Role Reversal

Fruit wala in Juhu Market

Fruit wala in Juhu Market

While in Bombay, which seems like an age ago, my mother and I are walking down Juhu market.

Every inch of it is dug up. They dig up the road every single fucking year. It’s a government tradition. Like corruption (See? I can be political.)

Cars are honking constantly and ricks are driven by lunatics. It’s a chaotic, noisy, pot-hole filled, obstacle course.

My mother is not looking up as we are trying to cross the road, and is furiously texting some bum-chum.

“Mom, must we do this now? You can text who-ever when we get home or are off the road.”

“Haan, but it’s urgent! I need to reply to Vivek about our milonga!”

(Apparently a milonga is some dancing get-together thingummy. My mother has grown addicted to Salsa and Tango classes.)

Our roles have rather reversed of late.

For her birthday my mother wore some deadly off-shoulder, tight, lace mini (see above), while I was fully covered up to the neck.

She was dancing away, while I was at the bar drinking.

Chatting to my folks these days is like have a conversation with teenagers.

Mom’s tango class teacher (who is 30 years her junior) is sulking.

People have left his class and have gone to someone else’s class, then have being saying all these bitchy things about him behind his back, so he’s upset and is now saying he won’t come to Mom’s milonga and if he doesn’t come, Mom won’t enjoy the milonga because he’s her favourite and so she’s trying to convince him to come to the milonga. 

Who knew you could say milonga so many times in one sentence?

She’s such a dedicated student that she became class assistant. That’s my Mom – class apple polisher.

All this milonga drama and dance class back stabbing made me have vivid school flashbacks.

“Oh my god! Have you heard?? Karishma said that Shipali said that she had a pakoda-nose-pimply-face! No one is going to talk to her ever again!”

That actually happened. Then it turned out that the person who said that the other person said that thing about their nose was lying, so no one talked to her after that. (A garbled business, I know) It brought her crashing down from position of social queen to social leper (for a little while anyway).

It was perfect example of social politics (I love school politics, don’t you?). Instead of taking part I documented it in detail in my diary back then like a huge nerd.

I told my mother that I recommended a nice tight slap for Sulky.

“Aare how can you say that? Poor fellow. These people are being damn mean. But there’s so much politics in this small tango community of ours.”

I love how my father says that. Like he’s experienced dance politics for eons.

“Yes, of course. Didn’t you watch Black Swan?”

I’ve learned a lot from Black Swan. That and watching ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ religiously.

“I thought I had resolved and smoothed out issues but then today he’s sulking all over again.”

“You should just leave it. What is this? High school?”

Seriously. I feel old listening to this.

“Just tell mom to slap him. Slap him hard.”

Man I really want my mother to slap someone.

“Mom says how can you talk like that? Poor chap. These people are making his life a misery. They say they don’t like his dancing. How can expect him not too sulk?” So much drrrrrama!

“But if they don’t like it, they don’t like it! Loads of people tell me they don’t like my drawings. I’m not so lame that I would sulk. He needs to grow up.”

“Mom says she will bash up these people who say this to you.”

You see – This is what happens when you get a tattoo. You’ll start trying to ‘bash up’ people for no reason.

“Then she needs to bash – Munt, My boss, The ex, and various other sentimental types. Tell this guy to sort it out and go to the milonga.”

The ex and Monty think I need to be more ‘commercial’. They don’t approve of my dark material. Kittens and ponies, that’s what I need to draw. Preferably kittens riding ponies. You just can’t go wrong with material like that.

“Mom says she can kick ass. She works out at the gym. She says tell them that when she comes she’ll kick their ass.”

Aw. Mom is gonna fight people.


She’s gotten another tattoo by the way (ankle). Thought you’d like to know.


21 thoughts on “Role Reversal

  1. Well, I see I’m not alone in intimating the return of socially accepted slappery?

    Mind you, my face would get hurt really easily. Glasses, big nose.

