Life's Like That

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


I fought with my mother before leaving the house today. Nothing unusual really. Loud nasty fights between my mother and I, are frequent occurrences in our house. As a kid she used to throw me out of the house for the slightest misdeed. I used to stand outside and HOWL(till the kindly neighbours either convinced Ma to take me back or better still took me to their houses and plied me with chocolates etc). She doesn’t throw me out of the house anymore, she screams at me and orders me to move out…and I scream back and say that I don’t want to stay under the same roof with her anyways and storm out of the house or room (depending on convenience) Then I lock myself in my room or go to a friends house and cry, and feel very sorry for myself. Then I text Baba and tell him all about it…and stress him out. We maintain a stony silence for about a week or so, and use my sister as an intermediary when absolutely necessary.Then somehow we make up…I have no idea who approaches who first, but just as suddenly as it started, our quarrel is over….until the next time. Discussing the problem or apologizing is absolutely out of the question (Don’t ask me why, it just is. Neither of us expects it from the other).

I really don’t know why Ma and I fight so much. I cannot imagine my life without her.
My mother is my best friend. Although that does not mean I tell her everything that happens in my life. It just means that when things go wrong, she is the one person I turn to for strength and unconditional support.(There have been times when I have just hugged her and cried and she has just hugged me back without asking a single question). We are very similar and yet very different.

My mother is strong and temperamental and moody and an amazing cook and very eccentric (remember the python?). Little children (offspring of family friends etc) love my mother. Where their own mothers act as irritating voices of caution and forbid them from climbing trees, playing in the sun, splashing about in rivers( if there is a river available at some picnic spot or some such), telling them to be careful while bursting crackers; my mother is usually the first one to jump into a river, or attempt to climb a tree, scoff at the sun, and most definitely find the biggest scariest “chocolate boma” to burst. She takes all these little children under her wing, and then of course their mothers cant really find a good enough reason to stop them from enjoying themselves. She loves Nature and has gone trekking several times (and come back and told me excitedly about how she saw a panther sleeping on the branch of a tree)

I, on the other hand, am distinctly unadventurous. What a disappointment I was, am and will continue to be. You all know my attitude towards wildlife so I shall not go into all that again. I hate fireworks. During Kali Pujo (Diwali for Bongs) the only fireworks I can bring myself to associate with (after much coaxing, persuading and ridiculing) are “phurjhuris” (sparklers), coloured matchsticks and “shaapbaji” (cant translate, sorry). The unadventurous aspect of my personality (which, we are all convinced, I inherited from my father) manifested itself pretty early on in life. I was about 1 year old when we had gone to some seaside place for a holiday. My father predictably chose to sit on the beach with me while my mother (again, predictably) decided to go and jump about in the sea for a while. Apparently I watched my mother walking towards what Im sure I considered dangerous waves, with mounting apprehension. All hell broke loose when she actually got into the water. Apparently I howled and wailed (to this day my poor father cringes when he remembers the way I cried and the dirty looks people gave him) till she disgustedly got out and came back to the safe dry land.

Ma is also very very paranoid. She keeps us perpetually amused with her fear of thieves’ robbers’ intruders and ghosts. When she goes on vacation, she ties the balcony doorknob to the grille of the window next to it. After we moved to Salt Lake, every time my father went out of town, she would spend the day telling me and my sister that Salt Lake is a very developed place and there is nothing to be scared of. Till day turned into night that is. By 8.00 p.m. Ma would be a nervous wreck. By 8.30 p.m.we would be in the car headed for the safety and robber free security of my uncle’s house. She frequently does these impossibly ridiculous things, like losing her boarding pass minutes before the flight, and calling my father in Bombay for help (she was in the Bangalore). She went around stopping every airport sweeper and making them empty their garbage cans, convinced that she had dropped her pass and they had swept it away. The idea of going to the counter and getting a duplicate pass done by showing them her ticket did not occur to her till my father told her. She has a mobile phone, which she leaves at home when she goes out, thus making it impossible for us to get in touch with her.

