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Memories & Special Bonds

Are You Brave?

The dreaded mail has arrived, time for another PTA meeting. Oh, please don’t misunderstand me; it is not the reports that make the normally placid heart of mine bolt like Usain. Ok, that was a poor joke. Anyway, my kids are no geniuses who know the Pythagoras theorem by heart even before they enter school. Neither do they take after Beethoven. Yes, the elder one thinks he is Ronaldo junior, but that is beside the point. So far, they have been doing well and in consequence the teachers have been benevolently indifferent to me. Then what, you ask?


Under normal circumstances, I am a normal mother, or at least that is what I think. These quarterly meetings completely unsettle my equilibrium, though. As I slowly amble into the class room, a few of the teacher’s faces are familiar. Some names ring a bell, and some others are brand new. Waiting in the customary queue, the conversations start.

“This is the third Chemistry teacher for the year, how will the kids learn anything?” asks one. “Yeah, I know,” I mumble and tell myself, “Heck, I don’t know even one.”

“How did G fare in the Science Olympiad?” asks another. There is a vague memory somewhere deep in the recesses of my brain, and the bulb lights up. “Gosh, that was last week. I didn’t even check with him whether he had prepared anything.”

And the graph just keeps going down. Trying to find solace, the mother in me searches desperately, there has to be something that I am good at. The kids love me, or I hope they do. But, how do I know whether I am a good mom or not? Who will validate it? Inspiration strikes at the oddest of moments and from the unlikeliest of sources. ‘Eat Pray Love’ it is, this time around. One of the characters thinks each city has a word associated to it that describes the essence of the place.

The question is very casual, “G, if you were to describe me in one word, what would it be?” The fingers continue to tap on the phone, the eyes remain glued on to the screen, and the reply comes even faster than a blink of my eyes, “C-R-A-Z-Y”.


“Yeah,” the validating reply.

I refuse to give up. Change in tactic, “G, I want you to write something.”

The eyes start rolling, there is no need for words, “There goes the crazy one, again.”

Perseverance is one of my vices as is masochism, “Write down one thing that you like about me and one that you don’t.”

The job is done, again as quickly as a blink.

“I love the fact that you help me with all my projects. I respect that and hope you will continue to do so through my life. I hate it when you throw things when you are angry. Don’t you think you are setting a bad example for us when you tell us not to do something and you go on do the very same thing?”


Confession time, folks. Yes, I do get angry, when pencil boxes lie desolate, juggling for space and gasping for breath under a pile of books that gives me a forlorn look for more than a week, when board games seem to be moving from table to bed to floor and then back on to the table again, lying inert for days on end, yes, I get angry. After repeated warnings and threats, they grow wings and start flying…ok, they get thrown….err…I throw them.

I asked for it and now face it, I have to.

Any of you here, do you really want to know what kind of a parent you are? No tests required, no need to take any professional assessment, no psychologist’s appointment needed. Go ahead, ask your child. You will know, straight from the heart.

Are you brave enough?

Bindu Manoj dabbles in numbers for a living, dreaming of words all the while. A mother of two, wife to one, sister to four and friend to many, she hoards books by the score. An arm chair traveler who does some real life off roading now and then, she prefers the moves and shakes of jeeps and trucks to the cushy comfort of normal vehicles. Her wandering soul muses at and she reminiscence her reads at