I knew I was going to regret that day the minute I woke up. A strong cloud of foreboding hung over my head and after almost a year I found myself craving for a Chocolate Ganache. My stomach tore in desire as I searched my fridge for anything, anything fattening or gluttonous or sinful. All I found were bland protein breakfast bars.
I stuffed one in my mouth as tasteless flakes landed elegantly on my white tee.
How did I ever eat this shit for 365 days? I thought just as I kept stuffing not one, not two but three of those bars down my throat and simultaneously dusting off the big flakes off my clothes.
Bam, at the stroke of noon my mobile shrilled with Meghan Trainor singing that it was all about her base. The call was from Mummy. She demanded to know why I was not at her place helping her with the cooking and all the other shit that always needed to be done at family gatherings.
By the time she was done yelling at me, which was exactly 15 minutes, I was in a creased red chudidaar with a torn dupatta. I was hoping that I could cleverly conceal the tear if I wore the dupatta right, because my mother would lose a year off her life span if she happened to spot the tear.
Another fifteen minutes of almost empty roads, I entered my parent’s home. Some may call it a mansion; I called it the fancy house of terrors, mostly because my mother lived there. As I entered the drive way I saw a red Santro that belonged to my sister and her two kids. There was another that belonged to my widowed aunt and finally Munna uncle’s land rover, my mother’s younger brother.
I groaned, loud enough that the mansion’s new watchman jerked towards me, twisted his head and gave me the ‘Are you alright, lady?’ stare.
The living room smelled like a strange concoction of diya oil, motichor laddoos, marigold flowers and the stench of cigarettes. One sweep across the room and I took in my mother screaming at my twelve-year old niece to be nice to Munna uncle, my sister silently urging Mummy to leave her alone, my Father hollering at them to take their bickering elsewhere because Arnab was debating about the steel flyover, my six-year old nephew crashing into my pelvis and giving me a Hernia and my aunt, who sat knitting sweaters in Bangalore with a glass of red wine.
In that instance I knew the reason for my daylong foreboding. It was this family, these people who I had managed to escape for past three years, working abroad. With a sinking feeling I realised I was back where I started.
My aunt exclaimed in delight the minute she saw me, “Chintu, kitni patli ho gayee hai? My god, oh how much weight have you lost?”
But no, no way can my mother have someone else say one nice word about me. Her psychosis doesn’t allow an entry into the house without guilt-tripping.