Thinking, it will be fun, she sprays red on her brother’s favourite Singapore T-shirt.
Kavitha found it funny.
Ashwin did not.
‘You-donkey’, he said, and pulled her hair.
‘You-monkey’, she said, and sprayed a little more red on his shirt.
‘Your wife fool- your kids fool’
‘Same to you’
The war of words morphed into a fight. Ashwin was stronger than her, but she bites. Shrieking in pain, he said, what should never have been said
‘Amma is not your Amma’.
Kavitha stood still. The weight of the words, slowly pulled her down. A trickle of tear, a river of tear-drops, as she sobbed and cried herself into the arms of her amma, who was not her amma.
Truth is better than the lie. She thought, as she told her kids the truth, a few days ago. Kavitha was not her child. Ashwin was. He was 11. She was 9. They did not understand the details. A few innocent questions, and all was like before. They were the best of friends, and she sighed in relief, for within a couple of days, they behaved as though, the conversation did not happen.
A week later, now, she wondered if the lie was better. She hugged her. Slapped him. Everyone was crying now.
Kavitha spent the next few hours, playing with her teddy underneath the bed, her tent. Ashwin, took to his favourite corner with his Tin-Tin. She stared into her laptop, but her eyes were lost in a whirlpool of memories and thoughts.
Later, Ashwin, comes to her, and asks for 5 rupees. He wants to buy Kavita a chocolate. He says, he is sorry. Kavita, surprised, on being offered a chocolate by her brother, promptly offers half to him, and asks him to help her with the spray paint. They paint till late in the night, and fall asleep in each-others arms.
She looks happily at the children, sleeping arm on arm, leg on leg. How quickly they forgive eachother. How quickly they forget.
The next day, he comes to pick up the kids for his weekend with them. As they run into the car, she tells him, ‘You know, I can forgive, but I cannot forget’.
Kavitha, was his daughter, her husbands daughter.
As a kid, forgive was always accompanied by forget. The sorry, and all is well handshake, was really meant. No matter, how big the fight. You forgave and forgot. I wonder, where we lose this ability as we become adults. We forgive but we pretend to forget.