There was a brief period when I used to compete with her. She hit puberty before me, and grew like a teak tree. I, who was used to lowering my eyes when talking to her, now had to get used to having her head towering over mine. Fortunately, I hit puberty a year or so later, and not only did I catch up with her, but also am a good 15 cm taller than her now.
She was like a sister, or so tradition demanded, because she used to tie me Rakhis on Raksha Bandhan. She never spoke much, never played the games the other girls used to play; she had her own trio with Bhakti and Vidya, who in time were going to be girls that wielded immense clout, not just amongst the girls, but also amongst the guys, who generally did not take girls quite as seriously as they took He-Man and cricket.
So, when my mother told me that she was getting married, I asked her to give her my good wishes as well. But my mother never goes in for that kind of thing; she asked me to call her up and wish her myself. Now, girls I knew better than I knew Mayura have got married without receiving a congratulatory phone call from me, and my mother never had an objection to that, so there had to be some underlying meaning to it.
This is what my hunch is. My mother is hell bent on creating this good guy corleone type of image for me in the minds of all the people who know her and me as her son. She doesn't give much for the image that people who know me have about me, but people who know her must think of me as some gentleman purushottam who is the strong caring type. Maybe it's to embellish her success as a mother to the people she knows.
This set me thinking, if my mother cares only for her observable universe and is extremely happy, I would say, is that the secret to happiness in life? Or is it sheer shallowness and hypocrisy to care only about the opinions of the people you know? Is there not a fundamental judgement of a person? Did people who knew despots like Stalin and Hitler personally think of them highly genuinely, or did they do so just to save their necks?
I have just had lunch, and my mind is a bit numb. The questions that I have just raised will require a lot of blood flowing to my brain. Maybe I will tackle with them at night, when I will not need as much blood going to my extremely efficient digestive system.