How am I similar to Ma you ask? Well, from her I have inherited my temper, impatience, my love for traveling, my attitude of not caring about society and rules and what people think and my inability to quarrel with people I love (including Ma) without bursting into tears (most embarrassing I assure you, just when you want to prove a point and unleash your rage on some unfortunate soul, your eyes well up, you choke and you start sniffling like a baby. Has led to certain people calling me crybaby).

My mother was my rock when I was growing up. Baba was mostly away, traveling around the world for work. Ma was the one who was always at home when I came back from school, she was the one who made me do my homework, she was the one I snuggled up to after lunch. She was the one who would scold me for coughing and being sick (yes, Ma would get very hassled whenever I fell sick as a child and she would scold me incessantly) and then get me cough syrup and Crocin. Ma was the one who came running to school to find me sitting on the steps and sobbing because my father forgot to pick me up and I didn’t know how to go home. She is the one who took me shopping and firmly prevented me from filling my wardrobe with various shades of grey and white. To this day I want Ma with me when I go shopping for clothes (and not just because she will pay the bill). I hate her taste in clothes and she hates mine, so when we are together we manage to find stuff that’s somewhere in between and usually very nice. All my life she has been the more approachable one between my parents, and the one I go to with silly personal problems. Today when I’m on the brink of setting up my own home, she is the one I turn to for help, support and advice (not to mention cookery lessons).

Why do I keep fighting with my mother if she means so much to me? I don’t know. Maybe that’s the way mothers and daughters are meant to be. Maybe it’s a result of both of us being cursed with the same short temper. I’m feeling rather bad about some of the things I said this morning. Of course directly apologizing to her is absolutely out of the question. And my sister is being rather uncooperative these days. So Im hoping Ma will read this and know what she means to me…I love you, really do!


  • hey dont worry she knows that u love her like u know she loves u. RD

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:46 AM  

  • Helluva post Ron! And I have this exact love-fight relationship with my Mom.Ever since i wrote up on my dad I've been dying to write something for my Mom and never got around to it. What you describe are things that happen to me and my mom all the time. I love her like crazy and she knows that. Yet we fight all the time. probably because we love them so much and we expect so much from them: unconditional love, understanding, respect. And we try to change each other because we fall short of our expectations and hence the fights. And also because Moms are probably the only people that you know you can blast and get away with it because they will still love and understand you. Loved reading this one.
    And trust me, she knows.

    By Blogger M (tread softly upon), at 8:35 AM  

  • Hmm! "Striyascharitram deva na jananti kuta: manushya?" Seriously, I don't know why women fight with someone they love. I have seen my sister and mom doing the same thing. BTW, there is a beautiful movie by Bergman, 'Autumn Sonata', on this complicated relationship.

    By Blogger Kele Panchu, at 5:02 PM  

  • I must admit that it is very well written. Read like an excerpt from a novel on the mother-daughter relationship. Was quite touched by it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:25 PM  

  • hey..i guess something i've learnt is that relationships that require a lot of effort and energy to keep up are the best, as you understand the value of it. they say u hurt the ones you love the most and all that..true i guess...also...i guess i'll never understand women! ;-)

    By Blogger Abhishek Chatterjee, at 1:08 AM  

  • M(tread softly upon) is right. Only with your Ma can you yell and get away with anything. And just like your mom, my Ma seems to be prescient too at times...I don't have to say anything at all but she understands. This is a lovely and heart-warming post, and don't worry, I am sure this fight will blow off soon enough:D

    By Blogger i dwell in possibility, at 4:36 AM  

  • @rd: yeah i guess you are right :), and wow!! you actually came back to my honoured!!

    @m (tread softly upon): your post onm your dad was lovely. you should write on your mom too. what is it with mothers and daughters? fighting seems to be our way of expressing our love!!

    @panchuda: i havent watched that film, but shall try to geta dvd and watch it soon. and oi shurur quote ta...baapre..otaar maane ki??

    @r: weell..considering you are the one most ofetn subjected to tearful tales of how mean my mother was and how i didnt deserve anything she said, i didn think you would find this to be like a novel. but thank you, kind words are much appreciated. you will be happy to hear that i listened to your advice and hugged my mommy and now everything is all fine!

