For a laid back youth whose contribution to the household could barely be more than a guest, I was really hit hard when my mom wasn't home for over a month. First of all, I am not someone who cries over her mom having a day's stay at some place other than the house, I know better through years and years of training for this “jokhon ammu thakbe na” time, thanks to mom herself and her skillful emotional blackmailing. Here I have listed the phases of my life without mom in the house to babysit everyone.
THOSE FEW MOMENTS OF FREEDOM
First of all, since she had gone a long way from home, our first reaction when mom left with maternal relatives was exquisite joy! My dad had his shorts on again after ages, my brother had the computer screen glued to the nose, my sister could watch K-Drama all day long, even my cats were happy! For the first few days our house was like a makeshift tent where people just come to crash. Everyone would chill the whole day, sack at night, wake up at 2.pm, and repeat.
THE INITIAL BLOW
I'm the eldest among my siblings and I have a talent for seeking out the drawbacks in everything quicker than others. So after mom left to have the time of her life, the little businesses of the household obviously fell on me. I used to think we got along just fine but the helping-hands seemed to not take my directions about chores seriously. Long story short, everything just went south from then on and soon enough, the house went from squeaky clean to a mini Kamalapur railway station. Whenever I opened my mouth, they'd go “shomoy hoibona apa” and as a result I'd have more dirty clothes than clean ones, my brother went to school with a bedhead and a banana for lunch, my father managed to shift his office to home, and my sister now aspired to become a K-Pop idol, and I had a bright future as a housewife.
AFTER THE INITIAL BLOW
It took me two whole weeks to realise that our house helps have taken an unannounced leave from the job and so I can finally fulfill my father's dream to eat my cooking. It was time for me to do the odd jobs around the house too because I was now Shabana from every Bangla movie, that elder sister who sacrifices herself for the sake of little siblings. I am okay being Shabana but the thing is, I never signed up for cleaning toilets.
THE PART WHERE I CRY
Little things matter. For example, when I used to wake up to mom's verbal abuse to me and my ancestors and how it is their fault that I am this lazy or when my mom saw the glorious mess I made of my room and concluded I am not her daughter, or when I was simply minding my own business and she, having one of her emotional episodes wanted to fondly destroy my mood. After around 20 days I actually missed all of these and just wished she would at least send a voicemail with lots of regrets for having me.
LIFE GOES ON
While I had so much to deal with at home, my mom looked swell in the vacation photos. She posted snaps of the greasy biriyani she just had for lunch, of all the cute cats and dogs in the neighborhood and even of the shiny sports car she passed by on the road. I let her know how much I miss her and she replied with an essay drooling over the amazing hotels they have out there. I guess it's clear who doesn't miss their daughter anymore.