Mere Paas Maa Hai.....

People often tell me, I am a grounded person.  They don’t know my “ground reality”. 

Every time someone praises me for my looks or whatever talent I have, I turn around Exorcist style, to check if it’s really me. You know just to make sure.  Stage two is giving them an incredulous look and an unsure smile.  Stage three I protest loudly. It’s much later I realize I have completely forgotten to say a graceful thank you!  But I am human after all, I succumb.  Sooner or later I start preening & posing, flutter my eyelashes and pat myself on the back - then I go visit my Mum.     Look how fat/skinny you have become.  Have you been dieting/ eating too much?  You know I prefer you in saris, did you really have to wear those jeans! You never call me, you are never home.  Why aren’t you trying to get published, how many actually read a blog!   I land on the ground with a loud thud and everything becomes normal again.

A mother-daughter relationship is usually an uneasy one and only your Mum is legitimately allowed to drive you up the wall.  And she does a fairly good job of it.  I have yet to ask my daughter about my success rate but she did write an entire post insisting her Mom is a vampire.

Of course I cannot generalize, there are many who never let go of the umbilical cord.  Unfortunately I am not one of them. 

Courtesy : Google Images
You may be a no-nonsense woman, with the world at your feet.  But for your Mum, you are still the little girl in pigtails who never got it right.   She will forever leave you in doubt about your parenting skills, your style quotient, your choice of career, friends, food....And she is never short of gyan.   So what if you are always in the wrong, trust me your Mum is always right!   She is the only person in the world who can berate you, have you hang your head in shame, drive you to tears.  And for a moment you forget if you ever grew up at all.    

My Mum was and still is a strikingly beautiful woman.  As a gawky teenager with an unruly mop of hair, I was painfully aware of it - thanks to the eager feedback from our many relatives.  And when I did make sincere attempts to rectify the situation – slathering myself with sundry vegetable and fruit pulps or using a fancy new hair mask, my Maa with her trademark stern expression would say “Shouldn’t you be studying instead”?  I would petulantly wash off the mask but made sure I didn’t study.   Haa! Don’t you expect me to be Miss Goody two shoes!   Sadly she hasn’t given up hope and I continue disappointing her.  If Ma ever felt proud of us (my brother and I) it was the town’s best kept secret.  

She had a soft corner for our German Shepherd Dingo – actually corner is an understatement, her whole heart was one gooey mass.  For him she would turn into a person we never knew - compose kiddy songs for him, pamper him silly and she had at least a dozen nicknames for him - each one to suit her mood.  Of course we were jealous and would often accuse her of loving him more than us.  He never answers back was her ready retort!   Yea, yea your Mum is always right.  At least someone got it right, so what if it was Dingo.

When I decided to leave my job on a mere whim, she wasn’t too happy with me and understandably so.  Every Mom wants her daughter to remain financially independent.  But then I took to writing and she was glad I was not just twiddling my thumbs.  I would make her read some of my write-ups, share my feeling of elation about the appreciation I was getting.  Yes, she was proud of me and this time it was no secret.   Of late she has been too busy and has been following my Blog rather sporadically, only when I ask her to.  The other day I asked her to read my post on Lungi.  After all I had dedicated it to my Baba!  I was breathlessly waiting for her verdict. When I got it I was again the little girl who never grew up.  Naaa your writing now has a sameness to Bachi Karkaria...look how effortlessly she quotes from Shakespeare....why don’t you read Shakespeare!   Arrrghh....

I spent the rest of the week chewing my friends’ heads – Do you think I need to experiment with my style....Has my writing reached a dead end....please, please I need to know!   One of them jokingly suggested that I change my track to celebrity gossip.  That will be unique won’t it....I’ll now be bitching Shakespeare style.

Does that make you happy Maa?

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  1. Ha...dead end, same style in all posts....hmm...your mum has a point.
    But reading Shakespeare suddenly would be a bit too much. IMHO, you should start with...say..Noddy or Oswald. And then gradually work your way up.

