Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sri Lankan Mothers - Part Oh God Not Another One

Picture the situation.

Tonight (Tuesday) I'll be flying to Singapore for a week. I had a band practice last night (Monday) and I'm now at my desk. I'll be going straight from work here tonight to the airport then will fly out. Things have been pleasantly busy for me, well quite mentally busy to be honest.

And I'm currently living with my parents, who are in Colombo at the moment. So, for the sake of accuracy, I'm not currently living with them as they're not there, but I would be if they were there. It's their house. Confused? I'm trying to paint the background for you, but I won't be offended if, by now, you've buggered off somewhere else because RD has gone too far.

Sunday was a busy day. It involved packing and serious tidying. My parents are due back here while I'm away. No Sri Lankan son wants his parents to arrive in their house and find it in the mess that it was in. The kind of mess that Dinidu would leave.

I did well. I tidied, hoovered, polished and emptied the bins. I wiped surfaces and checked mail. I took the keys and started my Mum's car. I took the other keys and tried to start my Dad's car. Nothing happened. When I say nothing I mean just that clicking sound, the one that tells you the battery has less life in it than a glass of French mineral water.

Bollocks. I thought to myself, still without knowing for sure if a thought should be placed in speech marks or not. The car started perfectly last weekend when I took if for a spin and the battery had run down in a week. It was parked in their drive, meaning it was almost impossible for me to pull my car up to jump start it. But that would have been pointless anyway, the chances being that the battery would be flat again by the time they got back.

I decided to do the courageous thing, to take the bull by the horns and face up to my fears. Sometimes a chap has to be a chap, this was chap time, I was the chap for the job.

"Dear Mum and Dad" the note started.

Then, I had bloggers' block, though it was more "43 year old writing a note to his parents to leave on the dining table block."

I stared at it for a while. To a writer staring is the same as talking very loudly to a person who can't speak the language. You feel as though it should help, but it doesn't. So I'm told, but I'm neither a writer nor a foreigner. I had a vague outline for the note. It consisted of me telling them when I'd be back, that I'd done these good things and all was okay with the house and by the way Dad your car battery was flat, sorry about that.

Somehow, like a possessed chap, in the middle of my 43 year old writing a note to his parents to leave on the dining table block, I found myself on the phone dialling 0094112...... Though I hadn't dialled the dots, they're to represent numbers.

Before I knew it I was talking to my Dad. They had just got back in from Jazz Unlimited at the CR + FC and were about to go out for dinner. It was funny to think that only four weeks ago I was there with them. Not only was I in the midst of some kind of freak London cold wintry shower but I'd be in the heat and humidity of Singapore in a few days time too.

I told him about the car and was reminded that the effect of alcohol, music and Sri Lanka is a powerful one. He took it in his stride and casually remarked that he'd sort it out when they returned. This was good as I was slightly scared that he'd want me to jump through a lot of tiny hoops to try to sort it out before I left.

Then the phone was snatched away from him by my Mum, you know how it works. Everything I had just said to my Dad had to be repeated to her, partly because he can't really be trusted to relay the information accurately, mostly because, even if his relaying was as accurate as that of a Sri Lankan politician giving his defence in court against fraud charges, my Mum would still want to hear it from me.

We went through all the usual things. How are the girls? How is Musicbiz bro and Academic bro and the other granddaughter? I gave all the usual answers, that clever mix of detail and going through the motions.

Then she asked me exactly when I was going for Singapore, I told her. Then she asked me if I'd told the neighbours so they could have an eye on the place, I told her that I had. Then she asked me if I wanted them to pick me up from the airport on my return, I told her that I was fine as I was going to leave my car at the airport because I would go straight there from work tonight.

Even I was surprised at her next question, on reflection I reckon she might even have been surprised that it came out

"So will in be in for dinner on the Tuesday night?" She was referring to Tuesday next week, when I get back.

"Mum" I said, in that tone.

"I'm in London, you're in Colombo and I'm going to Singapore for a week. And you want to know if I'll be in for dinner Tuesday after next! I haven't got a clue yet."

She seemed a bit sheepish, as though she'd realised if was a bit over the top. And she has high standards in over the topness.

