5 things I do that I know my mother can never imagine…and she’s not wrong!

When I got married, my mother refused to send my jeans to my in-laws as part of my wedding trousseau. “What would they think?” she said. So imagine her surprise when I told her that I was wearing jeans at my in-laws’. And so over the years, there have many, many things where mom and I haven’t seen eye to eye on many things. As I am sure you don’t either with your mother. Let’s see them, shall we?

1. I don’t make sweets or snacks for Diwali

Yes, with one week to go for Diwali, my jars are still empty. I haven’t got gallons of milk in the fridge or besan in the kitchen yet. Because I am not making any sweets for Diwali. Neither am I making any namkeen. There’s a perfectly fine Bhujiawala opposite my house who has started making Diwali snacks and sweets and the morning of Diwali, I will just cross the road, buy the sweets and come home. You will too, I am guessing. Not mom though. She has finished making her first round of laddus and she’ll start with the namkeen soon. Even now she cannot believe that I serve my guests store-bought food on something as special as Diwali!

2. I leave my son at home to go out with friends

I was my mother’s entire world. She was a working woman, and had a rather taxing job. But she came back home around 6 every day and dove straight into the household. She would cook, mumble about how the maid hasn’t cleaned enough, oversee my studies, serve dinner, put my school clothes out...and I don’t remember ever seeing her go out to have a good time. So when I leave my little boy with the caregiver or my husband to go out with my friends, mom is shocked. She used to call me every 10 minutes to check when I was getting home to my boy. She doesn’t any more, but I know she is still shocked I can leave her little grandson at home to go have fun on my own.

3. I don’t cover my head in front of my father in law

She keeps nudging me to put my pallu over my head in front of my father in law. I ignore it, and her eyes go wider in shock. Mom, on the other hand, still covers her head in front of my 90-year old grandpa, even if he doesn’t recognise her anymore. I don’t do it because I go to work in pants and skirts and more often than not, I would have nothing to cover my head with. Ma still can’t get around to it.

4. I shop for groceries online

Mom is retired now, and obviously, older, with weaker bones and sight. But she still gets her grocery from the neighbourhood shop. Between my dad and her, they test the freshness of everything by touch. Dad checks the gills of a fish himself to know it’s fresh. Mom presses tomatoes to see if they are ripe and checks every potato in the kilo. Me, I order on an app in my phone. The guy comes at a designated time and delivery my grocery. I haven’t had reason to complain. Mom hasn’t had reason to complain about her method either. But it still amazes her that I can trust strangers to deliver tomatoes that are just the right amount of ripe.

5. I make my child skip rice and roti

Usually, it is rice and roti for dinner in my home. But occasionally, there is the grilled chicken with vegetables or a soup and salad. Breakfast is usually milk and cornflakes with some fruits thrown in. The carrots my child eats are usually raw or just sauteed. Ma cannot believe I feed my son these things. She belongs to the old school of thought where a healthy diet for a child consisted largely of roti sabzi and dal-chawal-sabzi. She cannot come to terms with the fact that a grilled fish or chicken with a side of steamed vegetables can also be a healthy meal for a boy. She calls them “fancy English food”.

So yes, there is so much that I do now that my mother could never imagine in her time. I’d never say I am right and she’s wrong, because that’s not true. It’s just that we are both from two different times and lifestyles. What about you? What do you do that shocks your mother?

Feature image: Hindustan times