Over the years I have refrained from talking about the people who mean something to me, not because I don’t value their presence in my life but mostly because the need to validate a relationship that is taken for granted on all levels seemed futile. That and I’m not a subscriber to the worldwide-declaration-of-random-days that are mostly there to sell over priced cards and flowers. I like things to be more nuanced and subtle, maybe.
I can confess that my flair for the dramatics comes from my mother and so does the hate for it. It’s hard to imagine an adult who is confused when you are a kid, but right now, I experience it day by day as to how confusing the choices of adulthood can be. My mother and I both fit in the same shoes now, metaphorically and literally and yet somehow my world selfishly revolves around my needs and aspirations and her world selfishly anchors itself onto mine. She complains that giving me freedom has spoiled me and I argue back that it is not freedom but more like permission if it is meant to be given or taken. The talk of fighting patriarchy is a new term for an old pair of shoes in our household. There are instances that I look back to in my childhood and it amazes me as to how easier the world was made for me by her. For unlike me she did not fight the ingrained Indian system of girls-cannot-do-these-things in the rebellious and strong-headed way that I do but instead she coaxed out an understanding with the people who subscribe to such mannerisms with patience. Did it take time and copious amount of wearing out patience ? Of-course, but it also ensured that the same people did not question her ever again.
We are always at war for the silly things such as why is it essential to get married (I question it,she merely goes with ‘you are an idiot’ line) or why one should not vocalize disagreements ( I hate confrontations, she thrives by them) or why trusting people isn’t easy( lets just say she finds people far easier than I ). As we both grew older, she taught me the need to soothe down my temper and I explained to her the world of complicated modern dating relationships. We taught each other about our belief systems and why being an atheist was as essential to me as it was for her to believe that the goodness in this world works on karma.
It is often easy for me to forget that she was just a kid of 21 when she had a daughter to raise . It is also convenient for me to take it for granted the privilege of a nomadic lifestyle that I take pride in, where she at my age did not know what it felt like to live in a place alone. Although I do suspect that she vicariously lives it through me and my constant restlessness. Once after a few glasses of wine she told me that her mother would have expected a lot more of her; she’d have wanted her to be more generous ,more ruthless and more successful. Then again, I guess mothers are made that way no matter what generation we are in , expecting you to conquer the world but at the same time nagging you to smile graciously, treat others kindly, never let anybody know how much they effect your life in any way and perpetually yelling at you to keep your room clean and your bed cleaner.
PS: This picture often reminds me of how much we’ve grown to look-alike despite our best efforts not to. It is also a proof of how both of us are hideously happy when we are drunk on multiple glasses of Chardonnay and trying to figure who’s better suited to be responsible more level-headed mother (obviously me).