Recently a girl wrote to me saying that she admired the fact that I admitted to having a conservative mother and being from a fairly conservative background. She felt that too many girls pretend that their moms are Paris Hilton clones ( she didn’t exactly say that but I am using certain licenses here like ‘being the owner of this blog’ ). Thank you dear girl…alas one cannot chose their parents (unless you were on friendly terms with the geneticist pre-conception )or I would have chosen Dr Salim Ali to be my dad and Rita Rudner to be my mom. Kidding… I am quite happy with what God gave me or err…what God gave my parents.(Dear God, you do spoil my parents a lot I must admit, by giving them too much of a good thing a.k.a “me” :p )
Now I have been more than honest about my family or more popularly referred to as Case Study # 3456 by the good doctors at NIMHANS.
I don’t have an amma who says “Mole you don’t have a boyfriend??? I am so ashamed of you!!! Are you my daughter?? Ente daivame I think you got switched in the hospital. Someone took my darling smart baby and put a loser like you in there!!”
But when I do things like climb trees and recently in Kerala, when I nearly killed the family’s’ prize goat, prize cow, prize neighbor (he has an eligible son) with my cousin brother’s Bullet, she does wonder if I had indeed got switched in the hospital. (But the Bullet ride was awesome!! Next, I am gonna try the Tractor!)
And she also honestly and sincerely believes that her hubby dearest and his younger two kids descended from the apes while she and her elder son and her family were dropped from heaven to earth below as fully formed manicured and pedicured human beings who had read all the Malayalam authors and the plays of Shakespeare and as soon as they descended onto earth they headed straight to the library where they still reside reading books as they are printed.
My dad, a pragmatic Pala achayan on the other hand proudly admits that he is descended from the apes and thus can grunt and scratch himself anywhere anyplace anytime. (He also says that it is a calculated lie perpetrated by his wife and in laws that Apes are vegetarians and that he is living proof to the contrary.)
As a kid I heard my friends say that they read Mills and Boon right in front of their moms. I looked at them with admiration. Wow what cool moms they had compared to mine I thought. I had to read the Constitution of India and Geography for Secondary Schools...because they were big enough to hide the M&B. It did have it’s disadvantages though, like one day when my mom suddenly asked what I chapter I was reading I absent mindedly said “Midnight Tryst oops I mean Freedom at Midnight” ( You will all admit after this incident that an M&B kept hidden inside the Constitution of India and Geography for Secondary Schools is very good for mental alertness.)
I was always red faced when I heard aforementioned classmates moms declare rather proudly to my mom that their daughters read only Shakespeare and The New English Reader and not filthy books like Mill and Boons. They were right I must admit…these girls did not read M&B like me....they had by now graduated from M&B to Harold Robbins and Lady Chatterley’s Lover.
While my peers said that they had permission to go to the movies, I admitted rather frankly that I would have to check with my mom. And after my mom had asked around about the movie and got different opinions and reviews and finally a clearance from the parish priest and if possible from the Pope himself and if further possible from Sushma Swaraj and the Imam of Jama Masjid, then and then only would I be told “No!!” Don’t judge my amma too harshly. This movie had a lot of s** and violence and bloodshed you see. The heroine reportedly wears very short skirts and high heels (s**) which makes her trip and fall down the steps and break her head ( violence and bloodshed).
But I must admit that I was not totally honest all the time. When the aforementioned classmates moms would call me and ask “Where is Nina, she said she is coming over to your place to study but I heard she was spotted at the movies?!” I would tell lies that her daughter was indeed here and studying hard and right now she was in the toilet where she would remain, till around the time a matinee show generally gets over.
When my classmates declared that they could wear spaghetti strap and off shoulder tops, I had to admit that the only thing I was allowed to wear was T Shirts and jeans and frocks that I suspect were remodified burkhas. Since I was not a regular in the fashion scene, I was quite fascinated by the trends in fashion exhibited by my friends and learnt a lot from them. For example did you know that spaghetti strap and off shoulder tops are “always” worn with a modest T Shirt on top till you are 500 meters away from the house or out of view of your mom and vice versa?! Amazing!
I so envy girls with super cool moms like my friends.