Monday, July 8, 2013

Just like my Mom

 
Courtesy -iStockphoto


When I was your age, phones were clunky, televisions bulky and computers hulky. Yet they occupied very little space in our heads. Our house was cluttered with knick-knacks and memories. Appliances were uncomplicated, so were our lives. Sleep was not a challenge but something we enjoyed. Happiness was free and did not come with “terms-and-conditions apply”.

News was in no hurry to break and would patiently wait until next morning. Tele soaps were meant to be watched by the entire family. When we talked, we looked into each other’s eyes rather than look up occasionally from our mobiles. Words had yet to shed their vowels and their warmth. Sentences were not hurried missives. We talked because we needed to and not because we wanted another toy.

Time was elastic not brittle. Despite entertainment that was clumsy and prehistoric, I-am-so-bored had yet to make an appearance in our lexicon. Relatives had yet to be anointed with the annoying tag, family weddings were not meant to be endured but enjoyed. Private space was not guarded like a bastion and certainly not shared with online strangers.

Gay meant happy. Hit and run was still a game we played and enjoyed. We imbued our idols with a halo and did not put them under a microscope to analyse and jeer at their flaws. Scepticism was a prerogative of the old and the wrinkled. Youth had ideals. Lampooning our leaders was the sole preserve of the likes of RK Laxman, rather than a national sport. We used to race against the wind not time. We felt free not constricted and were content with our routine-ridden existence.

We couldn’t wait to grow up and become our Mom and Dad. We were impatient to take charge of our lives.

We did. Or so we thought.


Imperceptibly, the world around has changed, greatly, and has made our existence stressful. Have we not put our past inside a treasure chest of memories? Isn’t nostalgia our favourite pastime? Have we not let cynicism wrinkle our souls? Do we not outrage over the present and dread the years ahead? Have we not invited paranoia and addictions into our lives?

Are we in charge of our lives? Or is it a case of a life meticulously planned, goals dauntingly set, where even a small speed-breaker will send us hurtling in despair.

As I look at you my child, your frame bent over your laptop, laughing at jokes you seldom share, I realize I’m frowning, just like my Mom. Wondering how you cope with the harsh world outside, just like Mom. As I let anxiety flood my heart over a future I have no control of, I realize I have become my Mom.

Just like any other parent who can’t stop regaling her child with stories of her past, colouring it with nostalgia, shorn of all unpleasantness. It’s because we want you to believe that a life that had yet to shed its innocence, where ideals were not just spoken about, when happiness was tangible rather than an elusive pursuit, did exist once upon a time.

When you are my age, will you, like me, look back at this present through rose tinted glasses? Will the breathless pace of today become leisurely when you recall tomorrow? Will your disgust of today, shed its negativity as it ages? Will you look at your child and sigh – when I was your age, life was innocent and kind!





69 comments:

  1. Circle of Life! And then the child, barely restraining impatience, tries to update the dated old me and bring me up to speed with newfangled things called Podcasts ....

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    1. Just like we did...Maa, this is not how you hold the mouse!

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  2. So apt Purba...I think the same all the time....when I compare the current times with the kind of childhood we had 25 years ago....

    And even though I am not a mom yet, I have started saying certain things just the way my mum used to!

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    1. Once you become a Mom, you will start respecting her even more.

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  3. Wonderful post! I really liked the way you have characterised the times by gone. I long for them too.
    Being a cynic is so rampant in today's world. But I somehow feel it is also beacuse of the repeated blows and defeats that our ideals face everyday in this country.
    I enjoyed your expressions and writing.

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    1. What a relief! I was cringing when I re-read it after hitting the publish button.

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  4. A meaningful post in this world of never ending hurry! True we all cherish the good old times as our own mother and grandmother cherished theirs! In this world of instant noodles and instant coffee let us relish the 'change' which is the only constant in our life to enjoy the present rather than frown upon things and compare with past, Purba:)

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    1. Nostalgia always comes in uninvited :-)

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  5. As Ritu says .. Circle of Life ! Time sure was uncomplicated when we were kids ! I was nodding at everything you said !

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    1. Perhaps it's we who changed.

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  6. Don't they say that the more things change, the more they remain the same? Though, this time, the world appears to have changed so drastically that even that age-old saying might need to be changed.
    A post that makes one stop and think.

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    1. I don't know, Rickie. Did times change or did we change with time?

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  7. Truly. Every word rings true. And then they say Good Old Times is a term created by those who can't remember what happened.
    I find myself behaving like my mother too.

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    1. And I hear it ALL the time. I even frown like her.

