As I have always told, whenever we plan something for weekend… It never happens
The same happened this weekend too… I had charted out a long to-do list… As soon as I was done, my mom came up to me and informed that am accompanying her to the market! First blow to my to-do list as soon as it was made… okay.. I pacified myself that its just an hour’s work (though I was sure it would take up the entire evening
) and set out to the market.
I was really excited as we had almost finished all the work within an hour and we were about to return home… At that time “Helllooo!!!” A chirpy voice exclaimed. I turned back, but to my dismay couldn’t recognize her! Before I could conclude she mistook us for somebody else, my mom responded in the same excited voice… “Hellooo! It has been ages since I saw you”. I had exactly
look on my face and kept gazing back and forth at mom and that lady… From the conversation, I understood she had returned from her exile, “Vidheshvaas”,
after 10 years…After a while, the lady finally noticed me and remarked “Is this your daughter? Oh! My God (seeing this exclamation I didn’t know how to react and continued my
expression)… I saw her when she was so small (her hand showed that “small” expression too small… a size that was humanely impossible)…Now she has become this big… I couldn’t recognize her at all” (The rate of growth discussion, made me feel like a pet animal
) When my mom was finally bidding her bye, she became over-affectionate and nagged us to come home…I kept pressing my mom’s hand to show my protest… My mom coolly replied “I’ll come some other time… My daughter has some work it seems”. The lady threw my a so-chweet kind of smile and said “Am sure 10 minutes can’t ruin your work”. I threw an angry look at my mom and forced that “cho-chweet” smile on my face too and followed her.
As soon as we entered her house… she started fanning with her hand and rushed towards her AC switch “Habba! I don’t know how you people survive here… Its so hot! Can’t be without AC for a single second”. She left us for getting juice, my mom got up to follow her to the kitchen… I pulled my mom back to the couch and whispered (angrily) “who is she?” My mom’s explanation couldn’t expel my ignorance… So I jumped to next question “Why is she overacting?”. My mom gave me that behave-yourself look and told “She lived in US for 15 years. Now her husband has got transfer to India, to be with his parents (who lived in a floor below them… And not in their house ). My mom justified her acts saying so sad… It will be difficult for them to get accustomed to India”.
She brought 2 glass full of orange juice… While I picked a glass, she added “Ufff! The water here is so dirty… The packaged drinking water that is available is unfit even for washing dishes. That’s why I make my friends there to send these juices. We can’t completely stop drinking this water but whenever possible I avoid using it!” This made me realize am drinking an imported juice and shouldn’t waste. The “health drink” tasted bad !
She insisted that she showed us around her house. All the while she kept complaining about everything possible. She said “My kids eat only healthy foods… But what’s healthy here? We, there eat only cream coffee, cheese(some cheese, that I couldn’t decipher ), etc…Here, the food is so unhealthy”. I blurted out “Research shows 90% kids in foreign countries are only obese. We Indians, though we eat unhealthy, we stay healthy.” I continued looking at my “healthy” juice glass as I didn’t want that behave-yourself look from my mom.
The lady managed “smart girl” remark for which my mom proudly started narrating my career growth. She listened to this and threw a bouncer at me for my previous remark.What’s your daughter’s age? and that very same I know-a-guy-story… A typical matrimonial ad! My mom gave her usual answer saying “We are not looking for a match as of now”. This matrimonial ad made me more furious and the cold war intensified.
At the peak of the cold war, somebody rang the bell… 2 kids (proving my point about foreign kids are obese) rushed in.. I couldn’t help giggling! She explained how her kids have become so “weak” coming here…”The roads are so polluted. The school and kids here are so unhygienic. Every now and then these little(who were not little) kids fall sick”. My mom had to give that artificial so-sad expression. I looked at my mom and both of us controlled our giggle. She asked her kids “Do you want some cookies and milk?” In a sing song way… In the same way, they replied “Yeah mom”.
We were standing in the balcony, so I conviniently turned towards the road and started laughing. Finally she got the “imported” cookies(which is nothing but our butter biscuits). The kid was standing next to me in the balcony. “Don’t stand there for long, its so dusty! Come in…” She looked at me and said “Look at the road.. In US and all it looks spic and span… Like a mirror”… While telling this, she was busy opening the carton containing cookies… She gave the cookies to the kid, offered me some , squashed the box and threw it down from the balcony, instructing her kid to go eat inside as it is dirty out.
I could stand no more. I remarked “What to do aunty… Even people who have stayed in foreign for years together still remain “Indian” in their ways. They still throw waste on road but complain India is dirty.” She gave a sheepish smile. I assumed the role of Aamir khan inSathyameva Jayate and continued my speech “As you said, India is bad… Even though foreigners and the half foreigners…That’s NRIs return back here… stay here, eat here but still complain… We continue to let them stay here as we believe in Athithi Devo Bhava… This doesn’t happen anywhere else in the world. Incredible India”
I knew I was a bit rude, but couldn’t help it! It is depressing to know, Indians (few), themselves talking bad about India. Then, how can we expect others to respect us? I really wish this attitude of ours changes. Instead of complaining about what’s bad, we can take a step to make that bad turn good. We have to believe we are the best, then only we can make others believe the same.