A poltergist is a phenomenon in which disorder occurs without explainable cause, usually indoors and in the presence of people. Such disorder typically includes inanimate objects moving or being thrown about, erratic noises (such as knocking, pounding, or banging), and physical attacks on human beings.

- Wikipedia

If yelling, screaming and advising were Olympic sports, your mother would win truckloads of medals. Gold.

She hovers around, while you're filling in admissions applications for American universities. She keeps up a running monologue of comments. "We get all these imported foreign things in India too, but after all their quality is not the same, no? Take ice-creams. Here, the vanilla ice-creams they give, they taste like toothpaste, not that creamy-creamy type you get in America." On cue, reverence enters her voice as she pronounces the sacred word - America, the golden Land of Opportunity. Where they put real ham in hamburgers and not chicken. "And think how convenient it is over there! So cheap you get onions there and you have all these dishwashers and washing machines, no need for lazy maids..."

Ah, what would the Great Indian Mother do without maids to criticize and complain about? From whom else would she learn that Mrs Chaudhari's son was such a bad-bad boy, never studying, only drinking-phinking?

"You must apply only to good-good colleges," she says firmly. "What is this Purdue, this Northwestern you are Googling? Nobody knows these names, you should try for Harvard, Yale..."

"For engineering?"

"Does it matter which department is good or bad? They have such a famous name, after all it doesn't matter what you study, it matters where."

"Yeah, like Harvard will have me."

She opens her eyes wide. "Of course they will have you!" she says. "They will want you, after all, you are Indian, no? They know Indians are so good at Maths and Science. And you are a girl, so you will be good, of course, and not drinking or taking drugs or doing things like that, no? Why won't they want a good Indian girl with a good SAT score?"

She shakes her head when the University of Chicago Supplemental essay prompt comes up. "Salt, governments, beliefs, and celebrity couples are a few examples of things that can be dissolved. You've just been granted the power to dissolve anything: physical, metaphorical, abstract, concrete...you name it. What do you dissolve, and what solvent do you use?," she reads out balefully. "No wonder America is in this recession state, they are only busy thinking up silly-silly essay ideas, not studying and focusing on what is important in life. They should be concentrating more on Maths and Sciences..."

But you secretly like the idea. You start typing out an essay about how you want to dissolve all the weighing machines in the world because checking your weight in them whenever you see one makes you feel fat.