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Read. Suffer. Try to Enjoy.

Mommy And The Middle Finger

A while ago, I was watching a metal video at home, with the vocalist swearing, spitting, showing the audience his middle finger, body surfing, moshing, the works. Mom was watching it over my shoulder, and was on her usual righteous admonition trip –
“How can you watch this?”
“What IS he wearing?!”
“Is he high? I’m SURE he is.”
“Why do they swear so much? What do they gain by doing thus?”
“All this is very disturbing on a sub-conscious level…don’t watch it! Twisted perverted music. Frustrated creatures, all.”
“Do you understand a word of what he sings?”

I was doing the usual “Ho-hum”/”Yeah” to all of the above, when she let loose a corker.

“What does that mean when she shows the middle finger to everyone?”

My back muscles tensed, and I took a deep breath.

“Umm…I don’t know. Must be something…”

She turned me around, and confronted me, as only mothers can.

“Oh really now? You don’t know?”

(Blushing FURIOUSLY) “Yes…”

And so she cornered me with a little story, which went thus…

She teaches in an all-chick school. One day, a kid from the fifth standard (or ‘grade’ if you prefer) came bawling up to her like a character from a progressive, ‘Indian value-reinforcing’ serial. The convo was something like

Girl : “Miss, there’s this girl in my class who is doing like this like this (gesticulating, showing middle finger with both hands) to me”

Mom (NO IDEA what that action means) : “So?!”

Girl (crestfallen) : “But miss…she is doing like this like this (gesticulating again, slowly this time)”

Mom (clueless) : “So what?!!!”

Girl : “Please tell her not to do that way! Please punish her!”

Mom (exasperated) : “Don’t get affected by such things. I will scold her. Now go back to your class!”

Now my mother is quite a cat at extrapolating facts, and feeding people fluff. My memory goes back to that childhood day of mine, when I could not understand a couple of blurbs in ‘Urdu’ (came to know it was Arabic much much later), in ‘Tintin - The Land Of Black Gold’. With that primal childhood instinct, where you always believe ‘Mom WOULD know’, I went up to her, and asked her what the stuff meant. Without batting an eyelid, she proceeded to look at the panels just before, and the panels just after, and ‘read’ the meaning out to me.
“Woh dekho, udhar jaa raha hai Tintin” or some such.

I was SO impressed.

Me (beaming) : “Where did you learn this mummy?!”

Mom (beaming back) : “Shabbir uncle (our erstwhile neighbour) taught me Urdu…”

So you get how good she is at this stuff…(she still gets teary eyed (with laughter that is) whenever she thinks of how much I used to depend solely on her for ALL information, and how I am a bit too self-sufficient nowadays…)

But we digress, and as I was saying earlier, she thought that the obscene gesture was like “I’m gonna kick your a**” or something, and had made a mental note to take action against the aggressor likewise. Till as the fates would have it…

With all the tact and delicacy I could muster, I gave her an idea of what that particular gesture meant. The only time I had been more embarrassed was when she had caught me with a copy of that fine piece of literature called ‘Fantasy’, aimed specifically at the teen, pre-teen and hormonal-schoolboy-studying-in-all-male-school segments.

She was shell-shocked. Poor, poor 'aggressor'. Heard she had to go through her ‘parents called to school’ routine the next day.

Mom (fuming) : “Today’s kids…fifth standard!!!! By the way, how old were you when you came to know the meaning?”

Me (slinking gracefully out of sight) : “I think it was in the 8th or 9th…not too sure…”

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10:50 PM, March 28, 2006
Blogger AJ said...


3:45 PM, March 29, 2006
Blogger Anand said...

Some confrontations are best avoided :))    

5:20 PM, March 29, 2006
Blogger SEV said...

Will never forget my mom's expression when I accidentally said 'Fuck'.. poor woman revised her opinion about the innocence of her son within about 23 seconds.

Then of course, when she saw J-Lo topless (from behind, however - aesthetic !) on my desktop... ah... :D    

7:11 AM, March 30, 2006
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This one's real fun reading - simple and nice. How do you get ideas to write something so different yet so appealing to the readers!!
Anyways, I think it was 6th Std. for me ... Ppl from my school mite be close by ...

10:26 PM, April 24, 2006
Blogger Shashank said...


9:37 PM, June 14, 2008
Blogger manisha said...

mommy n d middle finger...hee hee...

thnk god i hve nvr cum across such things..

i wudnt b able to satiate her inquisitiveness!!!!    

9:53 AM, June 12, 2009
Blogger Meghana Naidu said...

ROFL worthy this.

now my mother too is a teacher and so i end up being her oh-so-obliging dictionary all the time.

But must admit, its fun now.
almost like i run home after college, throw my things aside and jump on the couch with an eager-beaver expression to say "Sooooooo Mom whats new in swearville today"

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