Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Difficult Conversation

"Amma, I don't like it when Abbu talks to you like that."

The older woman shrugged. She shook her head and shrugged because she didn't want to talk about it. "Leave it", she said. She didn't stop rolling the ball of dough in her hands. She suddenly didn't want to look at anyone's face, least of all, her daughter's.

"No, Amma, it's not fair."

The woman rolled out the dough into a thin sheet. "It's okay."

"No it isn't!"

The woman flipped the sheet of dough onto a hot pan. "It's okay, at least he's always been faithful."

The young girl watched her mother spin the cooking dough on the pan until the roti began to puff like a paper bag filled with hot air.

"Amma, it isn't normal. It is wrong to make a habit of taking out one's frustration on someone else."

"He'll change when we go to America. They have laws there."

"No, Amma, you think the laws there stop their men from behaving like that?"

The woman tossed the hot roti into the breadbasket like the thousands of rotis she'd made over the years that her husband had taken for granted. The girl had just wanted to let her mother know that, like the other criticisms, it hadn't been her fault.

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