Monday, 19 January 2015

What to expect when you’re not expecting


Thank you, Google.

It is that exact time in my life when people have started poring over my stomach to look for signs of a second pregnancy. After all, my first child is now going to be four! And even Doordarshan has known since times Krishi-Darshan that just like the ideal gap between two saplings is 3 feet, the one between children is the same number, in years. While I feel intelligent enough to draw myriad pleasant-thorny parallels between children and plants, wrap those inferences into a theorem and publish them as natty derivations, I am yet to figure out how to keep those eyes from gazing intently at my belly. Or those stranger-getting-weirder mouths from pronouncing, ‘It’s high time now!

High time it is, indeed, that I claim my uterus and its neighbours, my husband’s similarly located organs and my family’s personal choices as exclusively my own. Oh, add my fertility (waning as it may be, main lut gayi) to that list too! 

That family-planning is the community’s business is the single greatest truth that drives the generation which has been-there-popped-theirs’ and packed up the nether regions in chaste panties and briefs for reproductive use in another life now. (Thank God! Some genes need to go dormant till the dinosaurs walk back!) But that doesn’t mean well-wishing minds will jump into the noise-cancelling well just when you want them to, which is exactly the second they ask ‘What about number two now? This is the best time!’ One would imagine they mean it’s a good time to go shit, but a few years into motherhood and you know they mean … well, shit still. Regardless that they barely know you. Oblivious that they may be intruding into private territory. And ignorant of the expression they make when they ask such silly questions – one eyebrow raised, half-a-smile and fleeting glances at your spouse which may want you to scratch their faces with pitch forks.

Such violent thoughts seep into your cherubic minds as would shock you, but probably not more than being asked in McDonalds over an extended family-cum-friends birthday party and across a table-for-twelve in a hall full of din – ‘Your first child is going to school. Are you trying for the second one now?’ Around you heads turn to look (often at your stomach) and on your lips are the words – ‘Yes, madam, I am, with my hand on my softy and his on his Maharaja Mac right this second. Demi-Gods have been born in such super ways one never knows, right?’ But you just smile, shake the image of those hair-spa heads into the fryer and convince your mind that some murders will be in self-defence. Plus, God helps those who help themselves. Amen.

To be asked ‘when next?’ by those you don’t feel akin to is like hearing the sound a fork makes when your tod’s teeth rub against it while having a banana, again and again. But to be advised to ‘have one, one more’ is like seeing the same banana-infested fork being shoved up your nose. These being my exact feelings.

So, what’s my plan? 

Maybe I can carry an 18”x18” cushion and push it in my jumper whenever my radar catches the signal of an individual with an inverted red triangle (c.f. GoI) for a mouth. What fun it would be. ‘Second trimester, aunty ji. Cancel your Europe trip and stay ready for an invite to the baby shower soon. Theme – Stone Age.’ 

Perhaps, a better idea would be to ask the experienced to speak up in the same gathering they advise you so politely in - ‘Do you think a particular rare position is conducive to producing a healthy second child? Planetary, planetary position of course. Your pandit ji should know, nahi?

On a day when I feel totally vanquished I will just remind the tied and dyed kitty party that ‘You know, the world’s oldest mother to conceive naturally was 59 years old. And you are way beyond natural, so why not try it yourself, hain ji?’ All this with one eyebrow raised, half-a-smile and fleeting glances at the revered uncle jis, of course.

Now, any questions? 

Anyone?




53 comments:

  1. Totally hilarious but very serious stuff here. I echo your sentiments and add to it the "one child will be lonely/spoiled/lack bonding" makes my blood boil. Are all evil people single children - I think not!

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    1. Oh, I am one of two children, and my brother surely takes the cake for being evil. (There, myth busted with a live and kicking eg.) :P
      That "one child so spoiled" syndrome brings such vile reactions in my head that I wonder if my blog will be able to stand the viciousness of the post, when I write it. It will probably faint.
      We'll see. :D
      Thank you for reading AND for tweeting. Lots of love.

      Delete
  2. This was so hilarious! Not the right person to comment on the seriousness of the issue, but enjoyed it thoroughly ! I am an only child and recently read this book - One and Only: The Freedom of Having an Only Child, and the Joy of Being One- as a myth buster on the whole "only child" syndrome. You should carry one around for every Aunty Ji you meet :)

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    Replies
    1. Another naggers' question - 'When will you be the right person to comment on the issue?' ;)
      I'm going to get the book, for the aunty jis and my son! :D
      Thanks for reading and for the Twitter love, Prateek!

      Delete
  3. You probably hear of people that are full of "should". Don't get any of it on ya. Their "should" is their problem. It is great to see your writings here again. We must both be working the late shift here on #blogboost. Blog on . . .

