I said “okay” a little early, just because I was becoming concerned about your worry. At least in the beginning don’t be worried; in the beginning let me have my say. If you are worried, obviously I will say “okay” but that will not be okay at all.
After my grandfather died I was again away from my Nani, but I soon returned to my father’s village. Not that I wanted to – it was just like this “okay” that I said at the beginning…not that I wanted to say “okay” but even I cannot ignore the concern of others, and my parents would not allow me to go to my dead grandfather’s home. My grandmother herself was not willing to go with me, and being just a seven year-old child, I could not see any future in it.
Again and again I pictured myself going back to the old house, alone in the bullock cart…Bhoora talking to the bullocks. He at least would have had some kind of company. I would be alone inside the bullock cart, just thinking of the future. What would I do there? Yes, my horses would be there, but who would feed them? In fact, who would feed me? I have never learned even the art of making a single cup of tea.
One day Gudia went for a holiday and Chetana was doing her duty here, serving me. In the morning, when I wake up, I push the button for my tea. Chetana brought it, and put the cup by the side of my bed, then went to the bathroom to prepare my towel and toothbrush, and everything that I need. Meanwhile, for the first time in ten years, do you know? – one has to learn small things – I tried to pick the cup up from the floor, and it fell down!
Chetana came running, naturally, afraid. I said, “Don’t be worried – it was my responsibility. I should not have done such a thing. I have never needed to pick up my cup from the floor. Gudia has been spoiling me for ten years. Now you cannot unspoil me in just one day.”
I had so many years of spoiling. Yes, I call it spoiling because they never allowed me to do anything for myself. My grandmother was even greater than Gudia could conceive: she would even brush my teeth! I would say to her, “Nani, I can brush my own teeth.”
She would say, “Shut up, Raja! Keep quiet. Don’t disturb me when I am doing something.”
I would shake my head and say, “This is something. You are doing something to me; I can’t even tell you that I can do it myself.”