Monday, December 29, 2008

Joys of Motherhood - Part 2

Few months ago my maid walked up to me and said "I have missed my date" I have never been able to come up with an appropriate response to this statement. The first time I heard it was when I was 20 and an unmarried girl friend of mine said this on phone. I panicked but had no clue what to say. Thankfully the "date" arrived a little later simplifying lives for both of us.

My maid who is probably in her mid 20s (she can't tell how old she is) has a 4 year old boy and had once told me she doesn't want to have a second child. She even had tied up her tubes to that effect. But these things are not permanent solutions apparently Every 3 years you are supposed to re-do them to avoid infections ( I am not sure of this). She got it removed and was to go back and put in a fresh "copper-T" after a few days and she got pregnant in that 10 days! She didn't want to have that child. But her entire family said that having a second child would be the best way to reign in her wayward husband who spent all his money on god knows what!

She was in two minds. I asked her if she needed any sort of help. Although I didn't really want to complicate things for her by giving her gyaan. (Although had she been pregnant for 3rd time or something I'd probably have persuaded to think about this) But what I wasn't comprehending was how having another child would make a man responsible? He didn't do that when he got married nor with the first child...I am afraid this girl will end up taking care of both the children!

She decided to keep the child. But she wouldn't do any of the things that is said to be good for mother and child. She still skipped breakfast. Hardly had any supplements and nutrition was not even considered. If I try goading here she'd say "I didn't do any of this for my first child and he's fine." But what about her health? She's one skinny thing with no flesh anywhere. She just won't lsiten. Now she's 7 months pregnant and she still comes to work and cleans my house. My heart misses a beat everytime she picks up a bucket of water for mopping or she dives to pick up something on the floor. I can ask her not come for work. But that won't change anything she'll simply find another house! So all I can do for now is keep her here, give her as less work as possible. I can't feed her because she thinks anything tasty or healthy ought to be given to her son and not her. Even if I give her plenty she'll take it all for that boy. I get angry at how little she cares about herself. She won't even let someone pamper her at this most "special" time.

I am just hoping she has a safe delivery and a healthy baby. Of course V is very very worried that she's gonna be delivering in our living room because she has no intentions of taking off till her ninth month.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Joys of Motherhood - Part 1

Motherhood "they" tell is supposed to be the most joyous of moments in a woman's life. Past few months have however made me question it. I am putting up this 3 part series explaining how. Caution: These posts have been pending for a while and hence lot of venting is coming this way.

Right from the time I got married I was under severe pressure to produce an offspring. After 2 years of relentless harping everyone around decided that I hate children. The thought that somehow we might want to spend more time with each other never made sense to anyone. Anyways then came the dreaded number 30. On my birthday people called me to wish happy birthday and promptly ended the phone calls saying "you should think about having children at least now. you are not getting younger." Thank you really!

And guess what according to "science" the best age to procreate for a girl is between 20 & 25. Really? You mean to say I had missed the train simply by getting married at 25? The offsprings produced after the "best age" may not be of "best quality" a very sweet middle aged lady once told me. (I don't know who she is. She was traveling with me on a bus and this was the conversation.)

The docs around the town don't make it easier for you either. In case you decide to do the "right" thing and get a pre-conception counselling / tests. They automatically assume you are having trouble making a baby. Your files will have the dreaded word "primary infertility suspected" if you are married for more than a year (It won't matter if you tell them that you decided to have the baby just last week. They nod their heads and write what they want to). And if you are gullible enough they send you marching off to fertility clinics where they tell you things like you are not producing eggs or that you might have more of male hormones and hence they need to treat with the best of medicines. Which, needless to say are bloody expensive. More expensive than a holiday to to Maldives where you will have such a good time that you might actually come back with the "good news."

This story is true to more than one 30-year-old woman I know! The well meaning friends and family are just worried that you are not part of the "normal" society and goad you on. And the well meaning doctors of course take advantage of this paranoia and make cart loads of money. I mean what's the point of starting a family under such severe pressure? And not that they let you live your life once you actually get pregnant!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Randomness in life

32 months since I started this blog and 201 posts are out there. Didn't think I will keep posting like this when I started. Sure the initial fervour of posting isn't there but I still want to write, which I think is a good thing.
16 years of school calendar takes a toll on you. I crave for some new action around June every year (beginning of the academic year remember?) There is a tendency to wind down action towards April/ May, October and December thanks to the annual holidays. And Feb - Mar has a senses of anxiety attached to it (Final exams).
My pet project Just Femme has hit a road block. Lack of participation is as much a reason as lack of funds. Still trying to figure out how to work it out. Not ready to throw in the towel yet.
This year 7 of my friends had babies. 4 girls and 3 boys. Last year 6 of my friends had babies 5 of them were girls. I am wondering about the ratio for the year 2009 :)
I have been out of action for almost 2 months now. I can't even read! At other times this would drive me crazy. This time around I feel no such thing. Me n V are the only ones surprised by this though. V asks me almost every other day. You are sure you are ok with this? And surprisingly I am more than ok with it. Usually I am not very comfortable with people fussing about me either. But I am slowly getting used to it.
Have you seen the movie Prem Pujari (1965)? It is one convoluted plot on patriotism. Seriously!

