Every man whether a celebrity or just boastful, likes to talk about the first woman in his life. I am neither, but I too have a story to tell. You may ask me whether I am not worried about my my wife or children hearing it. Yes to an extend, but nothing can be done about it, there was a woman.
It was around four in the afternoon. The young woman was carrying tea leaves in a basket on her back. Remember the beauty on the old Tatas Tea's Kannan Devan tea packaging? The string of the basket worn over her head supported its weight. I think in north east also they use the same contraption. She also had a large bundle, of tea leaves in a sacking, on her head.
There were some nine or ten women with her. All of them similarly burdened. I think the crop was good, there were smiles of satisfaction on everybody's face. She was the last one moving in single file. It was not the load that made her the last. she was young and energetic.
The Gunny bag, tied around her waist like an apron was above her knees. It was the best they could afford. It protected their cloths from getting wet or torn while moving in between the bushes plucking tea leaves. They were hurrying down to the mustering yard.
She stopped on the opposite side of the road. She could not sit, because of her attire, to relieve.
So she did, as it was possible, standing, with out looking around
I saw the urine flowing down her thighs and felt uneasy
It was then that she saw me in the tea bushes on the other side of the road
Vehicles were very rare in those days, but the road was used off and on by the lorries carrying cement for construction of the dam at Mattupetty . The instruction I had was to leave the road and step into the tea plantation, on hearing a truck and wait till it passes . The lorries could be heard from far. So I was in the bushes for quite some time to let the lorry pass.
I remember the smile on her face.
I knew there is some thing wrong though I could not tell what.
'Evide vada, Nee ennatha nokki nilkunnathu' (Come here what are you looking at)
It was my mother. She was watching me coming from the estate shop where I used to go at times to buy small things for the kitchen. she waited in front of the house till I got back. The house was on a small hill, from there the entire road till the shop was visible
'Lorry' I said
'hurry up, there is no lorry coming'
I ran home, the small packet from the shop held close to my chest, not concerned about the sound of the lorry which was still far away.
I still remember the scene... The first woman I remember.
I think there is nothing wrong if I call her the first woman in my life, though I doubt she remembers the child, me.