Good fences make good neighbors

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I arrived in Guwahati yesterday and had planned to go for a morning run today. Running in a new city is scary and exhilarating and it has been months since I ran in an unfamiliar one. But as soon as the cab arrived, it started raining and I don’t want to run in the rain.

So am doing the next best thing, snuggling under my blanket with the AC on and blogging.

Last night my parents, who are holidaying in Mauritius, called. I was in the cab on the way to dinner with the team at 9 pm. I imagined the conversation and dreaded it.

Mom- Where are you?

Me- Going for dinner

Mom- So late? Alone? At 9 pm? What is wrong with you girls? Who are you going with?

Me- With my team

Mom- And they are all men?

Me- Yeah. They are usually all men everywhere

Mom- Can’t believe this. I told you take up finance or HR in college. Don’t understand sales. All this travel and eating out. How do you like it? Should have taken up a desk job only. But my kids have to complicate everything. Etc etc etc

I wondered if it would be easier to lie instead and tell them am in Kolkata and on my way home from work. Or that am heading home from dinner. Or that I met a female friend for dinner and am about to reach the hotel.

Thankfully, they didn’t ask much. My dad wanted to know if am in Guwahati on vacation. And then he wanted to know which state Shillong is in (as a normal sarcasm alert Indian who knows absolutely nothing about North East, I had to google this). Then mom admonished dad for wanting a Geography lesson while he is in Mauritius and to save it for a phone call from India.

I realised that slowly and steadily I have been moving from lying about everything in my life to my parents to being honest about many things. It is a huge change. Maybe because I know I can live without their presence in my life and don’t feel the need to please them. They are around because they WANT to be around and ditto for me. There is no obligation in the relationship. I don’t call my mom because am supposed to. I call her because I want to. And when she is unhappy with me and doesn’t call for weeks or months, I don’t feel hurt. I call her even then and pretend like nothing happened or things are normal.

Good fences make good neighbors

  • From the poem Mending Wall by Robert Frost

Some people aren’t friends but they are like neighbors and you can only have a conflict free relationship or keep conflicts as few as possible when you stop being affected by them. That is when you can step back and be able to see clearly who they are as people. When you are too close, too emotional, too hurt, it is impossible to mend a relationship.

Ciao. Hope I don’t get a call from home asking me to take this post down and shut down the blog.