#SundayShort
Day 5 This kid is not going to get it. It is just the first week of tutoring and I can tell. Trust me when I say I am not making a judgment call on his learning ability but on his complete lack of focus and discipline. But I need this side hustle, tutoring Marathi.
#SundayShort
Day 5 There I am, keeping at it, promptly arriving at 3PM to run through the most basic lessons. I have not made any dent yet. His parents, they all spoke Tamil, assured me in broken Hindi they needed my help if their kid needed to stay in the elite school.
#SundayShort
Day 1 I rang the bell, a tall woman in red sari opened the door. The parents both worked and they had nanny - maid combo woman, it must be her. She barely spoke anything, just let me in as she still held the door as if it might close on my face.
#SundayShort
Day 1 Wordless, she pointed me to the desk with two chairs. I took the chair facing the sofa and stared at it for what felt like minutes. She returned with the kid and made him sit at the desk. I tried the most most basics to understand where he was with the language
#SundayShort
Day 1 My attempt lasted for about 5 minutes before the kid jumped out of the chair and ran away. I did not know what to do. I did not ask either the nanny's name or the kid's name. I waited hoping he'd return. Seconds turned into minutes, no sign of him returning.
#SundayShort
Day 1 I called out for her but I didn't want to say ayah so I ended up saying the Marathi word Aayi which mans mother. It worked, she returned from where ever she was in that small apartment with the kid in her hand. She smiled at me as she made him sit.
#SundayShort
Day 1 I nodded her thanks, our eyes briefly met. I felt her eyes probing or judging me. Is she giving me the look, "What kind of tutor are you if you can't control an 8 year old?". I averted her gaze and went back to the lesson. She took a seat on the sofa, watching.
#SundayShort
Day 1 Perhaps she stayed to keep the kid under control or to see how I performed and report on me to the parents. I felt self conscious, sweat beaded in my nape. I adjusted my sari and touched my hairbun for no reason other than as a nervous tick. We studied.
#SundayShort
Day 2 I was back. Same routine. She was in another red sari, that was draped very nicely. I once again brushed smooth my sari for no reason. She brought the kid and took a seat at the sofa. Watching us both. I kept my attention on the kid and lesson. She was there.
#SundayShort
Day 3 she was in a blue sari and I noticed her hair hung loose in front like a thick black curtain. Why am I noticing these trivial details? I practiced conversational Marathi with the kid as she sat and watch like the other two days. My nape beaded again. What?
#SundayShort
Day 4 she was back to wearing Day 1 sari and Day 3 hair with a big comb stuck in it. Was that a smile when she let me in? My face contorted and manged to reciprocate her smile but all that effort caused my forehead to bead with sweat. What is this fear I wondered.
#SundayShort
Day 5 is last before we started back Monday. I don't know if I made any progress. It is not me, it is the kid. While he sat there under the watchful eyes of that woman- what is her name, I should ask her, no why should I - he's not into learning. What's her name?
#SundayShort
Day 6 New week. I was ready with my practiced smile when she opened. She said something in Tamil that I did not understand but sounded very enthusiastic. My eyes again fixated on her thick long dark hair that dangled loose caressing her neck. What is this feeling?
#SundayShort
Day 7 I decided to tell her my name when she opened the door. I practiced placing fingers to my chest and mouthing my name. Why do I need practice to say my own name? As the door opened I slowed my entrance.
"Neela", she said placing fingers to her chest. I gasped
#SundayShort
Day 8 I realized I missed my cue completely when she introduced herself. This time I'd say first, after all she didn't have anything to say. I was already sweating walking up to the door.
"Veena"
She nodded and smiled. I felt her eyes on me as I hurried to the desk.
#SundayShort
Day 9 She greeted, "Pranam Veena", a salutation but also with the enthusiasm of a child that wanted to show off a new skill it had learned. Why did I not bother to learn greeting in her language. I simply bowed my head, words failed me. She smiled as I walked past.
#sundayShort
Day 10 You'd think I'd be the first to greet her. No. I lost my ability to speak when I see her up close. "Veena", she greeted, dropping the Pranam. I replied, "Neela", which I had practiced saying out loud a thousand times since the fiasco yesterday.
"Neela".
#SundayShort
Day 11 I could see her movements through the corner of my eyes. She was finger combing her hair, in slow gentle way. Her looked smooth, shiny and silky for all its thickness. I had a sudden urge to feel her hair. What is this madness?
"Chai?", she offerred. I nodded
#SundayShort
Day 12 This time she was brushing her hair with a broad comb. I was not able to look past it. She was humming very gently as she let the comb float through her mane. My heart raced as if I was going to have an heart attack. I peeled away with difficulty.
#SundayShort
Day 13 She had her hair done in a perfect bun exactly like min. She clearly had more hair and no grays so her her bun looked bigger and beautiful. She turned her head and showed me with big smile. My heart raced again. I controlled my urge to reach and touch it.
#SundayShort
Day 14 The mom opened the door. My face shrank. Did they send Neela back home? My fear was short lived as I saw Neela mopping the floor, look up and smile. Did she see the relief in my face? Mom told me no session needed the next day as the family went on a trip.
#SundayShort
Day 14.5 What did they mean the family? Did Neela go with them too? I felt a cloud of sadness settle over my mind and a hard fist pressing into my stomach. A sudden fear that I may not see her again. It was just three days, but. Or did they leave her behind?
#SundayShort
Day 14.7 I am convinced they had taken her with them but what if she stayed behind stating some excuse? She might need help, in a strange city where she did not speak the language. It is just a kind thing to do to go check on her. If she's there I'd return. No harm.
#SundayShort
Day 15 I stood at the door at the usual time, hesitating to ring the bell. I should go back. I did neither and stood there frozen. How long was it? Why am I here? I should return.
The door opened and a hand stretched out and grabbed my hand and pulled me in.

