THE ‘KISS MY FEET’ SYNDROME:
Tell me this hasn’t happened to you. You are sitting comfortably, maybe reading a good book, or typing an earth-shatteringly(?) vital text. And, all of a sudden, some elderly stranger (who knew your dad’s dad once upon a time) decides to barge in on your peace and quiet at that precise moment. Obviously, you’re expected to fall tumbling down at his (dirty) feet in respect. It’s only so long that you can pretend like you didn’t hear his grand entrance in the slightest and continue staring at the book/phone, because, of course there’s your mom standing right there, giving you meaningful looks. And if you don’t get your bum off the chair soon enough, she will proclaim to all the world what an unruly child(?) you are. “Uff ajkal ke bachche…”
Next comes the absolutely crucial aspect of your dressing sense. The bahus of the house must not be seen dead by the men of their house without the pallu covering their head. It’s okay, however, to prance around town in mini skirts—those men on the streets aren’t your dewarji or sasurji, after all! Just remember not to get caught in western outfits at family gatherings—it clearly shows how you have completely crossed over to the dark side.
P.S.: You may be in for a long night full of insults of varying magnitudes.
THE RIGHT TO ‘EAT ON TIME’:
“No Mom, I am not hungry right now.” Is this dialogue so difficult to understand? I guess not, because it is the most straight-forward sentence you will ever hear. And yet, our mothers insist that we eat on time, all the time! So, in the end, we end up stuffing so much food down our tummies over the holidays that we transform from looking like frail old zombies to ballooned-up couch potatoes. You would prefer the former than the latter when the college reopens, wouldn’t you?
THE ‘AWAKE BEFORE THY SLEEP’ CLAUSE:
The founding fathers of our society sure were great believers in “Early to bed and early to rise…” Darn you, the founding fathers! What do you know of our plight, you never had Facebook, huh!
EVERY SINGLE festival and occasion requires you to wake up before even the sun does. If for some godforsaken reason (like chatting with your girlfriend the entire night, watching a late night soccer game etc), the sun manages to beat you, you will be treated as though you’ve committed a heinous crime such as murder itself. So you spend the rest of the day bumbling around bleary-eyed like a zombie on brain-diet. Then there are those clichéd aunts, and aunts of aunts, who note that you have grown up enormously and shamelessly in the last one year and decide that you need to be married off right this instant. And then they roar with laughter at their own brilliant joke (like they’re the funniest thing since Charlie Chaplin), while you stand there looking like a dumbo.
THE ‘BE A MAN, GO TO THE STORE’ BANALITY:
“Son, your sister needs a recharge. Go to the shop and get it done…” “But Mom, I am watching a movie. Can’t she go herself? She’s older than me, for Christ’s sake…” (in a stern voice) “NO! The world out there isn’t safe for a girl. GO NOW, or I will call your father!”
To all you women empowerment folks out there, what happened here, eh? All of a sudden, the ‘I am just a kid’ boy in the house has to leave his beloved movie midway to go and get his sister’s cell-phone recharged, which she probably is going to exhaust by the midnight itself talking to her ‘good for nothing’ boyfriend. In what world is this justice?
THE ‘RETURN HOME BEFORE 6’ DECLARATION:
Okay, this rule sucks if you are a girl, but the magnitude just quadruples if you are a boy. As if Twilight’s male fans weren’t enough to make the whole male community less manly and insecure about themselves, some parents are hell-bent on getting their sons back to the den asap, as though he might suddenly turn into a vampire and start killing everyone in the vicinity. Phew!
We could go on and on about these Indian customs and household rules that we’ve had to suffer. But, to make this a little more interesting here are some customs that we would like to see being employed in our families in the near future:
• THE ‘GO TAKE THE HOTTIE FROM THE NEXT DOOR FOR A DATE’ REGULATION
• THE RIGHT TO ‘WEAR WHATEVER YOU SEE FIT’
• THE ‘DRINK BEER, WATCH FOOTBALL’ DECREE
• THE ‘SLEEP WHEREVER YOU LIKE’ RULE
• THE POWER TO ‘NOT GIVE A SHIT’
• THE ‘CHOOSE YOU OWN BRIDE’ LAW
Do share some of the customs and rules you hate most! And also suggest some new ones! 😀