact the immaterial aspects of our lives.