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Monsoon Madness…

December 2, 2015

As a mother, my worst nightmare in monsoons always used to be about my son taking out the car in pouring rains in Chennai.

He is 21 now and in a far away land pursuing higher studies but ever since he turned 18 three years back, I have had this greatest headache during monsoons.

Impossible to keep him indoors. In college days, he would get home by 5.30 pm and within an hour would take out the car to Anna Nagar to see his friends / visit the gym. There is a well equipped gym next street that my boy adroitly gave a pass.

Tensions, tensions and more tensions. I could keep shouting and screaming. Effect is like heavy rains falling on the thick-skinned buffalo that gives no reaction to thunder or lightening. My son is like that buffalo. No theatrics work with him – he’s cool to the limits of driving me mad in utter rage. In fact he tips my husband to learn from him about how to tackle me: ‘don’t react daddy; take everything in one ear and blow it away through the other! how long she can keep shouting?!’

This commercial describes my son the best 🙂

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OX98015fQFI

If at all I’d manage to convince him about staying home for a couple of hours, one or other of his friends would call. Their meeting place is compound wall of a schoolmate in Anna Nagar area. I have a severe allergy with this particular part of city. My husband was the first in his gang to get married. At that time, a dozen of his engineering classmates had rented a house in Anna Nagar and were seeking better career opportunities in the city. Since they were bachelors, they would keep calling my husband all 24 hours. I was shocked that a newly married guy found his friends’ company more inviting and interesting than his newly wed bride’s! I waited until our son was born the next year. Then started our fight. P5 is the door no. of the house his friends resided. Even now I hate that place! Now all the boys are ofcourse married, doing well, with nice families.  15-16 years later, it had to be my son next to taunt me with the same Anna Nagar! My boy’s school also incidentally was located in the same suburb that made matters worse!

Last November was one more time we had a great showdown. About the rains. About driving in monsoons. About coming home late! OMG !!! I wouldn’t close my eye for a second until he would ring the bell.

A year before, defying my orders he went to his friend’s place a late September evening for group studies. Rains lashed the city for over 2 continuous hours uprooting many trees. I called him specifically asking him to sleep over in his friend’s. His father also rang him up from here. Yet the boys had taken out the car to eat out around midnight. Met with a major road accident – and both the airbags in the car opened up. My teenage son came home next morning, totally cool, pacifying me, settling me down and explaining to me slowly what went wrong. My heart could have busted! Cannot put in words here what I went through in that 1 hour. My world almost crashed. I couldn’t stay calm and composed like he, my own blood, could be. I broke down completely just hearing it from him. Strangely I had stayed awake the entire night restless. My MIL was also not home. I don’t know why, but I prayed to God fervently to keep my boy safe in those midnight hours rolling in the bed without sleep. May be a mother’s instincts…

No external or internal injuries to the boys. Thank god. Severe damage to the car. Insurance reimbursed only 50%.

Despite the accident, immediately when the car came back from service, the next moment my son took it out to Anna Nagar without a thought. I was discouraged by my husband from talking against driving to my boy. My husband said we should not shake his confidence level. We had to let him drive. Carefully. PATIENCE. PARENTS, YOU NEED TO CULTIVATE IT FOR YOUR OWN SAKE.

Not easy to raise children these days. I told my son in online chat, it’s good he’s away this year. Every year for last 3 monsoons it’s I who have been pounded. I carried the responsibility – mostly like a single parent – all these years. As he grew up into a young man, I found it extremely difficult to control my son. No cajoling, begging, screaming, shouting, crying, emotional blackmailing … nothing works with him!

My friends tell me how they are driven crazy by their kids who are at home for over a month now! Rains started before Diwali. All terminal exams, university semester exams postponed! Parents are the most distraught!

Typically last year my son was having his semester exams in November (7th and most important). Every 4-5 days he had one paper spread throughout the wet month. But then November last, the intensity of monsoons was not like this one’s. Only 1-2 mild cyclones and intermittent rains. Still even in-between group studies in my house (our place was the venue for combined studies for the boys for all 4 years of engineering) the boys would suddenly feel like going to the beach in pouring rains. There is safety in numbers, my son would insist. One more round of arguments would ensue.

During weekends, regular coming-home time was 2-3 am. Nightshow with friends. Or simply hanging out with them. I had strict orders not to control my son beyond a point from my husband. Not a wink of sleep for me until he would come home. My ears would perk up picking up the gate opening sound, the car remote sound in the still night. He would ofcourse call me – both my cell and my cordless would be next to me always waiting for his call.

How many times I’ve cried if he wouldn’t pick up the phone. I would imagine the worst. November exams almost always were given in rains. What would the college kids do now. Their entire December vacation is gone. Waiting for too long for semester exams is not good.

Ever since my boy turned 18, we mother and son have been at loggerheads most of the time. Or from even before I guess. Right from the time he crossed into his teens. Even the last 2 years at school – crucial higher secondary phase were tough. Since his grades were good, my husband asked me to take things easy. The adoloscent would do what he wanted, then if I wept he would come and beg pardon. But would go on doing the same next time!

There is night patrol near my house. Every night my son had to do the breath test for alcohol with the same beat constable who never tired of checking his driving licence, insurance, RC book etc hoping to catch my boy redhanded someday on any pretext! I was more scared for that!

How many prayers, how many vigilant nights when I almost had heart attack!

Now my boy is so far, far away. I told him, I am relieved in a way because I need not have to go through this high tension this year because of him in monsoons. Especially given the current times. He laughs and tells me, even in his new place he is attending concerts, going to cinemas and getting home at wee hours only during weekends. If I listen to that too much, I would go nuts. I try to stay calm, not imagine things.

Children don’t realize whether 21 or 41 or 61 or even 81, they will always be only babies to their mothers.

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A big round of applause to all mothers who are struggling hard to keep their teenagers indoors in last one month nonstop monsoons & cyclones! Kudos! Whip them in their bums if you have to but just don’t let them out of your sight!!!

 

 

 

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From → Bharatiya Naari

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