"'Truth is strange," you know, "stranger than fiction' - besides being more to the point" - Edgar Allan Poe

December 12, 2007

That mom of mine...

...she can be such an embarrassment, I swear it. And this isn't normal "oh look at my son in the diaper photo" level stuff. Heck, that's calamari compared to the stuff my mom gets into. Like the other day.

I'm out shopping with her, right? Dad's managed to sucker me into giving her company while she buys saree lengths and blouse material and jewellery for the extended family. Dad managed to come up with an excuse that sounded plausible at the time, but I think just because he's a doctor, we believe any emergency he comes up with. Besides, how can a patient of his have a haemorrhoid of the foot? (Is that even possible?) And there was the time he had to rush off because a patient was having loose motions while walking around and just couldn't seem to find the keys to his house. You'd think my dad was having an affair, what with the excuses he comes up with. Hey, good for him I say, but damn he needs to be more creative in coming up with the shit, no? But I digress...

So yeah, I'm with mom. And I'm shutting up with the mp3man in my ears, Mirinda(which I obsess over), and the moleskine as ever, writing down stuff that fancies my interest. Can't blame me, it's already been 3 hours, and after you've had chai at one saree shop, you've had the chai in all... ah forget it. Let me just get to what to what happened.

We're stepping out, and this girl whizzes past me. From what I see, she's got a ponytail, specs, churidar. And she's RUNNING. And behind her, there are about 10 people running. Grownups. One of them has a stick in his hand that he's waving. And they're all screaming at her in some vague south Indian language. (I'm guessing Malayalam? Tamil? I get confused between the 2.)

The next action of mine is purely reflex. I throw the mp3man in my mom's direction, the Mirinda on the floor, and start running towards her. I can't let the crowd get to her before me. I sprint for about 10 seconds before I stop. Mom sees me having conversation with the guy brandishing that stick and I walk back slowly.

"Son, what the fuck?!"
[Ok, so she'd never say "what the fuck", but that was the exact sentiment]
"Nothing ma, forget it"
"Why the bloody hell were you chasing that woman. Do you know her?"
"Really ma, you should just forget about it. Are you done with shopping? Let's go home."
"So you're not going to tell me?"
"No, and you should stop asking"

She looks at me for a second, with that typical look mothers get when they think they should be knowing more about their sons.
I hate that look. And not just because it pisses me off. It's because I know what will come next.

She drops her bags. Her purse. And runs behind the woman.

Flashback to about 20 years ago. I'm 4 years old, and I'm staring up at all the athletic trophies on the wall. And my dad is porcine (to put it mildly), so I'm in awe of Mom. It's where I get the long legs from, and will always be the reason I can't ever find jeans that freakin' fit. But damn, apparently my mom could run! "She fell for my good looks" will become Dad's common line at the family parties, which will always make everybody laugh their guts out, and we'll all raise a toast to it and say "to the Pai family, as odd as they are!" etc etc

Flashback to now (reverse flashback? call it what you want)
Mom's running. Sprinting in her own churidar. And I mean she's RIPPING across lengths and getting closer to the girl I tried to reach.
And huffing and puffing and with 4 full bags and the mp3man and the earphones dangling and my beloved mirinda vaguely held with 2 fingers and frothing with all the shaking many lengths behind mom, is me. I got the legs, but not the speed. The smoking habit also doesn't help. And I'm SWEARING. FUCK FUCK FUCK, MY MOM'S LOST IT AAARGHHHHH.

Mom turns a bend... and finds the bunch having a laugh. Girl, 10 people, all of them. And of course my mom's confued. She catches her breath (in like, 2 seconds) and quietly goes up to the girl, and has a conversation which vaguely went like this (or so I'm told later)
"Um, hello girl, what's your name?"
The girl looks up, mouth chomping on gum, "Anisha"
"Oh, okay, and are these people troubling you?"
"Eh? MamaPapa would never do that. Why're you asking me this and all and who are you"
"Me? Oh relax, I just saw my son running behind you and was wondering why..."
"Your son?"
"Well yeah, his name's Sunil, Do you know him? He's a handsome boy, all of 24 years, such a good boy... Oh look, there he comes"

[at which point I just about reach, still gasping for breath, the walking definition of 'a complete mess', and I see my mom talking to these people, and my eyes narrow. Like duh, I'm not pleased at all, godammit. I'm considering doing the whole "Sorry folks, she's just a crazy lady who forgot her meds" routine, but it's kinda tough when you're a walking-talking genetic copy of the woman.]

