Every year the goddess with ten hands comes to visit the tribe called Bongalies. A tribe spread all over the world, loves eating sweets, fish, rice, and words. The goddess comes as daughter leaves as the mother brings a lot of emotions and excitement in the B genes. With her comes the headache of shopping and pandal hopping. None of which yours truly enjoys. Not only the goddess visits her family, she brings her children, her pet, and her children’s pet.
My house is quite the human representation of that divine family. Our mother is as ferocious as the goddess, willing to kill and bite and rip for her children, flowers and pets’ sake. She has two daughters one who loves, let’s say anything related to material possession. Another who believes in burying herself in fiction to avoid public interaction. Again, my mom’s elder daughter has a handsome and short-tempered son-in-law who fills the vacancy of goddess’ war faring son. My mother doesn’t have a lion, but a Persian cat will do the deed and the chubby dachshund can replace the modok loving, the elephant-headed son of the goddess. As for husband, both my mother and the goddess have had the luck of having horrible husbands who prefer to stay away from in-laws on merry days, (those vicious humbugs).
So, every annoying year, the shackles of divine and human family are back to haunt individuals around the world. No matter what the personal calamity, the family will drag out that one family outcast and torture them with early baths, dragging for anjali, introducing absolute strangers to them as uncle and aunts from other grandparents, handing over phone calls of random relatives and so on. I bet Kartik ever wants to step out of his game room just to dress in gaudy dhoti and ride a peacock! Or Lakshmi would like to dress less gorgeous than her mother, despite being the richest in the universe! But it’s family, the kids have been going along with their parents’ whims for five hundred years now. I mean for ten days they get this mother, gorgeously dressed, feeding them and herself on the best foods, riding around the world and getting accommodated in the most luxurious pandals of all time.
Then BAM! Mother takes U-turn, bipolarity sips out, a bloodthirsty cannibal runs wild for next few days, naked, crazy and murderous! All her protective love of ten days and good food, gone!
How torturous can a parent be? In Indian terms, as crazy as, they could burn you, kill you, marry you, beat you, hang you, uproot you. We are not talking murderous torture here, just the regular emotional blackmail, on how they are becoming old and we should care for their feelings, nope can do.
One fine lazy day, that was yesterday, when rain was humping earth into gooey puddles, grasses had turn neon green and the whole world had turned into dynamic HD screen. My merciless mother dragged me for pandal hopping with tons of emotional blackmail and finally mafia-like threats. She paired me with her rickety mother, that’s my grandmother that reed from the Chinese proverb that bends but never breaks, but a rickety reed none the less. And my torturous mother’s selfie addict niece. I am not angry about my companions. I am angry that in general what happens to be a kind creature and my mother as well, turned into a brute human. When she knows I suffer from acute menstruation pain on the second day, she made me doll up, wear my new north star shoes and made me walk through dark alleys of puddles.
In those dark alleys, I had to turn into a bodyguard for that rickety reed in cotton saree. An anxiety-filled reed that walks super slow, only wears sandals from which eight fingers droop out to kiss the road, even on a rainy day! And my grandmother kept glancing back every few seconds so that I don’t get lost! Ever heard of Presidents looking out for their bodyguard? When my uterus is on fire, my new shoes in puddles, my new dress drenched, the only thought that goes in my brain is murder! In my murderous mind, I already kill my grandmother with the steak knife, my mother with the trident, my cousin with phone’s cord and my elder sister, suffocating her with new clothes. That evil seed of consumerism. My grandmother and mother were overzealous and determined to watch pandals on such a grim day were because of her!
As their favourite creature was unable to pray or watch Durga puja in a distant land, nor could she wear the new clothes that every human of the family has been piling up in her cupboard here in India, made her sad guardians want to enjoy even more. Enjoy at cost of my bleeding uterus. Hence my sister topped the hit list. The only thing that stopped me from killing first three is that by constitute I am weak and timid!
And the egg roll, the bait of egg roll, that egg fired in filthy oil with half cooked roti and veggies dipped in vinegar and peanuts. The only solace of goddess’s arrival is the egg rolls.
But another lesson has been learned, people will always pine for the one they can’t have. In case of my grandparents, they will always pine for the puja that their eldest granddaughter couldn’t celebrate! Whereas my mother will always miss the force of energy that practically leaves her bankrupt every festival and not the force that saves her money by staying put inside the house! The family will always crave for the one that’s at distance and oversee the one that’s near. PERIOD!
P.S- that's the deal called family folks.
thanking you for bearing with me