Posted by: gdevi | September 1, 2016

Mother and Daughter

My daughter could not stop talking about 11th grade and her classes today. She loves all of her classes.I was doubtful when AP English assigned them Hamlet for summer reading. Hamlet for summer reading? Oh, well. Even though I am an English teacher, I never teach my daughter anything English unless she specifically asks me for help. The same thing with K; he teaches her math only if she specifically asks for help with anything. But I did recommend that she watch the latest David Tennant version of Hamlet, which she did. That must have surely helped her. She enthusiastically discussed Hamlet with me as soon as she came back from soccer. Apparently, they were debating in class whether Hamlet was only feigning madness or whether he was really mad. My daughter is of the opinion that he was only feigning madness. And she backed it up with considered interpretation of all the stuff from the play. She read me the paragraph she wrote. I was pleased. She then talked at length about the History class and the History teacher. Apparently, the teacher had them research a current issue that caught their imagination. My daughter researched  the Syrian refugee crisis. She read me the paragraph she wrote. I was again pleased. Then she did all the trigonometry review. Then she packed her lunch for tomorrow. She talked about how she looks forward to driving on her own in October; that would finish her 6 months on permit and she can apply for her license. She neatly arranged her folders; she even used some of the ordinary white and black binders I had with me to arrange her class materials. She usually gets the funky looking binders for school. I was impressed overall by how my daughter is absolutely devoid of bullshit. I feel relieved.

When I was listening to her talk–I was trying to work and listen to her talk at the same time–I suddenly remembered one evening when I was fifteen or sixteen, her age actually, when I went looking for my mother. This was when I was growing up in India. Amma was in the kitchen getting things ready for supper. I walked around the kitchen and the verandah with her,  and “discoursed” at length about Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, which I had just finished reading. I remember vividly going on and on about that book to my mother. I had memorized a certain passage in it — “Going up that river was like traveling back to the earliest beginnings of the world when vegetation rioted on the earth and big trees were kings. An empty stream, a great silence, an impenetrable forest.” Etc. Amma listened to me talk and encouraged me with comments and questions. She always did that. I used to do that to her often–find her and talk endlessly with her about Emily Dickinson or some other writer that I had just read. She is 76 now and even now amma has a brilliant, pure and intellectual mind. When I was growing up, it was a pleasure to hear her talk about books or authors. I have a wonderful mother and a wonderful daughter.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: