I like that line very much when it comes out of characters in my favorite sitcom.
“We need to talk!” is such a beautiful line. It comes with the premonition of change. Not just any change, but the kinds that come with an inherent seed of groundbreaking revolution. I love the tension and the drama that goes with it.
Not so much when I am at the receiving end though. This happens pretty frequently in my household. It comes out of my MOM and more often than not it has a lot to do with me getting married.
I have been shying away from this topic for a long time because I constantly live under the invisible gaze of the Bin Laden in our house. My mom knows like one million and one ways to ruin her daughter’s Saturday morning and I must say this is one of the most effective one of them. She doesn’t even need the other million!
Well, it all started when I was in the pre-final semester of my engineering course. She was suddenly struck by the fact that on her own 21st birthday, she already knew my dad and things were going pretty well between them. While on my 21st birthday, I was sitting around in my favorite track pants reading a comic with my feet thrown up on my easy chair. Since then it has never stopped. It is her favorite way to torment me by painting thick black clouds all over my future.
So it begins somewhat like this. On the solitary Saturday morning, when I don’t actually wake up in the gym but the bed she is impalpably making tea in the kitchen. As I wake up and come out rubbing my eyes, she is sitting at the table looking all regal and grand. She motions her tiny palm to indicate that I should sit down in front of her, which I have to do. Then she goes “ We need to talk” and I know all the sentences that follow this one by heart. “ All your friends are engaged!!” , “Look at you! Who do you think you are! Aishwarya Rai??!!” and when I say “ Oh common aai, don’t compare me to Aishwarya Rai after what she’s done to Salman and Vivek!” she bangs her fist on the table till the crockery rattles and narrows her eyes in that specific manner that only angry moms can do. She stalls like an inch away from my nose and says in a really unwomanly hoarse voice, “I want a clear answer. Right Now! Do you or do you not want to get married??”
How can you have a clear answer to a totally simulated situation?
I mean, if getting married were like organizing your socks I would have done it when I was 12! I try to cooperate too! Like when she writes my resume (which has sections like “skin tone” and the answer to that is “wheatish” which is not even like a REAL word!!) I carefully correct the spelling mistakes and even the attitude mistakes in there. I mean what kind of mom tells people her daughter looks like wheat!!
Then she suddenly goes into that mawkish mode! Which is harder to take than the Bin Laden mode. She asks me totally stupefying questions like, “ Are you not worried about your own future?!!”, “ What if you never get married!!” , “ Who will take over the company after you!!?” , “ I will never get a break from work if you never get married!”
(Yeah some of these sentences are completely illogical and out of context but then 50-year-old moms have a lot of other issues too)
Then I tell her all that I plan to do if I don’t get married at all.
I will write a book! I will work for UNICEF. Write stories for kids!
I will streamline the entire business and make an obscene amount of money and I will also donate chunks of it to cancer research. I will take up a French language course and also teach creative writing to schoolchildren! Since I wont be having kids of my own, I would be the cool “Aunt Saee” to my friends’ kids. Who will teach them a hundred different ways to use Soap. Who will have dogs they could play with and who will also teach them the value of workouts! There are so many things to do!! Wake up mom! People are dying in Sudan. To which she curtly replies, “ No one is dying there, I just came back and I had a land cruiser all to myself all the while I was in Sudan!”
I guess one of the principal drawbacks of having a globetrotting mom is that you get to know that the BBC chooses to highlight Africa in a very sad way.
She is not a philistine but when organizations like the UNICEF and the WHO start getting in the way to her daughter’s wedding she tends to get a little edgy. I can understand.
But then I quickly put her at ease by saying, “ Oh! And I will do all of that even if I do get married you know. I mean I will have a little less time, but I will definitely do all of that” and she sighs in relief.
Sometimes her paranoia makes her imagine that I might be secretly going around with a mystery guy and keeping it all under cover. So she inquires with my super-best friend and both of them cross their hearts to keep it a secret. Well needless to say that the next call my friend makes is to me and even mom blurts it out in one of her sentimental fits of worry. I find that incredibly cute. More importantly because at least my mom thinks that I could go around with someone and that I am capable of all the womanly feelings of love and companionship! =)
I guess one day her worry will end. Or at least I hope that she will overcome worry! =)
Till then I will devise more creative ways to return her “ We need to talk” ace service.
She is even better than Federer!!
Oh and it would be a good idea not to tell my mom that I wrote this. If you know what I mean! ;)