Asha’s mother was fuming with anger today. Her board results were out and she had scored 75%. She wasn’t taking any phone calls or replying to any messages. She yelled at Asha, “I am ashamed of you. Who gets 75%? We spent so much money on your tuition, your school, and you do this to us? I can’t face anyone. I am so ashamed to inform about your result to family and friends. Look at Sameer, he scored 92%. His parents must be so proud. He must have studied hard. He must be more intelligent than you are. You are dumb. Just get out of my sight now.”
Asha went to her room and tears rolled down her cheeks. She herself was not expecting 75%, she expected at least 80%. She knew her caliber. She wanted to take up Arts and study psychology in the future, but her parents insisted on Science. After all, all her cousins were either engineers or doctors and her parents didn’t want to feel “embarrassed.”
She wanted to go and tell her mom, “Please stop comparing me with others. You are ashamed of me simply because I scored 75%? What if I tell you that I was ashamed of your behavior with me, I was let down by you when you forced me to take Science, I felt humiliated when you called me dumb? What if I start comparing you with other parents and tell you how “cool” and understanding they are. How would you feel if I compare your upbringing with Sameer or anyone else’s mother?
But Asha knew if she said all this, she would be labeled shameless and defiant. She prepared herself mentally for another round of comparison once her father was back home.