The sound of drums and cymbals reverberate through the house. I am at the stove sauteeing a mix of onions, tomatoes, ginger and curry leaves. The smell is sharp, pungent and reminiscent of my past. Saathi is sprawled on the sofa watching the Wimbledon Mens Semi-Finals the way I get immersed in books. I envy his escape while my ears are primed for sounds of screaming and fighting from the basement.
“Six dollars! We did it! Thanks to you Laddu!” Pattu is effervescent in her praise for her sister. Ammu joins in, her hand stroking Laddu’s plaited hair. They band together and lug a heavy side table downstairs. They spread out coins on the table, count them out, and take a long time to figure out the jumble of coins equal to six dollars.
“How much do each of you get?” I ask and it takes a few more minutes for them to figure out the answer. They run around the home yelling and screaming with obvious joy.
A few months ago, the mean streak between the children peaked and I worried. I had trouble understanding if it was a phase or the rumblings of something deeper. Today I feel relieved, a bit less worried.
I wait for the shoe to drop. It has not happened. Yet.