Thursday, April 24, 2008

The T Monster!

The last few days have witnessed the slow but sure strangulation of something that is very close to me. Something which I jealously guard and hug very closely to my heart. Something that I gloat to the hubby about. And that is the easy camaraderie and the effortless flow of conversation that I have always been able to maintain with my parents for as far back as I can imagine.

The one thing that I missed most when I married and moved away from my parents was the long gossip/conversation sessions that I used to have with them. I still see myself perched next to the stove as amma cooked, and appa sat on the floor of the kitchen. Just talking. Talking endlessly, about everything and everyone under the sun.

I always believed that my parents had such a rock-solid, strong marriage because they talked to each other. My earliest memories are of waking up from bed and following my parents voices to the kitchen where I would find amma and appa talking and working in happy harmony. There would be nights when there would be HUGE fights and I would cower in fright. But I would always wake up to find them sorting out their issues by really talking..and listening to each other.

When I went to my husband's house for the first time, the one thing that stuck me as most odd was how NOBODY would just sit around and talk at the end of the day. Or at the beginning of it. Or at any other time. People would come in and go out and talk in passing. The place seemed to me to be always in a state of flux and it drove me mad to see people not sitting and having a conversation. When I complained to Hubby about this he always seemed to be mildly amused and tried dismissing it as another quirk of mine. 'Your family discusses things till my ears are literally ringing with all the voices', he'd laugh!!

This time when amma and appa said they were coming and staying with us in Bangalore for a WHOLE month and a half, I knew I had died and gone to heaven in sheer ecstasy. I'll take a couple of days off from work and just laze around the house doing nothing, I told myself, rubbing my hands gleefully.

And so the D-Day arrived and my parents came. I went to work and tore back home early, eager to be held in that warm, comfortable coccoon of good conversation. And saw them watching the television. ALL evening. Its been 2 weeks since they came and so far there has not been a single evening that the television has not blared out those mindless soaps into my living room.

If it's not soaps, its the blasted IPL that appa sits glued on to. Now Hubby and I quietly retire to our rooms in order to be able to have a conversation without shouting above the din made by TV. A habit that I learned from my parents and brought into our marriage has become so important that both of us feel unsettled without those few minutes of quiet conversation. And the tragedy is that I have barely seen my parents have that in this trip. I am heartbroken. The Television monster has struck again. And the darned BCCI has SO much to answer for!!


Homecooked said...

Oh dont you worry.I guess your parents are just comfortable with each other and communicate even through silence.Maybe they dont need words or just that they are around each other the entire day and know every single detail,there is no further need to talk.Maybe you can do something about it if it bothers u too much.

noon said...

Don't get me started! Seriously when I was in India, I found that I had to time my visits to a lot of people's houses around the serials - I knew if I went during prime time - I would just have to sit and watch Annamalai or something. One of my aunt's just made me sit and watch with her all the morning soaps (since I went at 11.00 am I think) and told me in detail the stories...I felt v bad for her because she is so lonely after her husband passed away - in a way I was relieved that she was pre occupied with this and her novels (once these were done) until late evening when her son and DIL got home...And here in the US also - I know when I call my mom at certain times, she will say it's OK talk, but her mind will be on the serial! :)

Sangeetha said...

If u watch the same soap after a gap of a year or two, u will still be able to follow the story-line without any difficulty... so a month-and-a-half won't make a difference - CUT THE CABLE!!!! :-)) JJ, let ur parents be happy doing what they r happy abt...leave them be...and do pass on my 'Hello,aunty and uncle' to them! Does ur Mom remember me - i have spoken to her once or twice over phone...

Glad to see u blogging again,

BangaloreMom said...

Homecooked: Welcome! I see that this is your first time here and I definitely hope you're right!

Noonie: LOL! Is'nt it strange how its our parents' generation glued on to the TV and how we have to chastise them? Is'nt it sposed to be the other way around?

Sangeetha: The problem is that they are extremely sensitive about it and get very upset if I tell them not to watch!! :D So, yes, I am just going to let them be and not spoil the peace...I just wish I did'nt have to watch kuttan singing 'Kolangal' title song!! :D

Srikanth said...

Hi Bm,

First time to your blog , have started reading your first article in the morning and can comfortably say that I have just finished reading the whole blog now.

I am totally enamoured by your writing. I dont think I've come across anyone who used the english language so well in the recent years. Now to the content part of it, Since I am a male, unmarried and living down under near the south pole, I must a lot of it has been eye opening stuff for me.

Have a Great day...

Primitive Lyric said...

Hi there,
I'm a soon-to-be Bangalore mom who wandered into your pages accidentally. I'd have quietly wandered away, had I not read this post of yours. It brought a smile, because it felt familiar. Like you, I came from a household full of very vocal people. We spoke about every day events, what we thought, how we felt, what we'd do etc etc. Then I was married into a household where its inhabitants barely spoke. Dinners were quiet, and except for some enquiries thrown in from time to time, it was mostly quiet.
Anyway, now I'm home with my baby and yes, in the background I can hear the voices of my parents talking. However, I can also hear the television! *sigh*

BangaloreMom said...

Srikanth: Thanks a lot for ur comments. I must say, they made my day!

Primitive Lyric: Welcome! And join the club.

Mama - Mia said...


yup! yup! i guess at a certain age they all get glued to TV! and my mom says kids are the binding factor of a home!!

theres so much they talk about us just the way we talk about our babies!

when kids leave home it brings an element of emptiness... i guess that void is filled with TV!

we still dont have cable at home!! we ask both sets of parents whne they visit, do you want us to take cable... they thankfully have said no every single time!! hehe!!

lets c how long it lasts!

lovely post!!


Poppins said...

mama-mia's comment is true and yet scary. It resonates with what I've read recently at Dg's blog. That when the kids go away if wee haven't found something to keep our lives busy I'm afraid we'll end up as TV watchers too...