”Another Man tomorrow”

”Another Man tomorrow”

.

Rajeswary Balasubramaniam- London

1995

My mother carries a smile on her face it is a permanent feature. It s not a smile of happiness, it is smile which is trying to cover many mental scars of her past. Ups and down in her life made her to be walking dead as she has no sparkle of life in her eyes. I cannot remember her laughs or a genuine smile from her for a long time.

I hardly look at my father, I have no intention to look at him face to face either.

Many years ago, when I was awake I noticed the drop of a blood in my under wear. I was frightened and I thought I got hurt while I was a sleep. I ran to my mother to tell her that I was hurt.’ My mother smiled and told me that I am no longer a little girl and I should behave my self and be a good Hindu girl.

Good girl means that a girl should not to raise her voice to elders in the family, obey father, uncle, and other male members of the family. never raise your eyes to look at the strangers, do not laugh or even smile unless necessary, do not walk fast as that is seen as a manly act. ‘You please your family, you are responsible of your family honor, never put your feeling first, look after others’.

So I took those words as a guide line for my future and since then I never look at my father straight in his eyes or argue with him in any way. I remember when I was five years old I was sitting my fathers shoulders during temple festival to see the procession. He is rather tall for an Asian man’s height, stockily built body with thick mustaches and piercing eyes.

I felt like a princes on the horse then. I took my fathers shawl or some time my mother’s saree and wrap around me and pretend to play a princes game. I have not much to say about my mother. She is a good mum, very good at making masala dosa, onion budgies and tasty chicken and prawn curries. She also good at making sure that I had appropriate cloths and jewels. She and father was very proud of all of us, that is me and two of brothers who are older than me. ‘We worked hard for your education’ my mother would tell us often.

I am not closed to my brothers. Elder brother Narayanan was a special in the family as he is ‘He’.Which is important in some family to have boy as the head of the family to take the responsibilities. But he is not a strong person. He always after mother, holding her saree and crying for one thing or another. He is married now and obviously following his wife for everything, as some men need a woman to hold on otherwise they don’t feel completed. But he still gets great respect any have many privileges from our family. He is married to a woman whom my parent choose for him.

‘ One ought to keep the tradition intact, otherwise we would loose our culture’. Arranging marriages is important to our family to keep the ‘ tradition intact’!

My brothers is complaining now that his sixteen year daughter is in love with a ‘white’ boy.

‘ What on earth this people think that when you bring up children in the west behave like the kids in the East,’

when I asked him that he wasn’t happy,

we should keep our culture’ he said ,

‘ then we shouldn’t have come here, and ‘we should keep our girls locked door back home’ I said. He did not like my remarks at all.

I was five years younger than my second brother Suthaharan.

He wasn’t happy when I born as my mother told me that he felt that I have taken his special place in the family.

My mother has very little to do with my interest and expectations. At present, my parents and me are in the house. We three in the house more like a three Islands put together with nothing in common. Parents spent most their time praying, visiting relations or phoning their relations who are broad. I go to work and mind my own business. Very long time ago I stop visiting relations with parents.

They do not like that, and saying that ‘we must respect our culture and pay respect to our relations’

I find it boring to go people houses and making small talks and eating large amount of fried food and sweets to keep the ‘tradition going’

I stopped going with them, they stop nagging me.

That is good in a way other wise she gets upset that I am not behaving like a proper Tamil Hindu girl.

Yet I never question my parents for what they trying to do for my future. They are trying hard as possible to find a suitable man for me. When I was in my twenty and pretty there were lots of proposals came.

My mother found fault in every one who was interested in me, either they weren’t educated enough for her expectation or smart enough for her liking, I was not allowed to say much as my parents said they will definitely find a suitable groom, then I waited and believed them I waited. I am thirty three now.

But to day I am like a stranger in my own home. Age and gender plays a major part in our culture I am a girl from a Sri Lankan Tamil family. Like any other Hindu girls I have to follow some strict rule but since we came to London those rules have changed slightly as I am a working woman now I am allowed go out with my friends now and then.

I am a thirty three years old woman and not married yet. That is the problems for my parents. According to our family that I should have married and have two children by now. When the Sri Lankan Tamil faced the genocide by the majority Sinhala government we all to run away from our beloved homeland, took very little except pain in our heats.

My elder brother had moved to Canada, younger brother went to France. We came to London as my father was a student in one of the London University and worked as a lecturer in one of the University some time ago. I was ten when we came to London.

Now he is retired. Awaiting to go to India to spent rest of his life. He wanted to visit temples and see the ancient culture he mumbled at time.

