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About a couple of weeks ago, my mom insisted that I come on Skype. I hadn’t spoken to her on video-conferencing mode after I came here to the US; that is about a five odd months. It means she hasn’t even seen my face in a while. It’s always been like ‘Kalamellam Kadhal Vaazhga’ (#YouRemember that mokka Murali-Kausalya movie?) only. Generally, while on Skype, I put the kids before the computer and continue with my work. It works best ‘cos both the parties are happy to interact. This time, by mistake, I showed my face. Now I repent it but like some wise people say, life always makes sense only in hindsight. Sigh.

So, my mom sees the computer for a couple of seconds and lets out a huge gasp. Why ma, I ask. ‘Ennadi.. Ipdi oorina ulutham paruppu madhiri aita?’ (Lame translation – What happened to you? Why have you become like soaked urad dal!) Yeah right. The first thing that a mom says on seeing her daughter after five long months is THIS. Very loving family we are!

As if this wasn’t enough, like one pakka vathiyam, my brother comes from behind and asks if I drink every day. It seems my cheeks are looking like bondas. Add one very encouraging brother also to that loving mother! Thank God my dad was not around and my paati was watching ‘Ramanujar’ in full volume that she didn’t notice me on the computer screen.

That’s when I realized the moral of the story – Never ever show your face to your family on Skype. Although that was the main moral, side moral was that I have put on weight. I know.. periya kandupidippu! So, I decided to go on a no-rice drive for the entire last week. Okay, make that work-week. I would only sneak a few mouthfuls of rice (with ghee! :D) while feeding the kids. No.. I didn’t deliberately feed them because I wanted to eat a few morsels of rice, okay! Only drumrolls were missing but otherwise our house was alerted that I was going to become fit. (PC for ‘thin’ because kids are there no?!)

One day the husband absent-mindedly asked why I wasn’t eating dinner with them. I told him I was preparing something for myself. He still looked confused. But we have very helpful kids, right? ‘Appa.. Fit bit, Appa.’ My man is sharp like me. He was still looking confused. ‘Appa.. Amma is fat now no. So, if she eats rice, she’ll put on more weight Appa. That’s why she’s making something for herself’. So much for our PC talk. Hmph.

For five full days, I did not eat a single morsel of rice. (Shhh. Don’t remind me about the sneaking thingie!) I didn’t touch the son papdi and chocolates. (Digression polambal – The kids and the husband tasted the chocolates and didn’t like it. How can someone not like chocolates? WHAT KIND OF KIDS AM I RAISING??) Although on Friday evening, the husband tempted me with a Mexican meal outside and I couldn’t really refuse because I am Sati-Savitri paramparai no? How to refuse the wishes of the husband?

Nachos, Tacos, Burritos, Enchiladas and all were consumed. The daughter wanted to go to the Yogurt Zone near our place for dessert and how could we refuse because healthy dessert yaa. In my defense, I only tasted a bit of the yogurt okay. While at the place, we were all smiling and laughing and somehow the husband took a candid pic of Ammu, Kuttan and me. It was a beautiful pic even if I say so myself.

On Saturday, we visited one friend’s place and as soon as I entered, the said friend’s mom and wife said, ‘Enna Indu.. Elaichita pola irukku?’ (What Indu.. Looks like you’ve lost some weight!) I ran into their kitchen to get some sugar because when you hear a good news, you need to ‘sweet edu.. kondadu’. Even Sivaji thatha.. chee Amitabh Bachchan has said so no?

Egged by this comment from this friend and assuming that I would’ve lost some more weight because I walked inside Walmart for sometime looking for some project material for kids, I posted that pic of ours (from the Yogurt Zone) on my FaceBook page. I am generally not **this** vain but again, because I got a few likes and comments, my head was not in its usual position. It was floating somewhere above. That’s when I did something that in hindsight… Yeah. Same story.

I call up my mom and ask her to see the picture. I could’ve emailed it. I could’ve sent it on WhatsApp. But no, I had to ask her to check my FB feed. Vanity knows no bounds. Sigh. She looks at the pic, shows it to my dad, brother and paati (who assumed it was a video and started speaking to the kids and all.. but that is for another post!) Meanwhile I am talking to my brother and realize that mom has commented ‘Awesome’ on the picture. I am mentally humming ‘edutha sabatham mudippen.. en thayin meedhu aanai’. That’s when the said-thaai decides to keep ‘aapu’.

‘There’s something different about your face di.’
I open my FB and look at that pic (with the new haircut and all remember?) and start wondering if I look like Anushka or Jothika (Not Trisha or Nayantara because how many times same people yaa!)
‘Which actress do I look like, ma?’
‘No di.. Your nose looks different.’
‘But isn’t it sometime since I pierced it ma?’
‘No di.. Your nose.. It is double the size of what it usually is!’

Even after I crop the pic only showing my face, with one nose only she concludes that I am fat. Hmph. These mothers! I get angry on top of that big nose only.

‘Then, why did you put that comment ma? Saying the pic is awesome and all?’
‘Oh that. I’ve never commented on any FB posts before, di. This is the first comment and I was just testing if it is working fine. It does!’

Oh it sure does! 😐

P.S. All those people who follow me on FaceBook, DO NOT GO AND LOOK AT MY NOSE NOW, okay?