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  8. It's so sad how life has changed as materialism has supersedes small and mundane things in life. We are living a mechanical life style yet we are oblivious of the fake existence we are living. Cheers for this post:)

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    1. It's the decisions we made. It's the life we chose.

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  9. That was quite a post!
    One observation
    We all want to go back to simpler times, but the definiton of simpler times keep changing every generation.. My mom gets nostalgic about the radio and the 5 paise coins where as I miss the black and white tv days and the 50 paisa coin.. And now I cant even imagine wht I unborn child would miss, or call a simpler time!

    But yeah every generation has something to go back to :-) that never changes...

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    1. Yes, nostalgia is the prerogative of the older generation that never tires of telling their kids about the good ole times.

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  10. This is such a heart-felt and honest post. I have often thought about the future and wondered what I'll think of the days gone by and how I'll come to terms with the many changes I witness. Wonderfully written!

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    1. Often in our haste to move to the future or bemoaning the past, we forget to cherish the present.

      And thank you :-)

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  11. I loved reading this purba . Times change but history repeats and Hy five on that computers being hulky and occupying less space in mind. Now they are sleeky and creepy
    KUDOS on writing this one!

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    1. I can now sigh in relief. Wasn't too sure about this post.

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  12. Aww, that was lovely! I am actually happy with all the changes that have taken place in my lifetime. Recent addition is the e-library :-)

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    1. And I am surgically attached to my iPad :/

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  13. Loved this post Purba. This is something all of us middle aged people think about. There are times in this madness when thinking of old times calms you, just as your post did.

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    1. Oye! middle aged kisko bola re! And you are much younger than I am.

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  14. I think so, yes. Isn't that what all of us would be thinking, and probably our children too, that back in our days (as our children would think of their age), things were less hurried, we had more time, we were more at ease?
    Many mornings have blessed me with this kind of feeling of fulfilment and ease in their quietness, here in Delhi. In retrospect, it used to be a routine I never noticed when I was still a child. Now, I see how there is so much time if we are at ease, how I can sit and read without distraction and lose any sense of time.

    We're in so much hurry to outdo ourselves and others that the present flashes by and all we are left with is a sense of losing time.

    A good read, a beautiful refresher of what I had been missing for quite sometime now.

    Regards,
    Blasphemous Aesthete

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    1. We set unrealistic goals, seek challenges, crave the adrenalin rush and then complain of stress!

      And you expressed much better than what I managed in the entire post :-)

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  15. So well written Purba.
    I cannot imagine myself as a mom to teenager yet..
    One thing is for sure, life is becoming more and more mechanical and stressful than ever before. Compare my grandparents time to ours. Most of them used to to physical work and lived healthy for long. Our generation sits most of the time for work that too in front of computers and then after 30s we get all sorts of physical problems. Not every one comes from 'fit and exercising' kind of families and then by the time they realize life is getting better, they start with health problems..
    Well that's life! :-(

    It is such a joy to read your posts...

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    1. It's such a joy to read your comments, Bhavana. I remember, you started reading my blog after I wrote for B Khush and you haven't left my side since then.

      Thank you so much.

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  16. Truly, sadly, inescapably true!! Lovely piece of blog...

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  17. Woah! Did you just do a "Humaare zamaane mein"? But it is a well written contemplative post. It is human nature. After a particular age, change begins to scare you and the world seems to move too fast. The people who are able to cope with this now, will be taking a trip down the Road Nostalgia 20 years later and wonder why the kids then have no time to stand and stare. It is a cycle and the past always looks perfect because that is what we grew up in.
    P.S. Do you miss those Hippo hunting expeditions on the Nile with Cleopatra?

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    1. Past perfect - present continuous and future tense. The Grammar Gods were trying to send us a sub lime message.

      P.S Did it hurt when we pierced you with spears?

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  18. Everything is relative, Purba. That is why the world is such a dynamic place, because something is 'better than,' 'more beautiful than,' 'faster than' and so on. So in the passage of time too, everything becomes relative. Today we can't imagine how the online worlds of our kids can be deemed simple and innocent, but who knows how the future is going to be? And then Tee might well be telling her kid how things were so 'simple' back when she was young :)

    And please see that Blogger doesn't send this one again to spam!

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    1. The ultimate truth of life - there are no absolutes :-)

      P.S Blogger is sending even my comments to spam. Perhaps it's their way of keeping me on my toes :-)

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  19. So well written... The truth about life, the circle of life!

    Enjoyed reading it!

