Indian tourist Pallavi Venkatesh found the sight of her mother drying swimwear on a Dubai hotel balcony so amusing that she decided to share a video of it on Instagram. Little did she anticipate that her mother would become an international icon for maternal responsibilities. "I shared it because it resonated with so many,” Pallavi explained to Khaleej Times on Saturday. “I never imagined it would go viral like this.”

Last week, the orthodontist was vacationing in Dubai with her mother, in-laws, and two children. They were staying at Atlantis the Palm and planned to end their trip with a visit to the hotel's water park. “We got back to our room at 11am and had to check out by 12pm,” Pallavi recounted. “So, my mother quickly spread the wet clothes on the balcony railings to at least partially dry them before we left.”

As she watched her mother, Shobha Rani, meticulously arrange the clothes, Pallavi captured the moment with a humorous video. “Moms just momming at Palm Atlantis,” she captioned the reel, accompanied by a smiley emoji. The video then pans to another balcony displaying similar drying efforts. “I did caution her about local laws prohibiting this, but she wanted to leave them out for 10 to 20 minutes to avoid packing wet clothes,” Pallavi noted.

The post by Pallavi Venkatesh (@iam.pallavivenkatesh) garnered a mixed response. By Saturday afternoon, the reel had over 11 million views and more than 1,000 comments. “You can take mum out of India but to take India out of mum is just impossible,” one comment read. The hotel, Atlantis The Palm, also joined in the conversation, acknowledging the universal nature of mom duties and mentioning their retractable drying cords in every bathroom.

Despite the widespread appreciation, the post also faced criticism, with some calling it bad manners and illegal. Pallavi's mother was surprised by the polarized reactions online. “She laughed at the attention but was shocked to learn that what was normal in India is seen as impolite elsewhere,” Pallavi said. She took the negative feedback in stride, acknowledging that social media reactions can be unpredictable.

Pallavi expressed gratitude for the opportunity to travel with her mother to Dubai, a rare treat as she usually vacations with her husband. “I'm glad my mother experienced the luxury and hospitality of Dubai. Everything I enjoy today is thanks to her,” she said. On a lighter note, the Dubai weather ensured their clothes dried quickly, sparing them the hassle of carrying wet garments back to India.