To be raised by an Indian mother and father means different things to different people. For Gaurang Athalye, it’s about that overwhelming feeling when your mom takes care of you even when you are a thousand miles away, and the love of dad that is visible in the small things he does. His experience is something we'll all relate to!
What is it like to be raised by an Indian mother and father, you ask? Well, it’s simple. Your food will be taken care of even if you’re a thousand miles away, and your dad will do his bit, no matter how many times you tell him not to.
My own experience will tell you how!
Photo for representation only. Source: Youtube
About a year ago, I was selected for a government sponsored student-exchange program, for which I was supposed to go to Japan for about two weeks. As this was my first trip abroad, my mother started preparations almost a week before I had to leave.
A day before departure, I was packing my bags and Mom was helping me out.
“Son, take some cookies and dry fruits with you. You can take some brown bread as well. It will be useful in case of an emergency,” she said.
“Oh! Mom, I will be staying in 5-star hotels there. I don’t need all this. Don’t worry,” I laughed.
She ended the conversation with -“Okay son, your wish!”
My accommodation had been arranged in Hotel Prince, Tokyo. I arrived at the airport at 1:00 am, and slept off as soon as I reached the room. We had instructions to get up at seven in the morning as the breakfast card of the hotel was valid till 8:30 am only. I got a wake-up call from the reception at 6:45 am, but I decided to sleep for five more minutes. But I knew I had missed breakfast when I finally got up at 9:00 am. I was famished. Going out of the room, I found two of my friends who had also missed breakfast.
Lunch was scheduled at 1:30 pm and there was no way we could have waited till then. We had not eaten properly since we boarded the flight. (The in-flight food wasn’t enough, obviously). We were entitled to free food from the hotel only during the allotted time slots. If we wished to buy or order anything else, we would have to pay. Those who have been to Japan would know how everything is insanely priced there. Even a burger would cost you around 1,200 Yen. Nevertheless, we decided to order something.
Just when I entered my room to get some money, Mom called.
Mom: “Hey. How are you doing?”
Me (weak voice): “All good, Mom.”
Mom: “Why do you sound so weak? Did you eat something since morning?”
Me (cursing myself): “Yes mom. I had breakfast an hour ago. Don’t worry.”
Mom: “Hmm! Are you in your room right now? Check your blue handbag’s back pocket and call me later.”
Me (surprised): “What is it?”
Mom (stern voice): “Do what I said. Right now!”
I immediately checked the bag and found some cookies, dry fruit packets and an instant noodles packet there. I felt like crying for an instant. I called up my friends and all three of us had a hearty breakfast. They couldn’t stop thanking me and my mom.
I called her up later.
Mom: “Did you eat?”
Me: “Yes mom. But how did you know?” I asked.
Mom: “Be quiet and don’t miss your lunch now,” she said. I was overwhelmed.
That tells you enough about an Indian mom, I think. Now, let’s talk about being raised by an Indian father.
It was the day of a very important exam for me. Mom informed that my dad had got ready two hours earlier to drop me to the exam centre.
“Have you taken all the important stuff? Admit card, writing material and all that?” he asked, adding “Check again.”
“Yes dad. I’ve checked 3 times already dad. No need to check again,” I said.
I went to have breakfast. On coming back to take my bag, I found an extra set of writing material (pen, pencil etc.) and a copy of the admit card kept on the sofa.
*In the car*
Dad: “Did you take the stuff I kept on the sofa?”
Me: “Yes dad.”
Dad (convinced smile): “Good!”
No matter how much I tell him, he will never be convinced until he has done his bit.
– Gaurang Athalye