This article came today as a MIDDLE in Herald. I didnt get the paper so was pleasantly surprised. Anthony Simoes called to congratulate me and also wish HAPPY FEAST. He told me that it had come. I am posting the unedited version here as i usually do.Enjoy!
From The Heart,
MY SON: THE TEENAGER
He finally did it! My teenage son bought himself a mobile. I tried my best to dissuade him, coercing him with eviction threats, cajoling him to look at inexpensive models, but, No! He pooled in all his ‘pocket money’, took an advance on it for the next six months and threw in his ‘gift money’ as well and got himself a POSH version of my aam aadmi one, camera, Internet, FM, et al. It is the envy of my eye and the bane of his Dad’s. My Son: The Resolute Rebel.
“Mama, get these ‘smallies’ off my back. I want my privacy.” This is the constant wail of my boy-man every single day and night. The three ‘monsters’, as he refers to his three younger siblings get into his well-groomed hair, invade his deeply desired need for solitude and leave him in such a fury that glass could shatter with his hysterical screams. My Son: The Tantrum Thrower.
His tummy has now developed a perpetual never-ending hole which he loves to fill with junk food from the local dabbas. “Lets order food today, Mama. We haven’t eaten ‘outside’ food for a long time now.” His favourite: Butter chicken and naan. Now its our favourite too. The last time we attended a wedding, people looked strangely at our plates, then at the buffet table, and sighed in relief. They had all thought the only dishes on the menu were-you guessed it! My Son: The Food Freak.
When you have a teenager in your home, there’s a lot of mental jugglery to do. I am used to ordering everyone about, being a teacher by profession and a dictator by choice. So, when my hand is caught mid-air by my young he-man to stall the slap he was accustomed to getting in his diaper days, I am taken aback. What strength in those fingers! How come I never noticed what a grown-up stature he has attained? I lament at my lost advantage; physical weakness cannot hope to conquer. I try another strategy. I argue, I bargain, I scream, I give up. Game over! But in an instant, he’s there making up, and trying to hug me as I push him away. I slink away, my tail between my legs, defeated but determined to have the last word. So after an hour or two, we are back to playing games again. My Son: The Macho Mambo.
I got to know, through my spies, that my son is a budding Casanova and the class clown in college. Right from the bespectacled nerd in the first row to the acne-ridden introvert sitting in the corner, the other half of the world just adore my handsome hulk. Well, its not a life-threatening situation: I’d be wary if he brings anyone home, though. I’m told even his teachers love the ground he walks on. “Kirsten, what’s the answer?” “Kirsten, get these notes xeroxed.” “Where is Kirsten? Not come today?” My Son: The Class Clown-cum-Casanova.
My umpteen attempts at getting him to get to his study table and stay put meets with a ‘Mumble, Mumble, Groan, Groan’. A special room was created for him in the balcony, separated from the adjoining bedroom by tinted glass. I expected him to make it his haven of refuge. But alas, he abandoned it for his best friend’s place, “Bro” as he affectionately calls Sirus. (I call him Virus because my son always downloads the latest forbidden music, the wildest video clips and the craziest jokes from his computer.) My Son: the Patience-Testing Procrastinator.
Colourful expletives (how teens love them!), catchy phrases (Anytime, Anywhere is his favourite), a limited grasp on the English language are the forte of all self-respecting teenagers. When I ask my boy whether he wants a cup of tea, he replies, “Yo, Mama”. If I tell him to run an errand, he says, “Cando.” Once I told him to make the evening snack and he retorted, “Wedding or What?” I’m slowly learning to “Yo” and “Cando” myself now in an effort to talk his lingo. My son: the Minimum-Brained Multi-linguist.
Am I grumbling too much? I guess I have this humungous chip on my shoulder, right? But before you mistake it for hate, let me assure you, and My Son: The Teenager, that, although I feel like throwing him out with the trash at times, I ‘Cando’ it. Why? Coz I just luv my Son: The Teenager, dat’s Y! (744 words)