‘Ma, is there a rule that only Caucasians have to party to bring in the new year’ asked Akank last night as we sat down to dinner at home, on New Year’s eve. We had discussed this a few times before but nevertheless, Akank has her way of bringing up the topic with the hope that she could exasperate us into taking her out to one. She also knows what the answer is going to be and she knows the next thing to say to you when you finish saying what she predicts you will say. So the conversation last evening went like this:
Me- Akank, it is not like we have never taken you out for a New Year’s eve party.
Akank – Then, why aren’t we doing that anymore!
Me- You will get your chance to party when you are older.
Akank – But, I have been out to party when I was way younger than now.
Me- Well, that was because we were young and went to parties with friends and we took you along.
Akank- You are not so old that you have to stop partying! You are barely in your 40’s and Appa is not even 50 till next year!
I don’t answer this one. I already told you that we have done this many times before and I know what comes next. So, I just ignore her comment and busy myself with what I was doing. Akank pauses for a while and then mutters: Now, I have to wait to be 14 to party!
That caught my attention and I quickly commented that she got the year all wrong. She doesn’t become an adult till she is 18, I reminded her. What she said next is what has changed about this generation – Ma, are you going to control my life till I turn 18?
That made me sit up. Is that what it is called now?
Taking care of your daughter is control?
Keeping tabs on who your daughter hangs out with when she is not at school is control?
Making sure she has her school diary updated and all school work complete is control?
Feeding your child a healthy balanced diet that takes care of her growing years is control?
Making sure she respects everyone she interacts with and correcting her when she does not is control?
I had to make a conscious effort not to show any emotion in my next question to her. I wanted to know what she really meant. I asked her if she thought I was controlling her life now. After a moments hesitation, she said ‘Sometimes’.