Friday, August 01, 2008

Sunday Scribblings - "Do I have to?"

My life – and I suspect others' lives as well – has been pretty much a continuous litany of “Do I have to?” uttered in tones ranging from whiny to desperate to resigned. Some samples:

“Do I have to?” – age 9, when told by my dad to join in the party games and leave behind the birthday boy’s collection of comics in which I was engrossed.

“Do I have to?” – age 11, when told to get out of bed because I’d be late for school otherwise.

“Do I have to?” – age 13, when asked to babysit a bratty younger cousin who interfered most annoyingly in the games of us older ones

“Do I have to?” – age 15, when told that we had to go to the temple on a festival day (in my defence, it was horribly hot and the temple would be jam-packed with devotees)

“Do I have to?” – age 17, ordered by my grandmother to get betel leaves from the corner paan shop. (To be fair, the prefix “why” was attached to the question that time, followed by “Why cant someone else do it?”)

“Do I have to?” – age 19, to my mother, at family weddings where I was supposed to mingle with strange relatives who apparently ALL knew about me (and knew ALL about me) and whose only question would be “Do you remember who I am?”

“Do I have to?” – age 22, asked to be home by 10pm from an outing with friends.

“Do I have to?” – ages 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, anytime I was told that I was supposed to meet a prospective “groom”.

“Do I have to?” – age 30 onwards, faced with having to pay bills.

“Do I have to?” – dated today, when posed with the prompt on Sunday Scribblings.
Oh... I dont?
Ok then, I’ll get to it straight away.

And thus this prompt has the honour of being the one to be taken up the most promptly of them all. Because I didnt have to. :)

19 comments:

Suma said...

:)

funnily this is exactly what i had in mind when i thought of the prompt...but then i thought of my kids..'cos they say it all the time...

Tanya Gwen Minnick said...

I loved it- sometimes I still feel like I'm all those ages, at different times, thinking (if not saying) "do I have to?" hehe
very nice post

Lekhni said...

The wedding scene is so familiar. I would dread going to weddings for this reason (there were other reasons, like the noise).
All these guys would walk up to me and wonder if I know them. If I didn't, they would take it as a deep slight and wonder how my parents didn't tell me about them, for as first (or second or third) cousins of my father, they think I should know all about them :(

Michelle said...

How come we have to do so many things we don't want to growing up?? And why doesn't "Do I have to?" ever get us out of it?? =)

Granny Smith said...

What a wonderful and familiar list! That could have been me at many of those ages. I love the ending with its twist of being willing to do what you don't "have to".

umm oviya said...

heehee. was the bratty cousing a friend of mine? please say yes, that would be so much fun!

Leonard Blumfeld said...

Liked the progression of your do I have to list a lot.

CW said...

The last few lines..ring so true!
Shyam have you ever considered publishing your work? (A compilation of your posts, for starters..)

danni said...

all so familiar and so nicely presented - we all walk through that same fire, don't we??

tumblewords said...

As it turned out - yes, we did! Nicely done!

ratanaong said...

Nicely done and beautifully written. Great job!

Rambler said...

hey lovely take on the prompt
"Do I have to?” – age 30 onwards, faced with having to pay bills."

oh do we have to :D

Patois said...

Perfectly done. I love that list. Amen!

Jennifer Hicks said...

perfect list....i love how you said that when we don't have to do something, we're more inclined to do it. right on!

Overeducated Twit said...

Yes, the "don't have to"s are certainly much more fun :). I enjoyed the progression, though, from getting up for school to paying bills.

WA said...

liked it. a lot

Berry Blog said...

Wonderfully clever, very amusing, and though i never had to get betel leafs ( much lesss chew them), going to the store was just as bad. Loved "do you remember me?" I recently inherited a huge envelope of family photos- and don't know anyone in them, and I'm not only the oldest in the family, I don't care.

Castor aka Kiwilax said...

my one now is: do i really have to work for BFH?

Kamini said...

I could identify with so many of these! And thank goodness for the last one!
Kamini.