Nothing I Can Do!

Again, need a dear old dad post to wash away the cobwebs. Short one this time.

My mother is quite the character really. She is determined, fearless about her principles, focused on what she needs to do, and impossibly naive in a lot of respects. Before I came along, my father used to point out some of life’s realities to her. Case in point:

He took her to the Taj one evening, and pointed to a group of girls in the lobby. “Look at those girls. They’re escorts,” he said. The almighty sap that is my mother exclaimed, “WHAT?! They’re so well dressed and presentable. How do you know?! No! It can’t be.” After looking at her, with a mixture of what I imagine from later experience to be disgust, pity, and affection, he apparently said, “Never mind. Tumko kuch maalum nahi.” [You don’t know anything.]

That is far less offensive in Hindi than it is in English, and roughly approximates to ‘You’re so naive.’

By the time I came along, he had stopped telling her stuff. Possibly because her reaction is usually loud and explosive, and draws attention when one is trying to be discreet. Her jaw visibly drops and so on. I have written about this before. So when I started “educating” her on things not so politically correct, he was not a fan.

“Don’t teach her all this stuff!” was his almost constant refrain. I gleefully taught her curse words and Internet slang, and watched in side-splitting amusement when these bombs were deployed unexpectedly in public. For instance she once told off a bunch of louts, who were sizing me up, questioning their morals and announcing to the world that they were a bunch of “fucktards”. It was magical.

Invariably though, sometimes these utterances were less than appropriate. In the aftermath of each of those instances, when my mother had cleared a path, I often asked my father where he had managed to find such a specimen to marry.

His response? “I can’t do anything about it now. She’s your mother.”

True that, dad. True THAT.


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