They think I am the obstruction as I am not married and settled yet!

My parents spread the word around to tell others that they have an eligible young lady in the marriage market with handsome dowry.

My mother is worried that the time go by I am going to be on the self and out of date for sale. To get a husband I have behave my self she told me be a good girl, She begged me, that’s mean don’t have a boy friend and loose my virginity!

I promised her that I will never betray her trust in me.

She send my astrological charts to various people, and my photos .

I have no idea how many perverts Wank them self by looking at my photos and imagining inappropriate scenarios.

My mother asked me to go through self purification such fast and pray at some auspices dates and times, which I did in order to ask God to provide a suitable groom.

Getting married within the Sri Lankan community is not easy as there were thousands of young men were killed off by the Sinhala government, and rest ran away and scatted all over the world.

Apparently there are seventy six country have refugees from Sri Lanka in the world.

The young men in our society are in high demand, asking price (dowry) some time only can afford by the well doing families.

Doesn’t matter the quality of a groom or the look or age but to get some one from the same back ground (cast and class based) is essential for Tamils. That mean, it bring status in the community stable future for the couple.

Well, I am on self already.

My mother wouldn’t say about my age anymore to the marriage brokers.

She will mentions the dowry, as she think that will attract some greedy grooms, and she said to me that ‘don’t make a fuss that is your fate’.

Once upon a time she was so choosy but not now, she wanted me to get married to some one. Indirectly she is blaming my luck and horoscope as there is no suitable come along yet.

Well it is my fault now that I have no man to spent rest of my life!

She took me to temple which is often use as a place for couple to meet-just to see –not to talk to.

So I went, there was a man with balding hair, prodding teeth looked me as a piece of meat, even him told the broker that I looked very old fashion as I was wearing a saree!

Next time one of aunt bought a beautiful salwar kameez, I looked eloquent in it according to one of my English friend at work. The man, may be in his late thirty, smartly dressed who seems he was in a hurry to go somewhere (early Grave?). looked cross and left immediately apparently he doesn’t anything to do with north Indian culture. My mother blamed my luck again as she liked his smart cloths.

Other time I was decorated with jeans and a very fashionable shirt. One of my aunt said be modern and seductive, as the man who will come to ‘see’ me in the temple, really like a girl with taste.

The man who came at the temple stared at me as he is going to asked me for price for one night. I felt cheap, and humiliated.

For my friend Lisa, these dramas seems ridiculous and silly. She asked me ‘do you get exited by going for these blind dates’

She has certain values in life. When I first met her she kind of ‘monitor’ me as a person studying a specimen for findings. She was my manager, I dislike the way she studied me. We become friends when I discover that she like Indian food.

Of cause I took some of my mothers chicken and prawn curries. She fell in love that immediately.

mm who is going to be the lucky man to taste your cooking’ she mumbled as she was tasting the spicy chicken

I smiled without answering her

How could I say that my community men are looking for different things in partnership,

how could I tell her that I was in the marriage market stall for a long time, many to see but no one to purchase.

After many remarks from her about my cooking I said to her about the hunt for a husband.

She laughed unbelievably.

I had to explain to her in detail about my performance of the past to acquire a husband.

most women dream of a prince who ride on a white horse and come and swept them from the their feet, in reality that doesn’t happen. Most of us get a monkey on the donkey who trodden on us at night in dark”

I don’t know whether her statement is absolutely right and I wanted to believe that many men are decent and understanding.

didn’t you ever have attracted to any of them whom you have seen up to now”

Lisa asked me while we were coming out of the cinema and she was mumbling about how much she would enjoy if she have actor Richard Geer in her bed.

It is alright for her to ask question like that as she had many affairs and never hesitant to embark on further adventure.

I am a human being too Lisa, do you thing I don’t have any urge see my self with a man and allow myself completely to him, there are many cold night I dreamed of having a warm body next to me, there time when you are in your middle circle just want to make day and with no stop”

most of the marriages are in crisis, see whats happening to princes Diana, but only a few would admit that. look at the miserable life they lead. some people are ill with stress of marriage or playing game in front others, some are lairs and cheaters.

‘You may read a love story which always starts long before the marriage, did you ever read any thing wonderful after the marriage? Most are just struggle to keep it up, or making each others miserable or suffering from either mental or physical illness” she stated.

I told her about a few Hindu myth and how the society expect us to behave like them

So, you have to be like Sita in your epics of Ramayana who get in to the fire to prove her virtue to her husband or you have be the porn in a betting game where Droupathy was put in to the bet by her five husbands in your so called the fifth veda of Hindusm-the epic of maha Bharatha”?

yes we have to behave appropriately for our husbands and family” I insist.

listen to me my dear, those myths and rituals are created by men for their own benefit and pleasure, we are the bill boards for the religious principles and practices, most of these religious and cultural practices are tools of control over women by men.

Most women go along and believes these lies in order for their survival, status. Roof over their heads and a meal for life time for their hard work.

Women have to fit in to the role other wise we will be branded as witches, sluts, and whores where men can behave and do what ever they wont as they control the social system and they have the best of the world since our existence in the world. think carefully and understand who gets the benefit of these marriages”

I came home.

Lisa’s question hovered my mind.

I changed my cloths to get in to my bed, I was naked in front of the mirror, which I rarely do as I am scared to see my aging body.

I am thirty three, prime of my sexuality, my thirty six size breast looked heavy and beautiful, erected nipple made to think about Lisa’s man on the white horse..

Who will I meet next?

Will I meet a monkey who jumps around and looking for the best all the time disturbing everything its path? will the monkey make a brutal mark on my beautiful breast?

Will I meet a beast of a man kind who may trodden on me in the dark night?

I closed my eyes.

There were women from the past and presents with a sad faces, miserable, faces, tears in their eyes came to my mind.

There was a knock at the door.

Mother was there, looking at me pitifully.

will you come home early tomorrow”

She was asking.

I did not reply.

well …..” she hesitated for a minute or two and continued” there is a boy would like to see you, he is coming here for tea, ……”

I interrupted her immediately

Amma I don’t want see any one I do not want to be as exhibition piece… please leave me alone”

but…. “ she was nearly in tears.

amma” I went up to her put my arm around her, she sobbed like a child.

Please Amma, just leave me alone”

you are…..”

‘Well I know I am thirty three and unmarried.. but I am not going to let me married off to any monkey who has the way of life which will never make me happy, they always jump for next branch for something else. “

She looked as I am going mad.

She shakes her head in disgust and left my doorstep.

I lay in my bed dreaming about not a prince on the white horse but a man –an ordinary honest man who see me as I am and Understand me and love, I hope one day I will meet my dream man.

7

”Another Man tomorrow”

.

Rajeswary Balasubramaniam- London

1995

My mother carries a smile on her face it is a permanent feature. It s not a smile of happiness, it is smile which is trying to cover many mental scars of her past. Ups and down in her life made her to be walking dead as she has no sparkle of life in her eyes. I cannot remember her laughs or a genuine smile from her for a long time.

I hardly look at my father, I have no intention to look at him face to face either.

Many years ago, when I was awake I noticed the drop of a blood in my under were. I was frightened and I thought I got hurt while I was a sleep. I ran to my mother to tell her that I was hurt.’ My mother smiled and told me that I am no longer a little girl and I should behave my self and be a good Hindu girl.

Good girl means that a girl should not to raise her voice to elders in the family, obey father, uncle, and other male members of the family. never raise your eyes to look at the strangers, do not laugh or even smile unless necessary, do not walk fast as that is seen as a manly act. ‘You please your family, you are responsible of your family honor, never put your feeling first, look after others’.

So I took those words as a guide line for my future and since then I never look at my father straight in his eyes or argue with him in any way. I remember when I was five years old I was sitting my fathers shoulders during temple festival to see the procession. He is rather tall for an Asian man’s height, stockily built body with thick mustaches and piercing eyes.

I felt like a princes on the horse then. I took my fathers shawl or some time my mother’s saree and wrap around me and pretend to play a princes game. I have not much to say about my mother. She is a good mum, very good at making masala dosa, onion budgies and tasty chicken and prawn curries. She also good at making sure that I had appropriate cloths and jewels . She and father was very proud of all of us , that is me and two of brothers who are older than me . We worked hard for your education my mother would tell us often.

I am not closed to my brothers. Elder brother Narayanan was a special in the family as he is ‘He’.Which is important in some family to have boy as the head of the family to take the responsibilities. But he is not a strong person. He always after mother, holding her saree and crying for one thing or another. He is married now and obviously following his wife for everything, as some men need a woman to hold on otherwise they don’t feel completed. But he still gets great respect any have many privileges from our family. He is married to a woman whom my parent choose for him.

‘ One ought to keep the tradition intact, otherwise we would loose our culture’. Arranging marriages is important to our family to keep the ‘ tradition intact’!

My brothers is complaining now that his sixteen year daughter is in love with a ‘white’ boy.

‘ What on earth this people think that when you bring up children in the west behave like the kids in the East,’

when I asked him that he wasn’t happy,

we should keep our culture’ he said ,

‘ then we shouldn’t have come here, and ‘we should keep our girls locked door back home’ I said. He did not like my remarks at all.

I was five years younger than my second brother Suthaharan.

He wasn’t happy when I born as my mother told me that he felt that I have taken his special place in the family.

My mother has very little to do with my interest and expectations. At present, my parents and me are in the house. We three in the house more like a three Islands put together with nothing in common. Parents spent most their time praying, visiting relations or phoning their relations who are broad. I go to work and mind my own business. Very long time ago I stop visiting relations with parents.

They do not like that, and saying that ‘we must respect our culture and pay respect to our relations’

I find it boring to go people houses and making small talks and eating large amount of fried food and sweets to keep the ‘tradition going’

I stopped going with them, they stop nagging me.

That is good in a way other wise she gets upset that I am not behaving like a proper Tamil Hindu girl.

Yet I never question my parents for what they trying to do for my future. They are trying hard as possible to find a suitable man for me. When I was in my twenty and pretty there were lots of proposals came.

My mother found fault in every one who was interested in me, either they weren’t educated enough for her expectation or smart enough for her liking, I was not allowed to say much as my parents said they will definitely find a suitable groom, then I waited and believed them I waited. I am thirty three now.

But to day I am like a stranger in my own home. Age and gender plays a major part in our culture I am a girl from a Sri Lankan Tamil family. Like any other Hindu girls I have to follow some strict rule but since we came to London those rules have changed slightly as I am a working woman now I am allowed go out with my friends now and then.

I am a thirty three years old woman and not married yet. That is the problems for my parents. According to our family that I should have married and have two children by now. When the Sri Lankan Tamil faced the genocide by the majority Sinhala government we all to run away from our beloved homeland, took very little except pain in our heats.

My elder brother had moved to Canada, younger brother went to France. We came to London as my father was a student in one of the London University and worked as a lecturer in one of the University some time ago. I was ten when we came to London.

Now he is retired. Awaiting to go to India to spent rest of his life. He wanted to visit temples and see the ancient culture he mumbled at time.

They think I am the obstruction as I am not married and settled yet!

My parents spread the word around to tell others that they have an eligible young lady in the marriage market with handsome dowry.

My mother is worried that the time go by I am going to be on the self and out of date for sale. To get a husband I have behave my self she told me be a good girl, She begged me, that’s mean don’t have a boy friend and loose my virginity!

I promised her that I will never betray her trust in me.

She send my astrological charts to various people, and my photos .

I have no idea how many perverts Wang them self by looking at my photos and imagining inappropriate scenarios.

My mother asked me to go through self purification such fast and pray at some auspices dates and times, which I did in order to ask God to provide a suitable groom.

Getting married within the Sri Lankan community is not easy as there were thousands of young men were killed off by the Sinhala government, and rest ran away and scatted all over the world.

Apparently there are seventy six country have refugees from Sri Lanka in the world.

The young men in our society are in high demand, asking price (dowry) some time only can afford by the well doing families.

Doesn’t matter the quality of a groom or the look or age but to get some one from the same back ground (cast and class based) is essential for Tamils. That mean, it bring status in the community stable future for the couple.

Well, I am on self already.

My mother wouldn’t say about my age anymore to the marriage brokers.

She will mentions the dowry, as she think that will attract some greedy grooms, and she said to me that ‘don’t make a fuss that is your fate’.

Once upon a time she was so choosy but not now, she wanted me to get married to some one. Indirectly she is blaming my luck and horoscope as there is no suitable come along yet.

Well it is my fault now that I have no man to spent rest of my life!

She took me to temple which is often use as a place for couple to meet-just to see –not to talk to.

So I went, there was a man with balding hair, prodding teeth looked me as a piece of meat, even him told the broker that I looked very old fashion as I was wearing a saree!

Next time one of aunt bought a beautiful salwar kameez, I looked eloquent in it according to one of my English friend. The man, may be in his late thirty, smartly dressed , who seems he was in a hurry to go somewhere (early Grave?) . looked cross and left immediately apparently he doesn’t anything to do with north Indian culture. My mother blamed my luck again as she liked his smart cloths.

Other time I was decorated with jeans and a very fashionable shirt. One of my aunt said be modern and seductive, as the man who will come to ‘see’ me in the temple, really like a girl with taste .

