“Go…go…go…Govinda” the lyrics from OMG — Oh My God! Hindi movie distracted me from the couple standing close in the first portion of the bus to the achievement of Tamil people across India. Turning the head outside the window, I saw posters of Uttav Thackrey (He’s the CM now) which leads to the remembrance of Pal Thackrey and his activities on non-Maratians.
I thought, what makes people choose places and hold on to it? If they don’t have secure feelings about it.
This leads me to think about the possibilities that are available outside Tamil Nadu. At one point, the couple in front caught my attention (once again) when I think about sharing love in public (one such possibility). This made me jealous. Being an adult, I too wanted to show-off with my girl wherever I think. But that’s not a (possible) thing in TN.
I’ve to be cautious with my thoughts. I cannot peek at the couple and keep my thoughts rolling like this for long. If my Mama (father-in-law in Tamil. sitting to my left) notice me doing it, he might get offended. His conservative mind will not allow his future Son-in-law of his younger daughter to do such things.
He’s new to Mumbai, or to any place out of north Karnataka and Telangana. We won’t be here unless his elder daughter (my Sister-in-law) is carrying for 4 months and my brother is leaving town for 2 days.
It’s our second day. The plan for today is to take Mama to look around the city by me while Athai (mother-in-law) taking care of Annee (sister-in-law) with her.
It’s a crime if you don’t visit the beach especially if you are from a place, where you don’t get to visit the beach often. My brother had warned me about Mama’s mind with people’s behavior on the beach. It strokes only after reaching it.
Every couple on the beach is so intimately sharing the love. Everyone watching those must have felt like, they were in the couple’s bedroom. So, instead of going too deep, I made my Mama to get seated under bright lights near a couple in school uniform (hoping that, they won’t make moves like the rest).
Like I hoped, they were not making any in the beginning. After sometimes, they started conversing in a way that if anyone sees them, they will point them Horny.
They were sitting at my mama’s right. The sound of their kiss turned my head towards them. The boy’s right hand is in her waist. It often tried upward direction. She isn’t allowing it completely but, to compensate his feelings, she’s brown-toning his thigh.
Some kisses passed in-between their talks. Their legs and palms tingled, and many private moves are made. Anyone with sense won’t peer into a couple for sharing their love but, I bet, none would go without noticing it. Looking at love is irresistible in nature. I’m not an exclusion.
At first, I felt like “what the hell?” Then I started giving a glimpse now and then to a point, where I thought continuing it will cost my dignity. People are roaming here and there without batting an eye. Who knows? They might be doing what I did. But that’s not happening with my Mama.
Every move made by the couple pulled the mumbles louder from him. I tried to divert his thoughts by asking questions about irrelevant topics. Sometimes he answered, sometimes silence. But nothing worked on moving his thoughts away.
He has been seeing the couple’s behaving closely in public. Nothing offended him to this point. In my best guess, it should be Uniform. I thought, getting him a coffee could save the fortune. So, got up to get one from the nearby vendor.
Since the beginning, I was nervous about his reactions. Even before I reach about 10mtrs, I turned my head to check on him and spot him throwing a stone at the couple. Luckily, it missed. The couple didn’t notice it as they were indulged in a deep kiss. Probably the reason for my Mama to pelt a stone, perhaps!
Seeing that, I shouted “oi…” at him receiving the coffee from the vendor. Before I rush at him, he pelted one more stone and it hit its target pretty well.
‘Who the Fu*k is that mat*r ch*d?’, the boy screams in pain.
The stone had hit him in the right upper back, just below the neck. That 1 ½ inch stone should have put in a lot of pain.
There are none around to turn the boy’s suspicion on someone else at that time. Unfortunate for my Mama. He started charging leaving the girl blank about what has just happened. Seeing that, I rushed so fast and felt bad for that, seconds after receiving the boy’s fist in my collar bone and forearm (damn! It hurts).
The boy keeps cursing and trying to lay hands on Mama. Both unleashed some words. Later realizing my presence, mama shuts it down (thanks to his manners). Both exchange words in their tongue and the others seem to not aware of it. But I’m feeling bad for knowing both languages.
The schoolgirl and a few others joined the quarrel. Everyone around us gets to know the situation after the boy finished his words to his girlfriend. Now I’m put in a situation, where I have to convince a crowd to nearly 7 people.
Within a few seconds, the quarrel changed to English, reducing my work on translation. It let Mama express his feelings from his mouth which in-turn gained some supporters to his side as well. The crowd changed the topic of debate from “old man hitting a boy” to “expressing love in public is bad”
If anyone in the crowd makes moves, I rushed in front of my Mama (basic fear of collision he might face). Thank goodness, none held a hand on him. His age could be the reason though. the boy’s eager on hitting him was no way near compared to earlier. I’m afraid of getting hits but, letting my Mama have one is worse than that.
Things started to escalate on both sides. Making sure Mama won’t receive any hits, I stepped 2 foot back from the crowd to think clear. I saw the police approaching.
