Parenting is a full time job. I mean you never really grow out of it. Once a parent, always a parent. That is why I pack an empty bag whenever I visit my home, because I know it is going to be filled with goodies mom has stored for me and my daughter, a few earrings, a cute purse, a dress, maybe a bed sheet, something or the other, if nothing then a few coconuts and some fresh vegetables or her home-made pickles.
A colleague of mine tells me how he is terrified of his mom.’She’s strict. If I am not back home by nine, she says I can look for another place to stay! And I am going to be thirty this month. Can you beat that!’
Moms and dads always want to have a say in their children’s lives. They want to know what is happening and what is not, at least enough to answer the questions of inquisitive friends and relatives.
‘So when are you going to be a grand mom?, ‘When is your daughter getting married?’, ‘Is your grand daughter doing well?’, ‘So, your daughter is divorced, it must be difficult right, I mean how do her colleagues treat her?’
‘Not a steady job still?, how does he survive with all that art and nonsense?!’ And so it goes on.
Nosy aunts, uncles, and nosier who-you-don’t-knows want to be informed about your whereabouts…so that it gives them enough masala to top the evening gossip.
Most of us have been through that and some times we tend to shut ourselves out from the nosiness, I mean withdraw into our own safe havens away from prying eyes.
Assuming a hostile demeanor or wearing pride on our sleeves or distancing ourselves from the niceties or just by plugging in the ear phones, we try our best to protect what ever is left of our individuality.
It is not easy, is it? To cut one self off.
Wasn’t it John Donne who said, ‘No man is an island’.
Hmm…We do need others.
It is important to have people around, to be asked about, to be talked to. We then tend to oscillate between the need to be on our own and the need to be around those we hope to call our own.
The perpetual dilemma in life it seems to me, is ‘to talk or not to talk’, ‘ to reach out or not to reach out’.
One is constantly pulled into the need to be alone and the need to be with others, the social media does hold out a carrot in terms of reaching out… still…
I guess it is for each one to choose, the right proportion of solitude and company one needs.
Perhaps it is about constantly figuring out the nitty-gritties of living.
Perhaps what is going on in your mind, is what decides where you want to be… in company or in solitude.
Perhaps it is all just fizz and no water and there is no such thing.
Well, let me figure that out!