Sundays are precariously precious and given the fact that it is the only day of the week my parents and I can be together. Today was a day I was looking forward to spending calmly. My dad cooks surprisingly well and on days like this, he wanted to make a special chicken preparation. Wearing a checkered apron and a large spoon clinging to his right hand, he asked me to turn on the television.
Me: Baba, I want to open an account with PayPal. I have some oncoming funds from a South African magazine.
Father: Well, tell whoever is in South Africa to transfer the funds via SBI and not by PayPal.
Me: Why don’t you understand? SBI is not present everywhere all over the world. They cannot transfer selectively for individuals, as it is really troublesome. All the contributors are to be paid via PayPal and I assure you it is a safe method of transferring funds.
At this point, my father gets angry, his face contorts and his eyebrows arch angrily in violent denial. I become desperate.
Father: It is like those lottery schemes I tell you; do not come to me when you’re in danger. SBI has its branches spread throughout the world. Do whatever you wish to do…
Old men, older notions. I sighed.
Me: You do not have any idea about this. Millions of people transfer money every day with the website and out of the many people using it, you think, I will be the unfortunate one whose bank account will be hacked. A strange coincidence if that happens. You’re a coward. My father goes away, probably toward the kitchen to focus on his chicken.
I instantly regret my actions. At this point my mother, the most understanding and compassionate amongst us comes to make me understand my fallacy.
Mother: Is that any way to talk to your father?
Me: He doesn’t understand and always has his fears about everything.
Mother: He fears not for himself, he fears for us. He fears for us because he loves us and wants to protect us at all costs. Nobody likes to live in fear. You will understand one day when you become a father yourself.
I stay mum; my mother has made her point. She always does. Mothers can intimidate anybody, more so their sons. That is precisely their power.
My father has a mutual understanding of our emotions and albeit he might not show his love by hugging or shedding tears of joy, he has his own methods, which are effective to say at the least. Picking up a morsel of food, he spoke,
Father: Our maid does not sweep the floor properly or what? There are bits and pieces of food everywhere
Mother: Yes, she does not even wash the dishes properly. Soap invariably clings to almost every other plate. I have to wash them off before they become fit for using.
I was vigorously browsing my laptop, my head full of anger from the previous conversations. I overheard my parents’ conversation and replied:
“Yes, she takes exactly three seconds to sweep one room. I’ve counted it.” At this point, my parents bring a smile on their faces and I cannot help but spit out my anger and laugh with them.