This Is My Life
“This is my life. Who the hell are you to give me advice?”
Since her childhood, nobody loved her. Her mother was only 17 years old when Lily was born. She could not remember even a single episode when her mother or her father sat down with her, read her stories and shown some affection. Their neighbors never saw her parents walking with her in the streets, holding her hands
She wore a multitude of earrings. Her ears looked like key holder of a factory storekeeper. She had a pair of small jingling balls on her right upper eye lid. She had pierced her left nostril, studded with a shining crimson red coloured stone, pea size. While talking, some words could not be pronounced correctly because she had pierced her tongue too and studded with a ring. Some stale food stuff was usually stuck in the ring all the time, which she did not hide. She laughed aloud unnecessarily with the mouth wide open- the HIPO style while trying to show the tongue ring. She wore her trousers at the pubic level to expose the belly buttons. On her both biceps, there were dragon tattoos; on her left breast-a broken arrow tattoo. Her medusa head had tentacles of different lengths. She was nicknamed-“A walking cartoon”.
Dorothy, Lily’s mother did not have time to spare for her daughter. Since her very early childhood, Lily was left in the hands of her nanny. Since morning till late night Dorothy was with different friends at different places. Her father was busy with his work. Dorothy was rich in her foul vocabulary. No nanny stayed longer than 2 months with Lily.
Friends and neighbours of Lily’s parents could do nothing to help Lily. Since her childhood, she had a stony face, never smiled, and never responded to any greetings. Her parents made her emotions frozen.
She grew up without having a close friend, but it did not bother her. As her nannies, one friend left, another friend came. Her mother used to say “In this constantly moving world, what stable friend you need?” She trusted her mother’s words.
Her father could not tolerate any longer to stay with them. He left them while Lily was 7 years old. Even though she was not that fortunate enough to enjoy her father’s company, at least she had the security feeling of having a mother and father together. After her parents’ separation, Lily learnt how to entertain herself. She could sit in one corner for hours with her toys, talking to the toys, laughing with the toys, making imaginary food for her toys and playing family with the toys.
In the class, she did not understand what the teachers were talking. In the playground, she could not play with anybody-her friends did not understand her. In the school her nanny was not there to protect her. She was beaten by the other children. When she showed her mother the bruises, she was told “You have hands. You also beat them.” And she did.
Her class teacher was tired of her. When the school authority asked her parents to come and discuss about Lily’s condition, her nanny turned up. At the end, even when she was not present in the class, the teacher just ticked her present. At the end of the year she would be pushed to another higher class and the teacher would be relieved.
At the age of eleven, nature has proved her to be the same as any other girl of her age. She got her first menstruation. From then on, her hormones pushed her further to the wrong path. She became wild, admired her own body and enjoyed the changing shapes taking place in her body appearance. Started decorating her body with colourful cloths. When Dorothy was not around, she would sneak into her cupboard and try on different dresses. The make up boxes were attacked. She was transforming into a young adult. She would stand in front of the mirror watching her own image and smiled with satisfaction.
Dorothy was too busy to notice her young daughter; she was still a nuisance baby girl to her. She admitted to herself-Lily’s growing up would mean a red signal to slow down her own pace-which she preferred to ignore for the time being.
At 13 Lily got a boy friend. At 14 she raped him. At 15 she got bored of immature young boys of her age. At 16 she got a long list of sugar daddies. She started earning.
She wanted people to notice her and love her but she did not know how to make it possible. Very often she was confused. She would seek opinions from her mother. She was ignored and Dorothy passed disgusting remarks on Lily’s appearance. She started hating her mother. She started disappearing from home. After 2 months of disappearance, one day they collided in a night club. Dorothy could not recognize her own daughter.
In the middle of the dance floor, a colourful, young adult was dancing with her eyes closed. The orchestra had stopped for a recess. But the colorful girl was swinging and shaking in her own tunes. The audience was cheering, clapping, whistling and booing. Dorothy joined the crowd, was also clapping. When the wig which was covering the face of the center dancing girl fell off, people cheered louder. Dorothy recognized her. She stood up with her wine tumbler in hand, walked towards the girl and slapped hard on the face. Lily was shocked, stared hard at the raised hand of Dorothy. She remembered- she also had hands. She remembered her mother telling her “You have hands. You also beat them”. With both hands in turn, Lily beat mercilessly the lady who was attacking her.
Dorothy begged her daughter to stop the drama and go home. She asked her to behave and stop spoiling herself. She was shocked to hear Lily growling at her “This is my life. Who the hell are you to advice me?”
(The aruthor is a Manipuri Thiyam Ningol from Uripok but settled at Africa for the past about 35 years working as a doctor. :: mugusi.nalini @gmail.com)
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