There is much a hullabaloo around my house at this time of the year. My youngest sibling Swarna, who works with an IT company, is coming back home after almost a year. She has been working for two years after earning a graduation degree in engineering. She landed a job via campus placements in a field that was nowhere close to what she had been studying for. She earns a salary that my father after 60 years’ of service as a teacher and on the verge of retirement has not earned and I with about 8 years in to journalism know, will never get. She has been flying around the globe giving what she calls ‘consultations’.
She is going to be home for about 15 days. This includes about 4 days of travelling to and fro from our small hill town to the big city of Hyderabad that she now calls her parent state. Telephonic conversations with her are filled with weird sounds that we cannot translate into Hindi or English- the two languages that we speak.
My mother has gone on a cooking frenzy. She is concerned that her little daughter has no place for proper meals in her busy schedule nad is going to a variety of achars, matthis, matars, and paaras and many other mouth watering delicacies, for which I have been assigned the task of running around gathering the raw-material.
This all was alright by me until I saw a mention of some sandwich spreads, tomato ketch-ups etc in the most recent shopping list handed down to me. That is when I lost my patience and yelled, “Maa, she can get this stuff at the nukkar of the big city as well,” I tossed the list in the air and my mother went into a hyper mode. She commanded all the gods to put sense in to her elder daughter (read, moi) who could not see how hard the youngest one of the family was working. How tough her life was!
It struck me like lightening. Yes my sister was having a hard time. She was working, may be, way too hard. Swarna had been globetrotting for months but had only 10 days to be with the people who loved her best. She had been going to the swankiest restaurants in town to grab a meal but had hardly any time to gobble up the wide variety of fare that Maa had planned to feed her. She had showed me the fancy shoes and designer dresses, courtesy Skype, that she bought from her salary every other month but hardly had the time or place to go wearing them. I was amazed at what life has come to be in this era of globalization.
I wonder about many youngsters like our Swarna. I wonder about the dilemmas that they face. Having to choose between looking up your parents or the Dotcom City must be a big battle between the mind and the heart. I don’t think I am competitive enough to understand the lure of the Dotcom city but my sympathies lie with those who have to make such decisions.
A mother. A writer. A thinker. Dreamer by large.