When I was in college, post grad, I used to take a bus or my bike(kinetic) to get there. Some days, my dad used to drop me in his car if he had some work in that area. So this one day, I was getting ready and he offered a ride. I accepted and we walked to the car. The scene that met me was unbelievable. You cant guess even if I give you a million years. Imagine! A 20 year old getting dropped by her dad to college. A car whose entire back is loaded with saakku pai (jute bags) filled with some stuff. My dads boss is sitting in the passenger seat. The office security guy in full uniform ,with a huge moustache to boot, is sitting in the back holding the saakku pais in place so that I ve room to sit at the back!!! I double backed and told my dad that I ll take my bike after all, I ve to go to a friends house after class. He gave me a look and said, "vandeela eru"! (Get in!) Not wanting to create a scene before his boss, I did,while cursing him under my breath. I mean, is he a Moron? Which self respecting girl will sit amidst saaku pai and get dropped in college? We made some small talk with the boss and neared my college.
As soon as the side gate of my college came to view, I screamed ,"Stop here, Appa. I ll go through this gate". But fate was nt on my side that day. "No no. You ve to walk a long way if you go via this gate. Let me take you to the main gate. Saar wants to see your college campus too", said the man! Why, God, why? What did I ever do to you? Was this because I made fun of Shanthi when she came to school one day with a shaved head when we were four? Or because I pulled Chitras legs since she and her 3 siblings came in a Maatu vandi(bullock cart) to school? Or was it because I sniggered at Gundamma Ratnamala who brought this huge tiffin carrier(It was anju adukku, for Gods sake!) for lunch? It had to be Karma coming to bite my behind!
So dad pulls inside the main gate. Oh yes, my secret crush is standing right near his bike talking to some friends. He had to be there, right? And some of my classmates too. Oh, goody! "Stop here, Appa", I say again trying hard not to yell. But no. the man does nt get a hint even if the said hint is dancing butt naked in front of his eyes with a huge neon sign! He stops the car at last, right in the middle of the parking area. All eyes are in the car. I try to open the door and wriggle out. But the security guy is faster and wanting to prove hes worthy of the pay check, gets down first and with his side of the door left wide open, comes running to my side and opens the door for me. As if the Maruthi 800 stuffed with saaku pai was nt enough, the security guy opens the door for me as well! If ever there was a time I prayed Mother Earth to swallow me whole, that was it! I just gave my best dirty look to my father and muttered, "You could nt have stopped at the side gate, could you?" and walked inside with my head bent. Nothing dreadful happened actually in college. At least nothing that lasted more than a couple of days. I could always count on Sharmila and her current new boy friend to take over any other news! But I remember the feeling of humiliation. Till this day. May be I over reacted, may be I was just shallow, may be I was just silly, but the embarrassment was true.
I relived this incident last week. But from this side of the fence. It happened when Ashu told me, "You dont have to come to school to help me get ready for the ballet class, Amma. I can do it myself." And if this simple statement can hurt me so much when in fact she said that because she believes shes a big girl now and can dress up herself, how much more will it hurt me when she starts getting embarrassed by me? Sigh! Refer to my Karma statement on Paragraph 2. Circle of life, my dears, Circle of life. Its vicious.
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