Turf Wars

So it’s semester break for a whole lot of days, and I’m just here being a potato. I eat (potatoes), watch TV, play games and sleep. I’m just existing. My sister bought a crapload of chocolates from the Dubai Duty-Free last week, which is nice. A never-ending supply of chocs and semester break; woot.

Anywho, I like to cook. I’m also a good cook. I don’t like following recipes and just go with what’s available. I always end up with yummy things, which is cool if I say so myself. However, one thing I’ve figured out, after a lot of experience, mind you, is that it’s only fun to cook when there’s someone else to clean up the kitchen afterwards.

There is also another problem with my creative cooking endeavors. The Momzilla. The kitchen is my mother’s territory. Even now, after she ‘retired’ from cooking (by her own will), letting my sister-in-law take over that post, she is the Supreme Queen of the Stoves.

She’s always just there in the kitchen. She isn’t cooking, or cleaning, or whatever. She just stands in the middle and oversees her minions doing the work while dropping in some useful “instructions”. These oh-so-helpful instructions usually insinuate that I am doing everything wrong occasional taunts about what I’m doing. “Hold the sieve like this”, “Use less water, it’s a waste”, “Why do you put in the salt in pinches? Just fill the spoon and throw it in”, “Peel the potatoes with a knife, not the peeler.” Mother, it is a potato peeler, used to peel potatoes quickly, why should i not use it to peel the potatoes? Yeesh. 

Once I asked her what exactly was she doing in the kitchen, to which she replied in a an offended way that she was here to drink water and that I can’t stop her from drinking water. She then filled the glass to the brim and stood there, sipping, while her eyes followed my every move. Well played, mother, well played.

In her eyes, the kitchen is still her territory, and we are just the hired hands doing her work. She oversees us like a plantation owner would his slaves in pre-Civil War America. (Okay, I admit I’m overreacting but I just saw 12 Years a Slave again)

My sister-in-law is now used to mother’s territorial traits. I, however, get annoyed very easily. Just today I was straining the pasta while the sauce was bubbling on the stove, when she came over and stood at my elbow and started rushing me saying the sauce would burn if I take so long. I knew the sauce wasn’t even close to burning yet, so I firmly told her that she was not needed in the kitchen. To which she replied that she was just waiting for the leftovers to finish re-heating in the microwave.

Okay mother, you win.

Next time I cook, I’ll use that magical instrument of ignorance known as earphones.

Mama, I’m Still Trying!

Circumstances in our lives and my 5-month disappearance from blogging lost me many of my regular readers, like Elk and Alienora; two people whose opinion meant a lot to me, and who were with me from the start.

They would have known that I do not get along with my mother. At all. I have mentioned this in many of my earlier posts. Now, however, I’m too lazy to go back and dig through everything until I find them. But here’s one, if you’re interested.

So, to any and all new readers, I do not get along with my mother. At all.

In our somewhat segregated society, it is usually the norm for mothers to be their daughters’ confidantes, their best friends and their stylists. Contrarily, from the beginning, it has been my father who was my friend. Any and all advice I received from him, even to the point where I get him to chose between two outfits I want to wear some party! However the dynamic relationship between I and my father is not relevant to this post.

Recently, clashes with my mother have been reaching an all time high. Yesterday, I reached my breaking and snapped at her to “just stop it”.

Still, every night, I lay awake and think about all my friends who hang out with their mothers and snap funny selfies, and who sleep with their heads in their mothers’ laps. These girls think I have the perfect life. I have a supportive, liberal family, a 3.84 CGPA, a laptop, a phone, a car whenever I need it. I’m good at almost everything I do, teachers love me, I make my own living and the list goes on and on.

Little do they know how much I envy them.

They have the one thing I’ve never had; so I try. My siblings have long since stopped trying. They no longer get hurt when Mother ridicules them in front of servants or taunts them in front of guest.

I however, still try.

Sometimes at night I just want to go and hug her tight. But I don’t, because I can never be sure whether she’ll push me away, give a scathing remark or hug me back.

Sometimes I just want to talk to her. Really talk to her. And find what goes on in her head that she resents us so much.

Sometimes I just want her to say she’s proud of me.

So I try.

I tell her about my Computer Graphics assignment and show her the designs I made. She nods. I tell her about how girls had dressed up today, skipped class and hung out because the weather was nice. She nods. I tell her about how my teachers said they were proud to have me as a student. She nods. I tell her about how a famous political analyst is my teacher at college. She nods.

I say something about the maid. She explodes. I say something about food. She explodes. I say something about my maternal relatives. She explodes. I say something about her favorite child. She explodes. I say one ordinary word out of context and she explodes. She mocks me.

I cry. My sisters ask me why do I still care? Why do I still try so hard to be her daughter? Why do I still take what she says to heart?

I have no answer to give them.

Except the fact that she’s my mother. A mother’s love is supposed to be unconditional and all-consuming, is it not?

Is it so wrong of me to want that?