5 yrs back-
The two kids have cemented themselves on the back seat, both trying to count the number of black cars that pass by. The mother as always is the one in charge and is beating the driving Dad’s eardrums with the ‘THINGS TO BE BOUGHT’ list. The elder of the two kids, the daughter, is the reason behind the list and the mother’s unnatural nervousness and sudden blood-pressure tweak. She continues to gaze outside the window unperturbed and quiet excited about the new twist she will have in her neat life soon. Suddenly her thoughts are wiped off by her mother’s high pitched voice.
Amma- Look Look! Look at that boy and girl talking to each other outside girls hostel at 9pm. Tch Tch! Anicheta, where is this generation headed to? Look at them! What will her Amma go through if she sees her daughter with a boy at this time?
Papa- Latha! Good kids will not do anything like this. Their Amma Appa sent them here to study. Poor them! Hmm!
Amma- Look at that boy’s jeans. If a wind blows, it will fall down and look at that potti girl, playing with her hair and giggling!
Papa- Leave it now! We have taught our kids better. They will not do anything of this sort. Our girl is going so far from us, but she will always know her roots. Alle Mole?
The (anything to impress) Daughter- Oh yes Papa! Strictly studying!
She looks back at the five years that have gone by and sulks when she remembers the conversation she had with her Amma Appa that night in the car. She came so far from home, strictly for studying as she promised, but now studying was the last thing she did. How many times has she sneaked out of hostel to go to pubs and lounge with her friends? How she the convent product, is now free to talk about anything with the guys? Hasn’t she tried out cigarettes, alcohol and hookah? Hasn’t she even made a boyfriend? Hasn’t she spoken to him late nights and even giggled and played with her hair, just like the other girl? Hasn’t her entire personality changed in those 5 years?
She shudders, but then the other side of her brain consoles her with illogical words. When she looks back, she is happy because she hasn’t done anything which she is personally guilty of. If bad things happened, it just made her stronger and she never repents. She isn’t into drugs, nor drinks, nor smokes. She hasn’t jumped hostel walls for ugly purposes and the lounge and pub with her girlfriends just felt right to her. Falling in love wasn’t predicted by her and nor could she control it. You grow up and change and sometimes you forget to tell your parents about that. Can’t blame them if they don’t understand, because for them, she is still their pinafore clad school going girl. She smiles, because her principles and her roots are still going strong.