Not writing for you doesn’t mean I have forgotten you. You are always in my thoughts. On weary nights I think about all the fun we had together. The things we discovered, the thoughts we shared and new friends we made.
Yours truly is munching on Idli lavishly dunked in coconut chutney and Aviyal*,**.
Amma sits watching her progeny gulping down food like a hunger struck waif, needless to add, through her judging eyes. Through the corner of my eyes I watch a slight turn of lips,” God, let her not start on how easy it is to make Idli as breakfast before I go to work” I pray fervently as I take a sip of my tea, carefully avoiding Amma’s eye.
“Ehem”, Amma clears her throat. That is a definitive sign of the onslaught of what might be an hour long monologue on anything Amma found unacceptable about me. I flutter like a whale that senses the onset of tsunami.
“So what is your plan?” Amma asks. I lookup from plate and try to dislodge the coconut fiber that has precariously lodged itself to what could be my 32nd tooth and precisely where my tongue, short by a couple of millimeter, cannot reach.
I don’t understand the context, could it be about the five Idli’s I had snacked on? No, Amma is not a person who keeps account of food a person eats. I make a sound which signals her for a clarification on the context which comes eventually comes out like that of an elephant choking on excess palm frond intake, if you have seen one that is.
” Eat slowly, have you not eaten Idli in ages?” the progenitor reproaches. I want to clarify that I have an irritant lodged somewhere in my mouth and where I come from, Idli is not a gourmet dish. I decide against it, I’ve asked her to make me puttu and kadal.I didn’t want to squash my bets on that. Where I come from puttu and kadala is a gourmet dish.
“Well, I’m talking about taking the next step in life. You are not getting any younger. Neither am I.” Amma tells me sternly.Babies.I have been home for two days carefully avoiding barbed remarks on my maternity planning. I remain silent, scourging my armory for my defense.” Don’t just sit there gawking like an idiot.” Boy, she really loves me. Look at the choice of words to call an only child. What ever her vices are, pampering a child to brattiness is not one of them.
“Amma, I’ll have a child when I want to.” I tell her controlling my instinct to scream at her for pestering me on such inane stuff. She gives a cold stare and walks out gallantly.
Her stare could’ve turned a fire breathing dragon in to a burned out match stick, but not me. She definitely failed to freeze me into an ice maiden but somewhere something bothered me.
I don’t understand what it is with people and babies. I’m married and I have no kids as of now. I will have kids when the time is right. What is it to anybody else? I love children. I’m not someone who would worry about forgoing my career to bring up a kid. I might fret, but I know my priorities. I really don’t need to be lectured on what happens in “late deliveries”. I want to tell Amma, I need a little more time to sort out my life. My eccentricities and my insecurities. There is no point bringing a child to an emotionally unstable mother. I want to tell her not to push me to have a child. Like any woman I want to enjoy the whole process. I shouldn’t feel talked into it, like some course I didn’t want to do in school. I know Amma,you have a thousand reasons and arguments to give me. I have only one. You can call me selfish but still I’m just not ready for it.
You can call your daughter a failure if you want. All these years of training and teaching to be a perfect daughter and daughter-in-law have paid off. But not this one Amma, not this one. The wedding happened on everybody else’s terms. When I have a child, I’ll do that in my own terms. This is the way I want it and this is the way I am going to do it.
“If you think I’m going to get pregnant just keep everybody’s mouth shut, then I am not going to. Tell anybody who asks you, your daughter is trying to live her life the way it makes her happy.” I tell Amma. She calls me stubborn and an idiot (again).
Now my dearest, there were other ordeals similar in nature and intensity which drained me. But there were also moments of happiness. Moments of laughter and joy. On the whole the trip was a roller coaster ride. And yeah books, loads of them.
But in between all this, I missed you sweetheart. I really did, my blog, my love.
With Lots of Love
*Aviyal : Is a super duper Kerala dish made from assorted vegetables cooked in coconut minced with jeera and green chillies.It’s yummy and I’ll have it with anything.(Not to be confused with the rock band, though are yummy too)
** We Keralite start and end our day with coconut. Stop rolling your eyes, it might just pop out, let me add like coconuts.