    Your “dance politics for eons” line is superb. Well-played, miss.

    I don’t suppose there’s any way I can steal your diary? I’m quietly praying some female will let me pump her dry for reminescences for my stalling book project.

    I figured you were too busy trying to be a Bad Girl to really partake of schoolgirl dramas. You seem sort of alienated from workaday feminine intramural stuff. A bit of a high-testosterone type, let’s say.

    Is it something Celtic this time, the ankle tattoo? A bellybutton ring can’t be far behind now!

    I was going to propose, if you get fired somehow, we should make simultaneous tongue-piercing appointments. A transcontinental interblog celebration of artistic unemployability. No, make that unemployable artsiness; since obviously we want to make beaucoup guineas off our ‘creativity’. Plus, if you’re broke it might help to give the Ex extra, ahem, ‘favors’.

    I’d be happy to be ‘commercial’, if I could get paid for writing smut or teen melodrama. I’m trying the latter. I’m such a teenage girl, I should be great at this.

    This tango teacher– is it a bad sign he’s alienating everyone *except* your mother? What is it your mother doesn’t know?!

  2. Well you should come to India. The land of singular, tight slaps. It’s a frequently used threat (but rarely carried out) by school teachers and occasionally by the ex.

    But yes glasses will usually go flying with a tight slap.

    I’ve been meaning to transcribe my diary for ages. Or scan it, but there are a total of 9 complete note books cover 2 years, in my juvenile spider scrawl, horrifically badly written in a dryish reporting style. S did this, A did this, S told A to shut up, A was upset and told M that S was being bitchy. All parts that included me have been severely censored in black blocks. It would be quite a task. But one I look forward to next holidays.

    I was never a bad girl (alas). Still not. Most of the time I was rather oblivious to the drama, (still) but I did had an insider who I’d pump regularly for the ‘diary’. (I have an insider for current gossip as well but its not as much fun and she sometimes doesn’t tell.) I love high school drama and I love girly drama, but only as an outsider watching. I don’t want to be in the drama.

    I did have a match making scam that ran rather successfully – I printed out multiple copies of a ‘personality test’ that I claimed would help match boys up to the girls. That fuelled some good masala as I recall. Can’t remember if i still have the written up copies.

    • Well, that’s something . . .

      You did pierce your navel, of course, so that counts. Okay, it was the later 90s, but still.

      Were you still trying to impress boys?

      Have you read “Babyji”? You might enjoy that. It’s nothing so great, but you might relate to it. Or find it amusing.

      My glasses go flying no matter what I do. They won’t stay on.

        • I wouldn’t say so. The unhappy thing is, she never figures out about oral sex. It’s weird she’s being with three girls but only ever thinks to fingerfuck them.

          Besides that it can be amusing. It’s funny watching them try to be all seductive: the available maid, the mentoress, the bff trying to go lezzie.

          The male characters are pricks. The boy is so annoying, and he worships his dad who he thinks can ‘help’ her because he’s so sophisticated and reads Nabokov. Mm-hmm . . . .

          There’s another boy who’s stalkery. A lot of high school drama, actually. Maybe I should get a new copy. I long since parted with mine.

          I’ve got a new copy of “Born Confused” coming in the mail. You should really read that. Though the title is not to do with being queer, contra what my mother thinks. Though there is a fun lesbian couple in there.

  3. Aww man, it’s like every post I read from you, I want to be your friend. Not like an internet friend, but let’s go to a cafe, drink coffee until we’re high and make fun of everything friend. Dance drama! “Strictly Ballroom” is another good one to add to that movie lineup… Anyway, good luck balancing it out with the ex and the mum.