PS: At this time of the year I am very prone to randomness. Check out this post that was put up around the same time last year.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Mumbai Horror - the media circus

For the 3 days of the Mumbai Horror I couldn't stop watching TV. Initially I was shocked beyond words to turn it off and then it was why isn't it many people will lose lives, sort of thing that kept me staring at the TV. But through it all there was just one question - why are the top television journalists acting like headless chickens?

Some of the brilliant questions the journos were asking were beyond comprehension! They asked one of the Security officers (in charge of NSG I think) "Have you ever been in a situation as grave as this?" The man blinks and says well, no...we haven't seen anything like this. And Lo behold the next minute the ticker on the channel says "NSG: Never been in a situation like this"

Barkha Dutt, the beacon of Indian television journalism and the inspiration for all young things to come into the idiot box was at her brilliant best. She couldn't stop showing off her connection to the "sources" and the insensitive questions wouldn't stop coming. At one point she announced to us that a Pakistani Minister had called her directly and said Pakistan will do whatever it can to help us. I am wondering how come she didn't ask him why he didn't call his Indian counterpart to make it official. She wouldn't stop asking the relatives of hostages "How are you feeling?" or "you must be horrified..."

Yes it takes tremendous energy to do this kind of reporting and we appreciate your energy but would it be too much trouble to be a less dramatic and a little more balanced? Or is "balance" a word that is taught to you out of compulsion at journalism schools?

Arnab Goswami was the other guy lose his head on air. He was saying things that one hears at a discussion at a dinner table with his guests. That means a lot of guessing (Intelligent guesses at times if I may add) and say things like India should've beefed up security...really you think so? And his guests were Prahlad Kakkar and Arjun Rampal. Of course they were discussing national security with no more authority than I do. But since he's the only adult employed at Times Now...We just have to make do with him.

On Headlines Today Rahul Kanwal (who other wise is quite sane but I guess the whole thing got to him) was trying to hard show the anger of the country's people by shouting questions at politicians, trying to provoke them. HT's defence expert Shiv Aroor was giving us insights on what kind of chopper was being used airdrop commandos on to the Nariman House. The details included the make, the capaicity and the kind of arms that can carry or has. Is that the kind of information you reveal while the operation is going on at that moment?

There are tons and tons of mails / sms / blogs compalining about the media hoopla. In response to it there are some emails from the journalists saying it is easier criticise and one thing to be in the middle of all the action and there are restrictions. Yes we agree but then when you are on national television and practically everyone knows how much you are paid. So the least you can deliver is common sense added to your "knowledge." Is that too much to ask?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

My favourite city...

Mumbai will always be Bombay in my head. Mumbai somehow never struck me; much like the new horribly spelt and pronounced Bengalooru doesn't ring a bell in my head.

Bombay was this magical city for me while growing up. One because the only person I knew who traveled often to Mumbai was Dad's friend Bhandari uncle and he always went in an aeroplane (Flight is a new word in my vocab). So the place that one can go only in an aeroplane has to have magical qualities right? The second reason was that my family is from Dakshina Kannada and anyone in the 70s and 80s who wanted to make it big (read rich) just simply escaped to Bombay (not Bangalore) and came back with suitcase full of expensive goodies in a few years. That sealed Bombay's magical qualities.

The song "yeh hai bombay meri jaan" always played from the old radio at grandfather's house just before going to bed and conjured happy thoughts.

Later when teenage hit me and I thought of being this independent woman who lived on her own terms, I always saw myself in a well appointed Flat in Bombay living all alone with great joy. Of course the Flat would definitely be facing the sea I told myself. All this when I had not even seen anything other than Bangalore, parts of Dakshina Kannada and bits of Mysore. I hadn't even seen a train up until I was 20 let alone travel! But well imagination doesn't have any boundaries does it?

Then of course reality took over and I forgot all about living in Bombay. Also, I realised I am a hardcore Bangalorean nothing enticed me enough to stay away from here too long. Then I met G2 who was from Kerala but was a HUUUGE (believe me she was) of Bombay and after college she started work there and told me all about the glory of the magical city. I decided I should at least visit the city. Though it wasn't until 2007 I managed this. And who better to show me around than G2. The four days I spent there is something I can never forget. We stayed near Colaba and I was thrilled to bits that I could walk down and see the sea! Was awestruck by Tajmahal hotel and it's lore. Went crazy over the Colaba Causeway shopping spree. Loved all the hangouts! Most of all I loved the fact that I felt secure in that city. I walked around the city all by myself by day and never once I felt I was in a strange city. But what sealed the deal was when G2 took me on a night safari of sorts across Bombay post midnight that ended in Marine Drive. I was awestruck at how many people including lots of women were there at that time. It was an exhilarating feeling to be by the sea at midnight with no male company and none was staring at us. I wasn't the least bit scared. I decided that if anyday I decide to move out of Bangalore, Bombay would be my first choice.

But all that changed on 26th November. My security blanket was breached. My safe haven was torn open. I feel like I have no place to go. I know this is nothing compared to what people went through first hand. But I am angry, grief stricken, lost....just plain angry!

What makes people do something so unthinkably cruel for no personal reason? I thought I could talk about the anger and frustration I felt once it was over. But I can't. It hurts to think of what they did to the people in my favourite city. My fear is we will forget all this and move on...carry on with our lives doing nothing about what happened. It hurts to think about it. It physically hurts.