Old habits die hard


‘My mother says’ is a very favoured phrase of mine. Not that I like it a lot but I certainly use it a lot. Half my sentences on an average day begin with it. Since the other half are directed to her, they don’t matter. But not that’s not the point.

As children, my sister and I, forever got scolded for two pet peeves (pets of my mother) – one was chewing food with our mouths open and the other was dragging out feet as you go along. I used to get thwacked for it, especially the latter. I was sure my mother was just making up excuses to hit me. Because I never heard this famed chewing and/or dragging (not to assumed that these sounds are made together) “Pach pach nako karu!” (Don’t make that sound .. the one that is a direct result of chewing with your mouth open) or “Pai ghasoon chalu nako”  (Don’t drag your feet) were favourite refrains and the cause for many a smack. For the longest time I didn’t believe such sounds were even made.

But, now as a grown up, when I see people around me who do chew with their mouths open, I have to carefully school my face to not look disdainful. For whatever reason, they may not be chewing with their mouths closed. These are seniors around me, bosses and managers and even dad’s old friends. And I feel like seeking my mother and thanking her for those thwacks which don’t let me realize how ghastly my manners could have been and how deeply some habits are ingrained.

Now when I hear some one drag their feet while walking behind me on the road, I almost turn out and in the tone not unlike my mother’s (then) I almost yell. And then shake my head seeing how close I come to becoming my mum.


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