    [Is there an age where you’re too old to get piercings and tattoos? More and more, I am becoming obsessed with the idea of getting one or BOTH! A friend here started in her thirties and she managed to still be cool and not ridiculous. She is Japanese though… rules are different for them…. ]

    • 🙂 Aw thats so nice! Come to London sometime and we could! It’s a hop-skip and jump away. (Unless like me you are visa restricted)

      Strictly ballroom sounds good. I was also fascinated by ‘Show girls’ when i watched it especially the sex scene in the pool and the morally dubious ending. There was a really good movie about this famous older english ballerina that i cant remember the name of that was on the BBC recently. That had some good dance drama.

      I notice a few of your figures have pierces. I dont think there is really a time limit for piercings or tattoos (for me though it’s a done and dusted business. Did em both thats enough). Go for it if you want one. Look at my mom! (She might even get a third, i’m trying to convince her to get a cat)

      Although I just can’t quite get over the hygiene thing with tongue piercings. Food is bound to get stuck in there I imagine. Yuck.

      • Never saw ‘Showgirls’… but I know it was written by a Hungarian (see, we’re all sex crazy… something in the water over there… :D)

        On piercings: Well, I’m obsessed a bit with mouths and a lip piercing draws more attention to one… it’s really the only piercing I like and I figure, you get sick of it, a tiny scar. No harm. No foul.
        (A tattoo on the other hand is like… hmmm…. hmmmm. Then again, there’s already a lot of shit about my body I don’t like.. at least this would be something I am responsible for :D) Now I’m curious what your tattoo is??

        No, no visa restrictions. I have only been to London once, but I’m sure I will go again while we live here in Europe and then I’ll definitely come bother you 😀 (PS: I think you should convince your mom to add a pony with that cat tattoo… Cat on a pony….? Pony with a cat-head…? There are possibilities….)

      • Well . . . I had one for four months.

        I wouldn’t say food gets stuck exactly. But the balls do need some scrubbing once in a while.

        I’m sorry to say that, contrary to popular rumor, there was no reported uptick in cunnilingus satisfaction. Though since my skills in that department are highly approved, that may not matter. Anyway, it was only tried on one, of course.

        It just has such a joissance about it though. Having my tongue pierced made me feel classy, like an upscale golddigger. I loved sticking my tongue out at the mirror. Sexy!!

        I took it out for a job interview– ridiculous. As if I could teach middle school. What a waste.

        We should totally get them done now. It’d make me more butch and you more femme. Let’s do this!

        • Four months is pretty short. Shame.
          I think you should pitch it to moof.
          It sounds like she’s on the verge.
          I’m sorry to hear that it didn’t make much difference to the cunnilingus. I thought putting up with the pain and annoyance of it would require some pay off
          You should get a couple of piercings on the top of your ear and also the sideburns. Its all the rage these days.

    • She has bad skin. A lot of teenage girls can pull this sort of thing off, though it’s a bit discreditable for most of them.

      The trick is to not be a meth-head, and for a lot of people who get facial piercings, that’s part of the territory.

      Not digging the facial tattoo, of course, unless that’s just drawn on.

      I may have to share a secret with you someday.

      • its not that bad. thats a close shot with no make up. Hardly anyone even your beloved tara would look flawless up so close.
        I like the twin lip rings. quite nice. And the purple eyebrows.

        Do tell a secret. Those are always so fun.

        • No!

          And I hate ‘snakebite’ piercings. Two labia rings are okay, not two lip rings.

          Dear, you don’t look at enough fetish photography, obviously. That chick has bad skin. Glamorous girls do not let themselves come out like that.

          And my beloved T-ara’s skin is incredible.

  4. Oh man. It’s like my mum at her gym class. Now she wants to move town just because the other mums have stopped talking to her, and she’s going to have to get a different haircut now that they’re not friends. But she’s buff and got a tattoo, so she could totally fight them. Please oh please let’s not degenerate into teenagers when we’re middle-aged! x

    • She’s moving? Wow those mom must be jealous.
      Your mom sounds like shes having a good time though.
      The good thing is I can’t possible degenerate more. I’m still a teenager. I never want to grow up.

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