maa da laadla

I have spent the past 10 days being an extra sweet daughter to my mom. She really needed a break from work and chores and all and I have tried to give her just that. By way of not giving her any household tasks to do, by not letting her cook or clean, by taking her out to eat “everything and anything but Indian food because she is sick of rice and chapatis”. I even took her to my lovely stylist.

Yesterday, I didn’t quite live up to all of the above because my fucking periods hit me and you know, they are the iceberg to my titanic. I am in numbing pain for 24-36 hours usually and am ready to bite the head off anyone who tries to piss me off/annoy me/make life more difficult for me/etc. Mom was especially patient with me yesterday and made me rice and “gottukozhambu” made of drumsticks fresh from our farm in Bombay. How lovely, eh? She also made me a hot water bag that I could sleep with. Drugged up, I slept well and in an infinitely better mood today. (maybe because I am still drugged up but hey who’s counting?). I hate my periods, I hate them with a passion. I hate that they have to be so ferocious and dramatic, like EVERYTHING ELSE in my life and I hate that they consume my morale whole. Because that’s how I feel. And I feel cheated by the fact I am paying such painful premia every month on an “option to have babies” – one I don’t know if I can or will exercise.  Then again it is nice to have the option? Boo.

Everyday I’d come home from work and either head to a restaurant with mom or cook something lovely for her. I made her shakshuka, aubergine and mango soba noodles, Vietnamese rice paper rolls, fajitas, guacamole, calabacitas con crema and took her to Italian, Moroccan, Thai and other not-Indian restaurants. And we ate loads of Alphonso mangoes while watching hindi soaps and Mad men. Don’t ask. I actually liked the hindi soaps.

On the second day, the one unpleasant thing that went down was that I found numerous open windows on my laptop with pictures of nerdy, not nicely dressed, South Indian boys. None of them appeal to me. It’s not that they are repugnant or anything; who knows, maybe one of them is a hoot, and made of money to boot (ha! rhyme!). I just don’t see how anything could come of any of this. I’ll never know. One of them was this really huge guy, cheerful feller but still, huge, unkempt and poorly dressed. My brother thinks he looks older that my father. Another had on two different suits (score!) but didn’t exactly look “high energy”. Something’s always amiss. I gotta hand it to mom for continuing to try though I sincerely wish she didn’t. This isn’t for me. She asked again yesterday if I was interested in the big guy. I said I wasn’t. I feel bad doing so, just as I feel bad ignoring a text message but I have to get over that guilt. My brother has the right idea “they ignore us too, we don’t always have to reply back”. I love that kid.

Did I tell you how my second date with the Indian boy went? Remember the first date I had before heading to California where I got shitfaced and had a gala time and had lovely banter not only with my date but with two considerably older Scottish and Irish men who gatecrashed our date? Yeah, that dude. My second date was a disaster. Two weeks after I returned from LA, the guy messaged and I agreed to meet him even though I was mildly miffed that he had chosen to get back in touch after so long. Still, it was a Saturday and I got dressed very nicely (after going wakeboarding, so obviously in record time) and went down to meet him. And there he was. Dressed like he was ready to go to bed, or wash dishes, or whatever it is one does when one wears abominable clothing. How should I know? I can tell you that my brother wears nicer stuff to sleep. The conversation was terrible and I think it was because I didn’t drink (I was on a detox thing back then). The restaurant was terrible – that was my doing and I took responsibility. I still tried to keep my spirit up but my brain and my body were already too tired and the fact that he had put in so little effort made me feel so resigned that  I yawned too many times for it to just be a “lack of oxygen” thing (what? it’s true! it happens sometimes!). I think all my friends think I am an avant garde bitch but I would argue that a man that can’t put in effort on a Saturday night for a second date is not exactly going to be your dependable rock ten years into a marriage. And in any case, we didn’t click because he never called again and I don’t care.

What I do care about is that mom leaves tomorrow and I am sad and I feel guilty, as I always do. Was I nice enough? Did I treat her right? Why didn’t I take her to Temple Street despite knowing that she really really wanted to go there? Am I going straight to hell? Will I ever be able to make her truly happy by eventually marrying some nice South Indian boy? Is it fucking ironic that I have a drinking date with the English Pakistani dude this friday?

I don’t know. What I do know is that one should 1. Dress nicely (at least on a date) 2. Be nice to one’s mom. 


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