Friday, June 12, 2009

"Inna" the spoilt brat

My field work at a primary school these days brought back lot of childhood memories. When I saw newcomers fretting, crying, and arguing with their parents, I realised things haven’t changed with kids even after two decades. Children will always be children. I never got an opportunity to see a child growing up especially in their formative years. At home we siblings grew up together and therefore it was more about the struggle to get attention rather than paying attention to someone. Field work for me is like revisiting my childhood. It gives me answers to why I must have behaved the way I did then and how much suffering I caused my mom.
There are many snippets on "Inna - the brat" - Here's some -

When I began schooling, I insisted mom to wear makeup like my friends’ moms. It never occurred to me mom came in uniform, from work and these girls had moms who were housewives. I remember my poor mom wearing a lipstick on a sports day, maybe she thought it would please me. I had one look at her and said, "you look horrible, don't wear it anymore". That was me blunt and the most thankless child anyone could have. But mom still loved me.

This snap above too brings back some memories. Maybe it's the pink dress. Not that I really remember the incident but then it has been repeated to me so often by mom that I can narrate it in my sleep.
I was three years old then. We all came to India for vacation. We were three kids aged 3years, 2years & 3 months (Poor mom! I can't imagine how she managed us during travels). Mom still recalls a scene I created at the airport. Dad had luggage in both hands, mom was carrying my sister and our servant was carrying my brother, who was just an infant. I, who could walk properly and normally insisted no one should carry me, suddenly felt like being carried. Everyone except me went into the terminal and I stayed back with stubbornness written all over me. I insisted that I had to be carried or I would not move an inch. Dad tried threatening me, officers tried scaring me and poor mom even begged. I was immune to all their strategies and so mom had to put my sister down and came back to carry me. Now when I think of that 3 year old kid, I feel like spanking her myself. But I know mom; she would have tried explaining rather than scolding me.

When we reached India, we had the typical “gulf baby” adjustment problems. We thought mosquitoes were mini airplanes attacking us and we spend whole day showing off their bite marks to each other.Rain was new to us and so was dirt. My sister would walk carefully so as not to get her chappals dirty and I got immense pleasure in pushing her into puddles on the road.
Now I wonder whether I was suffering from conduct disorder. Mom says I once got so fascinated seeing a chick, that I mistook it for a toy and held it so tight that I killed it eventually.
Anyone who could dive into a pond or climb up a tree was like god to me. I had not seen such skills back where I came from. Asian toilets were a wonder and so was a black and white TV. My biggest doubt was how would cartoons look on B&W TV?

Mom's most favourite story is from one of our Palmaner visit. Palmaner is a place in Andhra Pradesh and mom's sister has a convent there. It was quite a rural place. People boiled water on fire wood and I was irritated by the smoked taste of water and used to mull over the heat, smell and mosquitoes. The nuns at the convent labeled me " Snob", with a capital S.
Mom says I had an adult like style in everything I did then. My body language, mannerism and words I used in conversations were all was adult like. One day while mom was talking to the nuns I barged in.
I began an amicable - soon to - be disastrous talk,"where is my pink shoe?"
"Well Teena, mummy could not carry too many shoes. Why don't you wear the one you have now?” And I started my barage."Are you a mother? Don't you know you should be carrying the pink shoes when your daughter wears her pink dress?"
Mom says the nuns were in a shock to hear this two feet tall creature utter such statements. Having said that I stormed out of the place but mom just smiled and said "that's her".
My aunt then said "beware of her, I tell you. Lord knows how she will be when she grows older".

To their surprise I turned out to be just the opposite. Tasteless about clothes, indifferent to jewellery and let’s just forget about the “matching accessories”part.
Now the same aunt begs me to look elegant and every time I refuse to shop, mom reminds me the sermon of a 3 year old girl.


Who said...

Thanks bhuji...was a nice post...brought back a lot of my own "brat" memories...but then girls are always confused abut what they want and who they are...for us it has always been easy...boys will be boys! Always.

The quirk said...

Thanx guruji. Well I have not observed boys and their mischiefs closely. My bro was a decent kid or maybe he was saddled with us girls.

Hmmm yeah boys will be boys naturally they can't be girls technically oops yeah even that's possible these days :)

Who said...

Well, boys can become girls. But can it be done the other way round? Hmmmm never heard that before. So technically it doesn't work for you. Sori, you are who you are-girls.

deeps said...

i hope the way isnt still too long ...

i firmly guess so, ur last para xplains it ..

XXX said...

Boys are totally different - think thats the cause why parents are paing dowry.

The quirk said...

well well well..... I think this post is turning out to be an avenue for men to brag abt their gender identity.

Who, I think there's nothing gr8 in being a guy, u never know what it's to be girl, try asking ur wife.

Deeps , you should write smething more I can't figure much from what u wrote

Piccard what's so special abt guys for which dowry is given kindly explain. I guess we are both brought up in the same way and we both earn I really can't understand why dowry exists....

That word really makes me mad .

It's like I want to buy a cow and you pay me for it too.

XXX said...

I first came to know about dowry for some month ago, I can't understand the meaning of it, so it was a try for explanation : )
Please don't take it serious, real men would never claim dowry. They are happy to got blessed for such a girl.

Unknown said...

aa show kandu vallavarum shapichathavum " nee valuthakumbol ithinodonnum thalparyamillathe pokatte" ennu..... allenkil pinne anganoru sadhanam ingane aakumo :)...........