Dubai: Viral video of mum drying clothes on hotel balcony rail divides Internet

by martinawinneke

Amid the buzz, the Indian tourist told Khaleej Times she was just grateful that her mum had the chance to experience the emirate’s luxury and hospitality

Photos: Screenshot / Supplied

Photos: Screenshot / Supplied

Published: Sat 29 Jun 2024, 2:20 PM

Last updated: Sat 29 Jun 2024, 10:33 PM

When Indian tourist Pallavi Venkatesh saw her mother trying to dry swimming clothes on a hotel balcony in Dubai, she thought it was “hilarious” and decided to post a video of it on Instagram. She was not counting on her mother becoming a global symbol for mum duties. “I posted it because it was relatable to so many people,” she said, speaking to Khaleej Times on Saturday. “I didn’t expect it to blow up the way it did.”

The orthodontist was on a vacation in Dubai last week with her mother, parents-in-law and two children when the incident happened.

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Staying at Atlantis the Palm, the family decided to spend the last day of their holiday at the water park in the hotel. “We returned to the room only at 11am,” said Pallavi. “We had to check out by 12pm. So my quick-thinking mother decided to spread the clothes on the railing so that it would be at least semi-dry by the time we had to leave.”

Watching her mother, Shobha Rani, carefully spread the clothes on the railing, she decided to post a funny video of it. “Moms just momming at Palm Atlantis,” she wrote on her reel with a smiling emoji. The video then zooms into another balcony where clothes had been similarly left for drying.

“I did warn her that the local laws might prohibit it but she wanted to leave it out for at least 10 to 20 minutes so that we didn’t have to carry really wet clothes in our luggage,” Pallavi said.

Mixed response

Like with a lot of things on social media, Pallavi’s relatable post blew up. As of Saturday afternoon, the reel had been viewed over 11 million times and had more than 1,000 comments.

“You can take mum out of India but to take India out of mum is just impossible,” wrote one commentator. “She is mum, she can do anything,” wrote another one.

Chiming in with the comments was the hotel Atlantis The Palm itself. “Mum duties (clapping hands emoji). We hope you enjoyed your stay! (We include a retractable drying cord in every bathroom so that you can dry your clothes over the bath),” it wrote.

However, the innocent post also drew a lot of criticism. “This is bad manners,” wrote one, while another pointed out that hanging clothes in the balcony was illegal in Dubai. A third called it the “toxicity” of “desi parents” and said it was embarrassing.

Pallavi said her mother was surprised by the way internet was divided over something she grew up doing. “She laughed at all the attention she received,” she said. “However, she was also shocked to know that something that was common practice in India is no longer common and considered bad manners.”

Grateful

She said she took the backlash she received with a pinch of salt. “No matter what you do, social media will find a good or bad out of it,” she said. “Sometimes, people fail to see the fun and lighthearted humour. However, when the reel went viral, I also got a lot of supportive comments from people all over the world. I am happy that Atlantis the Palm saw the funny side of it.”

Having travelled to Dubai several times before, Pallavi said she was grateful to be able to bring her mother here. “I rarely get a chance to travel with my mother as I usually go on holidays with my husband,” she said. “I am happy my mother was able to experience the hospitality and luxury of Dubai. I love my mother and everything I enjoy today is because of her.”

On the bright side, Pallavi said the Dubai weather meant she did not have to lug any wet clothes back to India. “Our clothes were dry within 10 minutes of being put out in the balcony,” she chuckled.

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