Poor little rich girl. That seems to be my recurring motif. And when I look out on the streets I see enough to make me thankful that I'm me and not some other girl condemned to a life without the luxuries I have. Cal's a good place to feel this humble. The streets are full of sad people.
That's why I like September. There's the feeling of Puja in the air and everybody seems happier than they are wont to be. The people in the buses even smile and chat with one another. It's a pleasant time, if somewhat hectic, to be in the city.
I want to be home though, back in Chennai. I want to feel like I belong somewhere, even if I know it's just an illusion and will be shattered as soon as Baba and I fight the first time. Ma has taken to defending me. It sounds bad to say this, but it did surprise me when she started. I'm just not used to anybody doing that. Not anybody I'm related to, I mean. But she does now, and doesn't mince her words. When Baba and Chhotopishi started on the clothes I wear (a fruitful topic) she asked them why it was that everybody felt so comfortable about criticising her daughter when she doesn't go around saying such things about theirs. That shut them up. It felt good when she told me that, yet it does come late in the day. All my life I have been told that if my conduct is right, it doesn't matter what anybody says about it, for eventually justice will prevail. I don't think it works out that way, somehow. People say what they feel like saying. The bitchy ones, like David, intend to create mischief; and the foolish ones, like Mejopishi, because they don't always realise how far their words go. And yet, I wonder if the foolish ones don't do more harm, because they are forgiven by virtue of being foolish and are therefore at liberty to continue saying whatever they want as long as they want. At least, the mischief-makers are eventually found out and labelled, and their words taken accordingly. How many of them parade under the mask of being foolish? Khurima does, and well I know how prettily she extricates herself from the consequences of her mischief-making.
I used to feel so trapped among them all, but I don't any more. The hell I live in I have created myself and nobody can really harm me any more than they can help. Sometimes, just sometimes, I should like to scream as loudly as I could, and not have to explain myself or the scream to anybody. But I cannot do a thing, including sleep and wake, without having to defend that or explain it to somebody. I wonder if they realise how such behaviour shows bad manners rather than good hospitality?