Author: puresnow

Chapter 10

Nadine, Chapter ten
At wits end, Patel decides to send her to India. Two days later, Patel came home with two airline tickets, one a round trip and one a one way ticket. Patel would personally accompany Nadine home to India. She would go to school and stay with his cousin brother Bal and his wife Sudha and family in Gujerat. Patel said it was for the best for Nadine. It was tough love, but if he did not do it, Nadine would end up in prison. Nadine was shocked by Patel’s decisive action. Never before in her life had Patel said no to her. Nadine appealed to Chandra but she was vehement that she should go. This was the first time Chandra had anything to do with Nadine’s discipline.
Chandra said, “Haven’t you shamed the family enough?”

Patel and Nadine flew from Auckland International Airport, transited at Changi Airport in Singapore. Then they arrived in India, and took a long train ride and then a rickety bus ride for two days.

When Nadine and Patel arrived at his brother Bal’s village, it was like going back in a time machine or a "time-space warp". Patel had not been back to the village for thirty years, and nothing had changed. It was cruel to Nadine who grew up in New Zealand to have to live in the back waters of a rural Indian village with no electricity and water supply. It was a big culture shock for Nadine. 

“How am I going to survive with no McDonalds or fish and chips?” cried Nadine.

“What am I going to go with no TV?” she bawled.

To make things worse, Bal and Sudha were vegetarian, and they ate a lot of dhal curries. Sudha was determined to keep her charge in tow. She promised Patel that she would make a fine Indian lady out of Nadine. She herself had two well-adjusted and obedient girls. Nadine was subdued when Patel was around. 

“My girls will teach her to be a refined Indian girl. They are very good.” assured Sudha.

Trouble was festering, the moment Patel had left for New Zealand, Nadine started playing up. There was no way the aunt could do anything. Nadine was defiant in school, she taught her cousins foul language and rude signs and gestures that they had never heard or seen before. There were rumours going round that she was sleeping with the village boys. The boys were having a field day with this wild girl from New Zealand who let them do things to her that no village girls would do. She became very popular with the boys.

The village school master came to Nadine’s aunt and told her that the school would not tolerate Nadine’s bad behavior. 

Nadine was a delinquent, lied and stole, and habitually played truant. She disrespected her teachers and did not do her homework and failed in all her examinations. It had come to the point where she was bad influence on the school children. The kids started skipping classes and slacking like her. The parents were started complaining to him. 

“If Nadine does not change, I am afraid I will have to ask her to leave.” said the school master.

This was exactly what Nadine had wanted to hear. She persisted in her bad conduct. Nobody knew it was her secret strategy to get kicked out of the village and be sent home to New Zealand. Nadine’s plans were working, she was very proud of herself. 

In a week, the school master came again. Nadine was harassing and verbally abusing the teachers. She threw a blackboard duster at one of the teachers who told her to erase the board. The teacher had a big gash in her forehead when the metal part of the eraser landed like a missile. A lot of blood oozed from the wound.

The school master said, “I had to personally take the teacher to the next town on my motorcycle to be attended to. Even my shirt was bloodied at the back. Now the teacher has more than ten stitches. She was lucky she was not blinded in the eye because the gash was so near to it.”

“Nadine did not show any repentance or remorse. Now, I am sorry I will have to ask Nadine to leave, no buts, she was lucky the teacher did not want to press charges or ask for compensation for medical fees,” said the school master. 

When Bal came home, Sudha told him what the school master said, they had a quiet conference and agreed that Nadine was a big bad influence on their two girls and she was giving Bal’s family a bad reputation.

“That is it, tomorrow you go back to New Zealand,” said Bal.

Nadine said, “Not soon enough, I have been here too long.”

Nadine whooped with joy, she even danced the Maori Haka and stuck her tongue out, much to the chagrin of her uncle and aunt. Her cousins were disappointed their wild spirited cousin was leaving. She brought colour to their otherwise drab lives in the village. The boys were sad that she was leaving but sighed with a relief knowing all good things had to end: they knew they were walking on eggs and could have made her pregnant. Then they would be in deep trouble as nobody would want her as a wife. The school master was glad to see the last of this wild girl who had caused so much havoc to his docile school. Most anxious to see her go, however, were her Sudha aunty and uncle Bal. They were resigned to the fact that they had taken too much on their plate and had failed miserably. They pitied their cousin Patel when Nadine arrived back to New Zealand. Her experience in India had back fired and made her worst then what she was before.

They could not get a ticket straight away. Bal was afraid that Nadine would run away. Bal’s village house did not have locks. He went to the village shop and bought a big padlock and the biggest old fashion galvanised shoot bolt lock. He fixed it on the outside of the girls’ bedroom door. They locked Nadine in the bedroom for a week. They let Nadine out only when she needed to go to the bathroom.

Nadine shouted and cursed, “I hate you!”


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