“We take things to be important because they are important to us”.
This was in my reading for ‘Mind and Behavior’ class tomorrow. It struck me because I was reminded of something that happened a few weeks ago. Mum commented on my profile picture on facebook, saying that I look like an “angle”. My first reaction was to smile because, well, mum never says such things directly. And I love how she misspels the word. It almost feels like this is a new word, that she has made only for me- her angle! (aur waise bhi.. I’m more of a bingo MADangle only no? Not an angel of any sorts! )The biggest reason I’m on facebook is because mum dad express all of their pyaar towards us and vice-versa. A social space where there is no awkwardness amongst family. (the irony!)
Later, when a friend saw the comment (she didn’t know it was amma), her first reaction was to laugh at this person who misspelt “angel”. It made me very uncomfortable because I hated how she was judging my mother. At the moment, all I did was judge her back, in my head, thinking that she was no way near my mother in any aspect and has no right to laugh at her spellings. Afterall, what is language but a collective acceptance of a way of expression; so we all have a sense of what the other person is saying, right?
Anyways, yesterday night I was at the Shakespeare reading of ‘The Tempest’ and I suddenly felt the urge of taking out my phone, only to find a mail from my mom (in response to my Phil. paper) . (K3G Maa wala effect I say!)-
I love this. I love whenever mum says “Love, Maa”. I just feel like staring at the screen for a while (and I even do it), knowing that she can send that to only two people in this whole wide world, and I am one of them. The first time she did this was when she went to Athens for a really long time.
So, point being, after I got this mail, it again made me happy but I couldn’t ignore the fact that she had misspelt ‘littile’ in such a cute way. And I laughed. It was then that I realized I was finding all of this sweet not because of the words typed there but because of the person typing them, sitting on the computer, kilometers away from me. I wouldn’t talk about it in much detail, but it is nice to remember that she hasn’t grown up learning all of this, rather trying to learn it even after growing up.
Poor friend. How was she supposed to process all of this? How can I blame her for pointing out an error? Also, isn’t it what I always did in school? Proof read everyone’s writing and correct it? And when she did it, there I was, thinking about how the use of language actually came into existence and the purpose it served, and how she shouldn’t be laughing at a person who doesn’t know it because it doesn’t actually matter as long as they get their point across and blah and blah and blah.
What’s important is that I realize how subtly these things enter our mind and grow there. That our love for someone, not just covers up there faults, but makes us angry towards anyone who tries to point it out. (which reminds me of another article I read in ‘Infinithism’ just today. I’ll add that here as well).
It also creeps me out how everything that happens in a day ties itself together by the end to teach me something. Like, today in Great Books we talked about how our head is so full of things that’ve been imposed on us since childhood and now we need to unlearn them before we can learn something. Or maybe, keep the process of learning- unlearning simultaneous.
I don’t know where this is going. But I just want to say that it feels good. Learning, Unlearning and being aware of the fact that there is still a lot more to know, and as Prof. Menon said: “What is important is that you are AWARE.”
Mumma’s littile angle signing off!