They're such an intriguing subspecies. I've been coming home late since I was fifteen years old- often after 10, alone in a cab, and in my school uniform. They didn't bat an eyelid, quite positively spared the rod. I've spent most of college leaving the house at 11 or 12 in the day, and coming back never before 8 in the evening, or sometimes, not coming back at all. They took it all in. Barring of course the occasional phone call enquiring when (as opposed to if) the police needed to be informed. [As in, "Hullo, will you let us know when to call the police, or shall we just go ahead and do it past eleven?"]
So, now that I'm 24 years old, have more grey hair than my mother (who has none - gray hair, that is) and my father (who has none - hair, I mean); and am two weeks into my job, why is it that I am sent frantic and frequent SMSes every hour, on the hour, from 8 PM onwards? I mean, really, I reach office only at 1, it's only respectable to put in at least 8 hours.
Ever since I can remember, I've never been coaxed into eating. The routine is to quietly sidle all edibles away from my gluttonous eyes and obese mind, which, my mother believes are the two most defining characteristics of my otherwise charming disposition. Ok, so the "charming disposition" was my inclusion. But now I get text messages that go, >you last ate 3 hours and 46 minutes ago. Please eat a sandwich.< and then, >it's been 5 hours since your last meal. Time to grab a bite!< Yes, like an automaton. (I wanted to say 'like an rss feed' and go, 'get the pun? get the pun?', but then I'd be tech-illiterate and in all probability wrong.)
Thankfully, none of this newfound, oppressive attention comes from my mother, who remains ubercool and unconcerned, confident in the assumption that hers is the singular life worthy of debate and deliberation. But what is more surprising is this sudden, disquieting interest that my father has begun to take in my life. He was always the first to say,"I'm not worried, my daughter can take care of herself." And now, he needs to know if I'm carrying water, if I've eaten, if I'm coming home in fifteen minutes and thirty-five seconds or seventeen minutes and twenty-seven seconds like I'd come 2 days earlier.
And what is the point of scolding me for eating in my room and not at the table with you , when you're the one who set the precedent all those years ago, whereby the 3 of us always eat at separate times and separate rooms. What is this sudden hankering for conversation, when in the 24 years of my life, you have maybe interacted with me for a total of 500 hours, and this includes vacations?
Yea, so I'm a little pissed and it shows. Boo.
My point is, they've been awfully liberal all along.
My point is, is this an outcome of old age - this almost debilitating need to hold on, to establish connection through ruthlessly monitoring a life that has been allowed such complete freedom and independence all along? It's a frightening, mortifying thought. I've known my father as ... debonair ... devil-may-care. This new sign of weakness is ... well, it's new. And it's hard to come to terms with. Am I being unreasonable? Is the onus of repairing over two decades of complete disregard for any notion of 'family' really on me, because now I'm an "earning member"? Pah.
Of course, it could be a sudden realisation that he is, after all, a modhyobitto bangali. Hmm. I'm going to pretend the problem's solved.
Oh look, turns out it's past my bedtime now.
Fascinating, these parentpeoples.