Like the few other million people in this world, I too, watched F.R.I.E.N.D.S. And continue to watch reruns whenever I can. The time I used to see the show, Amma would brush it off as ‘just another TV show’ and never really bothered.
Couple of days back, when I was watching a re-run, I didn’t really expect a change.
I was seeing the re-run most intently [The one with the male nanny] and my mother plopped next to me.
“Ennadi paakara?” [What you watching?]
“Idhu andha serial dhaane?” [It’s that serial right?]
She watches for sometime and also sees me giggling at Ross’ antics.
“Ennadi solraanga? Onnume purila. Avan yaaru?”
[What are they saying? I don’t get it. And who’s that guy?]
“Apo andha ponnu?”
[Then who’s the girl?]
“Adhu avaaloda kozhandhaiya?”
[Is that their baby?]
“So Ross-um Rachel-um husband wife dhaane?”
[So they are husband-wife right?]
My mothers eyes go wide.
“Ennadi solra, ava rendu paerum orey apartment-la irukka, KOZHANDHA irukku, aana ava husban wife illaya?”
[What are you saying? They are in the same apartment, they have a BABY, but they aren’t husband-wife?]
My mouth turns dry. I try to explain it to her.
“Illa ma, live-in relationship maari vechukoyen.”
[No ma, it’s like a live-in relationship]
“Apo ava rendu paerum othotharoda paduthundrukkaala?”
[So they’ve slept with each other?]
I blink at her bluntness.
[Yeah I guess]
“Aama, andha rachel oda amma appakku theriyuma? Kozhandha paththi?”
[Ok, do rachel’s parents know about the baby?]
Clearly, all those Sun TV mega serials have left a deep impact on her.
[yea, they know]
“Cha, ponna control panna therila, enna amma appa? Indha Americans-ey ipdidhaan, culture-ey illa!”
[What, don’t they know how to control their daughter? God!]
“Uh, sollamudiyaathu. Maybe they were ok with it”
“What ok? Love pannu, seri oththukalaam, aana kalyanam pannama kozhandha peththupaala? Andha Rachel thappichcha, If I were her mother, things would have been different.”
I swallow. And change the channel.
“Yaen channel-a maathara? Adha vei, nee enna paakarennu enakku theriyanum.”
[Why you changing the channel? Keep it, I want to see what you watch]
My mother continues to watch it and give her feedback, while I continue to swallow my own spit.
“Andha ponnu yaaru?”
“Ava andha payyanoda dhaana irundha? Yenna paeru…aan, Mike. Avan yen indha aal oda irukka ippo?”
[Wasn’t she with that guy, mike? Why is she with this guy now?]
“Illa ma, David avaloda ex-boyfriend”
“Pazhe boyfriend dhaana? Yen kiss adikara apdina?”
[Ex boyfriend right? then why is she kissing him?]
“Innum pudichirko ennamo”
[Maybe she still likes him]
“Chi chi, enna pombala ava.”
And it didn’t stop. She just went on. And on. And on. I do believe that it was the longest half hour of my life. And I ran out of saliva to swallow as well.
When the credits came on (finally), she left the living room saying something about how “Pasanga indha maari programme paathu kettu kuttichavura pora”.
I made a mental note that day to watch the show on the computer from now.
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