    @abhishek:not many people understand women you know. sometimes i dont understand women myself :)

    @gmm: fight is over! yay!! went and hugged her and we both started laughing!!mothers i tell you!!

    By Blogger Ron, at 9:18 PM  

  • I feel so happy today - i've played traunt at work and walked my feet out through a lot of crowded streets.

    so happy, that i confess to being hooked onto ur blog for quite sometime, which i stumbled on by accident.

    u write good, ma'am, but above that, u make me feel the weight behind each word.

    am sorry, understand that am an uninvited eye into ur private world, but i mean no harm - i assure u - just love the things u write, and the way u put them down.

    i haven't posted any comment on anyone's blog till date, but now do, cos i feel so exuberent and yes, alone - i feel so happy but have no one to shout that to, except my blog.

    thanks for writing wat u do.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:12 AM  

  • Ron I remember those days when we used to sit on the stairs of college and talk about these things... and I have always found you to be so deeply in love with ur folks and sis(however much u refused to admit and said that u r a loner). Good to see, my 'village sister' growing from being a child to an adult.

    U have stopped reading my blog( considerin I was one of the first ones to religiously read ur blog

    By Blogger cyberoam, at 2:14 AM  

  • @vintage: you know, thats probably one of the nicest comments ive got!! thank you for stopping by and thank you so much for commenting today! playing truant from work sounds sooooo wonnnderful. havent done that in so long! *Note to self: take day off soon to just do nothing. SOON!*
    hope to see you here again :)
    PS: you are not uninvited, if i meant this blog to be private, i would have had an anonymous URL, or disabled comments, specially anonymous comments, or better still not had a blog at all...just continued to write in my diary. you and everybody else is most welcome here (as long as there is no profanity or nonsensical comments i.e)

    @sayan: heh *blushes and looks silly* thank you.

    and i do stop by your blog, but you post so infrequently, and when you do, i cant think of what to write because i would have told you whatever i think on the phone only.

    By Blogger Ron, at 2:30 AM  

  • Great post, Ron! This one suddenly makes me miss my mom :(

    By Blogger Rita, at 5:14 AM  

  • Come to think of it Ron, you do actually talk mostly about your family+ in most you say...whether you're making it sound funny, or otherwise... as for her knowing that you love her, well, I guess she wouldn't need to read your post to know that- she knows just as most things that Parents know automatically... like when you're sad, or guilty or when you've smoked. Hmm?

    By Blogger Deep, at 6:06 AM  

  • I'm glad you guys worked it all out Ron.

    By Blogger M (tread softly upon), at 6:22 AM  

  • *sigh* mothers...I am now feeling all maudlin about mine even though about two hours back we were yelling at her that it wasn't cold enough for me to have to wear socks and two sweaters and a muffler while sitting at home...truly lovely post ron :)

    By Blogger babelfish, at 7:16 AM  

  • otar maane : Naari choritro debota raao jaanen na, manush to durer kotha!

    By Blogger Kele Panchu, at 2:55 PM  

  • Wow - very nice post. I guess there is some truth to the Oedipus complex after all. Much as I love my father, its not the same as my Mama.
    In my sister's case I believe the opposite to be true.
    Tenuous relations between Mama and Daughter - not at all uncommon, but seldom written about so well - Thanks.

    By Blogger Pareshaan, at 1:15 AM  

  • @rita: thank you. call your mommy right now :)

    @deep: yeeess...well when your family is like something out of a pg wodehouse novel its hard not to be preoccupied with their doings:)

    @m(tread softly upon): everything is aaaalllll good now!! until next time..hehe!!

    @babelfish: go n hug your mommy rightttttt now!!

    @panchuda: hya amaro mone hochchilo orokomi kichu ekta hobe. dhonnobad.

    @pareshaan: hi, welcome to my blog. yeah you are right!! but the relationship between mother and daughter is waaaay more complicated than that between a father and son can ever be! two women after all!!

    By Blogger Ron, at 9:16 PM  

  • Hey Ron! Came across your blog while generally surfing! This feels awesome...
    Why don't you write something about our Kathmandu trip?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:46 AM  

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