Awkward moment: When your mom catches you reading the juicy bits of a Harold Robbins novel tucked in your physics text. Or when your dad finds the wad of love letters to your favourite boy band hidden in the same physics text. Or when they finally understand how to check the browsing history on your computer and realize you weren't using it to study the Higgs particle. And they shout at you, "I was once your age and I know exactly what you are thinking!"
What’s that?! Your world turns upside down. "What do you mean you know what I am thinking? My thoughts are not all that clean. But you are aware of that from the browsing history. Surely, that can't mean...you don't mean...that you once had similar thoughts as I do now?"
Ofcourse, you don't say all this aloud because you don't question your parents especially when they are not in the best of moods. But it opens up a whole new world to you. You suddenly consider the possibility that the elders in your family weren't born as adults but went through the same cycle of innocent childhood, rebellious teenage and boring adulthood as you did. They probably ran around in shimi and valli nikar and pulled each other’s pigtails when they were kids. During their teenage, did they worry that their oily face and scary acne would put off their secret crush? Did their hearts skip a beat when they saw Vinodh Khanna fighting the bad guys and Hema Malini doing the Basanti number? And maybe they even failed exams and got mind numbing sermons from their parents! HA! It isn't easy to imagine that the parents who told you that you should be more concerned about a potential life partner's character than his appearance once dismissed a marriage proposal because the guy was a couple of inches shorter than Amitabh Bachchan or the girl was a couple of inches wider around the waist than Rekha.
The lesson you learn is that you should never yell at your kids that you know every thought going through their heads. Because they are going to assume that you did every forbidden thing they are experimenting with now and unlike you, they will use this knowledge against you. Instead say that the kids in your day, including you, were just so angelic!
Recently, when my mom made this chicken curry and told me this was the first ever curry she learnt to make after marriage, I was taken by surprise. One, her statement meant that there was a period in her life - the pre marriage era - when she didn't know how to cook. Two, it was funny imagining a younger version of my mom learning to cook to impress my dad. I am sure he was impressed because the curry is a very good one. And frankly, I was once that age and I know he would have been happy with the effort even if the curry was the worst he had ever had.