“Pari..I want to tell you a secret”
“Oh..go on..what is it?”
“I am about to commit suicide”
This is not what I expected when she said she had a secret. Usually when my friends tell me they have secrets,its about those stupid boys rolling eyes at them or following them around in the quest of achieving their true love.
I slowly undangled my leg from hers inside the water filled paddy field.
“Suicide..but why didi?”
“What do you know about the hardships of life Pari? I have seen and heard enough. I am tired of this world. I just want to escape from my mother, that little devil called my brother, jaan aunty and even you.”
She is bearly a year elder to me. What is there in this world that she has seen and I have not. Something terrible must have happened to her that she has taken such a decision. I looked at her..that uncombed ugly bun of hair, tattered piece of clothing and her yellow eyes stuck in the water below deep in thoughts. This is not good. I have to do something. If she really commits suicide, tomorrow I will be responsible.
“I think we should go home didi.”
She was stuck in her thoughts and did not seem to hear what I said. I shook her, pulled her by her arm and walked her home. I let her watch whatever she wanted on the tv and kept a vigil.
Finally I saw Ragini aunty coming with a sack full of green grass for her cow. Now is the time. I slipped out without her noticing to ragini aunty, didi’s mother.
” Aunty, there is something that you should know.”
“What is it beta?”
“You should be very patient and do not take any immediate steps. We can talk to my parents as well. May be a good counselling will do the thing”
“Seems like there is an issue. Tell me.”
I closed my eyes and blurted
“Didi said to me secretly that she wants to commit suicide.”
I felt relieved. The consequences will be very harsh. How will she ever be able to take this. Widowed at an early age , she ploughs from morning till evening to make the two ends meet, to look after her children. Now her elder daughter wants to commit suicide. Poor her.
I opened my eyes ready to listen to the intense wailings of Ragini aunty. I was flabbergasted to see her rolling and laughing. She laughed so loudly that didi came out to see what was happening, switching off the tv. I stood rooted. May be she has gone mad I thought.
“Kannu..did you hear what she said. She said you have decided to commit suicide..suicide..you..” and she laughed again and turned to me
” Beta she is a panophobic. She is so afraid of even the cockraoches and the lizards. Last day I took her for a blood test and she fainted at the sight of the needle.Do you think she will have the courage to do it. She must have said these things to act like a hero before you..this nincompoop”
Didi smiled at me idiotically
“I was just joking Amma. Who thought she would make such a big mess out of this. I just wanted to see tv for sometime without her taunting me. I thought this would keep her busy. Let us go Amma. I am really very hungry. Bye Pari. ”
I stood there looking at the mother and daughter slowly fading away with the big sack of grass.
Picture courtsey : Pexels (Sourav Mishra)