Finis.
#SundayShort Reflected Rewind
Day 15 Why is she hesitating? Is she not going to ring? Perhaps she came there out of habit and realized no class today. If that were true there won't be a delay, definitely not this long silent stare. My eyes itched pressed against the peephole.
#SundayShort
Day 14.9 I felt confident she'd come. It is the kind of confidence of a baby bird that jumps off the branch knowing its wings would work. It had never done that before but had the unshakable confidence. As the clock approached 3, I boldly went to the front door.
#SundayShort
Day 14.8 I checked myself in the mirror again. Not sure what would be different. One difference from other days is I had helped myself to madam's kajal and lipstick. The latter proved to be difficult to get right. The additions made me feel proud and lucky.
#SundayShort
Day 14.5 I took my time in the bathroom. I let the shower run longer, feeling the warm water caress every bit of my naked body. This alone would have been enough to make me happy had it not been her. Veena. I say her name aloud in the shower several times.
#SundayShort
Day 14 I won't get a chance to sit next to her and watch her teach. I did not understand a word she said but the way she said, the way the words floated over and caressed me, made me melt inside while I maintained a firm exterior. I winked at her as she entered.
#SundayShort
Day 13 I was proud to show my hairbun. I had spent a good hour combing and fixing it without strays, just the way she wore. Did I see her eyes expand, was that approval, joy or annoyance? I did feel her eyes linger a bit long. Why didn't she say something? But what?
#SundayShort
Day 12 I wanted her to feel my presence. Notice me, Veena. I made it a scene combing out my hair. It is hard to miss it. In addition I hummed a love song from a Tamil movie that talks about a girl whose long hair teases the wind and warms it up for others.
#SundayShort
Day 11 I wanted to talk to her but neither of us spoke a common language. I sat there watching her as I absentmindedly played with my hair and imagined us conversing fluently- she in hers and I in mine. I broke the daydream and asked her boldly, "Chai"? She nodded.
#SundayShort
Day 10 I was ready for her at the door. I'd make eye contact and say her name. Not just say it but call her by her name. "Veena", I pause expectantly. She seemed to have regained her strength, she looked at me and replied, "Neela". That was it but it spoke volumes.
#SundayShort
Day 9 I practiced another word. It was a greeting, a bit more respectful than I wanted but I had no one to ask for more friendly way of greeting. This would do. As I held the door open I said, "Pranam Veena", it came out louder than I expected. She bowed a tiny bit.
#SundayShort
Day 8 She was sweating all over when she entered. Her eyes averted mine but I could tell she wanted to say something. I did not want to say another word until she spoke to me. Not out of spite but out of respect.
"Veena", she pointed to herself. I smiled.
#SundayShort
Day 7 I decided to tell her my name when I opened the door. It came naturally to me and I felt I needed to be the one to take the initiative. You did not need language to exchange names.
"Neela", I said placing my hand to my chest. She gasped and stood silent.
#SundayShort
Day 6.8 I lived long enough suppressing my instincts. I am here in this far away city where I did not speak the language. What do I have to lose? I am going to tell her my name. I decided. I want to know her name, all that beauty packed tight needs a name.
#SundayShort
Day 6 Her smile flowed over me like a breeze. It could very well be a polite one you'd flash at strangers but I'd take it. I could not help myself, "Your smile is so sweet", I say in Tamil. She cast a confused look and let her eyes wander down to my neck.
#SundayShort
Day 5 I have not yet spoken a word with her but I spent an hour everyday just staring at her, drinking in every bit of her and soaking up her firm voice she used with the boy. Does she see me? Does she want to know my name? Does she know I am looking at her?
#SundayShort
Day 4 It was a busy day, I had more chores than usual. In addition to that when I caught my reflection in the big vanity mirror in madam's room I lost myself. I liked what I saw. I undid my braid from morning and started combing it out. I heard the doorbell ring.
#SundayShort
Day 3 The safety chain on the door refused to cooperate. I struggled with it to unhook and in that process my messy knot of hair came undone and fell forward just when I managed to open the door. Did she look at me longer than usual? She began teaching.
#SundayShort
Day 2 I felt comfortable where I sat. I do not get to sit in that sofa when the bosses were present. I leaned back and got comfortable. I also felt compelled to stare at the teacher. She adjusted her sari and checked her hairbun in that very stylish manner.
#SundayShort
Day 1 I took a seat at the sofa with a pretext of keeping the boy under control, so he wouldn't run away from the teacher. I saw her pat her forehead. She must be feeling hot. She adjusted her sari and hairbun, neither of which needed any adjusting and were perfect.
#SundayShort
Day 1 I let her. I just had brief glimpse of her face. I wanted to keep looking at her but I had no excuse. She wore her hair in a very elegant hairbun with not a single wayward loose strand. The few grey ones added another dimension to her. I felt my mind fill up.
Hey @threadreaderapp unroll this thread

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh
 

Keep Current with Lini 🏳️‍🌈🏳️ 👩🏼‍🦰 🌈 ⚧️ she/they desiNotAGal

Lini 🏳️‍🌈🏳️ 👩🏼‍🦰 🌈 ⚧️ she/they desiNotAGal Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!

PDF

Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!


This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!