Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Juvenile Rituals


"5 minutes koode please, ammachi!"

"Samayam ethrayayennariyo! Chakka pothane pole kiddunnurangunnu!

"Please, please, please..."

She goes into the kitchen. I go back to sleep.


A rolled-up newspaper is used to swat me.

"Appooppa please, 5 minutes, please" I murmur and go back to sleep.

I feel a sharp pain on my on my arm, as he effortlessly rolls my skin between his thumb and index finger - I am awake, fully.

Sitting up, I pray, thank you. Going to the toilet, I find my toothbrush displaced from its careful perch, the bristles facing down on the ledge. Sshho! Needs an extra wash.

"Prathicho? Engil dha paalu kuddike. njan nannayi panchara ittittunde."

I grimace. She sees it.

"Angu vallichu kudicha mathi, valiya pose kannikunnu (!)"
I manouevre the cup and blow away the top layer.

"Athinu oru kuyyappavumilla. Dha, paada mati."

It's 8.05.

I don't want this much. Just a little.
Just eat it.

The bus gets there by 8.15. I run up the slope, eyes fixed on the junction up ahead, ears pricked for the sound of the groaning of a bus. Perhaps it knows that

O God, our Lord and Creator, help us to be good and learn our lessons well. Teach us to know You and ourselves rightly.
Goood morning, maadum.

10.35 Interval. I never have snacks.
10.45 First bell
10.50 Second bell

12.10 Lunch break.

3.30Thank you Lord for all your..

Grab the pandaaram (school bag) and get the bus home.

Tea - much as I try to eat two pieces banana fritters in half an hour to cover an episode of what ever is on TV, they're gobbled up before the first set of ads in 5 minutes.

5.30/6 - Start by doing the work I didn't like.

8.00 - Supper - again see tea-time strategy.

9.30 - Read myself to sleep.

After lights out - Thanks a lot, God.

The boundaries of my day were marked by prayer.

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