If the dress is too short, the nails are too long. If the hair is too short, the tongue is too long. We’re talking about the daily tug of war between ourselves and our beloved moms, aais and mumaas. The reins of the household are tightly held in her hands embodying the ideal Annapurna she is (and has been expected to be) ever since she’s left her maayka. And despite having a great deal on her plate, classic me being the useless heap of disturbance I am, I leave no stone unturned to get on her very last nerve, every minute of the hour while still noncommittally shrugging when she loses her cool.
A mother-daughter relationship is a paradox which successfully repels every Freud, Jung or Watson there ever was. But I can’t help but overlook the fact that there’s something sacred about a mother-daughter brawl. We cry about the things she once cried about. And for all the things she once wanted but never had, we’re putting up a fight. And a darn strong one. Brand me as a rebel if you shall, but I will get what I want. And deep down, I’m sure our mothers would want that for us too, despite their disagreement bubbling at the surface level.
I spoke to my team members at ELLE India about how rebellion takes form with respect to them and their mothers and here are their responses:
Sumona Bose, Beauty Writer At ELLE India
It’s difficult to rebel against a rebel – my mom is one of the biggest ‘gundis’ you’ll ever meet! So, no amount of tattoos (I have a couple!) or bleached blonde hair (very proud of that one!) could ever drive her up the wall. So the only form of rebellion that has dealt any dent to her pride is to shun her outdated idea of what a woman’s identity is supposed to be. I am a single woman in her late 20s, living by herself and focused on work, almost to neurotic levels, and have a self-identity completely unattached and independent of any man. “At your age, I had two babies hanging from my shoulders”, she once said. “My shoulders are heavy too, but with travel and laptop bags taking me to places that are anywhere but home,” I replied. She nearly spat out her tea with laughter – hey, at least my rebellion is amusing to her!
Mansi Shah: Digital Editor At ELLE India
My mom would often wistfully look at my hair and be like “It is so beautiful, you should grow it out.” When I was 14, I saw myself with my hair all grown out in the pictures and I hated it. So I asked my mom to take me for a haircut which she said she wouldn’t and we argued endlessly about it. Finally, I spoke to my mom’s friend who was unaware of this entire thing and told her my mom had said she could take me for a haircut. I went and got myself the shortest chop possible. I looked like a wet duck. It was terrible and I looked so bad but yeah, that was my form of rebellion. I have never been so thankful for the fact that hair eventually grows out.
Zoha Castelino: Fashion Editor At Elle India
So I couldn’t think of anything that really got under my mom’s skin because she took most of it in stride. I also informed her of everything prior to the rebellion whether it was the tattoo or the blue hair. I don’t think she still knows about the sneaking out (and I’m not going to tell her either) haha. However, I just called and asked her what about me as a teenager really got her goat and it turns out it was the sass that drove her batshit crazy. She would yell and scream and I’d “okay whatever *eye roll*” on my way away. I think at some point I also realised that it really annoyed her and so I continued doing it.
Now if your style if colouring your hair pink or slamming the bedroom door in a fit of rage (if you could avoid that please, the wrath here is unparalleled), go ahead and express your anger. The past generation didn’t really give girls, who are now mothers, the apt medium to express themselves. Fight, argue, cry. But also, love, heal and express. As a generation, we’re freer now and all the more sensitized to grasp these hard to talk about issues. And so, take a chance to cultivate this relationship and love your mother as if you’re hers. Because there’s nothing more sacred than that.