Monday, July 17, 2006

Just like Honey

SJM and I once talked about starting a (comedy) desi writing group here in the Bay-area. The reason we wanted it to be "comedy" writing was because, as I put it, "How many more "my mom - she doesn't understand me!" stories can we listen to??"

I only joke because it's true!

And I'm about to add to the cornucopia.

During my childhood, my parents gave me a great gift: travel. With my family, I've been to Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Taiwan, Italy, England, and Germany - not to mention India and Malaysia. I've had the travel bug ever since, and it is insatiable.

As some of you know, one of my fave bloggers is getting married in India and I'm very excitedly planning my first trip back in .... EIGHT years. Because India and Malaysia are home to my mother and father (respectively), I've seen *nothing* in either country (aside from the insides of houses belonging to people who are, allegedly, tangentially related to me.) Besides the 'vedding', I'm also excited about SEEING India for the first time. I'm concentrating on South India and I'm planning to spend 3 weeks. Part of the time, I'll be with friends from the wedding, and part of the time, I'll be traveling by myself.

My mother (and here's where the sob story starts) has problems with this. I can understand that, but instead of being direct about what's bothering her, she must throw out a few warm-ups first. Apparently, she feels I should not go to India for that long because:

(1) "Insects will bite you." Seriously, what? And if I were traveling with other people, the insects would preferentially bite them?

(2) "People will stare." As opposed to .... how they stare when I'm with you? Or how I'm always stared at in India? To me, this is part and parcel of traveling in India, and I'm not concerned about it.

(3) "Kerala is like this, and like that" My mother hasn't been to Kerala since I was 12 years old. When confronted about this, she claims that her assertion are based on the observations of two of my aunts. My paternal aunts. Who live in Malaysia. Translation: not bloody likely that she's talked to them about Kerala ... ever.

(4) "I'm not sure how safe it is, and I'm worried." Bingo! We have a winner! This, of course, is what was really bothering her - and it's completely legitimate. I'm not sure why she tried to Jedi-mindtrick me with the former, all it did was annoy me and make me less receptive to talking about this point.

Sigh. Sometimes, I wonder if I'm (more or less) direct simply because my mom is not.

9 comments:

Maitri said...

Hey, why don't you just come down to New Orleans to experience all 4 of your mom's worries in one go?

My mom tried to Jedi mindtrick me about my diet the other day. Did I fall for it? Hell, no. For when one breathes deeply and stays calm on the phone with mom, one can see into the heart of the ol' switcheroo.

terence said...

congrats on the trip...you'll have a blast!

CM said...

Ooh, go to Ajanta and Elora! My parents did that last time, while JW and I went to the Taj (because it was his first time in India) but it looked spectacular.

Roonie said...

Moms always need to be whittled down a little. They never seem to want to expose that raw, "But you're MY BABY!" the older you get. They try to appeal to reason and logic, and then, when they realize those arguments aren't reasonable or logical, resort to the truth. They want to let you fly, yet, they want to hug you a little bit longer. It's frustrating but comes from a good place. So I've told myself.

Bengali Chick said...

This post made me laugh out loud, especially the part of jedi-mind tricks. Start up the desi comedy writing group. It'll be sensational.

roopali said...

costa rica, ireland, and india -- your passport is going to get the life stamped out of it! seriously, though, those bugs scare the shite out of me. when those fuckers have hair long enough for me to comb, i'm OUT.

SFGary said...

Its hot as bejeezus this time of year in the South...actually everywhere in Desiland, but going to a Desi (in India) wedding is an amazing experience. You can always look forward to coming back to the fog.

Roonie said...

Oh my goodness - no 55 Fiction Fridays? This is like, a break in tradition! ACK!

Morphism said...

I have it worse because my folks live in India. The objections have little to do with my safety.

I can tour any country I want. But if I'm in India and choose to spend time traveling without them, my mom and dad are actually hurt and can't understand why I'm not planning on spending every single day with them. I must not love them!