If you are Indian and live with your parents, says Divya Nair, there is no way in hell you can avoid their interference in the tiniest aspects of your life.
In India, according to a recent survey (external link), 80% young urban Indians live with their parents.
The reasons, as one can understand, are aplenty -- emotional bonding, parampara (tradition), high cost of renting an independent place etc.
But most of all: Convenience.
What's better than a life where the smallest details are looked after by Mummy Dearest, Papaji or your devoted siblings?
Even at the cost of a wee bit of personal space.
For most of us, who live in small city homes, these are the little sacrifices we make for the unconditional love of our beloved parents.
Even so... there are bound to be some awkward-to-annoying situations and questions that also come with this beautiful experience.
1. Kitna kamate ho? (How much do you earn?)
If you grow up in a typical Indian household you are constantly compared to your topper classmate.
From exam marks to your current annual package, parents tend to unknowingly make you feel inferior about your talent and capabilities.
'Look at her/him, s/he is working in Google and you are working in an IT company whose name my 10th pass neighbour cannot pronounce!'
If you dare you tell them you were the star performer of the year at work, they will provide you with enough reasons to further hate your best friend at Google.
2. Ghar kab aaoge? (When will you come home?)
You have reached the bus/metro/suburban railway station and updated your mother about your exact latitude and longitude.
Three minutes later, you get a follow up call. "Where are you right now?" "Arre, three minutes away from where I was last Mummyji."
You are in an important midday meeting and you take your parent's call, thinking it must be something urgent.
"What time will you come home today?" Wait a minute, does your watch show an ETA?
Sometimes you don't know if your parents are really concerned or just want to spy on you.
How about a GPS device that sends alerts every 0.00002 seconds?
3. Shaadi kab karoge? (When do you plan to marry and settle down?)
Ask any single Indian in their 20s and they'll tell you how much they blame the Supreme Court for fixing the minimum marriageable age at 18.
The degree of concern, from your parents, to get you hooked to someone appropriate, is directly proportional to your age.
Actually wildly proportional yaani increasing light years faster than your age.
And what's the meaning of settling down?
Does anyone ever settle down?
4. Dinner me kya khaoge?
It is 3 pm. You have just finished lunch at work; maybe you haven't even burped.
But you get a phone call from your mother and she asks you the penultimate question of the day: Beta, dinner mein kya khaoge?
Paneer ya anda bhurji? Roti ya chawal?
Forget choosing an option, you are already losing your appetite.
5. Kiska phone tha? (Who were you speaking to?)
So you are having this long, interesting, telephone conversation with a colleague/dear friend in a quiet corner of your home.
You are giggling, whispering, even talking in code language.
You don't notice that A Parent is watching you from The Corner Of His Eye and simultaneously checking the time on the wall clock.
If this person happens to call you at a certain time every day, your parents may happily even answer the call in your micro-second absence, before putting you on.
As soon as you hang up, you'll face this question: Kiska phone tha?
God forbid, if it is someone from the opposite sex. You'll see a different side to your parents that day.
6. Hamare saat chaloge? (Will you come with us?
Beta, *insert any family/get together occasion* chaloge?
It doesn't matter if you have no memory meeting this distant aunt's brother's wife's second cousin, who loved squeezing your cheeks blue when you were 2.
Point is, this cousin has a daughter who is getting married and your parents are invited.
As your sentimental parent's obedient child, you are expected to be at this close relative's life-changing event.
And obedient, loving kids, in India, tag along with their parents to random weddings and family reunions.
No questions asked; none answered.
7. Please speak to Uncle X
For a certain part of India, festivals means calling up relatives and exchanging season's greetings.
But for young India, festivals are eagerly anticipated as occasions to sleep in longer.
If you are living with your parents, there is no way you can escape that one phone call from a distant relative who wants to hear your dulcet voice.
If you tell them you'll call them later, your mom will first make a sad basset hound puppy face, then widen her eyes in an attempt to threaten.
Before you know it, you are already speaking to Uncle X.
8. Kitna kharch karte ho! (How much you splurge!)
The first time you receive a packet from an e-commerce company, your parents will receive it with reluctance and dissect its contents.
Repeat that multiple times a month and be prepared to face this unnecessary situation: "Kitna kharcha karte ho! Kuch future ke liye save kiya hai ya sirf kapde, joote aur mobile hi khareedte rahoge? (How will you save for your future if you keep spending on clothes, shoes and mobile phones?)
Don't even bother explaining that now you are independent and/or you are earning a six figure salary.
9. When I was your age...
If comparing you with that thick-rimmed specs (naturally) nerd/prodigy of your class all through school and college wasn't bad enough, your father time and again compares your achievements (or lack of it) with his successes when he was your age and had much fewer resources.
How he came to the city with no shoes, had no money in his pocket, slept on the footpath, had no godfather he could turn to...
At first you feel inspired that your dad is a self-made man.
30 years later, when you are reminded that you are a failure because you haven't even invested in a 1 BHK yet, you begin to feel a wee bit guilty.
10. Maine kaha tha... (I told you so...!)
Don't you dare ask how... but one of your parents always knew you were going to miss that train or that best friend of yours was going to cheat on you or...
Any unfortunate event in your life comes with the mandatory 'I told you so' followed by a long list of mistakes you have made and the times you didn't listen to your parents and did something stupid.
Did we miss something? Tell us the tired ol' one-liners you put up listening to from The Parents.
Share them in the message board below.
IMAGE: A scene from Bend it Like Beckham, published only for representational purposes.