The man who came be at the temple stared at me as he is going to asked me for price for one night. I felt cheap, and humiliated.

For my friend Lisa, these dramas seems ridiculous and silly. She asked me ‘do you get exited by going for these blind dates’

She has certain values in life. When I first met her she kind of ‘monitor’ me as a person studying a specimen for findings. She was my manager, I dislike the way she studied me. We become friends when I discover that she like Indian food.

Of cause I took some of my mothers chicken and prawn curries. She fell in love that immediately.

mm who is going to be the lucky man to taste your cooking’ she mumbled as she was tasting the spicy chicken

I smiled without answering her

How could I say that my community men are looking for different things in partnership,

how could I tell her that I was in the marriage market stall for a long time, many to see but no one to purchase.

After many remarks from her about my cooking I said to her about the hunt for a husband.

She laughed unbelievably.

I had to explain to her in detail about my performance of the past to acquire a husband.

most women dream of a prince who ride on a white horse and come and swept them from the their feet, in reality that doesn’t happen. Most of us get a monkey on the donkey who trodden on us at night in dark”

I don’t know whether her statement is absolutely right and I wanted to believe that many men are decent and understanding.

didn’t you ever have attracted to any of them whom you have seen up to now”

Lisa asked me while we were coming out of the cinema and she was mumbling about how much she would enjoy if she have actor Richard Geer in her bed.

It is alright for her to ask question like that as she had many affairs and never hesitant to embark on further adventure.

I am a human being too Lisa, do you thing I don’t have any urge see my self with a man and allow myself completely to him, there are many cold night I dreamed of having a warm body next to me, there time when you are in your middle circle just want to make day and with no stop”

most of the marriages are in crisis, see whats happening to princes Diana, but only a few would admit that. look at the miserable life they lead. some people are ill with stress of marriage or playing game in front others, some are lairs and cheaters.

‘You may read a love story which always starts long before the marriage, did you ever read any thing wonderful after the marriage? Most are just struggle to keep it up, or making each others miserable or suffering from either mental or physical illness” she stated.

I told her about a few Hindu myth and how the society expect us to behave like them

So, you have to be like Sita in your epics of Ramayana who get in to the fire to prove her virtue to her husband or you have be the porn in a betting game where Droupathy was put in to the bet by her five husbands in your so called the fifth veda of Hindusm-the epic of maha Bharatha”?

yes we have to behave appropriately for our husbands and family” I insist.

listen to me my dear, those myths and rituals are created by men for their own benefit and pleasure, we are the bill boards for the religious principles and practices, most of these religious and cultural practices are tools of control over women by men.

Most women go along and believes these lies in order for their survival, status. Roof over their heads and a meal for life time for their hard work.

Women have to fit in to the role other wise we will be branded as witches, sluts, and whores where men can behave and do what ever they wont as they control the social system and they have the best of the world since our existence in the world. think carefully and understand who gets the benefit of these marriages”

I came home.

Lisa’s question hovered my mind.

I changed my cloths to get in to my bed, I was naked in front of the mirror, which I rarely do as I am scared to see my aging body.

I am thirty three, prime of my sexuality, my thirty six size breast looked heavy and beautiful, erected nipple made to think about Lisa’s man on the white horse..

Who will I meet next?

Will I meet a monkey who jumps around and looking for the best all the time disturbing everything its path? will the monkey make a brutal mark on my beautiful breast?

Will I meet a beast of a man kind who may trodden on me in the dark night?

I closed my eyes.

There were women from the past and presents with a sad faces, miserable, faces, tears in their eyes came to my mind.

There was a knock at the door.

Mother was there, looking at me pitifully.

will you come home early tomorrow”

She was asking.

I did not reply.

well …..” she hesitated for a minute or two and continued” there is a boy would like to see you, he is coming here for tea, ……”

I interrupted her immediately

Amma I don’t want see any one I do not want to be as exhibition piece… please leave me alone”

but…. “ she was nearly in tears.

amma” I went up to her put my arm around her, she sobbed like a child.

Please Amma, just leave me alone”

you are…..”

‘Well I know I am thirty three and unmarried.. but I am not going to let me married off to any monkey who has the way of life which will never make me happy, they always jump for next branch for something else. “

She looked as I am going mad.

She shakes her head in disgust and left my doorstep.

I lay in my bed dreaming about not a prince on the white horse but a man –an ordinary honest man who see me as I am and Understand me and love, I hope one day I will meet my dream man.

This entry was posted in Tamil Articles. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s