I wonder sometimes on long journeys in autos, as I watch the streets go by, what is going through the minds of those walking on the streets. It is pretty wonderful to stare at them and imagine the wonderful things they are thinking of. But sometimes, they have conversations out loud and I cannot help but overhear. Then the possibilities narrow down and you are forced to deal with reality.
Today’s overheard conversation made me think. A mother and daughter were in a share auto with me till Mehdipatnam. They were in the middle of a bad fight. Unfortunately for them, I understood Tamil. It was uneasy to watch the dynamics of their relationship unfold. The mother was authoritative and forceful. The daughter tearful and sombre. The mother yelled and held her stare but the girl’s eyes were firmly fixed to the floor of the auto.
It reminded me of the many fights I have had with my mom. I would be on the verge of tears but her cold exterior always made it tough to see that she meant well. Years later, we have a mutual understanding and I understand her reactions better. As I watched that mother-daughter fight, I wondered if every mother-daughter relationship had to go through this to get to the calm spaces of understanding. Do some relationships never make it? I wonder.
As I got out of the auto, I wondered if I should smile at her. But the mother’s cold looks kept me at bay. I walked away reluctantly.