Saturday, May 17, 2008

Small Wonder

What happens when a baby is born?

Yesterday, very good family friends of ours had their baby daughter and I spent a large part of my day in the hospital with them. And as I soaked in the beauty of this “zero-day old” baby and the absolute miracle of this birth, I couldn’t helped but notice how different a day becomes on an occasion as blessed as this.

Invariably the parents’ profiles are studied in great detail – whose ears, whose nose, whose forehead has the baby inherited. I have known both the new mom and dad for the last 10 odd years, but I swear I never starred at their noses as hard and as long as I did at the hospital yesterday!

We jump to typecast the little wonder! Oh she definitely looks like her brother! Ah! What long lovely fingers –definitely will grow to be an artist! A Taurean – gosh you better watch out!

A lot of back and forth conversations on how will life be from now on – hypotheses, opinions, advice free flowing and everyone, except the new parents, feeling quite smug that life ahead looks great!

A slowing down of sorts – friends, families arrive. Waiting for a glimpse of the baby (and then of course all the classifying starts all over again!) A friend even landed at the wrong hospital in her excitement! More importantly, the visitors linger on – maybe just five more minutes. No errands to run, no phone calls to attend to. And other than the new father, not many seemed to be concerned about the traffic outside! It’s a day to stop and marvel!

As for me, I have this real strong urge to be nice to everyone (don’t remember the last time I handed out so many warm smiles and thank yous to people around!) I feel like cleaning up the earth to make it more ready to hold this little baby and honour this blessing! And I swear, things around me look a lot brighter and nicer already!

Thank you, little one, for being part of my world and sharing this wonderful day with me :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sleepless in Siliconcity

Of late i have started to catch this pattern in my behaviour – i am unable to just drift off to sleep at night or even allow myself to simply not do anything. Honest to God, my work is quite exhausting – thanks to inexhaustible kids i work with through the day! And yet there is this real odd kind of restless as my head hits the pillow. Its doubly hard because on most days, my husband and daughter sleep under three minutes from the time the night lamp is switched on. And i get up and frantically browse through my well-stocked library looking for some book that will soothe away the anxiety and lull me to sleep.

Tonight i watch myself as i search for just the right book to read and see a deep reluctance i seem to have to simply be with my thoughts. In the dead silence of the night – i see myself running away from the questions that pop up, desperately seeking answers. And tonight i tell myself – let's stay with the questions....

Was i unduly harsh on my daughter today?

Am i being sensitive to the people i work with?

Am i pushing off my demons onto other people around me?

Am i doing enough or too much or too little for people i value?

Am i drifting away from people i value?

Why is it such a scary thing for me to think and act more independent?

How much to hold on to and how much to let go?

Did i say NO too many times to the kids i work with?

How come i seem to criticize more than appreciate?

Am i being honest with myself when i say "everything’s just fine"?

Am i being too dramatic?

Can i give up on being emotional and yet feel passionate about things in my life?

Will there be enough water in the world by the time my daughter becomes an adult?

Is my world safe?

Why is fairness in any situation so hard to get?

Will i ever look at myself in the mirror and love what i see?

Will i ever learn to let go of the past?

Is it too late to dream?

And as these questions start to untangle and get organized in this space, I feel an odd sense of peace. Maybe i will never find the answers but i do know now that these questions just don’t keep me awake – they keep me alive.

P.S. Last question for the night - Is blogging a better substitute to reading?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Dancing blues

Act 1 Scene 1 – time 6:00 PM –At Home – quality time with my 3 year old daughter Nia.
We are watching TV (what else?!) and Nia catches a scene from a recent movie - Jodhaa Akbar - Hrithik Roshan wearing some kind of a crown. Nia’s immediate response “Look Mamma – he is wearing a crown like God. Is Hrithik God?” Fearing the wrath of the 1001 idols of Gods that adorn our house, I shush her. “No sweetheart, he is only playing the role of a king and so he has the crown” But Nia in her heart is convinced – “I think he IS God mamma!” and with great reverence, stands in front of the TV set, hands folded (can't really blame the child can I!!) My typical response where I feel foxed – “go ask your paati (grandmother) about Gods" who coincidentally is in the middle of her evening prayers!

Act 1: Scene 2- Tine 7:30 PM – At a fitness Centre - My first Bolloywood dance class
BIG mistake. To begin with – I am the only 30+ overweight person there. And Bollywood dancing seems to be the code word for “ridiculously fast-paced aerobics” which I wanted to avoid in the first place and hence this class. I feel like Gwyneth Paltrow out of Shallow Hal (except that is is NOT a fatsuit that I am wearing!).Turn in whatever direction, there is a monstrous mirror throwing this depressing scene back at you! Certainly not a good place to be in after my latest resolution to feel good about myself and my body. God! I had no idea Bollywood dancing is such a killer. Anyway, after 32 dislocations and complete exhaustion, I practically roll out of the class, promising myself that I shall try it out for another month before calling it quits! Beginnings of masochism?

Act 1 Scene 3 – Time 10:00 PM – Back at home - getting Nia to bed.
We have this little pillow talk every night – my baby and I - kinda talking about how the day was. As Nia drifts off to sleep, I can hear here little murmur, “Mamma, Hrithik Roshan is not God” I think about Hirthik making his moves on the dance floor and then I think about my own experience of Bollywood dancing. And as I pat my little darling to sleep, I murmur back, “He probably is love, he probably is!”