“Come here!” “Come here!” Papa shouted. Mother had just got out of the room running, face draped in tears, mucus running uncontrollably down her lips. “I’ve asked you to come here. If I say it one more time, you will get the worst from me,” Papa told mother in an unusual stern voice. Mother stood beside the main door of the house which was widely opened but could not dare run out. Papa knew she couldn’t dare. Papa had his black belt firmly wrapped round his fist, the other part of it swirling in the air as he gesticulated. “Where is she?” “Where is that stupid woman?” he continued, moving restlessly in the parlour. I was studying in the parlour when the noise started but this had become music to my ears. I had resolved not be involved in their little disputes but Papa’s dark face at that moment did not leave me indifferent. I closed my books, walked towards him, stretched my right hand to calm him down, but he jumped on the sofa striking the black belt behind it. Mother wailed from behind it. “Devil!!! So, you think I won’t notice you!” Papa threw his hands behind the couch and pulled mother up. Mother’s bra was falling off her chest as the blouse she wore was destroyed. He pulled her by the side of the couch, punching her hard on the back with his fist. Mother fell on the floor, papa kicked her on the belly. She rolled and rolled and rolled, the edge of her wrapper got hooked on the stool I was using to study. That was how mother found herself in her birthday suit.
Mother used to be a very beautiful and a jovial lady when I was four. I could remember it as if it were yesterday. Our house was a place to be. Mother’s sweet perfume and charming voice were everywhere‒they were my morning muse, my afternoon motivation and my evening aspiration. She was very intelligent. For a reason I didn’t know mother and I moved to the village at Bangem to live with grandpa and grandma. Papa would come from time-to-time to visit us, mother would let me go and greet him. Papa would sit in the parlour with grandma and grandpa discussing in low tunes, I could hear them calling mother’s name in their discussion. I heard grandma mentioning something about papa letting mother to work. Mother used to leave the house very early in the morning for work but for some reasons, she stopped. I never saw her leave the house, unless she wanted to buy maggi or some household necessities from a nearby store. The day she went to see off her friend and came back after papa had returned home from his jobsite, she knocked on the open-door tremblingly. “Don’t cross that door!” papa yelled from within. That was the law and mother needed to obey till further notice. Papa stood up and slammed the door behind him.
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