I took my children to watch ” The internship” yesterday. My local cinema has a cheap Tuesday deal and so does Dominos Pizzas. I am never the one to give up on savings..4 movie tickets for 23 $ and 4 large pizzas for 20$. It is all good !
As I was walking in to the theatre, I met a classmate of Yaya, who is also in my basketball team and whose parents are very good friends of mine The moment our eyes met, I noticed that she was becoming distraught. I pretended for her sake that I didn’t see the boy who was with her.
I can only imagine how the rest of the evening went for her, for I had been in the same situation so many times. A situation created by mother, where I wasn’t allowed to do anything and I didn’t agree to that rule. Although I was much older than Yaya’s classmate and was a medical student when I went to watch a movie with my boyfriend at that time, every time I met someone who knew my mother, I felt my world ended..I would spend the rest of the day thinking of all possible excuses and creating various alibis that would help me get out of the new trouble that I got myself in to. The one thing that bothered me to no end was that I wasn’t sleeping with the boy in question. My crime was going for a movie with him, which I would have told my mother, if she was someone who was approachable. What was wrong in watching a movie with 50 other strangers? Close proximity leading to other physical acts of intimacy? If I wanted to be intimate with a guy, why would I want to go to a theatre with 50 other strangers, when there are plenty of other safe/private places available?
In Yaya’s classmate case, there is plenty of things I wasn’t happy about. First of all, she is watching a movie at 5.30 pm. She will have to find her way home in the darkness ( winter now). She certainly can’t get her parents to pick her up from the theatre. I worry so much for her safety. She is an Indian Muslim girl and the boy she is with is a white Aussie guy. One of these days, someone will tell her parents and I worry how this is all going to end. How would it feel one day to learn that the daughter you raise thinking she is innocent and pure and wears only loose fitting jeans and baggy t shirts, actually changes to mini skirts and tight tops at school every day and has been dating boys since grade 8 and that all the group studies, field trips etc that she had to go was just a cover to hang out with boys?
I am no way proud of all that I did in my teenage years, but I do know, half of what I did was out of pure spite for my mother. At that time It was so much fun to beat Amma in her game of control. While my mother thought she was doing the best to control where I went, with whom and for what each time I came home for the holidays, I went to Madras and spend 2 weeks roaming the streets and my mother still doesn’t know. But at 42, I know how stupid I was to have travelled the streets of Madras alone with no place to stay and relying on youth hostels and railway stations for my accommodation. If I went missing, no one would have even known to look for me in Madras.
My mother’s mistake was that she forgot she too was once a teenager and the biggest thing parents could give a teenager is their trust. My mother failed in that. So are the parents of Yaya’s classmate. They all think ela vannu mullel veenalum, mullu vannu elel veenalum, kedu elakku ( if the thorn falls on the leaf or if the leaf falls on the thorn, damage is only to the leaf) and do all that to protect their daughters.. Only if they learned that while they were protecting the leaf from the thorn, there were other stuff going around that were much bigger and do more harm.
Leaves need sunshine and warmth and a solid tree to grow on..