Let me share a true horror story with you. My parents are the monsters in this true story and I am their poor victim. With their tongues unleashing Dragon balls of fury and their eyes tormenting me with its rage; they devour my flesh. I am a mother of two, running successful offices but I am not as scared to err in front of my CEOs, or the traffic cop or the income tax department as I am in front of my parents. To completely understand my trepidation and to let the entire terror unleash systematically upon you let me do a rewind of today’s morning activities.
7.00 am Waking up to loud commotion of two set of grandparents exchanging pleasantries. Or is it the opposite? Both of them are trying to win hearts of their grandchildren with bribes ranging from chocolates to sweets. I timidly try to remind them of pending cavities and pounding ants. But all my reminders are stealthily ignored.
It is the honorary change of guards today. The maternal grandparents are leaving and the paternal ones have entered the den to take charge and look after my two children; who one can easily mistake for monkeys without tail, going by their habits!.
We Indians, basically consider it a blessing in disguise that we have so many extra hands to take care of our little ones behind our backs. But we the wives know, deep in our hearts, that is a deeper bargain than this. While your mothers like a fairy, drop down to cajole your sons from one hand, their other hand like a witch points towards everything which is wrong with your house. While they cast a lovely spell on their grandsons, they keep a fair eye on their own son to protect him from your so called sorcery!!. Soon everything in your house is rearranged to this extent that it is difficult for you to find your own lingerie!
8.00 am My mother tries to force her beloved paranthas down my throat and my mother in law politely points out that I have put on more weight since she last saw me 10 days ago!!! As two ladies from vastly different communities of Bengalis verses Haryanvi argue about the pros of their rich cultural and food heritage, I am torn into slipping morsels of food into my mouth and agreeing with both from time to time.
8.30 am As soon as I step out of my bathroom, my own mother points that my dress is not uniformly pressed whereas the mother in law tells me that this lipstick is loud for office. Trying to wipe my lipstick out I see the two ladies agree in unison about how my style of clothes is not trendy at all.
9 am Getting late for my office and frantically looking for misplaced car keys. On any other routine day, there would have been nothing unusual about it. Most of us, who have a house full of children or mind full of other obnoxious thoughts misplace things in a very casual way; unless we have programmed obsessive compulsive minds. But here in my tense situation I have two set of parents, own and in-laws staring at my plight. They waste no time in reminding me of what a moronic careless creature I am. With the added melodrama of how this could result in serious losses of expenditure and energy, one fine day! Aaaahhhh😣😣😣
So finally I start my car engine, crying at the top of my voice my old favourite from Queens.
I want to break free.
I want to break free.
I want to be free from your eyes.
All you do is always scrutinize …I don’t need you
( but can’t help it, there seems to be no other way)
God knows, God knows I want to break free.
And finally I reach my office, already exhausted with all the imaginary battle of parents exhuming my mind.