  2. Purba O'dear Purba 'Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.';)

  3. Yes.. Yes.. mom's are always right! Read Shakespeare and get inspired. Try some sonnets, since summer has nearly arrived , try Midsummers night dream or you can make it Midsummer Blog dream :P

    P.S > My mom is always wondering what am doing on Gingerchai and though she does not tell me I could feel her think :When will my chotu get responsible in life: :D

  4. lovely tribute!!
    this ought to make your maa feel proud and push her friends to read your post!!
    or maybe on second thought might berate you for being flippant hahaha

    i loved it!

  5. hehe. moms r built like dat i gues!
    n d funny thing is, if u drink cold water every single day for 364 days n stick it out fine....den too one day mum sez, beta dont else ull fall ill....n voila! nex day its cold+ fever+ throat infection.. :(((
    dey jus know it all!

  6. Enjoyed reading about your Dingo :)
    "I'll now be bitching Shakespeare style"
    Cant wait for it. ;-)

  7. Ha.Moms.They know it all.All moms are the same.A fitting tribute.Between I would love to read read your daughter's thoughts about you.

  8. Now we know the ground reality....
    Purbas ma, you have raised a lovely daughter who writes well no doubt but above all is a wonderful person...And the credit goes to you.


  9. Well..i guess it is always good to experiment....but i love your writing style...esp the hav an amazing sense of humor...

  10. u know something? I have always wondered why shakesphere is considered such a great literature...true that almost all stories in hollywood have traces of his plays ...but the rotten english!

    who talks like that anyway?

    so stay with ur own style...pitch in some interesting topics no one will dare to write about...explore another perspective..not for the effect but for the fun of it...and most of all push ur limits..

    or u can choose the shobha de mode...i heard its very lucrative...but u may never be able to look urself in the mirror again

  11. Nice tribute to Maa:) Your style is simply astounding Purba:) Writing " seriously" needs less thinking than writing satirically- which needs lot of head banging;) So, please do carry on with the same style...After all- you are The Boss!!!

  12. Prats...Just because your style is derived from Noddy doesn't mean I will follow it too.

    Delhizen...."Greatful" to you my dear!

    Lakshmi...She calls you Chhotu? Didn't have high hopes for you eh? :D

  13. magiceye...Naa she's better off not reading it.

    Sadiya...Just because Mom told you so, you had to fall sick?

    Karthik..Dingo deserves a full fledged post, will write it someday.

  14. Blue Lotus...I have put the link...It's tilted My Mum's a Vampire :)

    Alka...Purba's Ma will be pleased :))

    Sub...I write because I enjoy it and humour is central to my writing.

    Tys... Whether we realise it or not but most of us have used expressions that first sprang from Shakespeare's quill. He has contributed over 2000 words and phrases to the English language - infact we use it all the time.

    And as for Shobha De - she is gutsy and minces no words. I quite like her column in TOI.

    cloud-nine...Says who I intend to change my style :)

  15. My Mommy strongest..

    I think Moms always have more ambition about their daughters and their future. They're ok with delaying the wedding by a couple of years if it involves a budding career.

    I love that about my mom! :) Sighhhh.. time to go hug her.. cya..

  16. Your mom sounds like an amazing woman, loved this tangy-sweet-spicy tribute.

  17. 1st time here & I loved your sense of humor :D

    I guess all Mom's are alike, even I used to wait for a word of appreciation from thankfully she is more vocal :)

  18. ....that's what all 'Maa'is about.

  19. Purba - I agree with your Mom. You have a great style (which incorporates sarcasm and humor really well), but you haven't gone beyond that to experiment in different ways to write.

    It is my personal opinion - that a blogger becomes stale if s/he doesn't read and listen. And things of different types.. of all subjects.. of all genres.

    I make it a point to read at places like or regularly listen to NPR ( or simply go to my google reader and go through the myriad variety of RSS subscriptions that I have from Productivity to Science to History to Business... POlitics.. and even Blogging.

