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Voicing Silence 7

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tide - 24

Part - 24


They are sitting in an auditorium as it begins to fill up, soon it will be swarming. Good thing they were able to get in early and settle into the best seats.

“That there is Samyuktha's mother”, says Sanjana pointing out to a someone a couple of rows in front of them, adding quickly, “don't look, don't look, Amma. I don't want to be asking her how she is and then have to listen to all the details of her father-in-law's hernia operation.”.

“Remind me once again what's Tara's role in the play?”, asks Padmaja looking away as directed by her daughter.

“She's playing Soorpanakai. Guess who's got the prized role of Seethai? Yes, Samyuktha, of course.”

“I'd rather she was a feisty Soorpanakai than a placid Seethai, any day.”

Soon the bustle dims, the lights mute, the curtains heave and the musical commences. Tara has transformed herself as Ravana's fabled younger sister. With her hair unbound, her face tear streaked, Tara conveys the rage of one who had been mistreated. How could she know what it's like to have been insulted and undermined by a man? Has she been mining anger from another life? Her wound is raw and her pain real for all to see. She collapses on stage, her anger spent, her small body limp. The audience, still rooted in the moment remains frozen until a discreet cough from the headmistress breaks the spell to a huge clatter of applause.

Sanjana observes her mother joyous, her eyes shining with tears threatening to spill over.

“Amma, Tara has been telling me about someone called Dr. Vel-something. Would you like to invite him for dinner one day so I can meet him as well?”

Still clapping, Padmaja turns to look at her daughter. The tears are no longer restrained.

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