Operation Mom – Bonus Content

Operation Mom – My Plan To Get My Mother A Life & A Man
Operation Mom – My Plan To Get My Mother A Life & A Man

Queen Veena vs. Queen Charlotte

               I can’t wrap my head around why Mom thinks she's some kind of romance expert. Her own marriage is practically circling the drain... for now, at least. So how can she claim to be a guru?
               These days, she's all caught up in this 'Queen Charlotte - A Bridgerton Story' obsession. She actually has the audacity to compare her matchmaking skills to those of Queen Charlotte! Seriously? Picture this: a modern Mumbai single mother thinking she's on par with a Regency-era Queen Consort of England who practically invented debutante balls. Delusional much?
               But hey, let's give credit where it's due. After thinking about it, I reluctantly admit that there are some similarities between Queen Veena and Queen Charlotte, but they show up in different ways. In that Netflix show, Queen Charlotte was all about love matches, even though her own story with King George wasn't a love match at all—it was arranged! On the other hand, in the Life of Veena Isham (aka Mom), she insisted on a love marriage because she fell head over heels for my Pops, JJ. Yet she's always on my case, trying to control who I date, and pushing for a "legit real guy" instead of me chasing after my ultimate pop idol, Ali Zafar. Even though in her own teen days, she was all about George Michael!
               So, my friends, let's break it down. The common theme here is all about control. Both Queen Veena and Queen Charlotte 
have this burning desire to control their kids' lives. And on a larger scale, Queen Charlotte seemed determined to call the shots when it came to who these young ladies in England should be with. In my world, it’s like Mom wrote the ultimate guide on being controlling. Yeah, following in the footsteps of that royal monarch!
               But here's the kicker, folks: control often breeds hypocrisy! Mom catches me red-handed, glued to those addictive TikToks on this very topic, and she goes ballistic! Classic case of saying one thing but doing another.
               Now, picture this scene from just last week. I was chilling in my room, completely absorbed in the addictive scroll of TikTok. I was devouring all the juicy bits about Queen Charlotte and swooning over clips of Simon Bassett, the dreamy Duke of Hastings. Little did I know that Mom would barge into my room like a judgmental tornado. Caught right in the act, I was about to face the full brunt of her mom fury.
               "Social media? Pfft, first it's about getting news from late-night comedy shows, now it's all about TikTok and Netflix for your romance fix," Mom gasped dramatically, as if she had just uncovered the meaning of life.
               I kept scrolling on my phone, not bothering to look up. There was no point in engaging in a conversation that would inevitably lead to one of Mom's countless eccentric rants.
               "Hello, missy? I'm talking to you!" she snapped.
               With my best innocent face, I fired back, "Mom, these aren't just any TikToks. They're educational videos about Queen Charlotte from the Bridgerton show! I'm learning all about history and romance, you know? It's practically schoolwork!"
               Her eyes narrowed, full of judgment. "Yeah, right. More like diving headfirst into a fantasy world and swooning over fictional dukes. I didn't raise you to obsess over fairy tales, young lady!"
               “Well, at least my fantasies are harmless! Can't a girl dream about her own Duke of Hastings without being scolded?”
               She huffed in exasperation, clearly unamused by my sass. "Why waste time on frivolous fantasies instead of focusing on real-life romance? Can't you find a nice, sensible boy who can give you stability and all that jazz?"
               Stability and all that jazz? Another example of hypocrisy coming from a single mother, don't you think?
               Because here's another thing I realized: Queen Charlotte and Queen Veena are both major hypocrites when it comes to matchmaking. Queen Charlotte wanted to control the whole idea of "love matches," probably because she had zero control over her own marriage. Meanwhile, Queen Veena wants to control not just me, but all millennials and GenZ-ers, setting us up left and right, even though she had a love marriage herself! It's like she's saying, "Hey, my love marriage failed, so let me arrange yours instead!" Yeah, hypocrisy on a whole new level!
               So, I shot back, "Oh, so you mean like King George was to Queen Charlotte? An arranged marriage with zero fireworks? No thanks, Mom. I'd rather have my own love story, even if it involves chasing after my pop idol."
               She threw her hands up in the air. "It's not about chasing fantasies, it's about finding someone who can actually make you happy in the long run. Trust me, I know what's best for you."
               I couldn't help but smirk. "Oh, really? Just like you knew what was best for you when you were a teen chasing after George Michael? The irony is strong with this one!"
               Mom's face turned fifty shades of red. Clearly, she didn't expect that comeback. Victory was mine!
               "I say it only because I lost precious years on that George Michael fixation," she grumbled, trying to change the subject back to Queen Charlotte. "You know I could teach that Shonda Rhimes a thing or two about how to develop a Mumbai version of her show. Queen Charlotte reminds me so much of myself, you know?" 
               Here we go, I thought, bracing myself for another round of Mom's peculiar comparisons.
               "Oh, really? How so, Mom?" I asked, raising an eyebrow in mock interest.
               "Well, for starters, we both have a fondness for feathered headpieces," she replied proudly, as if wearing a feathered hat was the epitome of fashion. I couldn't help but scoff.
               "Mom, the closest you've ever come to wearing a hat is when you cover your head with a chunni at the temple."
               "That's because I haven't found the right one yet. And head scarves count – if they work for God, they'll work for the masses," Mom retorted, tapping her foot in emphasis. "Plus, Queen Charlotte wasn't just a hat person; she was also a trendsetter."
               I let out a sigh, mentally preparing myself for the next round of her outlandish monologue.
               "Oh yeah? What trend did she set? Wearing gloves to bed?"
               "No!" Mom exclaimed, clearly exasperated. "She was known for her intricate dance moves. Just like me, I have the best dance moves, and I flamenco like nobody's business!"
               I couldn't contain my laughter at the sheer absurdity of her statement. "Oh yes, flamenco! The signature dance of 18th-century England."
               Mom shot me a glare, clearly not in the mood for my sarcasm.
              " And tango. I am a Master of tango. And that's the dance of romance if there ever was one!" she continued, undeterred.
               "Do you mean Mistress?" I quipped, unable to resist the opportunity for a well-aimed jab.
               Mom shot me another withering look, but a flicker of amusement danced in her eyes.
               "Mistress of Tango," she corrected with a playful smirk. "And let's not forget Queen Charlotte's leadership skills. She was a queen who knew how to get things done," Mom said, shifting the conversation away from her questionable dance moves.
               But I couldn't resist teasing her a little more. "And what have you done that's so queen-like, Mom?"
               A mischievous glint sparked in her eyes as she responded, "I organized the neighborhood watch!”
               That's right! The other point of overlap between the two was the fact that they both had a penchant for gossip! I couldn't help but burst into laughter. "You mean the group of ladies who gossip in the building compound each evening?"
               Mom's smile faltered for a moment, but she quickly recovered, her voice dripping with pride. "Hey, we also keep an eye out for suspicious activity."
               "Right, because there's nothing more 'Queen Charlotte' than a group of middle-aged women keeping a vigilant eye on the romantic escapades of the staff as they go about their business in our oh-so-prestigious building in Mumbai!" I quipped, still chuckling.
               Mom let out a resigned sigh, but a hint of amusement played at the corners of her lips. "Okay, okay, you got me there. But still, I think there's a little bit of Queen Charlotte in all of us Ishams."
               "Sure, Mom, whatever you say," I replied with a smirk. "Queen Veena at her best! Let's just hope you don't start wearing corsets and carrying around a scepter anytime soon."
               Mom rolled her eyes, a chuckle escaping her lips. "Oh please, as if I could even get into a corset these days!"
               "Maybe you should try snuff. I hear it's a great calorie burner.”