April 02, 2009

Beta zara yahaan aana

The other day I was watching this Russel Peters' stand up act and he discussed how parents could embarrass their kids in front of relatives and acquaintances by saying "Come here beta.. show uncle your dance." It was familiarly funny. Because it has happened to me, you, her and him. It happens!

It has happened so many times with me. Some relative is at your place for a visit and everyone is sitting and chatting when my mom suddenly comes up with "Arey Richa to kaafi poems likhti hai. Richa, ja apni poem waali diary leke aa zara. Dikha to aunty ko." So you get into this 'marta kya na karta ' situation and bring it.

Aunty: (after reading) haan achchi likhi hain.
(I never understood whether this was supposed to be taken as a compliment or a formal forced praise. There was once this uncle who stylishly said "haan likhi to kaafi achchi hain" and wore an air of none less than Dinkar or Maithilisharan Gupt. Too bad, I felt so bad about myself.)
Me: Thank you aunty.
Mom: Arey ye to kaafi kuch likhti rehti hai. Abhi isne dadaji pe bohot hi achchi kahaani likhi hai. Richa dikha aunty ko.

[Hence I shove out all my plans to ever get a book published. Who will read it? Sabne to ghar pe aake padh hi li hai.]

But there are things that can be more embarrassing. Singing or dancing for most parts. I really appreciate God for not giving me that natural influx of a dancer. "Beta dance karke dikhao" is just too much to take. I remember my mom once asked my brother to dance in front of bua, but he just wouldn't. Nothing could pursue him. Well you can think of defying them for once but the aftereffects can be dangerous. You are in front of a grumpy mother who will tell you how much you disrespect her and never agree to whatever she has to say and you will keep feeling guilty for the rest of the day.

Well, it is not that they want you to be uncomfortable or something. They just don't realise. They are too happy about the talent of their child to see whether such a situation abashed the kid.
I recognised this fact when a friend of mine came to see me. While talking to her I turned to my brother and asked him to play the flute which of course he did not.I pleaded, requested and begged. But he didn't. Later on I realised.. I was my mom!