My highly opinionated mom thinks I’m a freak, too “modern” for my own good, trying too hard to run away from tradition. And trust me, I’m not even that outspoken about my views. I know we will end up having
ugly fights long discussions if I start talking.
Mom doesn’t know it yet, but Mister is two steps ahead of me. Sometimes I feel that he is far more progressive than I am, and that he should’ve been born in the U.S. He is opinionated and REALLY vocal about it. He will NOT back down in
So imagine how much I was dreading the journey back. Mister and my mom on the same damn train, making me wonder if I should jump out before or after the discussion began. At the same time, I was really curious to see who would win in the clash of the titans. So I stayed. Alert.
It started soon enough. I said something cute, and Mister affectionately hugged me and planted a kiss on my forehead.
I shot a look at my mom. She was shaking her head disapprovingly and saying: Look, beta, I know this is none of my business, but as a mother and as someone who is a lot older, I find it your canoodling in public really disturbing. Some things should be kept under wraps, and you will have enough opportunity to be affectionate (read engage in sexual activity) at home. By doing this here in front of me and your mom, you’re being disrespectful. I know you guys are modern (that word again), but we’re not, and you should respect that.
I didn’t agree with what she was saying, but at some level, I understood. She had been conditioned into thinking affection was the same as sex. She didn’t know any better.
And then, Mister smiled. Fuck. My mom had it coming.
I see what you’re saying.
My mom’s eyes widened, as did mine. I couldn’t believe he just said that.
You do? My mom and I said in unison.
Of course I do. If I had been brought up the way you were brought up and went through the same circumstances in life, I would feel exactly the same way. The thing is, I wasn’t. I was brought up in an environment where I was told that if you love someone, you ought to tell them that again and again, and not just by saying it aloud. Your body language ought to reflect that. It’s a good thing!
Mom did a double take. She couldn’t believe he just said what he said. He continued.
I understand that you don’t get this, and you think that it is too forward to hug and kiss your wife in front of her parents, but that’s how things are done in your house. In my house, we hug and kiss a lot. You’ll get used to this soon enough!
But beta, mom said, almost pleading, there has to be some lihaaz, especially in front of parents. Even your mom…
My mom kisses her more than I do, you know. I kiss my mom too. We’re a really open family that way. You’ll see.
I stole a glance at my brother. He looked amused.
Mister was going on. See, it’s like this. I will say and do things that you will not like and think are too forward. You may be uncomfortable with our lifestyle and our choices in life, and I respect your discomfort.
At the same time, I am bound to dislike or not understand your decisions and lifestyle. It is important to understand that differences will exist, and it will be some time before we get used to each other. But once we do, all differences will wither away. In the meantime, let’s simply agree to disagree.
Speechless, mom pulled out the brahmastra in the quiver all Indian moms walk around with, only to be used in extraordinary circumstances (such as this) by emotionally blackmailing children. I taught my daughter the sanskaars that my mom taught me. Being her mother, I’m responsible for her actions. What will people say when they see her hugging and kissing in public?
Mister smiled that smile.
But she is my responsibility now. You gave her away yesterday, remember?
I knew my mom was pissed but really impressed with Mister. Not a lot of people can win an argument with her, and she knows that. When they do, she starts to like them.
Silver lining, anyone?