I had taken the day off. Since I was working in graveyard shift starting that week (i.e., from 6 PM to 3:30 AM) I had come home early morning that day. Couldn’t sleep at all considering the fact that there was no bedsheet at home, I was sleeping on an iron cot that the owner had provided which was playing music in sync with my movements. When I had reached home, I was very thirsty and there was no water. It was just before dawn broke, so had to wait till sunrise to quench my throat. I woke up quite early and waited to meet the milkman to ask him to supply milk for us. Then I went out and had tea in a nearby shop coz without it my engine wouldn’t ignite. I came back home and set myself to clean up every nook and corner of the house. Before I entered the house a guy had lived there alone for about 15 days. And I guess you can imagine what condition the house was in. Guys!!!
I had told my landlady to get a maid to help me with domestic chores. Luckily the local flower seller lady popped up with one. I put forward my requirements and they quoted the price. After a few English-Tamil mixed broken words and sentences of negotitaion, the deal was closed at a mutually agreed price. She asked if she could get to work right then and there. Since I had a guy coming in the afternoon to install our new refrigerator, I told her to come at around 5:30 PM. Her name is Sudha. (Lucky me that I found her - she has turned out to be a blessing in disguise. She really goes out of her way to help me voluntarily.)
I set off from home about an hour prior to the flight arrival. I ordered some food for us from a nearby restaurant. When I reached the Arrival gate, Abbas SMSed me saying the flight had just landed. My eyes were fixed on the Arrival exit, reluctant to move or wink. And after sometime they came out and my heart skipped a beat. Best part of it was Tamanna’s reaction – When her eye’s caught me her jaws dropped with awe, her index finger pointing towards me and I was ecstatic. She jumped into my lap on reaching me. Mannat’s reaction was exactly contradictory and really disheartening. She rejected to come to me, cried at the top her voice when I tried to take her to me. She was running slight fever and I left her on her own and didn’t force myself on her.
Tammu was seated on my lap all along our way home and Mannu on Ma’s. We reached home and I asked Ma what food ManTam would have. Those 21 days had really had some effect on me as well as kiddos. I was not able to differentiate between Nestum and Cerelac. I couldn’t guess my kids’ apetite or taste. They had changed!!! I found myself asking each petty thing to Ma. The worst thing that happened that day was when I tried to put them to sleep, they screamed and screamed denying me. It was only when Ma pitched in and I came out of the room that they cooled down. I kept my cool too. I wanted to give my daughters room to breathe. I had walked out of their life one fine day and they had to cope up with it. Now suddenly when I come back to them I can’t blame them for not recognizing their mother. I told myself that everything will be alright. It was just a matter of time…
Abbas had taken 2 weeks’ leave. The very next day, Movers and Packers delivered our stuff. Abbas spent his leave by setting up the TV, Internet, Aquaguard connection etc by calling the respective vendors and following up with them. Other than that he spent his days in Chennai by spending quality time with ManTam. I was really taken aback by this ‘transformed Abbas’. He had learnt cleaning potty, changing diapers, giving kids a bath, feeding them and what not. He would also keep track of the frequency at which they are pissing and make sure to feed ample water to the one that is pissing less!!! I was really taken aback to see him this way. Atleast some good came out of my penance, I thought to myself.
This new Abbas was in the limelight from my kids’ point of view and I seemed to be overshadowed by him. Tammu was gradually behaving normal with me. But Mannu wouldn’t come to me at all (Read ATTT ALLLLL). She would always be with her Dad, literally stuck to him. When Abbas would disappear from her view into the bathroom, she would shed litres of tears and keep on banging the door till he came out. My patience was averse to be in harmony with me. After a few days I was really upset with the way Mannu was behaving with me. I was anyway facing denial from my parents ever since marriage. And now denial from my daughters too!!! Both the cases, I had nobody to blame but myself. Coz I was facing the consequences of the voluntary decisions I had taken. Like the old saying goes “What you sow, you reap!” Anyway, the only support system for me is Abbas. With him around, I can’t be distressed for long. He is undisputedly my “Pied Piper”. He instilled faith in me again that Mannu will be alright soon.
True were his words!!! Ever since the day he left, she began sticking to me instead of him. I had slowly and steadily won their hearts back. After all I’m their MOM… And now that Abbas is coming to Chennai on a leave of 10 days soon (after 2 long months), I am eagerly waiting to find out how Mannu is gonna behave with her Darling Dad. Will keep you guys updated…