"Chee, I don't know him, he looks so dirteeee"
[Godammit, rejected by a stranger. This is not the best of days. I think a court would excuse me if I killed my mom. "Grounds of massive embarassment and permanent mental scarring, your honour!"]
"Really child, you don't know him? Oh. And you there, why were you threatening my son with the stick then huh HUH?"
Wizenly old man, looks up with gandalfian smile, "Who me?"
At which point of time I do the only thing I can, I grab my mom's hand, throw away the fizzed up bottle of Mirinda (I pity the fool who tries to open it now) and walk away, with my mom blubbering "But... but..."
Later that evening.
Mom's cooked a grand dinner. Prawns. Chicken. That Gujarati Dal. Onion Baji. Sabudana Kheer. All that.
And it's all piled up in a giant mess on my plate (the way I like it) , but I'm not touching it. I'm all frowny. Mom has made a fool of herself again, and damned if it's one time too many. Dad's not even around, apparently some patient of his fell down the stairs on the way up to his roof to commit suicide. Whatever. Tonight I'm just angry with mom.

She pleads, "But son, what was I supposed to do?"
"Well, you could have trusted your son and just NOT RUN, MAYBE?"
"Well, I had to do something..."
"Yes, NOT RUN behind the girl!"
"C'mon son, you know me better than that, I'd have died of curiosity"
"Look ma, let me explain it to you then. If I see a mob chasing a girl on the streets, I will run after her too, to make sure I reach her before the mob gets to her. I may not make it, and the world will continue turning, but I will always try to reach the woman and make whatever attempt I can of saving her from them. This YOU taught me, to defend the weak, etc. Let there be 10 people, let there be 200, I will always ALWAYS try to make sure she's in no harm. Sure I miss Manipal where this kind of thing would never happen, but we're not there anymore, we're in a town where this shit happens. And because you and dad taught me to behave in a certain manner that's RIGHT, I will always do so."
"Yes, but..."
"Let me finish. Today, that is exactly what happened. And I ran, lungs blazing, all that. But then I noticed that they weren't screaming or angry at her, they were just kinda laughing. She was just a young kid messing with her folks and relatives and whoever. Some stupid prank. Heck, even I've made you chase me as a kid, it's what kids do. The old man explained this to me, in his funny broken English, and I got the message. I left them alone. And I knew you wouldn't understand, so I just hoped we could leave quietly"
"But her old mama had a stick..."
"Lots of people carry sticks, ma. They use it to walk. They use it to shoo away dogs. Some, and this may sound surprising to you, carry it around because it looks cool. Very few people carry around CARVED EXPENSIVE WALKING STICKS just to beat up people!"
"Ok fine fine, no need to get worked up about it, sheesh. I'm proud of you and all, but now you're just being a little pussy"
[aaargh] "The next time I say, let's go home, you'll listen to me and not embarass me, right?"
"Sure sure. Now eat, I don't want my apology food to go to waste"
[grunt] [chomp chomp]



wait a minute


"Ma, how'd you know he was her uncle, especially that he was her maternal uncle?"


"Ma, you didn't find out their number and call them again wondering if I'd gotten her pregnant or something, right? Ma, please tell me you didn't call them."



[/fiction, but yes, my mom's funny]


amrit said...

Laughing my ass out!! :D

CeeTee said...

Sounds like something that could have happened to me :D -- Hilarious !!

s3rioussam said...

Heh, I am disinclined to believe that this is fiction. :P Makes for a more fun time when drunk.

Oh, and its Flashforward, but then you already knew that, didn't ya?

Anonymous said...

ok i actually thought this was a true story till i read the last line...and i dont believe the last line.. he he...

S said...

At 0545, LMAO! My laughter-fix for today! :P

Nanga Fakir said...


Czar said...

This is what long waits on your blogs with short posts always give.

Hilarious.. :)
I would like to meet your mother.. :P

Chetan Thaker said...


Shady said...

I hope I'm not intruding upon your space or something... but yeah... reminds me of my mom's shopping trips too...hilarious!!

Saturday Night Takeout said...

Everyone, thanks for the appreciation :)

Aish said...

Awesome post man...Loved it....

Kripal Pais said...

Awesome pi. inclined to go with the annonymous comment that i dont believe the last line. but yeah. ROTGL.

Azhar said...

say hi to mom man, she's the best. bagga also mentioned the kori roti chicken curry at your place ystr....
(i'm gonna smile all day)

Nonsensiclespeak: said...

Hmm. Wonder what mommy has to say about it...

nutsandbolts said...


Nitin said...

Awesome read!

Standbymind said...

God damn!!!!!
:O :O
this is some thing man...

great stff@@@