I am just not OK!!

Q. Are you OK?

My Answer. Yeah!

This is the question which people ask here when they meet each other and exchange greetings. Initially it used to baffle me as to why do people ask about just being ok‘ .

However, in India we ask each other an open ended question ‘How are you?’ and the answer would vary depending upon the mood, situation, sensex etc etc.

Q. How are you?

A. I am fine, thank you, or

A. I am good, or

A. I am out of this world, or even

A. Look at the inflation, fuel prices, political condition what do you think how can I be?

The last option is an example of an eye for an eye….a question for a question….very tricky. But this is how we Indians can be, simply, over the top. Politeness is a rare phenomenon these days and especially if you come from North India which is a composition of brijbhoomi (part of Uttar Pradesh), jaatland Haryana and Dilli (Delhi). Surely there are other states but I am not in a situation to comment upon them since I do not have the requisite exposure of living there.

But, in UK, its different. One is always humbled by the sheer politeness of people here.

These people will patiently stop their cars wherever they will see a pedestrian waiting to cross the road and there is no traffic light to help. At the super markets, people in the billing counter queues will whole heartily give way and priority to a mother with a wailing kid having a tough time balancing the threesome – the shopping basket, the stroller and the wailing kid, in the reverse order. Many a times my Indian genes and Indianness has taken precedence over my courteous self and I have often unknowingly broken, jumped and bypassed queues while boarding buses, at coffee shops, at bakeries, at local parks and the people there have gallantly borne with me.

Before, one starts judging us Indians, I should define the atomic structure of an average Indian. We are catastrophically huge in numbers and thus an average Indian has to scramble for even the basic necessities and for creating her own space therefore the struggling attitude occupies the front burner while the politeness gets kicked off into the cold storage.

Wait!! This has to be my story and not an analysis of the chemical composition and nomenclature of the people of 2 countries which come from very different worlds.

Lets retreat.

Q.  Are you OK?

My answer. Yeah!

Are you OK? Yeah! Are you OK? Yeaaah! Are you OK? Yaaah! Are you OK? AAAAH!!!!


Today I am not OK.

Today I am in a very bad mood and beware I will be rude.

Today don’t give me this bullshit – ‘This is what is Motherhood’.

Today don’t try to explain to me – ‘He is just a little kid’.

Today don’t point out to me  why all the shirts are still lying in the dirty laundry.

Today don’t ask me to be reasonable.

Today don’t talk to me about the brighter side.

Today I am sick of frantic yelps and the howls ‘Mumma, Mumma, Mumma, Mumma….’.

Today I am irritated of being constantly tugged, elbowed, hit and pulled along for the sake of seeking constant attention.

Today I am grumpy about not being able to attend to the nature’s calls with the door shut.

Today I am bitter about acting as a single parent looking after each and every need of the kid while the husband comforts himself in front of the television and cozily sleeping long afternoons.

Today I dissent the other two people in my house who refuse to value my efforts that go into cooking different foods to suit their palate .

Today I am discontented about throwing away those cakes,  I have baked, either in the garbage bin or my stomach simply because nobody else liked it.

Today I am just not OK.

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  1. My previous employer was HQ in UK. And i did face this dilemma of wearing politeness even in the worst conditions, specially when i had to take the key donors from London for a visit to rural parts of our project. They dont understand the amount of ambiguity and mismanagement we have to survive here to get things done and ofcourse the delay !

    Among the things that irritates me being a mother is to raise the child as single parent – when for the world you are two people ! Its the greatest fallacy of Indian families that two people raise a kid. Marred further by the nuclear family structure. The most exasperating moment is when the kid is glued to the mother – no matter what and we crumble upon even for basic rights – like right to sit quietly for a minute, attend natures call or do face wash !

    Wait a minute, someone here told me its not going to get better ! So smile and be a shameless mother. Join me ;p


    1. Hey Shweta..I had not been in the right mental space for quite some time hence this delay in replying back to your comment. You are right. Its indeed a fallacy that two people, in a Indian nuclear family, raise a kid whereas the fact is one ends up being a single parent like both of us.
      I think some day I will post about raising a child in an Indian joint family set up since my life’s bio data boasts of 5+2 years experience of living in one such types.


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