To begin with, I become ultra-super-supremely lazy! I know I could help mom in the kitchen and do other chores, run some errands…but no! There’s some tacit understanding – being home is a time for (complete) ‘relaxation’. I wake up late, bath whenever I feel like it... basically do the opposite of what I'd do, given a normal 'working' day. I don’t bother doing anything, nor does my mom insist (well, she sometimes asks me to do something, if she’s that pressed for time). I mean, who am I to deprive her of the privilege of taking care of me when I’m home! So she fusses over everything – the laundry, my sleep… foooood!
Food prepared by your mother is something you’ll cherish as long as you live. The many kinds of exquisite variety cuisine you’ve (perhaps) tried would pale in comparison. Nothing beats simply made (or even complex) home-cooked food. We have this habit of ‘making obvious’ what we’d like to eat when we’re home. Things that are dropped ‘casually’ during phone calls a few days before we go home. It might be subtle hints (like ‘Oh, it’s been a while since we’ve had your dosas and idlis…’) to downright blatant (like ‘No chicken, only fish this time!’). And she’s more than willing to cook up our requests. Talking of food, the whole ‘diet control’ regime goes for a toss. How can you resist eating the lip-smacking and finger-licking fare mom so painfully cooks?! The resolve to 'control' the food intake only lasts till the next meal.
Also, our father urges us to keep on eating. In his eyes we’re still not… err…‘overweight’. So he keeps on prodding us to eat ‘some more’ or exclaims ‘only this much!’ when we (try to) limit what we eat. And it’s an altogether different aim if a bunch of bananas or custard apples in the homestead have ripened. ‘We all have to finish it off before it goes bad’, he solemnly states. Now, what do I tell him!
It’s much worse when you’ve gone home to attend some family function. Food, relatives, chatter, banter and laughter, more food, stay at your tharavadu (ancestral home), many relatives you haven’t seen in a while, again more conversations, more laughter, and err…some more food…
Much worse (than the food situation) is THE inevitable question – concerning your marriage! I’m sure ANY twenty-something does not require an explanation. Increased no. of relatives enquiring à mom’s “hyper tension” à my loss of temper! ‘Nuff said.
Also, have you noticed how you'll never run out of things 'to do' while you're at home? The things you've got to get done will increase proportionally to no. of days available!
And most of all…When you’re home, you forget about your
alternate parallel life (‘coz you know the twain shall never meet). You forget about office, or of your existence in another city. You get used to being the ‘you’ at home. You just fit ‘right in’ the homely atmosphere. And begin sulking atleast a day before you’re to leave. Even if you’re back, you keep thinking of what you would’ve been doing, had you been at home. For me, the no. of days I take to get back to my parallel life (or ‘recover’) = 2 x no. of days I’ve spent at home (roughly :-P)
The way mom touches me gently on the hand before I board the bus, the smile she gives (half trying to console me, half trying to console herself), the way dad does his usual 'one-hand-up-in-the-air' for a 'see you', the way my heart aches and the pinch I feel when I see them slowly walk away...much older people in reality, than they're in my head...Sigh!
This is why I dislike going home!
P.S. The after-effects of spending 5 days at home recently when I went for my cousin brother’s engagement & Sivratri.