Her next question was about whether I was going to leave my flight details on the fridge for them, an ongoing source of conflict.

I said no. We moved on but she had that tone, the one that can intimidate from a distance of thousands of miles.

Only I wasn't intimidated, not one bit.

Laters all.



FINroD said...

haha.. looks like ol mommy dearest has something up her sleeve.. hehehe.. very fishy indeed..

Anonymous said...

43 !!. How come your blog does not display matuarity and wisdom "usually" associated with that age ?

Still reads like one of those horny teen blogs that crave for attention AND popularity.

Do you keep it light due to the readership or is it just who you are ?

Amazing . I hope I develope that "devil may care attitude" [that makes older men mysterious !!] in a decade and completely stop pandering to a young readership.

Wisdom and reflection cannot be so difficult ! not after 4 decades on planet earth.

I could be wrong about this and I often am.

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Finrod - No, just dinner I think!

Anon - Thank you for your comment, I'll try to answer your points in the order you raise them.

"43 !!. How come your blog does not display matuarity and wisdom "usually" associated with that age ?"

Well I guess that is your oponion, to which you are entitled. I don't claim to be a persno who has any great wisdom or maturity though.

"Do you keep it light due to the readership or is it just who you are ?"

It's just things I think of that I post about, so yes, it's who I am. Some people like it, others don't.

"Amazing . I hope I develope that "devil may care attitude" [that makes older men mysterious !!] in a decade and completely stop pandering to a young readership."

It's a bit hard to comment on this as I don't know who you are or how you write.

Maybe you are wrong, maybe you're not, it's certainly a thought provoking comment which I'm grateful for, though I don't why I've rattled your cage so much.

cerno said...

Have a safe flight to Singapore. Curious to see what Singaporean morsels you'll dig up.

Anonymous said...

I think "bollocks" has inverted comma's.

avagdro said...

Thanks for sharing.WIsh all the dearest mom's a great joyful Mothers day ahead.

Send gifts to chennai|Send gifts to Bangalore|Send gifts to India

Makuluwo said...

Psh.. Anon sounds like someone from the sittingnut Foundation. :/

And it's insane and awesome (but sometimes scary) that Sri Lankan Mothers, even over a period of 40 years or so, don't really change much at all. o_O

Anonymous said...


"Psh.. Anon sounds like someone from the sittingnut Foundation. :/ "

If my tone was as offensive as SN I apologise.I am truly sorry if the comment I made was hurtful, it was not meant to be but I did not "sweeten" it at all.

No passive apology , I would like to apologise about the tone.

"though I don't why I've ratted your cage so much." -

This one is easy.

Expectations. Expectations.

You certainly do have the mastery of language and a unique eye for detail which is rare [[and a common trait in all great writers]] but it almost seem as you dumb them down or tone them out to mix/please the crowd.

Day to day life is so mundane and no doubt many aspire to inject humor and enthusiam.

It is such a familiar landscape and almost a crime to see a navigator with great tools still circling the same landscape without venturing afar purely cause he thinks that all vessels must follow the navigated path.

If Salvador Dali had stuck to the tradition it would have been a great misfortune.

Hope this answers why you rattled my cage !!!

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Cerno - Thank you, you'll find out soon enough!

Anon - Ok, thanks.

Makuluwo - I think this is not Snut, as you may now think from seeing the next comment

Anon - apology accepted gratefully.

thank you for the nice words about my use of language and eye for detail but I think you over estimate me. I really don't dumb things down, it's honestly usually how I view things.

However, you've touched upon a very interesting issue with regards to my own views on my blog and I might try to expalin further in a more detailed separate post.

Thanks for the opinions, I mean that very sincerely.

ViceUnVersa said...

Travel safe mate and enjoy your break. As always wave to the Paradise Isle for me.
I do admire your skill of getting so many comments to a simple post as this.
I like to call it 'Sri Lankanism's".
:) (wry smile)
Nice one, Nice.

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

DD - Thanks. I'll wave to the Paradisians for you as I pass.

How dare you call this a simple post??!

T said...

tee hee. i love when they use the *tone* when they're miles away and im like hahaha you can't stop me!

Savi said...

oh RD you so left your flight details on the fridge for her!! don't lie :D