Tag Archives: Cinderella

Tale of a Stepmom

Daily Prompt: Not Lemonade
When life gives you lemons … make something else. Tell us about a time you used an object or resolved a tricky situation in an orthodox way.

During childhood, I identified with stories of Cinderella, and Snow White. It wasn’t because of the fairy tale endings, but there was a step mother in the stories.

Our step mother brought with her, four kids from her first husband, when she married our (widower) father of five children. Our eldest brother was at PMA, Kakul, so that left us four at home.
With the addition of four other kids, we numbered eight.

A year later our step brother was born. We were thus nine children living in one house. With the addition of our baby brother, our step mother started showing her true colors.

Our father got a new job in another city. Meanwhile we were left at the mercies of our step mother.

Barely fifteen days later, step mom began her daily beatings of my youngest brother Salim. At first we thought Salim must have done something to irk or annoy her, but one day it went overboard.

One evening, while he was eating his food, she got up and start hitting at his head. My other brother Sher (three years younger to me), and I stood in front of her to save Salim from her blows. We got hit too. We were too innocent to hold her hands, or something like that. She wasn’t stopping.

Sher in desperation, rushed outside, and brought a neighbor with him. Seeing him, our step mother left her beatings. She told him her tales of the brats misbehaving with her.

The neighbor quietly told her, if she didn’t stop her daily ritual of beatings, and if he heard any of us crying, he was going to call the police.

Next day while we were at school, our step mother left with her own kids to join father. God knows what she must have told father (about us) when she left us alone at home.

Three months later, father had a heart attack. She didn’t accompany father’s body for burial at our ancestral village. I never saw her again.

She wanted us out of father’s life, and in the end we became fatherless too.

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My Idea Of Heaven

I discovered books as a child. My mother died when I was about five years old. My siblings and I were divided among our relatives. The youngest one, who was ten days old, went to our maternal grandma. My ten-month-old sister went to my father’s mother. My father took my older brother (eight years older than me) along with him. My three-year-old brother and I went to live with my elder uncle. After a period of four months, when our father came to see us, I clung to him and refused to let him go without us. Baba (my father) took us with him but was unable to look after my kid brother as he was away from home a lot because of his army duties. Baba had to leave him with his mother.
I used to be alone in the house most of the time. Lala (my elder brother) would be out playing with his friends. That’s how I discovered books and found a totally different world from the world I lived in. It was a world of magic for me. Snow White, Cinderella and the Mermaid Princess became my friends. I came to know dragons, wizards and Greek Mythology. Hercules and Zeus came alive. When I would wake up, I would find books lying near my pillow, brought by Baba, and left for me. When I was in grade six, I think I finished reading all the books in our school library.
As I grew older most of my pocket money was spent on books. When I could not buy, my time was spent in bookstores. My younger brothers by that time had come to live with us and the three of us would be visiting the local bookshops on bicycles. My favorite authors at that time were Leo Tolstoy, Jane Austen and Agatha Christie.
Alas! such a heavenly atmosphere could not last forever. My husband disliked books as much as I loved them. He only read his military books and newspapers. With my husband and two kids to look after, the world of books became a distant paradise.
Now with time on my hands, I have re-discovered my lost world. For me books are fun. My books are my companions. They were that in my childhood as they are now. I have to confess though I may go down a few notches in some people eyes but one of my favorite authors is Stephanie Meyer. I love her vampires and all, though I do not like the movies made so far based upon her books. My other faves are Suzanne Collins and Jodi Picoult.
My idea of bliss is to curl up with a book in a quiet place with no one disturbing me.