Favorite color

Posted on 26 Nov 2010 in Short Story | 0 comments

Bhagyashree did not trust the small jaundiced bulb of the saree shop. She stood under the expanse of the afternoon sun to confirm the Emerald green. Her wardrobe was a rainbow of green since two years. Just before that she only wore red. With Anitha’s success, Bhagyashree knew that they would go again.

Amma’s worries had a daily rhythm. It was always four in the morning when she said it, “It is fate. If he would have grown paddy and not coffee …” She never completed it. She said it since Bhagyashree was eight. She was sixteen now.

Anitha married. She left for her new home. Her going made Bhagyashree the last matriculate girl. Anitha also made her the last unmarried girl on this side of the Island village. So just a day after Anitha’s marriage ceremony they walked amidst rubber plantations for almost an hour. Bhagyashree wore a dark green coconut leaf colored full skirt, with a long blouse that was the shade of an unripe coffee seed. She noticed that Amma also wore green.

Bhagyashree thought they almost looked like the happy trees around them. When they reached Amma gestured. The gesture meant I had to be shown. I was supposed to bend my head and step back then. I did that. We entered. The room was strangely full on one side and empty on the other. Old, yellow books were kept on the full side. A broken chair sat lamely capable on the empty side. A forgotten old table was sitting bravely in the centre. My mother said it again, “It is all fate. If he would have grown paddy and not coffee…. .” She never completed it.

Just then a dusty young man who was trying to look old entered, his pupils worked hard to find us through the glassy surface of his spectacles. He asked for the file. My mother promptly gave it. He stared intuitively at me as he read the file. Like always my mother’s hands were sweating now. Her head was touching the swollen wood of the table. Green and delicately bent on one side. She looked like a banana. He threw the file as if it didn’t matter anymore. My mother bent even more. He looked at my mother intently. My mother fondled carefully with a coconut leaf. She kept the moist bundle of green paper notes on the table.

He expanded in his chair.
“Saturn has been telling you something?”
“What?” Pleaded, my mother, still carrying her banana back.
”Wrong hour. Wrong day. Wrong birth.”
They looked at me together.
“Saturn says, “It is the color of your husband’s suicide.”
“YES! YES! My mother agreed and started whispering again, “It is all fate. If he would have grown paddy and not coffee…” She never completed it.
“I see Green.”
“It is the color green.”
“Burn green. Wear blue from the first moonless night of this month.”
My mother forgot her bent back as she ran home.
We burnt the coconut, the emerald and the unripe coffee leaves together.
We bought the blue sky.
On the sixth day of wearing blue Amma announced their coming.
I sat opposite him. I wore a new Sapphire blue saree.
His mother asked my name.
I softly said,”Bhagyashree.”
Silence came. I knew it was a good silence.
They all looked at me.
Amma added meekly, “She has a first division.”
I looked at the yellow earth and thought,” I love the blue sky.”
Just then, he asked, “What’s your favorite color?”
I looked at Amma for help.
He looked at me.
Silence changed.

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