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S’S SECRET ...
The story so far: Sandhya is upset that no one ever says anything to or scolds Pia. In her rage she calls Pia a pig. When Anu points out that Sandhya is being rude, she declares that she hates her sister

Anu started picking up clothes left on the floor and putting away files, books, socks, shoes. “Pia is at an age when she wants to be with you and your friends. She doesn’t like being treated like a pesky kid, that’s all. Speak to her with some respect yourself, and then see the difference.”

“Never!” said Sandhya emphatically. “She doesn’t deserve any respect. She’s always interfering in my life and carrying tales to you and Dad. I want a room of my own; please Ma… I’m… grown up. I need my own space. There’s no privacy at all. Pia bugs me all the time. If we had our rooms, we wouldn’t fight so much. Please tell Dad.”

Anu signalled to Sandhya to sit down beside her. “Listen darling, it’s not possible at this stage to give you your own room. This is our home and you have to learn to share this space with your sister. Do you know when I was growing up, I shared my room with not one but two sisters? And we didn’t fight like you do.”

Sandhya bit her lips to keep the tears from spilling out of her eyes. “All of you blame me as if it’s my fault and Pia is an angel. If you only knew what she’s up to, you wouldn’t think she’s so innocent and sweet… but I won’t sneak on her; I’m not like that… I know lots of things that Dad and you don’t know.”

 

Anu pretended to be busy folding T-shirts. She kept her voice casual and light, as she asked softly, “What sort of things, darling? If it’s something wrong Pia is doing, you should definitely tell us. Surely, you don’t want her to get into serious trouble that her family doesn’t know anything about? Come on, Sandhya, tell me… what is Pia doing that upsets you?”

Sandhya thought quickly, very quickly, before replying, “Mom, it isn’t anything that, don’t worry. Nothing major. She… she… just does silly things that get her into trouble. Mainly she fibs a lot. And makes up stories. Do you think I wouldn’t have told you or Bhaiya had it been serious? Relax. Chill. I’m handling it… I should never have told you. Now you’ll go and ask her and she’ll fight with me again.”

Anu turned around to face Sandhya. “I trust you. And don’t worry, I won’t ask. Okay? Now, come on, make the noodles… I’m starving.”

Sandhya wished her mother wouldn’t be so nice to her. Not today, at any rate. Nice and trusting. It made it even more difficult for Sandhya. She thought of her friends’ moms. Some of them had jobs or businesses. But most were just full-time moms, always at home, always fussing and fussing. Her own mother, Anu, was a doctor. Sandhya liked that. Even if it meant less time with her. Sandhya was proud of her parents. Even her ‘strict father’ Dev, a busy chartered accountant. They were good parents, Sandhya reasoned, even if, at times, they behaved weirdly. Sandhya liked her grandparents, too. Mom’s mother in particular. She was cool. Really, really cool, unlike the grandmothers of some of her friends. Nani was also a doctor, though unlike her mom, who was a paediatric surgeon, Nani was an ENT surgeon.

 

Continued next week

Extracted from S’s Secret; Publisher: Popular Prakashan

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