Sunday, January 23, 2011

Becoming my Mother

Lovely Sunday morning. With my morning coffee, I am listening to Sanjay Subrahmanyam singing Janani Reethigowlai raagam. On 31 December, I went to Sanjay's concert at Kalakshetra. It was divine. When he sang Janani Ninuvina, I melted away. They had to scrape me off the floor after the concert!

It is absolutely weird how I behave at concerts and performances by my favourite artists. They could be veterans in what they are doing, but that does not stop me from taking on great pressure and anxiety for them. It is absolutely ridiculous. For instance, before a concert of Sanjay' Subrahmanyam's on New Year's Eve, I was terribly anxious that everything should go well, that Sanjay should have a great concert, that the accompanying artists should be in their elements, that it should be one of those days when everything fell into place from the word go. I felt like a mother. It was absolutely silly. At some point I caught myself doing this, and told myself, "Hey! This is his concert. He knows what to do. Why am I such a bundle of nerves for him!"

You should see me during the first fifteen minutes or so into a concert. I feverishly look around at the faces of the people in the audience, trying to make sure everyone's enjoying it. Of course, all that I end up doing is to  distract them and draw attention to myself by thus fidgeting in my seat. People shoot me various kinds of looks, but it's mostly like, "What's with this man?!" But, at some point, the music takes over and manages to quiet down all my neuroses, and I get lost in the music. But until then, I am positively ridiculous.

I really pity this new friend who had come with me to the concert. I had met him some days before the concert, and he had mentioned that he was looking to explore the Chennai music season a little bit. So there he was with me at Sanjay Subrahmanyam's concert. So I added another layer of unwanted anxiety: I was also super anxious that he should like Sanjay's music! Feeling very keen that he should not feel bored and stay at the concert only on my account, I turned to him after every piece to let him know that we could leave any minute. He finally got sick and tired of my neurotic behaviour and asked me to shut up. Well, very nicely and politely!

Basically, this is what I realize. I am becoming my mother! Last night, when I spoke to my father with the dosai karandi (ladle) in my hand, I heard myself saying, "Appa, you should have finished that. Now I cannot put that much into a small cup and keep it in the fridge." Then I stopped myself and exclaimed, "Ayyo! I sound like amma, don't I?" Appa just grinned!


Lakshmi said...

I absolutely love your honesty and your willingness to be so vulnerable. :-)
I too have this neurosis and I dont think that I would have publicly owned it like I am doing now, if not for your blog.
But, about becoming your mother, it is true that actions speak louder than words.. we learn and assimilate and integrate so much of what we see I tend to forget that as a parent. This is a good reminder, thank you. I really enjoy reading your blog. Write more.

Anonymous said...

Adorable :-D

Bharath said...

I remember a time when I used to be a bundle of nerves before the release of a Madhuri Dixit movie. It took many many offerings of "thengaay's" to the Warren Road Pillayar Kovil to realize how silly it was. So I love you for putting this out there :-)

Paddu said...

Very well written, I enjoyed reading it.
As for me, I am turning into my appa, in spite of all the clashes we had when I was growing up.

asmana said...

If a writer could be described by what he/she has written, this piece describes you brilliantly.
Love your vulnerability and love you for being brave enough to share it with the world.
As for turning into Amma, you have a long way to go...

aandthirtyeights said...

This is so true.

I get really nervous when I sit down to watch the new Woody Allen movies - especially because I know he isn't in control of his art as he used be.

As for turning into mothers, we all do, at some level. I do, every time I lecture my brother on something.