This chapter is the part of my story – A girl was born. Do read the previous two chapters to understand the premise – https://firsttimemommy.net/2018/04/01/a-girl-was-born/
Tara’s father developed business interests in Gujarat, so they moved to Ahmedabad when Tara was a little girl. Her grandparents chose to stay back. Her grandmother was very attached to her house. She said, “she came to this house as a bride, and she would leave it upon her death.”
Tara didn’t remember if it was tough for her to adjust to a new life. She was too small. The neighborhood was quiet, clean and spacious, unlike the narrow, filthy gullies of old Delhi. But, she missed her old house. She missed the sweet smell of jaggary and sesame seeds from the gajjak shop, the pigeons on the terrace and the chatwala. Not for long though. Kids have short memories.
She loved the new house with a huge garden and big trees that she climbed with her new friends. When she was not hiding in the closet, Tara was busy being the leader of the gang and indulging in innocent mischief. Every day she came up with a new play idea. One day she would be making a small temple out of bricks that she and her friends found at the nearby construction site and they would light incense sticks borrowed from home, do puja religiously and offer prasaad. The next day, she would be taking the entire gang of kids to the general stores and buy all of them candies.
“Khate mein likh dena.” She would ask the store owner. At the end of the month, her father was shocked to know that his daughter’s monthly chocolate consumption was in three figures (quite a lot for that time). Her rights to order chocolate at the store were henceforth revoked.
She loved imli and often climbed the tamarind tree to get the fruit. There was also a neem tree in the backyard, which she climbed to break its branches and offered them to the old beggar woman who stood outside their house twice a week. Tara had seen the night watchman collecting fallen sticks and keeping himself warm at night by lighting them up. It was winter and she was sure the beggar woman didn’t have a house or blanket to keep herself warm in the cold winter nights of Ahmedabad.
Staying in Ahmedabad had its perks. Every school holidays, they visited Delhi to meet their grandparents and cousins. As Tara became older, she visited Delhi even without her parents. She loved her cousin sisters. They were elder, wiser and wittier. Tara was in complete awe of them.
One day, Tara was taking a bath with her cousins. As she was putting soap on her body, she observed that both her cousins’ complexion was similar to hers. They were dark. This made Tara think. Her aunt loved Tara like her own daughter, her two daughters looked more like Tara than her own mother’s other children did.
When she was born to her aunt who already had two daughters, her grandmother was very upset. She decided to give Tara to her other daughter in law, who didn’t have any kids of her own yet.
A kid’s mind could be wonderfully fertile. Her imagination ran away with her and she was convinced that her parents were not her real parents. She was the daughter of her aunt and sister of her cousins. If only she had confirmed with her parents, she could have saved much of the heart break.