My mother and I talk only when we fight, and during commercial breaks between TV shows that we watch together very rarely. So during one of our latest verbal fits, she said something that made me think. When I fight my mouth begins an affair with my opponent’s mouth and has a life of its own and so the fact that my mother said something to me during a fight that made me stop and think is extraordinary to me. So last evening when I was trying to escape my mother’s madness, I told her that I was going to run away from her and the home. Normally when I say this, because I have said it so often and not had had the bloody gall to actually do it, my mother breaks into a fit of sobs and an even bigger fit of emotional blackmail diarrhea. After this, there’s not much left to do except shut up and watch her weep.
So just when I was preparing to do that she said that she could run away too, you know? I keep saying I will run away because I have the option to say or do that but she doesn’t have the option so she cannot even say it. It was at this point that I started feeling bad for her and I hate feeling bad for people I’m having life altering fights with.
I have always wondered what the right way is, to ease my folks into my life’s biggest tragedy, which is that I hate family and marriage and probably may never want either of those things. I haven’t mustered courage yet to tell them that. I am convinced that they will do everything within their power and the government’s to stop me from not wanting marriage or kids. And now this is my big problem, should I feed into the emotional drama back home or join in and do the same with my kids and theirs’? I’m saying this because whenever I picture myself giving in and doing just what my family expects me to, I always picture myself giving in fully; like full on sari wearing, child- strangling, husband well wishing mother of 2 who has quit her profession as a teacher and is now a stay at home feminist. This is a super scary picture, but one that is beginning to look more real with time.
This is like an old family photograph that has torn edges and is yellow but looks cheerful. One that children from another generation find and have questions to ask about. I hate this picture. The fact that it is not real is not the problem at all. I just hate it because I don’t know what else to do with this thing that isn’t real but powerful. Time and again, when I become weak and appear to be giving in to the “hamara sukhi parivaar” idea, that picture mocks me and I come flying back to rebellion.