"Remember the time when you would run out of the house in your chaddis and head straight to the neighbour aunty's living room, cry for biscuits and cakes, down a whole packet, pull at their curtains, mess up the place...and worst pee on their sofa!"
How many of you have had to sit through such conversations about yourself when you were in your 20s, and had your girlfriend and her parents over for dinner? Just when the guests were all seated and everyone was trying to be casual and comfortable with each other, break the ice of embarrassment/formality...your uncle or aunt (in most cases), or sometimes your own parents decide to ease the environment with your childhood doings. The first chaddi-story is out and everyone is in splits and just when you have recovered from the shocker comes a contribution from another aunt and so it goes on and on. All the navarasas flash on your face, as your cringe, squirm and just wanna vanish from the room. There you are dressed in your smartest, behaving every bit the gentleman you're to-be father-in-law would want you to be and also trying to be the sweet boy your mom-in-law would fall in love with. But all that remains in their mind is a lil boy wearing chaddi or maybe nothing at all...and his umpteen crazy doings.
I am, till date, reminded of the time when my mom or aunts would buy me those lacy, white baby panties only to find out they don't fit me coz I was a baby JLo. Or the hilariously embarrassing ways in which I pronounced certain words (which I can't put down here since no vulgar content is allowed in here). And many more stories. I'd rather be buried alive than have them repeated here or anywhere. But there's no escaping it...toddler tales haunt you almost until your grave.
I remember an incident which involved a former colleague (who'll be referred to as V--for victim) and an elderly aunt (who appropriately will be called S--the saddist). When V and S met at our office (our news desk room), V greeted S with a warm smile and reminded her that they were old family friends and even relatives. A slow rewind into a few reels of the past and the aunt S's face lighted up: "Oh yes, you're V, isn't it? Gosh you're a big girl now (I wonder how that happened). I remember you as a lil girl running around in white lacy panties." OUCH. OUCH. Suddenly, my male colleagues had stopped their 'nose for news' job and was eying V with a 'Really...you never mentioned it to us' look. Am sure they even tried visualising V in that lacy avatar. The aunt went on and on with more of her child hood horrors and she just wanted to black out.
Would I grow up to do the same to my son too? When he brings home his girlfriend or maybe boss, would I start my conversation with 'Oh, by the way did you know he would stand on the balcony, pee in his shorts and then dance on it splashing it all over!'. Ummmm....maybe not. Hopefully I'll be sane enough to keep his childhood where it is best stored--in my heart. Hopefully he'll give me many more moment of pride and pleasure later in his growing up days which I could flaunt without embarrassing him.