As you can imagine, I wasn’t too excited about sharing a room with Sona, especially with her in such a mood. But there was no work around, mum just wouldn’t budge.
“It’s either this room or the balcony, take your pick!” She had told me when I had tried to discuss the serious implications of leaving me in Sona’s room for the night.
Dinner was a quiet affair, nobody spoke much. The unsaid tension between Sona and I was killing all the attempts my poor dad was making to liven up the conversation.
Finally he gave up, “I’m going to watch TV.” He declared as he picked up his plate and marched into the living room. I followed silently. I never really understood why we had the “no-tv-while-eating” rule.
Sona and mum stayed put. Now that I think about it, maybe I should have stayed back and eavesdropped. If Sona told mum what had actually happened, I would get double the punishment doled out for lying.
I gobbled up my food quickly. Not only would I interrupt Sona and mum’s conversation, I would also have an opportunity to implement the Goodnight-sheet-folding law.
You see, this was not the first time Sona and I had to share a room. Everytime a relative came over, I was unceremoniously kicked out of my room into Sona’s and for a couple of days, we managed. We formed a number of little rules which helped us to live together without killing each other in the constricted space. One of them involved etching our names on the furniture so that we didn’t confuse which side of the bed was whose. Of course, mum wasn’t too happy about it.
Another one was the goodnight-sheet-folding law. As per the rules, the first person who came in to the room at night, only had to put on the goodnight and toss the bedsheet onto the other person’s bed and the other person had to do the actual job of folding the extra long bed sheet. Don’t ask me why the rule existed, it just did and both Sona and I followed it religiously and it was a BIG deal!
I dashed into the dining room and found Sona and mum deep in conversation. Mum glanced at me and even though she didn’t look like she was angry, she waved with her hand, a little shoo,go away kinds.
Whatever it was, it wasn’t about me. And honestly, Sona did look a little sad. Boy! I hoped it wasn’t because of me. I just wanted to fool around a little and I had gone and got her into trouble. I made my way to the room and hid behind the curtains trying to listen in on the conversation but I couldn’t hear much just some bits and pieces,
Sona: “Just horrid..”
Mum: “Don’t worry.. I’m..nothing.. happens..”
Sona:”Everytime.. Samrat.. Glass..”
As soon as I heard “glass”I realised it was time for a confession! I snuck out of my hiding place and walked over to the table, my head hanging in shame.
“Ma, Sona didn’t throw the glass thing at me, it was an accident. ” I blurted out quickly before Sona could finish her version and make my confession seem like stale news.
“What????” My mum turned towards me, shocked.
It took a while for the tubelight in my head to go on,“You guys weren’t talking about that were you?”
A small smile had touched Sona’s face as she realised I had just committed a foot-in-the-mouth blunder. “No,” She said slowly, smirking at my misery.
“Pinkoo!” My mom admonsihed, “ You should be ashamed of yourself! Letting your sister take the blame!” I gulped, the impending lecture was bound to end in a punishment. I stole a pleading glance at Sona.
She rolled her eyes in exasperation. Ok fine! She said in a weird eye contact language that I guess siblings tend to make over the years.
“Let her be ma, she’s an idiot.” She said to my mum.
My mum considered that, “Yes,” She said slowly, “That she is.”
I turned towards my mum, surprised. Hey! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind being called an idiot, if there’s something in it from me.
I felt my sister push me a little, “Now scram before she changes her mind.” She whispered.
I didn’t have to be told twice. I made my escape quietly and swiftly feeling quite happy. My big sister had saved me from getting into trouble. I felt like doing something nice for her.
You guessed right. The little angel I was, I put on the goodnight AND folded the sheets!