A daily ritual of calling up my mother on my way to work is an essential part of my life. I have been religiously following it since the time wedding bells rang and I moved out from home to make a nest of my own. (For my ranting on how terrible this transition has been for me, please read my blog here). However, off late my ritual has been interrupted by a new ritual that Mom has initiated. I am not allowed to call up Mom on Mondays. Of course you may ask me why? It is because Mom observes “Maun Vrat” or “Vow of Silence” on Mondays. Too difficult to accept? I can empathize, considering that Mom and I have been known in our family for our nonstop chit chats and conversations. She has been doing it for about a year now and quite successfully too. Steadily she has been subtly pushing me to do it as well.
Conversation few days ago:
K: I cannot do it on Mondays, Maa?
Maa: Then do it on a weekend.
K: But then who will instruct my cook? Who will ask my domestic help to clean that cobweb housing my home for months?
Maa: Then it on a Sunday when your domestic help is not around. Works?
K: Alright. Does it help?
Maa: Immensely. It helps you calm down. Try it once and see for yourself.
K: ok (reluctantly).
So this weekend I announced to hubby darling that I shall be observing a Maun Vrat on Sunday and that he has to support me.
“What a drama queen you are, K!” R commented while watching a movie.
I scowled and he finally agreed to it though reluctantly.
Sunday arrived and thus began the “Epic Tale of Maun Vrat”.
I gestured asking R what he wants for breakfast. He gestured back. He first drew a plate in the air and then started making several circles while holding an imaginary spoon in hand. After which he took an imaginary bite from the circle and licked his finger. The look on his face was priceless.
Of course it took me about 30 seconds to compose myself because I was observing Maun Vrat, he wasn’t. He could SPEAK.
I smiled sheepishly. I wrote D.O.S.A. in the air and he replied with thumbs up. Obviously it was Sunday and he wanted to eat “Dosa”.
I got in to the kitchen and the preparations began. Dosa was ready and was served piping hot to Mr. Husband. He gestured me to sit next to him and we relished hot yummeh dosas. Just as I was about to clear the table Mr. R gestured again. This time he drew two glasses in the air and took an imaginary sip.
Frustrated but masking it with a smile, I wrote again in the air, “C.H.A.I.? He obviously responded with another thumbs up again and a naughty smile spread across his otherwise childlike face.
The breakfast was over and the customary book reading session commenced, albeit silently. I took my kindle and found myself curled up comfortably on the sofa. R took to the dewan with his book. Few seconds later I felt a tap on my shoulder. I looked up and saw Mr. R standing with his book looking at me with his typical smile.
R: Pushing himself next to me on the sofa.
R: writing on a piece of paper – It is 11:00 am, can we be done with this Maun Vrat, now?
Me: writing - We?
R: writing - Yeah, it is pretty boring. Making a sad face.
Me: writing - Why are you writing? You can talk. You are not fasting, are you?
R: Writing again. Oh! I forgot. Tee Hee Hee
Me: writing - Okay R. Speak up.
R: Writing again – what are we having for lunch?
Me: writing - For God’s sake, speak up. I can barely understand your handwriting and your gestures.
R: Writing again - Oh! But you understood that I wanted to have Dosa, right? And this writing convo is also going well. (Smiling again with twinkling eyes)
Me: writing - I am not talking.
R: writing - Shall I cook, today?
Me: writing - Please… go ahead.
R: writing - Okay
R left me alone with Jodi Picoult and walked in the kitchen. I felt a sense of relief and buried myself in the book again. Few seconds later I saw from the rim of the kindle that R was frantically looking for something.
Me: Clapping to get his attention.
R: walking towards me and gesturing. He started drawing tiny little circles in the air. The circles were so tiny that I had to shrink my eyes to comprehend their size. He drew at least 20 of them.
Me: I couldn’t fathom anything. I looked at him puzzled and anxious.
R: Erasing the imaginary circles in the air. He then drew a cylindrical shaped object on one side and plate like object on the other side.
By the end of this drawing session my patience had given up, finally.
What do you want, R? I asked composing myself and throwing my “Vow of Silence” in the imaginary bin.
R: Haaah! I wanted to hear your voice. Seeee, how it resonates in the house. Thank you. (Hugging me like a cuddly teddy bear)
Me: smiling. You are insane. By the way what were you drawing? What were those tiny circles?
R: Oh! You couldn’t understand it? It was Dal(lentils), K, he winked.
Yes, I reacted exactly the way you are reacting now while reading this. And apparently the cylindrical object that was being drawn was the “Pressure Cooker”. No, no don’t even ask me the logic. R has defied logic and the laws of physics long ago.
All said and done, I have come to realize that observing silence for a few minutes or a day may help people calm down; however, for me it only pulled my blood pressure up North. :)
Mom doesn’t know about it yet. It is Monday today and I haven’t spoken to her, though I am dying to tell her this “Epic Tale of my Vow of Silence”.
These are the little joys that make life worth living. Aren’t they?
I am still smiling as I write this.
Have you ever been able to successfully complete a "Vow of Silence" aka Maun Vrat? Tell me, I am listening.