    It is imperative to inform yourself more and more. It is specifically important for bloggers in India to search for better media outlets since the blogging world and media in general in India is very repetitive with hardly any intellectual rigor. Humor and a great writing style can sustain one but new thinking is essential. Original thinking.


  20. Pzes...The wind beneath your wing :)

    IHM...You are an amazing Mom yourself.

    Smita...We may resent the constant criticism yet their approval means a lot to us :)

  21. S R...Agree

    Desh...She will be glad that she has company. Thank you for your advice.

  22. lol..ur writing has not reached a dead end..believe me! :)

  23. Here's a little something to get you started for swearing in Shakespearean :

  24. well moms will be mom. we love your writing and am sure mom loves you too :)

  25. You are making me homesick :-(

  26. Another excellent post from your end.. Nice one..:D

  27. I think you already have a successful recipe for innovative writing here in the post! Write about celebrity gossip and throw in loads of Shakespeare and the likes. There is a major lacuna when it comes to high-end celebrity writing and I am now waiting for it to be filled by you...

    p.s. I think I really like your mom, I used to be elated whenever my amma scolded my sis (the beatings were reserved for me)...I guess the ma-beti kahani is true for so many families :)

  28. How all our moms are the same! There's one big difference between yours and mine though - she'd rather insist I go get some fancy beauty treatment done instead of studying, since I resent the former instead of the latter. Also even if every one compliments me on my looks on a particular day, she'd always inevitably find some fault with my hair or choice of earrings or shoes.
    And your writing and this blog always keeps us a-mused. Don't worry about it! :)

  29. Ana_treek...:)

    flawsophy..>LMAO..the choices of insults Shakespeare's style.

    Mayank...Now I feel like a kid looking for assurance :D

  30. i so completely agree with the "my ma loves my dog more than me" part!! we have two of our own and whenever i point out to mom about the inferior treatment that she metes out to me, mom will say... "Oh well but you dont guard the house and bark at strangers" :( :P

  31. Giribala...Just call her will you?


    Siddhartha....LOL now you are giving me ideas!

    Samadrita...That's their way of keeping us grounded. And it works doesn't it?

  32. Has anyone criticised ur boring blogs before :P. I will have to thank your Mom for showing the courage to derobe 'the famous one'

  33. Even my mom doubts my writing skills. Not that I'm very good but you should listen to her comments; it's very discouraging sometimes but it helps me in learning more and experiment with it just to get acknowledged by her. My mom got problem with everything I do, from hairstyle to dresses I wear. Even you trouble your daughter, don't you? Moms!

  34. Your posts are great. Dont worry about that. Some times the embarrassment that I get reading my old posts... I feel like deleting them. And I agree totally with Desh.. We need to expose ourselves to more informative stuff. That is one way to grow and stop being stagnant.

  35. Once the father of someone somewhere around passed on to the other world. While the family was mourning the loss, someone said that 'chalo ji ab kaafi umr ho gayi thi'. To this they replied, 'phir bhi, hamare liye to Papa hi the na'.

    Somethings dont change, ever, we'll always be kids for them, and they'll always be the shoulder, physically when we are small and emotionally when we grow.

    Ma to phir Ma hoti hai.

    Nice post.

    Blasphemous Aesthete

  36. mothers!!! Noone will notice even if you go three tones dark. But moms!! your hair grows half a inch long or you straighten few strands f ur hair...n she notices.

    a post waits ur comment ;)

  37. Even for a guy, maybe even more so, a mother can be a pain! Nobody else has the ability to know everything about someone in a rather uncanny manner and talk so freely about it at the same time. It's creepy sometimes. But then, that's what mothers are, I reckon! :D

  38. As a child I was petrified of my mother. A strict disciplinarian she was! But now, as an adult, I think she's become more my friend. Somehow as a woman, I feel my mother understands me better. And she's also told me - once - that she's proud of me :)))

  39. Bookworm...LOL what a logic! But yea my Mum gets hopelessly attached to our pets.

    Jon...Was that a jab? Not too sure whether I got it.

    Nethra...My Mum doesn't doubt my writing skills, she is rather proud of what I write and makes her friends read my write-ups :)

    And no, I'm rather proud of my daughter and make sure she knows it.

  40. Harish..Of course, we need to be well informed if we want our readers to take us seriously.

    Blasphemous Aesthete...For our parents we will always be their baby :)
    A big smile @ Ma to phir Ma hoti hai.

    Red Handed...Will be going through your post soon.

  41. Purba
    Well! My mother doesn't let me know whether she's proud of me or not though I'm sure that she is. I should try overhearing whenever she talks about me to her friends.

  42. D2...Freely and in front of a room full of people!
    Jeez even I do that with my daughter!

    Deepa..Me too.... but yes the relationship evolves as we grow older.

    Nethra...I have a feeling that you are a rebel and maybe its her way of coping :))

  43. My mom does't speak emotionally, but I can sense whatever she's to say

  44. This one touched the heart but with yr inimitable trace of humor..loved the pig tails bit :)..please tell yr mom that u write much better than Bachi Karkaria & that quoting Shakespeare is just a matter of Googling. More power to your pen

  45. Shrinidhi...That's how a relationship should be. Everything need not be spelled out.

    Maitreyee...Tui janeeshnaa, your comment was like a balm :)

  46. Seriously, don't let your mom bother you. I love what you write & your style of writing. N don't let anyone tell U otherwise. N please no movie gossip, I feel sleepy & irritated at the same time on a thought on that tangent.
    Ur mom doesn't see the gem of a daughter she has or probably she know & thinks she should keep polishing U till U shine like the Kohinoor.
    Mom's always do love us whatever they may say or do. :-)

  47. BAACHI KARKARIA of TOI??? I think you write much better than her. Keep it Up!!

  48. Moms! ?You cant stand them when they're around but when they're gone you want them right back. My mom has this thing of just switching off when i'm getting passionate about something-and i know its because she doesnt share my opinion (always) and thinks its a waste of time to tell me!
    But all said and done, my mom is my best friend and 'anmol'. There aint no one like her and there will never ever be!

  49. chocolatesanddreams....Our Moms make sure that we don't get complacent. And we always have a Dad to fall back on, who thinks we are the best thing that happened to this world :)

    Anonymous...What a sweet thing to say but Bachi Karkaria is brilliant.

    confusedyuppie...You can't live with them and you can't live without them either.
    This relationship is like no other.

  50. Every mom wants her child to be the best,no matter how old they are:)

  51. A real marvelous depiction. Please send my sincere pronaams to your mom.
    you can say, I am a shakesperean and you can see how rubbish I write, no grammar nothing, no tenses proper.

  52. Raksha...No matter how old you are, you will always be a child for them.

    Pramod.....LOL...the sincere Pronam shall be conveyed :)

  53. Well 52 comments up there have mostly said all that can be said about moms! But don't you change your style of writing!Mom's can be a lil' wrong sometimes atleast (though there cases are few and far in between!)

  54. All moms r actually much the same and the mother-daughter relationship is according to me undefined..I mean our mothers HAVE to pin-point on each single thing and in a way that leaves no room for arguments and explanations most of the time :( but then , mum's the world too :)
    and about the secret thing...u said it right..i loveed this post..My mums face was hovering all thru the post :P


  55. Richa....Naaa I don't let her get to me. Have had years of practice :p

    Sarah....Mum's the world and mum's the word...LOL
    And thanks, glad you liked it.

  56. As always great post!

    Ok I'm clearly one of those who hasn't let gone of the umbilical cord (now I know how it sounds), but I totally get how Mums can drive us up the wall.

    You churn out posts that I enjoy reading, so change or no change, I know I'm gonna love spending time on your blog!



  57. Wish my maa was alive to read my posts. A beautiful write up as usual...err, is it Shakespeare who always sets the standard?

    1. Too cliched, eh?

      And I am sure your Mom is somewhere up there watching over you :-)

  58. So, a tribute need not be all saccharine to be a tribute? Trust you to manage that, Purba!

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