Monday, September 13, 2010

In the beginning

I was so pleased to see you all ready to follow me till I realized you're probably keeping track to check on the wild lies I may write about you.
(Ah, but it was a nice moment till it lasted).

So where does one start? At the beginning, I guess.
Once my daughter, who was then about 5, was telling me about something that happened to her. She had proceeded well into her tale when her older sister came and demanded to know what this was all about. So she repeated her sentence.
"No, what happened before that?"
She repeated a longer portion of it.
"Tell me right from the beginning!"
Now everyone knows where the beginning is, but I see a mischievous glint in her eye as she throws back to the oldest living relative she knows and then she solemnly begins, "Once there was a great grandmother..."

In the beginning, one's first kid is born. No, dont tell me there was a life before that. There was, but it was another one. In that other life one's assorted relatives were dropping hints that it was high time one had a kid. One's own mother, of course, said she didn't care. If she wanted a grandchild (as alleged by a friend of her's), she would adopt one. Well, thank God for some non-meddling folks.

Everyone who doesn't have a child naturally knows exactly how a child is to be brought up. All such wisdom vanishes as soon as the baby in one's arms cocks an eyebrow at one. She doesn't know the rules, she cheats like hell and vanquishes one several times everyday. But that hasn't stopped anyone from pretending they know exactly when you should have a child, how you should bring it up and how many should follow. If you let them, they will even suggest the sex of your next child. "Have a boy now." No way, I still have to finish my dinner!

The single child parents are under great pressure to "have another". One lady stood at the bus stop waiting to pick up her first born and all she would talk about was this pressure. Her back was bowed, the spark was missing from her eyes.
"Who tells you to have a second kid?" I asked her
I turn and look at the lady standing on my right. She quickly averts her eyes. OMG! She's one of them. The neighbour of the cousin of her landlady. This has certainly gone far enough.
"Draw a list of all these people," I say "And assign jobs that they will have to do when the child is born. Like changing the diapers, writing the cheque for school, arranging for the wedding party. Draw up the contracts and get them signed!" The stupid woman had her second kid even before she had appointed a lawyer. I went to see her child.
"So sweet!" I exclaimed. "Have a boy now."

With one baby being born every 1.25 seconds in India one would think the obstetricians would be screaming "Enough already!" But no, they're just like the other folks. Inside of their white gowns they're just someone's cousin's neighbour after all. When I had my first baby, my doc had breezed in at the 5th last minute when her most efficient nurse was tossing up between a heart attack and a stroke. Naturally the 5 minute job was no great shakes.

"That was easy, wasn't it? Have another."
Yeah sure. I'm still in the delivery chair, why don't you just proceed to deliver the next one?


  1. The lucky ones have two together! :)

  2. Thanks Neelima, Lak. Dipali one may still have to watch out for "Have a boy now" :)