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Mothers Or Family Dustbins?

Posted: July 5, 2014

Mothers are often at the receiving end of our waste and ugly emotions. This tongue-in-cheek piece tells you why mothers are akin to family dustbins!

Mr. Badani was regaling the group with the details of the episode of the bride-viewing for his grandson. They were all looking properly shocked. The metro girl had asked the boy how many dustbins there were in his home. The boy was nonplussed. He begged her pardon and asked her to clarify. “The oldies! How many old people are there, since yours is a joint family?” pat came the clarification without any hesitation. Needless to say  the Badanis begged her pardon and came away minus the matrimonial alliance they had gone seeking.

In my heart, I agreed with the simile the girl had used but she had missed the mark.

All of you are going to find me funny – I mean, funny peculiar. You see, I have had this strange fancy for a long time now  – wherever I see a dustbin I am reminded of a mother. No need to describe a dustbin, I hope! That large round container with a lid which one uses to put their rubbish in! You doubt my sanity, don’t you? Start observing the mothers around you and the truth of my statement will gradually dawn upon you.

Here, I must mention that my observations may not be valid regarding the rich, because the rich make their own rules.

Ever seen the mom whose baby is at the bottle-feeding stage? Whatever amount of milk (no formula thingy) the baby leaves in the bottle, the mother either simply swallows it instead of tossing it into the sink or keeps it in a cup in the fridge to be used while preparing her own tea.

She has lovingly prepared khichdi or choori with lots of pure ghee and the toothless toddler says ‘finis’ in the middle. The economist in the mom balks at wasting fat, cereal etc. So she eats it herself. Baby is refusing to take mashed banana, apple juice, and peeled grapes – waste such expensive items? never! The mother swallows them immediately because they cannot even be kept safely in the fridge.

So, the dustbins of little ones tend to be fat because of hogging all those unwanted calories most of the time.

The dustbin of the growing/grown up children simply watches and waits. She observes what dishes children prefer on the table and does not go near them. She only consumes the unpopular ones. Sometimes she is sick of those small katories full of leftovers, which fill the fridge. She cooks fresh food to feed the clan and puts these leftovers in her personal incinerator, that is her stomach, to burn.

She cooks fresh food to feed the clan and puts these leftovers in her personal incinerator, that is her stomach, to burn.


Her house-help can refuse the stale food ‘basa nahin khate’  (we don’t eat stale food) but the mom simply cannot. The monthly bills of grocery and vegetables haunt her, though adopting the idealistic stance she may sermonise before the children that ours is a poor nation and we cannot afford to throw away food. The children, exercising their prerogative, choose to be deaf.

Not only food, the emotions too are dumped into this dustbin alias mom. The husband is about to go to work, cannot find his car keys or spectacles or mobile – and mom becomes the recipient of the anger thus generated. Her poor housekeeping skills are the source of  inspiration for  this diatribe.

Daughter wants branded clothes, permission to come home late, or is unable to be impressed by the suitors paraded before her, keeps quiet in front of father, but targets mother to vent her frustration!  Son wants the latest gizmos, the play station, the iPhone, the bike and going on hikes and treks. Father and son speak languages of different planets, so mother has to be the buffer, the ambassador, and the go-between and, therefore, has to take in equal amount of  flak – jhidkiyan – from both of them.

Even the house-help is more privileged than the woman of the house . She can go AWOL anytime and the woman of the house cannot even remonstrate with her. Otherwise, she will have to listen to her rant because you see, the maid has to attend so many other tasks; she does not sit at home twiddling her thumbs! And on Sundays she takes leave with prior intimation, duly underlining the fact that she was saving madam’s casual leave and obliging her. Madam, too, longs for a casual leave from home!

Whether it is the irate husband, disgruntled son or dissatisfied daughter – all the disgust, resentment, aggression, acrimony, and anger are poured into this dustbin.

Whether it is the irate husband, disgruntled son or dissatisfied daughter – all the disgust, resentment, aggression, acrimony, and anger are poured into this dustbin. Dustbins are utility items. Therefore, there is no scope for designer dustbins in this otherwise fashion conscious society. If following the in-vogue individualism, the dustbin refuses to be a mere cog, it is left high and dry sans family. Simple.

If there is a family then only there is a need for family dustbin.  A demanding dustbin i.e. one which demands to be used decently is out of the bounds of imagination. Just as a dustbin never kicks back, so does a good mom – never kicks back. Thank god for the moms of this world, I mean the dustbins of the family! Take care that your dustbin never overflows or festers with unattended rubbish and rot. Regularly attend to it if you want to be a member of a happy family.

Pic credit: Kelehen (Used under a CC license)


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  1. ha ha! Liked the simile and your imagination.

  2. You talk of one mom, you are talking about all moms! Very ,very true!

  3. He he nice interpretation, yes I am used to of not wasting leftover food from my daughters plate, but once in a while I show her the dustbin and let her throw the food on her own, or make her eat the apples she brings back from school lunchbox. Result – she becomes careful to take less on her plate next day. I must agree that the cycle of dumping starts again in a month. Emotion dump is even more difficult to handle. Having a nice lunch group at work help to get the reality check and we laugh out loud on the comment our kids make on us.

  4. Agreed with Chandrima. It’s because of the pampering that the parents rather the mothers do- especially Indian mothers do.
    Society has conditioned Indian mothers to be thus.
    Living in the west I have not seen the western mothers chase their children begging them to eat.
    The kids eat by themselves are very healthy – unlike the Indian children who are used to being fussed over and the mother begging hte child to please eat and become “less skinny”
    This continues into the later years of the child- used to mother treating them like royalty not like smart, intelligent children.
    And so the mother becomes the trash can as described.

    Don’t give too much food, the children eat when their body needs.

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