My earliest memory is of my mother the Queen of Ka Surya, locking me in one of the attic rooms of the palace, because I had been defiant. I don’t exactly remember why I had angered her, but suffice to say that it was not an uncommon occurrence. She despaired of my outright willfulness and in a backhanded compliment, after a fashion, often told me that I had an iron will which would stand me well in my adult years—only a mother’s instinct could have spotted that surely?—but that for now I just had to be my age and learn to obey.
Disobedience. It was the hallmark of my childhood. When I think back, the uppermost emotion of those
early years was anger. Red-hot- stubbornness which raged at anything that came my
way, and feeling just one hundred percent obstinate. It was a tenacity that dogged
every single pore of my body—as if I were digging my heels into the dirt and
|Tiina, as a stubborn little girl|
What was I resisting, you ask? I can honestly tell you that I don’t know.
What was I rebelling against, you wonder? I am not sure.
What made me so adamant? That’s a good question and one I wish I could answer.
It was always me against the universe, every thought, feeling, hurt felt in glorious techni-colour. It was as if I lived in a state of heightened emotion all the time, living each moment so intensely that even today at the ripe old age of eighteen, my memories of those initial few years of my life are vivid. I can feel, taste and see every detail in my mind’s eye. Why could I not be more like my twin, the more docile Maya, the one who followed me everywhere, ready to burst into tears at the slightest provocation? She was but five minutes younger to me, but in temperament it may well have been five years. She was always the baby, the willing follower. And me? I was the goonda as my Mother termed me, the gang-leader. Sometimes, when I was really naughty, she would in exasperation call me Shaitan aka the devil himself—really only a mother’s sixth sense would have sensed the impending tumult which the real Shaitan would cause in my life. “Why are you so angry Tiina?” she asked me once, at her wits end. The question genuinely stumped me. There was no reason for me to feel this way right? After all me, the princess of Ka Surya had everything I could possibly want. But none of the material possessions seemed to satisfy that thirst within me. A search for my real soul mate perhaps, or maybe it was the pure confidence of a child who could feel the blood of the universe running through her veins. A kind of faith, a trust in the universe, that nature would give me everything I ever wanted. A self-belief that came from the absolute security of knowing oneself—one which eluded my now. After all it was in search of myself that I am supposedly embarking on this voyage. Right? As Artemis and I set course for Bombay, Earth from Arkana, I gaze into the utter darkness of space stretching out in front and hope I can capture some of that spark, so that it would light up just a little of my core.
A shimmer of excitement runs down my spine as I wonder what is in store in my future.