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Tuesday, 24 December 2013

My Mother's Daughter

I had no intent to start writing a novel. [Please read the full post before you conclude anything at this point].

I never thought I had any of that stuff. I mean having read just a few books that were found conveniently in a house inhabited by seriously serious book lovers, I was the last one who should think of writing a book. 

But thoughts change with life. Curiosity to find what life is all about has got me do this. I mean think about writing seriously.

For almost 30 years I was subconsciously grooming myself to be like my mother. A non-vegetarian Gemini, ornamental fish lover, megalomaniac, strong-headed, well-read, civil servant, journalist and business woman, who currently looks stunning in her 50s in the lawyers gown - that is my mom.

And who am I really?

A veggie Sagittarian, dog lover, artist, journalist, random somebody with average looks and plenty of promising friends as well as business ideas but yet to make anything commendable out of her life. Far from anything superlative as mother... but am thankful for the good genes. Days when I feel a bit broke, alone or aimless, I look into the mirror and feel happy as am surprised 'Oh I do look like mother... a bit here... a bit there.'

Mother and Me at a press event at India Habitat Centre, Delhi
that was the venue for one of my art solos in 2010

I cannot say enough how much I love her. Wait a minute am not sure if it is completely her that I love or the image of a mummiest mom whom I have painted in my imagination. I am pretty creative you see and I get carried away easily. These are flaws she wants me to fix asap and get on with life. 

We are not the sweetest mom-daughter duo. We fight like cats and dogs at the slightest agitation. It comes naturally to us if our chats lasted more than few minutes. It is a fact that we find it impossible to cohabit under the same roof for more than 3 days. Our break up point is almost predictable to the whole family. And some how if we touch the fourth day in peace and harmony through friendly chats, I can sense the tension on my grandmother's face. Like she is waiting for the thunderstorm to rumble down any moment now. She would say holding my hand, "I am praying everyday that this time you guys don't fight. Mole (dear child) I am worried because you are so much like her. I mean simply argumentative," she specifies this with a worried expression that makes me hug her and assure nothing is wrong... though deep down I know there is no guarantee this bliss will last forever!

Mother has many reasons to argue. The biggest reason perhaps is that she is a lawyer and knows life more than me. Her father too was one. And if I may mention so, with two generations of argumentative lawyers, what reason do I give myself to not argue. It is hereditary you see. Tell that to mother and she would remind, "If it were in your genes then why are you not a lawyer?" It is a fact that no one else in the house is an artist with a parallel career in journalism. "What sense of security or future do you have with a freelance journalist's job in the Gulf?" It is clear that she is just worried for me and I should only simply listen but old habits die hard.

According to her either you should have a solid career to support your passion or a supportive family. By family she probably means the one you are supposed to be in after marriage. Her duty to raise a shrew is over. She reminds that each time we fight, that she thought her part of the taming was over when I left home for higher studies and job hunts... and that she hates to be parenting me at this age.

It is not that she doesn't care about me. I wanted to write a full blog about the 'fire in the belly' talk we have.

In my mother tongue this is a phrase used in reference to young girl children. Until they are settled into their new lives safe and sound, mothers have 'fire in their belly'. Meaning all reasons to be pissed and worried thinking about a far away daughter's security and life. Sometimes she is so worried that she is not available or is too busy to talk. I think, to avoid arguments.

Upon no respite to our argumentative state of affairs I started reading Linda Goodman for some answers. Goodman states clearly that Gemini parent - Sagittarian offspring are bound to be like us. So it is not just something wrong with me, it is the planetary alignment you see.

Not just a Gemini mother, I have my best friend who is a Gemini. You know the funny thing. She is like a mother to me! I sat down to check my Gemini list and could not believe most people I know closely are freaking Geminis!

Two Geminis: Mother and My Best Friend at Dilli Haat (a rare snap)

Well I sure have got very close to mother. It is a puzzling manner the universe seems to have arranged this by sending so many Geminis in to my life. These people are just as genuine, argumentative, passionate and caring as her though each one is different. I mean we argue over different things. I should ideally not miss mother so much, but then I do go home when I get homesick... only to fight after our normal 3-day honeymoon period and come back feeling disgusted all over again.

Regarding the novel am writing. Well am rethinking on it. Mother says I should not write it before am mature enough. And not before I have read enough to get the best language. Ideally not before 45!

I shall rethink. I mean the age at which I think I must pronounce myself mature enough! Really to write a book these days you need language and maturity? 

Somebody please give me a break!

PS: The novelog '13 Until I Die' that had its 9 chapters published will continue next year for sure. I promise!