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    1. I'm glad you did, Nabanita :-)

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  20. I think the frames of reference change across generations, so what we had becomes simple and innocent and what our kids have becomes fast and furious :). I am actually grateful for stuff like internet. How else would I blog and work professionally sitting inside my home :). And I absolutely don't long for DD days! Change is inevitable. And nostalgia is inherent.

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  21. Yeah, Blackberry was a fruit, Twitter related to an actual bird that flew around delighting us; knowledge is power, but we're faced with the problem of too much information.

    I like how times have changed. I especially love how I have the choice to take it, enjoy it or leave it. :D

    Great reflections.

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    1. I bemoan my failing memory.My head is crammed with so much, yet when I want to recall facts, my memory gives up.

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  22. Even a four years old is busy playing games on iPad.
    Times have changed for sure.If it is true that wheel takes a full turn,times will chnage again.
    we will have joint families.We will have larger families.Rest will just follow

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    1. You think so? Old fashioned does have hope it seems.

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  23. Thank God that we are not that far removed from the next generation as far as technology is concerned otherwise they would have christened us dodos quickly. The mother and child thing is universal. I am sure our mothers had the same issues with theirs too. So it is more of a time thing. It is true that we all become our parents in due course of time. Scary!

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    1. It's scary! All that you thought you'll never do, you end up doing the same things.

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  24. Things might get worse before they get better, dear Purba, but just like you, she will.

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    1. Always positive, always serene, KayEm :-)

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  25. Mirror Mirrow on the wall I am turning into my Mom. Yeah! Your post always makes a connect with my inner self.So aptly written.

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    1. History repeats itself and HOW!

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  26. There is no better way you could have written it! Such a meaningful post! Loved reading it :)

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  27. Fabulous !! I just loved every bit of comparison and a style . Awesome !! being a budding cartoonist .. I could relate with RKLaxman and today lampooning being everyone's past time :)
    You are fabulous !! Like I always feel..when I read you. :)
    The thing is we love what they cannot get back!!Be it people or time ! What is Ok today will be perfect tomorrow !! Its just the way we see life :) This will continue . More than changing times where we feel things are getting faster , its our thought which differentiates between the fast of yesterdays and today :)
    We feel , slow was cool !! :)
    And thats how life has been narrated since ages!

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    1. Humbled by your appreciation. Thank you :-)

      And agree when you say that it's all in our mind. Like our Gurus said - it's all Maya.

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  28. All that you wrote,rings a bell,
    And you have written it so WELL!
    Generation gaps were always there,but the fast changes in technology have transformed them into generation chasms--or should i say gasps!
    Certainly the old days were more peaceful & we all were more hooked up to people & not gadgets.

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    1. That was a beautiful line, Indu - we all were more hooked up to people & not gadgets. Wish I had thought of that :-)

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  29. Thats such a warm, warm post. I remembered my Mom all through the post and my childhood which was gadget free.

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    1. The past always seems perfect.

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  30. Technology which was invented to bridge the gap and make the world a village has surely come in between relations and people. Its the Facebook which keeps one updated about the goings-on in our loved ones livies and not the evening cup of tea together.

    You write like magic. Really. Loved every sentence.

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    1. Internet gave us the world but took our lives away.

      Thank you so much for your kind words :-)

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  31. This is so true. Somehow or the other, we follow our parents (in thoughts and deeds) and we ask ourselves "why am I talking like my mom (or dad)"
    Like that opening sentence: phones were clunky, televisions bulky and computers hulky. Yet they occupied very little space in our heads.
    First time here and following you :-)

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    1. Strange! I have seen your comments on my previous posts :-)

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  32. A further lesson - how ephemeral the sorrows of the past and how persistent the joys. Wish we could see them the same way in prospect as in retrospect. :)

    Nostalgia trip for me as well :) How much scarcity added to the joy of getting something and how much ennui you feel in plenitude.

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    1. I wish I could express as beautifully as you :-)

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  33. I liked your way of putting up your thoughts and how you have selected that unique theme of 'mom' for doing that. I agree with what your post up to some extent but also feel that time is good ahead if we can control ourselves rather than technology controlling us.

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    1. True! why blame technology when all we need to do is rethink our priorities.

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  34. Purba, I also hope my kids will skip over the ever growing cynicism and aggro of my generation and build a kinder, more trusting society.

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  35. Nice post.. Very well written..!! I loved the line "As we watched tv.. When we talked, we looked into each other’s eyes rather than look up occasionally from our mobiles.." And that's so true these days.. Even I have started talking like my mom these days.. And I know I will realise her importance more once I have a kid..!! Lovely post.. Keep writing..!!

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