“Police is heading. please calm yourselves”, I yelled at them
Few heads turned, but that silence spread and brought decibels low. Few cleared the sight (might not be good with police it seems). Instead of asking like regular police, he just appeared and asked everyone to clear the sight except those who are involved in the quarrel.
Seeing the police approaching, even the couple’s voice got slowed down. After the crowd clears, the police inquired about the problem.
‘ok! so, what’s exactly happened?’, police initiated from the beginning.
‘this guy with white hair hit him with a stone’, the girl in the uniform pitched high
‘what were you guys doing?’, the policeman asked the couple.
‘We were sitting and talking to each other’, the girl continued with the strong tone
In the tensed situation, I didn’t notice the conversation turning from Marathi to Hindi. But I noticed Mama’s face getting dull. Probably the reaction of the crowd, trying to charge him. To his age and the locality he comes from, none would face such a situation even if they did wrong. That might be a strong reason, I guessed.
‘you hit him?’, policeman questioned my mama in Hindi.
He looked lost in the quarrel. he didn’t even try to say a word. not knowing Hindi is another disadvantage.
I interfered in the convo and started, ‘sir, it was a mistake…’. the policeman interfered with my speech and told, ‘I’m asking him. let him speak’.
‘He doesn’t know Hindi sir’, I interrupted him again.
Instead of asking what language you know? he asked “where are you from?” and that had a pause in my beat. controlling that, I replied ‘Tamil Nadu, Sir’.
He paused for a second and questioned, ‘did you hit him?’, in English. Though the pause was of seconds, it brought a storm in my stomach.
‘ee saala madra…’, the boy opened his mouth but the policeman immediately signaled “shh” at the boy.
‘did you hit him? answer me’, the policeman raised his voice at mama.
Mama nodded to him in silence.
‘Why did you hit him?’, the inquiry continues
‘they were behaving improperly in public’, mama finally opened his mouth.
‘misbehaving? how?’, now the police neutralized his tone.
‘we were not doing anything. just talki…’, once again the voice of the couple was slowed down by his “shh”.
Their nervousness gives mama mental strength. now he’s trying to neutralize his tone and replied, ‘They were kissing and doing some intimate activities’.
‘So, doesn’t anyone else around doing it? you going to hit them all?’, policeman fierce at him.
Words of policeman gave the couple, hope. ‘should be a mental sir. some countryman. pelting stones at people sharing the love’, again, I see a rise in voice with the boy.
‘If you let me, I’ll do it on everyone sir’, mama escalated the situation.
‘Sir, are you aware of what’s coming out of your mouth? what you are doing is a crime. I can lock you up for this. you belong to VHP? Bajrang-dal? or anything like that?’, policeman states in a soft non-threatening tone (should be fear of influence these people have. I thought within myself).
‘file a complaint sir. I’ll give one on him’, said the boy.
‘what you’ve done is also an offense. should I file on you too?’, policeman’s question puts the boy in silence.
But this time, I didn’t see a swing in the mood with mama. He remained silent for seconds & stated, ‘she resembles my daughter sir. every girl here is like my daughter’, he stopped there and starts bursting out.
While the boy trying to state his sides plus, the girl’s face changed a bit. Maybe the lessons of Indian homes striking her.
While I and the policeman are busy conversing with mama, within a few minutes, the girl unfolds her voice in a high tone. ‘Sir, we don’t want to take any action. just ask him to say sorry and we’ll leave’.
‘baby, what…’, the guy tried something but the girl stopped him.
‘I’m sorry ma. I’m really, really, sorry and, please don’t do this hereafter. please!’, mama requested her with praising hands.
‘It’s ok. I’m sorry, and I won’t do it hereafter. please forgive me’, the girl said those thanking the policeman and started clearing the site, taking the boy’s hand along.
‘Why do we have to ask sorry baby? it’s his fault. what did we do? …’, the boy keeps asking her questions until they leave our site. Guilt? fear of calling parents? or both? I don’t know. but it served a good cause by relieving my mama from trouble.
The policeman waited for my mama to get settled down. Seeing that, he asked me to get him a coffee. While I get back to him, I saw the policeman sitting near my mama and waiting for me.
To his age, all he had consumed for the past 10 mins is an overdose. Because grandparents are known for wise behavior. Though the trend was changing, it’s not much from where I belong. The respect they receive will not be declined even when talking to them. (maybe if you get down from your standard, (like my mama who had pelt a stone) you must have to face this, I think.
The wept he had had had him relieved a bit. after some silent seconds passed, he sipped the hot coffee.
‘for your age, are these necessary?’, the policeman asked mama in Tamil.
We looked at each other in silence for some time and looked puzzled.
‘What? you guys have forgotten Tamil? or haven’t seen anyone outside Tamil Nadu speaking Tamil?’, the policeman sarcastically ended his speech.
It was not new. I almost have that experience every day. but what made me get stunned was the incident that happened and the Situation. These exact words came out after I thought about it in my mind.
‘It’s for the betterment of all 3 of “US”’, Anthuvan gasped. Yeah! after his words, I noticed his nameplate.
‘I understand. It might have made you look like, you are against the Crime’, I made her presence
‘you sound like you haven’t made any mistakes. Is it so?’, now my mouth was shut by Anthuvan.
