Haven’t we all heard our mothers go on about how well our neighbor’s daughter is doing? Or how one of our cousins stood first in his class or how our mother’s friend’s daughter is pursuing Chartered Accountancy and she just got a rank in her final exam?
We all have, haven’t we? And how we loathe those moments and wish our mothers were just satisfied with how we were doing and stopped complaining, and comparing with others. I have always told her to see how I am doing compared with last year not with the kid next door but she never understood. Or maybe I never understood her.
Recently, I was doing a training in an institute wherein we had classes for more than 6 hours a day, everyday for 4 to 5 days, followed by a day’s gap and again 6 hours classes for some more days. We had an hour break in between so that we could fill in our tummies to last till the end of that day’s class.
So, every morning my mother would ask me how long my class would be and if I would take anything from home to eat during the lunch break. I had been eating out for 3 days on the trot and was in no mood to eat something from outside that day so I asked her to prepare my lunchbox. She was more than happy to oblige me. During the lunch break, two of my other friends who would eat with me, too had brought lunchboxes from home and one of them had got extremely delicious gobhi (cauliflower) ka paratha. We feasted ourselves to the parathas and my aloo (potato) ki sabzi (vegetable) and rotis were left unattended.
The next morning as my mother checked the lunchbox and saw the untouched food, she bombarded me with questions as to- why I did not eat? what did I eat? she never had so many choices when she was of my age and so on. I counter attacked telling her that my friend’s mother had made lovely gobhi ke parathe and so none of us could think of eating anything else. I asked her why couldn’t she make them too and why she always made the mundane food which I never felt like having…
And with that I went to take a bath.
After I came back from the bath to get ready, I see her making gobhi ka paratha for me. Let me mention the significance of this incident. In my entire life of 21 years, I have never seen her make a gobhi ka paratha. She always knew how to make it but never made it. And those were really nice parathas. Really tasty ones.
So, my point is had I not told her that my friend’s mother makes lovely parathas, she wouldn’t have been motivated enough to make some for me. Sometimes, comparing people with their peers makes them perform much better, and this is what we call healthy competition. This incident made me realise the reason why sometimes she compared me with the neighbor’s daughter. Because she thought this would motivate me to work harder and that one day I will be able to make her proud. It would act like a catalyst to make my progress faster and steadier. Yes, this realization has, indeed, been a part of my growing up and I thought it deserved a post here. 🙂