Do you remember going for movies in Kerala when you were a student? Chances are, if you are a female, you did go for the movies without your parents permission ! I can’t talk about guys, cause I studied in an all girls school and all of us were in the same boat. You start saving money for the ticket, wait for samaram ( strike) and then rush to the theater hoping against hope that you will not meet anyone you know..

It wasn’t that I didn’t ask my mother for permission. I did and she said “no”. I did tell her that all my friends are going, which was met with the famous question that was my mother’s response to every one of my requests, every single  time “If all your friends jumped in front of the train/jumped in to the well, will you join them?

There was no point trying to find an appropriate answer to that question. So I did, what I had to do. Went to the movies without telling Amma. I watched Shaolin temple..and a mallu movie.. all I can remember about the movie  is childless Sukumari’s husband ( ex military) has an illegitimate child..and there is a scene in which she waters the plants..all in macrame hanging baskets.. ( there was a fad in mid 80’s in Kottayam where everyone made macrame pot hangers. The macrame chord was only sold in the shop near the main bus stand and ladies corner and there was a waiting list !!!)

I still don’t know why my mother and the mothers of my friends never allowed us girls to go for a movie. I think it was part of the deal ( ? conspiracy) of raising “pure, innocent girls”

Yaya’s school is 30 minutes brisk walk from the nearest movie theater. She does go for movies most Fridays with her friends. The school ends at 3 and the movie starts at 3. ( good exercise for all of them!)

I never felt that I should tell ‘No’ to my child. ( and the truth is, how can I ensure that she actually didn’t go to the movies?, when my mother still has no idea that I disobeyed her?)

The only thing I have done is to say that “any request for money is equal to one dinner” The first time I wasn’t very specific. So she made maggi mee. Basic version. Added hot water in to 4 bowls of dried noodles and served the whole family! It was dinner!!! and she kept her part of the bargain!

So I had to be a bit more specific and told her. Each 10$ that I give her, she had to cook a proper full course dinner following the proper guidelines by a qualified dietitian. If she can’t find a dietitian, she can talk to me and I will help her !

Last Friday, she made enchiladas..meat and spinach filling for her siblings and spinach and cheese filling for me.. It was good.

As she served us dinner, she told me ” I am counting on NASA to make pellet food that taste good, because there is no way I will be cooking when I leave home”

Like they say….You can lead a horse to the water…

14 thoughts on “Changes

  1. My parents never let me go for movies too. And i never went. Can’t believe that now…
    My first movie with friends was after a year and a half in the hostel – while doing my masters – and i left in the middle because i felt guilty. From there to now – i can’t believe i changed so much!

    • Deol: I beg to disagree. My mother knew about cinemas and she herself watched all the English movies that were shown in the theaters in Kottayam

  2. My mom was really cool that way, she never said “don’t go, or go”, I would always go during my graduation and MBA days and would promptly inform her, she would say “Hmm” that is all, so I thought Mounam sammathi lakshanam ;). Love your idea of making your kid cook for pocket money, I will do that with my 8 year old once she turns 16 :). Cool!!

    • Deepa:lucky you. All three of them have to cook a dinner if they needed it to buy gifts for their friend’s birthday, or go to the disco/movie. I feel cooking is a skill children need to have and this was the only way I could get them to cook..

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