Friday, October 26, 2012

a pleasant side-effect

Teaching Amma how to drive did something else. It made us good friends. There have always been great conversations between us, but they have been few and far in between. Either she became too much of a worried, pissed mother or I turned too fast into a tantrum-throwing, impatient listener of a son. But with driving, it was different. Neither of us was good enough to be teaching the other, nor were we in a position to not learn how to drive. And I think that got us together. We both were eager to learn, scared that we might cause harm to somebody else but also utter novices when it came to being able to manouver a car. We corrected each other, complimented each other, reprimanded each other, laughed off at mistakes and almost always were more worried riding shortgun than when handling the mantle.

I'm proud of Amma for learning to drive at her age, pushing hard at the apprehensions and fears she's harboured for a long time. I'm proud of her determination, her willingness to learn and her mental strength to give a go at something every morning despite at one point, plummeting progressively. Now, she drives alone in rush hour traffic. And I'm proud of her. I just hope that some day I'll make her as proud as I am today.

But I'm digressing. Because this is not about what she or I achieved alone. This is about what we forged together. Thanks to our long drives together, we speak a lot. About life in general because I think she's exasperated and given up on asking me what I am planning to do in life. I'm hoping she trusts me to end up somewhere nice and safe. So, we talk about everything else. She tells me what she's learned from her mistakes, she tells me about her Ammamma-Thatha, her childhood, her dreams and ideas. I tell her about what I think of this and that, talk her into listening a few instrumental songs, tell her about the film ideas I have and I talk about love. About future. And also about how clueless I am. All credit to her because she listens patiently and uncomplainingly to her son's long, egoistic speeches.

Now that she'll start driving alone from next week, we won't be talking as much as we've been. But I think that the foundation has been laid. We've progressed from being just another mother-son to being good friends. We'll talk. We'll learn together. She'll hand me over the old, seasoned principles learnt from experience. I'll return new, fresh ideas brimming with naivety and hope. And we'll make a pact together with life. Yet another mother-son learning how to live, together.

2 comments:

  1. Stunning. The way you guys carved out a friendship after an tired long relationship of mother-son sounds stunning and refreshing.

    Something that every 23 year old son would dream of.

    Don't ruin it for heavens sake. Keep it going!

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  2. Reminds me of Randy Pausch's head-fake philosophy! Heart warming to read this post. Reminds me of my friends talking about their moms endlessly. :)

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