‘What I did is a mistake. I shouldn’t have pelted’, mama’s guilt expelled.
‘you are sorry for your repercussions. Not for the mistake, you did’, anthuvan puzzled us.
‘Losing my tempo?’, mama questioned.
‘Letting that happen’, anthuvan stunned us after saying this.
‘You are accepting that the couple’s action a mistake?’, mama questioned him.
‘And saying, you are responsible for that mistake’, anthuvan once again stunned us.
‘How?’, I interfered.
‘You let this all happen. If you had or tried to control this, it might not have happened. you are responsible for this’, anthuvan said in a cool but puzzling tone.
WTF? is the first thing that strikes my head. before I open my mouth, mama replied, ‘did I ask them to do it? or else, would they stop doing it if I said so?’.
‘You, are not just You! And, Them, is not just the Couple! It’s the society I’m talking about’, Anthuvan placed his coffee cup down and turned his torso towards mama.
‘What’s really wrong in it? Their age could be one factor but, that’s not the case with every couple in the town, right?’, My millennial mind couldn’t accept the old-fashioned idea.
‘So, are you not offended by their behavior?’, anthuvan faced me questioning.
‘Nope! It’s someone’s right to share or express their feelings in public. what’s wrong in it?’, while completing this I sensed my mama’s face glaring at me. I tried not to look at him for obvious reasons.
‘Would you have SEX in public?’, Anthuvan dropped it without a second thought.
‘definitely no! In which part of the world one would do it?’, I almost had a puking face saying that
‘what makes you have this look? and what’s wrong with it? it is nowhere against nature & common for every living organism, and FYI, some tribes are doing it out in public’, anthuvan multiplied.
‘I don’t know about tribal culture. one who’s educated or living around those won’t do it. And, Sex is beyond limits one would express in public’, I completed my words.
‘What defines a limit?’
Though my voice tried to answer it, I had no proper answer to that question. so, I just made a face which is trying to answer but stood still.
‘You see where you are standing? you (people of your age & the generation) who raised us, didn’t just teach us the limits but failed to explain the consequences of it resulting in producing a money-making dumb generation’, anthuvan attention turned towards mama
I looked at mama, even he’s not fond of words to come up with. to make things clear, I asked anthuvan straight, ‘What are you trying to say?’
‘It could be not new to you. many might have said it in different situations like, “don’t eat Infront of people without sharing” and things like that related to flexing. Remember that once again if you have forgotten. These were not said for any stupid reason but the psychological effects that it’ll have in the individuals looking at it’.
‘what does it have to deal with love?’, I tried to tackle the situation
It’s not just food, many other things like money, love, power, wealth, and even light attracts human eyes. In the above except light, everything else induces the thirst in humans even if they have abundant in hand. If this is the situation to those who are accessible to the list, imagine the drive in those who couldn’t have access or denied access to the list.
‘But these are not crimes’, me in a crying-baby tone
‘Neither moral’, anthuvan slapped me with his words and continued, ‘we are a society based on morals and the crimes that were classified based on morals. if this is against moral, obviously it comes under crime’s view’.
‘what mistake I did here? or my generation?’, mama tried to get his guilt out after anthuvan’s words.
‘Instead of teaching them morals, you just let them decide the morals if they start making money. And the worst of all, you start to obey whatever is coming out of their mouth. resulting in producing money-making monkeys’
‘Why precisely us? why not the previous generations or later?’, mama needs even more clarification.
‘Because the generation gap is a concept started from your children. you are the people who initiated it. unless you allowed it or with guidance, everything that’s making you angry might not have happened and could have gone with morals’
‘Why the generation gap happened in this period? Why not before or earlier?’, I attempted to peak in for clarity.
‘This generation was afraid of the growth of young people. earlier to their time, only experience (in terms of time) decides the power. but the evolution of Technology has brought down that rule to dust and puts young to power more in number than any time in history. Due to their inexperience in various fields, they brought that value down to their flexibility. This is why, this generation becomes responsible for the change in trend’, anthuvan concluded his thoughts.
His walkie talkie is the only thing that made noise from some time. after some time, he opened his mouth saying, ‘the millennials and the generation Z are not very comfortable with tradition and values but, they are very much likely to follow the class if shown, what’s Class.
‘To them, only the term “old school” without sense offends. The class will not come under it. so, teach them, then see the difference in the society’, he said while moving away from us and doing so, signaled me to take care of mama safely home.
we didn’t exchange any words for some time but the call from home did within a few minutes. after cutting the call saying,’ we’ll reach soon’, mama got up and started walking. it could be a sense of regretful feelings from old people for their mistakes.
‘No worries mama, you may not be able to teach us but it’s our time to do those. Being a teacher, I can insert these thoughts into my kids and will try to bring the class on them’, said within myself while walking with him.
we have reached the bus stop. the walkie sound made my eyes to meet with anthuvan’s in the opposite corner.
he just smiled and nodded. I have many things to say but, nodded back with a smile and said within myself, “Thank You!”