They are outrageous, they are ridiculous but they are used very often because they have been passed down like a legacy from generation to generation. These are ten things that all Indian parents say to their kids at some time or the other.
I used to balk at my parents when these words were used with me, but now I know the reason behind that mysterious smile after my mother had said it. It is the same reason why I smile after I use them with my daughter. You remember being that age and your parents saying the same things to you.
1.) Humare time mein aisa nahi tha
Most commonly used with how you kids have it easy, and we had it difficult. Used often when the child in question is displaying bad behaviour. For example, ‘we give you everything you ask for and you don’t value it. We didn’t get any clothes unless it was a special occasion like Birthdays or Diwali’.
2.) Ye kaise gaane hain, humare time ke gaano ki baat hi kuch aur thi
I remember turning on the radio, or tuning in to my favorite channel (MTV or Channel [V]) to watch the songs I liked. My mother’s voice would come floating from the next room saying, “These songs have only dhamadham, no music or lyrics at all!” Then an order would follow, “Turn the volume down!” Once the order had been followed, the voice would automatically mellow down and get a nostalgic tone, “We had such great singers, Kishore, Mukesh, M. Rafi, Lata didi, such talented music directors like R.D. Burman. Those songs had meaningful lyrics, and melodious tunes. What rot this generation listens to! Those were the days!” I say the very same things to my daughter now, when the song ‘Fevicol se...’ plays loud on the TV, and I yell, “What rotten lyrics!”
3.) Paise ped pe nahi ugte
Ah! This one is a classic. I am sure everyone has heard their parents say this one time or two. Usually it was iterated when an unreasonable demand was made. Kith and kin of this statement is, “That shopkeeper is not my uncle to give it to me for free. Paisa kya ped pe ugta hai? You grow up and start earning, and then you will realise the worth of money, and how each penny is hard earned. Then you are free to spend how you want it.” There really was value in that statement, although at that time it only led to rebellion. I do have to say this to my daughter some times.
4.) Tum bade hoge tab samajh mein aayega
Uncomfortable questions were asked, and often led to answers such as the one highlighted above. Mostly these answers were related to certain advertisements on the television. “Ye kya hai?” I would innocently ask, and my mother would say that “Don’t be impertinent. When you grow up you will understand.” It baffled me always, as to how a question, to which I don’t know the answer, might be impertinent!
5.) Logon ko do waqt ki roti nahi milti, tumko sab milta hai isiliye naatak karte ho
Haven’t we all heard this from our parents’ mouths? “Finish your meal, there are kids starving in the world!” How was my overeating going to help starving kids?
6.) Mai keh rahi hoon isliye
Often used when an explanation was sought for some order issued, and the parent in question didn’t have a plausible answer. Sometimes even when you are in no mood to patiently explain to the child whose attention span is so miniscule. It happens often with my daughter.
“Go put your plate in the sink.”
“Because, darling, it has to be washed.”
“Because, munchkin, we have to keep them clean.”
“If we keep them dirty, we will fall sick.”
“Because I said so! Now move it, or else…!”
7.) Chai piyoge to kaale ho jaoge
Now that is one blatant lie! But every parent must have said it to their offspring. I loved tea. As a matter of fact, I love it even now. Even as I write this, I am sipping hot chai from a mug. When I was young, my mother would tell me, that if I drink tea, I’ll end up with a dusky complexion. It took me years before I realised two things.
- Dusky complexion is not a bad thing.
- Whether or not I drink tea, if my complexion is dusky to begin with, it is going to remain dusky no matter what.
Cheers to that, I say! Bring on my next cup of tea!
8.) Kitni baar batana padega?
Kids can be exasperating at times. I know now, how tedious it must have been to raise kids like me and my brother. Any chores told to us would have to be told over and over again before we finally did them. I guess, what goes around, comes around. My daughter too has to be told things over and over again. Once when my mother was visiting, I used this sentence with my daughter. I swear I could see her smirking behind my back!
9.) Itna TV dekhega to chashma lag jayega
The truth is, too much television can cause fatigue of the eye muscles. It doesn’t lead to myopia. But I didn’t know this back then. I have to wear spectacles because I got myopia anyway. It is hereditary in my case. Too much television does influence the little developing minds though. So what began as a myth has now turned into a little white lie.
10.) Tum Maa-Baap banoge tab yaad karoge
Isn’t this true? I once read this online. A woman used to say to her kids, “I wish that you get children such as yourself, only then you would understand.” And then as an afterthought she would shake her head and add, “No, wait, I don’t wish that upon you.”
Statements such as these are all too common and have been used in every language in India. Never mind the futility of saying these things, they will still be said even in the years to come. Some people might object to it. There is much brouhaha today about not lying to kids, and explaining everything. But even parents are humans, and no matter how much we try, there are some things which really can’t be helped. And besides, when you grow up, and use the same statements on your own kids, they really do tickle your funny bone!
How many of you relate to these phrases?
Dr. Gauri Kekre is a clueless, 30-year-old woman, who still has to find her calling in life. A dental surgeon by education, she has almost given it up to be a mommy to her two beautiful girls. She loves to be a ‘jack of all trades’ and dabbles some in writing, cooking and her latest fad, sewing. She writes off and on for her cookery blog and you can find her as @drgaurikekre on twitter (although she seldom uses it). Amongst the things she loves are her mom, her husband, her daughters and people in general.