Monday, January 31, 2011

Bringing up L:Some Memories

I was reading this and giggling, when a momentary thought crossed my mind.” What if Amma actually wrote a blog, (gulp) about her experiences?Bringing up L -The first twenty years (gulp and a cold sweat)?” And I instantly had an answer .I shuddered in the envisaged ignominy. For sure, she would not have a bloggers block after a few episodes. Of course, she would have many things to say, about me. And mind you, unfortunately (for me), they are all true.

When I was small, I was an absolute angel who simply refused to eat anything .I could not remember I was a wingless species of angel and hence ended up head first on the ground during flying expeditions. Most of the first seven years I had a bump on the left side of my forehead or on the right side or on some exceptionally windy days, on both sides.

Things never got better and I perfectly fit in to the following bill.

Amma is beautiful, practical and always on time (Terrible!!!).She is traditional, god fearing and everything an Indian mom is, sans melodrama (and I am full of it).I don’t know if she was always like this, but these are her traits from when I could remember. Now if you think having an able homemaker means no work for kids, why don’t your pinch yourself to reality?

I wish I could be like her. I have never told her how much I appreciate her adaptable nature, her ability to think calmly in the face of a crisis and to respond to a situation. And I haven’t told her I love her. May be I should let her. She will laugh at me probably. She knows. I know. We kind off never bother to tell each other.

Now coming back to the topic, I will tell you an episode, which is so vivid that it refuses to fade away. I told Amma about it. She could not remember.

I was probably 10 or 12.It was a bright, sunny Saturday. About 10 am .In contrast to the completely wayward life I was to lead in the future, I had a systematic life then. Saturday mornings were for revising the lessons.Well, in those days I used to finish my homework’s on Fridays. So there I sat, doing math and scratching my head, purportedly preparing for a test.

Amma was washing clothes (not doing the laundry). She hates washing machines. The one we had was sitting in the work area watching Amma giving a classic hand wash.


Occasionally she will turn around to glare at the water consuming, electricity sucking monster, the washing machine, as if it is her mortal enemy.
(When it finally stopped working, I’m sure because of underuse, I think I saw a smile linger around the corner of her lips which mouthed” Perish in scrap yard, Ogre!”.)

“If the cost of 7 m of cloth is Rupees 294, find the cost of 5 m of cloth?” I read out aloud followed by more scratching of my little head.”Hmmm, this is tricky”, I said and counted the number of problems Amma had set for the day. My tiny eyes popped out in dismay.There were a lot more to go.
Two nature calls, 3 water drinking breaks and one phone call. I had done everything but study in the past one hour.Sadly, breaking my heart the truth dawned on me, I was not going to get time to cycle. I pouted.

I looked longingly at my blue BMW cycle. (Well, it had stickers all over it that read “BMW”).It sat there inside the house, on the side of the open window, gleaming and glistening. The blue and white tassels on the handle bars flapping in the wind.
Amma had painstakingly dusted it until it shone.

“What was the point in having a cycle which you can ride only half an hour on weekdays and one hour on weekends?” I asked myself moving towards the cycle and sliding my finger over the seat. “Oh! The dreams I had, to ride on meadows and valleys like the children in Enid Blyton’s book. Chasing butter flies and feeling the breeze.” I checked for the noises from bathroom ,convinced Amma was still engrossed in washing, sat on the cycle and started pedaling backwards.(Off course duffer I couldn’t ride the bicycle inside the house, it would leave tell tale mud trails.)

I imagined I was one of the “Famous Five”, Anne probably, not George, I was too feminine for that. Then I thought of being Aamir Khan in “Jo jeeta wohi sikander” and pedaled furiously to win the race. I sat there dreaming about cycling in actual roads not here like this with the window curtain fluttering over me as the wind blew from outside.


I squirmed in shock and then after five long seconds in excruciating pain. There was a tingling sensation on my back, smoke shot out from my eyes. I counted three stars and two blue birds.
No one needed an explanation, the stimulus and the specimen, knew exactly what the cause was and what the response should be. The perpetrator of the resounding thump on my back, without even uttering a single word of admonish, trampled her way back to her temporary world of fabrics and detergent.
I silently stepped down from the cycle and sat at my designated seat.

I read aloud as if in trance,“If the cost of 7 m of cloth is Rupees 294, find the cost of 5 m of cloth?”…
Sometimes actions are a great deal louder than words. Talk about volumes spoken without words and just gestures, especially between a mother and child.
Yeah, when anyone says things on these lines, I can feel a tingling sensation down my back.

The Footnote:
Honestly, after writing this and this, the humour (self-fun-poking) turf beckoned me. Narcissist, that I am, could not resist the chance to write about myself.


  1. Thanks..All of us do have a memory like this..

  2. Hey, thanks for linking my post to this wonderful narration. I think the best gift of love a mother can give her kids is remembering their childhood and narrating them. Of course, since mothers can never be malicious (even if they give one 'adi' periodically), it will help the kids see things in perspective. I can vouch for that. Ask the brats. The younger one has dedicated a post for his Nag of a mother :D

  3. Thanks Zephyr..I totally appreciate the fact that mom didn't choose her love for me over the cane/hand/any suitable beating equipment.After all I wouldn't have had an eventful childhood without these episodes..And I love your narratives too..