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    1. Oh, I hear "should" all the time, Doug. (The 'sh-' of 'should reminds me of another that begins with 'sh-') Just dusted it all off my coat and right up there!
      Thanks for reading, Doug.

      Delete
  4. Ha ha! Funny one! You are being asked for a second one..Imagine what I go through when people ask me about when am I planning a baby. It seems as if more that us, others want a baby! https://happinessandfood.wordpress.com/2014/04/04/please-dont-ask-me/

    Parul

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    1. I can imagine for the number one too, Parul. After all, my first came after THREE LONG years of married life. :D
      I always believe others want everything more than us. Makes you feel so holy. :D
      Just read and commented on your post too.

      Delete
  5. Well, so when are you planning for the second one, Sakshi? ;) Please yaar, it's high time!!!
    But seriously, I am thankful that during a certain part of my life I was away, far far away from a lot of the questioning, nosy, well-intentioned type of relatives and people in our circle. So got saved by the distance. I don't know how I could have handled all those questions about when, why, why not, have you tried this, etc etc.... Seriously, people need to mind their own business. But I guess in India some businesses are everyone's business, and they are so sure that they are minding your business for your own good.

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    1. I am usually very patient and use all the tolerance and silence I can muster in such 'sticky' situations. However, I am now learning to handle such situations better - by laughing out so loud at the questions that they think me mad enough to not wish me another child. :D
      Love your last sentence.
      As for the question you asked, Beloo, tum bhi? :O

      Delete
  6. So self-centered. Do you really have no concern for Young Nanda at all? Look at the poor boy, playing cricket all by himself with his bat and ball, when he could have left all the fielding to a little brother.
    'Hum Do Humare Do'. Before and after the aforementioned Krishi Darshan. Remember? I say, do the Do.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Now LOOK who comes along acting the family planning sage here. You are two whole steps "behind" me. Catch up and I will take you very seriously, on this front too. :D
      Baaki, no longer about multiples of two. If Young Nanda wants to enjoy the best quality cricket bat, ball and gloves gifted by his selfless parents, he needs to stop looking for a brother (you sexist!) and find chums in gali-maholla only. Thank you very much!

      Delete
  7. Or you could point to your bum and exclaim - of course, I'm expecting!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So full of it I am, no? :D
      Thanks for reading, Purba ma'am!

      Delete
  8. Howlarious, I am sure you feel lighter after writing this one. Reminds me of a distant aunt who asked me, Only one son? Doosra hua Nahin Ya Kiya Nahin? As if I owed her an explanation.

    So, what's your plan? I need to buy a dress for the Stone Age themed baby shower ;) something like Wilma Flintstone!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I feel good.
      Ha ha ha ha, that distant aunt is quite unique I say. Though I can very well imagine that question was far from funny when it was asked. In hindsight, it's good to make merry with such mammaries.
      Oh you'll look gorgeous in Wilma's off shoulder, Alka! Not that you belong to that Age I speak about, or ever will.

      Delete
  9. :D Hilarious read!

    No comments on the subject discussed though. I'd rather keep my young, free mind engaged with "lighter" thoughts ;)

    Marriage, kids, family etc,,,,, sounds scary to me! :/

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Free bird, huh? Marriage, kids, family, etc ARE scary, indeed. Except, some of us do enjoy the goosebumpy horror movies. no? :D
      So good to see you here, Pooja. Glad you enjoyed this!

      Delete
  10. Terrible! The way people think your babies (or lack of the plural of baby) is their business. Now the government also wants to interfere in Hindu women's uterus and make it mandatory to have two children!! Wonder who's advising them - the aunties of the nation.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I wonder which is worse - nosey neighbours or a nosey government? Frankly, just too much in our society is so stifling. And a lot of it perpetuated by society itself.
      Thanks for reading, Kalpanaa.

      Delete
  11. Hmmm... Mercifully I have twins and that was that! A girl and a boy too. That kind of put an end to most conjecture. But the twins came some 10 years after marriage so I completely know where you're coming from. There was a time I would get up and walk away, polite smile well on my face when the aunty jis started off.

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    1. Mercifully? In my circumstance that is divine! 1. You have 2 kids, and someone wise always said 2 is the perfect number. 2. Your family is 'complete', with one boy one girl.
      Ah! 10 years. :) You've been-there-seen-that then.
      I walk away with a big grin, and a slight frown. Hopefully, they know that means 'Are you from Mars?'

      Delete
  12. When and if you decide to have another baby is your choice alone. It really is no one else's business. Be happy, enjoy life, and to hell with all of them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. To hell, indeed. :)
      Happy to find you here. Thank you so much. :)

      Delete
  13. Lol. Softy and maharaja mac...lol.

