I sent a message to a couple of people on my list – “What are most commonly phrases that your mom uses on you? It could be a praise or scolding. Anything.”
The replies I got were hilarious! A huge thank you to all those who helped me with their inputs on this one! It took me an hour compose myself, and try writing. Even now, I’m still giggling like mad on the inside.
Okay, before anything, here’s a brief introduction on Indian moms. They’re a little over the top in showing their emotions; be it anger or happiness or love. They’re adorably over-protective; fiercely hold on to age-old traditions and cultures. It’s either their way or no way. Oh, and if you do ever end up on the wrong side of them, you won’t be spared. Trust me, I know. 😛
So, here are some of the things Indian moms say to their kids. I’ve kept them as it is, with their translations in the brackets beside.
1. What did you have for lunch/dinner?
Remember the day you were down with food poisoning and she knew it was the stale chicken wings you had the previous day? Yup, on the days she isn’t packing your food, she still manages to keep a track of what you eat.
2.Log kya kahenge (What will other people say?)
One of the typical dialogues of every mom. The first instinct of every Indian mom when something happens, is wondering what the society will think.
3.Who was he/she?
Oh. This. When an Indian mom says this, she is storing that person’s identity in her memory. It stays there, FOREVER. It’s probably her protective instincts kicking up. In her mind, every other person could be around trying to take advantage of her kid. She’s storing it in case she needs to give vital information to the police. Haha!
I remember this one time I introduced a guy friend to her, and she remembered that I had taken a picture with him, on graduation day, 3 years ago. Yup. Scary.
4. Your room is in a mess!
There’s probably just two items out of place. But yes, the ENTIRE room is in a mess. Except my room. My room is REALLY in a mess. But it’s cute that my mom hasn’t given up on me, despite that.
5.No kid in this WORLD is as insensitive as you!
Okay, every Indian mom has a set of levels for her anger. This is level 2. This would be probably level 10 for an American mom, but nope, this, for us, is the beginning of a very dramatic fight.
6.YOU WANT ONE????
Haha, she isn’t talking about candy. Let’s just say that if you don’t shut up immediately, something is going to come whirling at you. Aimed at your face.
7.I’ll throw that phone away when you’re asleep.
The concept of confiscation does not apply to Indian moms. It’s either you behave, or the phone is out of your life for good. Don’t bother challenging their concept. Otherwise, your xbox will mysteriously disappear too.
I don’t know if the universe was just trying to mess with us, but the next door kid ALWAYS seems to be perfect to Indian moms! Yeah, well I know what she/he does behind HER/HIS parents’ back, so I’m telling you, mom, I’m actually much better!
9.Why do you make me say it every day?
Okay, this, I’m gonna give it to her. Yeah, we mess up. We mess up every day. So every day, she says the same thing. Trust me, if I had to tell someone the same thing every single day, I think I’d probably be eating my pillow in sheer frustration. Kudos to their patience in dealing with us 🙂
10.Tumhara kuch nahi ho sakta! (There’s NOTHING that can be done about you!)
Remember the levels I mentioned? This is level 3. It comes part of the ‘you-are-my-good-for-nothing-kid’ dialogues. This is usually said so that you feel terrible about yourself, and you buck up. Sweet talks aren’t in the dictionaries of Indian moms. They’re tough on you.
Maybe that’s why Indians are pretty thick-skinned when it comes to dealing with criticism. We’ve had someone to toughen us up!
But, If she has to talk about you to your aunt and uncles, ohh, it’s like you’re wearing a halo. You’re portrayed as the world’s best son/daughter. The other day, I overheard my mom talking to my aunt on the phone. Full of praises about some kid. Her kid. I swear I thought there was probably another kid with the same name hiding in the house.
Haha, but deep down, we know that she is really proud of the person we have become, and despite the things she says when she’s upset, we know that she wouldn’t give us up for anyone else in the world, how so ever perfect they may seem to be!
11.Mera Krishna kanhaiya, kabhi ladke dost bhi bana lo (My Krishna, please do make friends with guys sometimes.
Krishna – a deity Hindus worship, who was usually surrounded by women folk.) This dialogue is only for the guys. Indian moms find it a bit odd when you have too many girl friends, and hence, the comment.
12.KYA SOCH RAHE HO? WHY ARE YOU LAUGHING TO YOURSELF? WHO ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT? WHAT IS THIS NONSENSE?
(WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?)
When you are sitting by yourself, minding your own business, and you suddenly remember a joke you read on your phone earlier that day, laugh to yourself, all Indian moms are programmed to instinctively think that you are in love with someone.
Oh no, she isn’t going to sit and talk to you about it, she’s going to make sure you stay single until she thinks you’re ready to be dating.
“Date your husband” is the answer I got when I asked her when I’d be allowed to start dating.
Yup. That’s how Indian moms are.
13.WHY AREN’T YOU ANSWERING MY PHONE CALL? WHY HAVE I GIVEN YOU A PHONE? THE PHONE IS FOR YOU TO COMMUNICATE WITH ME. ME ONLY. NOT TO KEEP IT ON SILENT MODE. NOT TO TIK TIK TIK WITH ALL YOUR FRIENDS.
(She means texting.)
This is usually after you’ve missed one call of theirs.
14.Why are you so dressed up?
\This is when her mind perks up. When you are dressed a little more than you usually would, that’s her way of warning you that she’s on to you, and she WILL find out if you have a secret boyfriend/girlfriend.Indian moms. Best detectives ever. Nothing ever gets pass them.
15.You weighed 4.5kg when you were born. I’ve fed you like a pig. Is that why you have so much of attitude?
One of the many reasons she thinks of when you’re strutting around like you own the place.
16.Today, you are like this! Tomorrow, when you get married, is this how you’re gonna be as well??
The lifelong wish of every Indian mom is to see their daughter getting married and being able to help them deal with marriage with more ease than she did. If you are a girl, well, every single thing you have been taught in your life is with the simple goal that when you get married, you’ll be able to handle your life the way you are supposed to. Time management, multi-tasking are all part of the things she teaches you.
These are basically weapons you are equipped with, before marriage, so that you learn to fight the turbulent waters of your marriage, at some point in your life.
17.IS THIS WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO TEACH MY GRAND KIDS?
Okay, you have to understand that your kids aren’t YOUR kids first. In the order of them belonging to someone, they’re your mom’s grand kids first. Then they are your kids. It’s the hierarchy. Get what I mean? Her sole priority in life is to ensure that HER grand kids will grow up to be perfect individuals.
So yes, you’ve gotta learn your ethics, so that her grand kids don’t go wayward.
Yes, you’ve gotta learn how to cook Indian dishes because she’s definitely not gonna accept HER grand kids eating pasta and pizza every day.
18.I’M YOUR MOTHER!
Any argument you now have, is invalid.
End of argument.
End of conversation.
Anyway, I guess these are the little things that make them one of a
Mom, thank you for always having my back. For loving me at my worst, and at my best. For always trying to make a better person, and making sure I tap into my potential.
I love you so much 🙂
By: Prithvi Madhukar