in flagarante delicto

My relationship with my mom alternated between friendship and her being my mom.  I was extremely independent, had a mind of my own and could be rather mouthy. My mom was incredibly understanding- my best friend and my greatest enemy all rolled into one. She was a friend but didn’t delude herself that it was her only role. She was my mom first and had no issues calling me out on any bullshit . She also didn’t particularly care to explain herself to her kids. “Because I said so”  “I’m your mom and that’s good enough”  ” That’s just too bad. ” “Life is so unfair.” So in all those huge altercations with Amma, I would swear  ” I’m never going to be like you”. “You’re so uncool. ”  I had this huge list of parenting things that I would never do.  Looking back , I was a walking, talking, rebellious , pain in the ass.

One of the things that annoyed Amma big time was my brother and I fighting over chocolates. She considered it fighting over food and it was something that always got her goat. She didn’t understand why we couldn’t just share. While we didn’t seem to have any problems sharing other things , chocolates were a huge no no. We would argue and fight over who got the bigger piece. ” Aren’t you both ashamed to fight over food?” she’d go in Malayalam- between her tone and the Malayalam language the disgust over us fighting over chocolates was conveyed loud and clear. One time she got so mad, she took the whole bag of chocolates and gave it to the maid for her kids. And given that those were chocolates an aunt had brought from abroad, I was so mad!! She did hit upon a solution. One person broke the chocolate and the other person got to choose first. So we were careful to break it equally. Looking back, I don’t understand why she just didn’t get us individual chocolates. She always got us one and said, “Share. ”

Cut to 2014.  In my home, we speak mostly English. While the kids understand hindi and malayalam, they both speak in English.  Mom was visiting and we went to meet my aunt. My aunt gives my kids this big bar of chocolate and they decide to have it at once. Of course, in two minutes, the fighting began. I was quiet for the first five minutes. Figured they could sort it out between them. But hey, do they stop? No. it’s getting very intense. And in someone else’s house. I lost it. I rounded on them : ” Stop fighting right now!” And then I just continued…” Aren’t you ashamed to fight over food? Give that to me. Here, D .. you break and S gets to choose. And if I hear you fighting again, I’m giving that chocolate to jaya didi for her kids. ”  There !!  That should sort it. My kids are looking at me wide eyed. My aunt and my mom seem to have identical grins on their faces.

And that’s when I realised what I said. And I said it in Malayalam. In the same tone. The one I HATED growing up.

And here I was. Caught red handed. In Flagarante Delicto. In front of the two women who were very explicitly told that I would be nothing like them. All strict and not understanding and railing away at my kids. I had done just that. heck, I’d even used the exact words and tone!

Well played Karma . Well played.

It’s a different thing that, today, I feel that if I could be half the parent she is, then my kids will be fine.

But really, Karma, did you have to make me eat my words IN FRONT OF THEM?!!

Image source:

sometimes

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Writing as a part of team Blue Lagoon.

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What you don’t know

You know how when Sheeba told you about her new job, you felt a little envious?

What you don’t know is that all she wanted was to stay at home with her 3 month old, but  because money is tight she has to work.

You know how you thought some people have all the luck when you saw Prisha- confident, put together, wealthy,  has it all?

What you don’t know is that she deals with crippling anxiety issues.

You know how you looked at Dilip and thought,” How irresponsible can a guy get? ”  because he always went riding every weekend rather than stay home with his family or study.

What you don’t know is that riding was his escape. He just couldn’t take his parents fighting anymore.

You know how you looked at Shanaya and her husband’s holidays pictures and thought,

” Well, it’s so easy to just pack up and take off when you don’t have kids”

What you don’t know if that her husband and she took this holiday after yet another IVF attempt failed.

You know how you looked at Manisha’s smiling pictures on FB and thought her constant cheery face could be a little annoying?

What you don’t know is behind that cheery facade is someone struggling with depression.

You know how you judged  Dimple’s capability as a mom did have it all when she told you about that promotion at work?

What you don’t know is that she’s dealing with an unsupportive husband and handling it all while trying to keep her dreams alive.

You know how you saw Tanay’s Audi and thought,” Well, the man sure does get paid.”?

What you don’t know is how that stressful job has screwed his health over.

You know how you looked at a fellow mom at school and felt thought that she was so strong and confident and popular?

What you don’t know if that she’s struggling with a bad marriage working doubly hard to make sure her child is alright and making sure her unhappiness is not fodder for gossip.

Sometimes, there may not be any back story behind the happiness. They may be supremely confident, it may just be another holiday, they may be in high paying jobs, and some may just have it all.

BUT

You don’t know. And what you don’t know can fill a million pages. Because everyone has their own struggles. Their own version of heaven and hell and just because it all seems together- doesn’t mean it is.

Sure while it’s human to feel a little envy- be kind. Quit the judgments.

And know that your kindness may or may not make a world of difference to the other person.

But I can tell you, it will definitely make a world of difference to your life.

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Writing as a part of team Blue Lagoon.