    My kid is still just a year old. So I think I have a 3 year pester-free holiday for now.

    Cheer
    CRD

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He he! I am like that only. :P

      A YEAR old!? Haven't you heard how economically viable it will be to have your next NOW, since clothes and shoes and diapers can all be shared between the sibs? Later on school textbooks too? :O
      Cheers. :D

      Delete
    2. Right. Thanks for bursting my bubble. It was wonderful while it lasted :p

      Delete
    3. He he. You're funny (but I was being serious, economy sake of course!)

      Delete
  14. Hah! I always said, make one for me. I'm lazy. 8 year gap between the sibs, you see. I faced plenty of that.

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    1. Make one for me would mean their genes in my pool. No no!
      Yeah, can imagine.

      Delete
  15. Imagine it's going to be 4 years since S and I have been married and I haven't given anyone any 'good news' till now...!! The questions are endless and all I want to tell them is if you want one so much go make one yourself! !!

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    1. I can imagine, Naba. Gosh, can get really frustrating!
      Thanks for being here.

      Delete
  16. Haha. You know the society doesnt spare anyone. First it's about getting married, then about having children. God knows what will happen after that ;-) (No, not the second child :-D)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Ha ha ha! That's interesting, Ashwini. 'God knows what will happen after that' :D
      Thanks for reading. :)

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete
  18. Indians are ultimately them may they stay where ever in the whole world. Why does this question still arises? It is completely our business whether to get another child or when to plan for. Why the society people are so much interested go knows and themselves of course. I avoid listening to them and u better do the same. Awesome article. Just loved it. Thank u for the message that u have shared.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hey Shreya,
      Thank so much for speaking my mind. And really happy you liked this.

      Delete
  19. hahahaha I am scared of calling home because somehow the topic changes to my badhati umar and no bacha!! And it's just 2 years of marriage... I sometimes tell my mom that I will give her the bacha and go backpacking in Europe :P

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Well, you know you might just do that, give her the bachcha and go backpacking. And she'll jump at the opportunity. :D
      As an aside, I do think you'll make a gorgeous mom *ducks in case you threw a shoe at me for thinking like your mom*

      Delete
  20. Yes I have a question .. but preceding that is another one .. SHUD I dare Ask you the question :)

    waiting........

    Bikram's

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    1. Don't wait and don't you dare! :D

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    2. I knew THatttttttttttttttttt :)

      Delete
  21. It sounds like having only one child is almost as "bad" as having none! LOL ☺ For some reason, people think it's their business and not yours alone. Shame on them, yes?
    The Childfree Life

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    1. Shame on them, yes!
      Thanks for reading, Debbie.

      Delete
  22. Ah, well , well..... I'm currently going through this phase, so I get exactly what you mean :D
    Guess what, I've had many auntijis give me the same reason ( economy , sharing diapers, milk bottles, dresses and other blahs blahs of mundane existence and growing up) for having a second child immediately after the first :D
    And someone(I'm not mentioning who, but I know you're good at guessing that part) consulted the panditji / astro(illog)er who revealed that we'll have a son if we try after our daughter turns 3 :D

    I fail to get the message, every time.

    And there are times when I've answered the sportive ones, " I tried but google didn't allow the download" :)

    Thumbs up !

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I think when they meant same-to-same gyan when they said 'unity' in diversity, Sreeja. Parenting gyan knows no man-made boundaries and geographical lines. Why else would women from all over nod at my experience?
      As for astrologers, one looked at my new born son's back of the head to say I'll have another son at 35. Bai God, we need a God down here!
      LOL - Google. :D
      Thanks for reading me. :)

      Delete
  23. Hmmm - well, you aren't getting any younger, you know. On the other hand you've already popped a BOY!

    They say it takes a whole lot of anutyjis to raise a proper family and we all know that auntyjis are only really happy when someone else has babies.

    You know, it may be my age and hippy influences talkin', but a party with everyone in tie-dye shirts seems kind of fun.... a fun I haven't had in a few years!

    Go easy with those forks....

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hehe. Your first sentence sums life up so beautifully, I tell you. Sometimes I wonder if you are really in Canada, but then I know Canada is in India only and vice versa. Same to same.
      I'm afraid that party with those ladies may turn into tie-and-die ones. So, nopes!

      Delete
  24. I need to show this post to one of ma colleague, bothered by the Naani, marne se pehle..complete the sentence. Seeing others conceive has become a national past time for some or for that matter, my impending marriage. Guess, pricking nose is such a loved activity by some, to see a new born making headway but they not gonna give birth na. So, solve half of their worries, of scratching their noses aram se in public:)

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    1. 'Marne se pehle ...' got me smiling. While she may have a point, it still feel like arm-twisting. :D
      "National past time' got me cracking! :D

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete
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