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Showing posts from April, 2008

Dial 911 for Amma - 4

Yes, it was too late to have someone over. And yes, we would do just fine on our own. After repeated reassurances from the husband, the matter of having family over was finally laid to rest and we set about tackling other practical issues. Like packing a suitcase for the hospital. Like arranging for childcare for the firstborn while we were at the hospital. Like buying baby-stuff. When I went in for the 38th week check up, I was told that the baby's head had 'engaged' and that I was officially full-term. I was ready to deliver any day now. I must mention the wonderful support we had from neighbours and friends (many of whom I met through this blog - you know who you are - take a bow) who were ready to drop in at an hour's notice to help out. Though we had gone over all the arrangements, it could still all go completely pear-shaped. It was the unpredictability of the whole situation including that of the outcome, that was utterly unnerving.

Yes, I'd had a baby before…

Dial 911 for Amma - 3

Now, where was I? Yes, we were about to tell our families that we would take care of the delivery matters ourselves without seeking help from them. And when we did, I was surprised by the ease with which the news went down with them. It was an anti-climax. Do whatever you think will work, said my father. Alright then, said my father-in-law, you have our blessings. What? I wanted to ask. Are you not going to listen to my list of reasons? My lengthy rant about why I would want things done my way and so on? Oh well, I thought to myself, if you are really fine with it, then it's all sorted.

But as the months progressed and the families realised that we were serious about doing it all on our own, it became a bit more difficult to convince them. My mother-in-law took it particularly hard. Time and again she offered to come and help us. I don't know about you but I find it awkward to turn down offers of help. Like I'm somehow ungrateful and unappreciative of the person's gene…

Dial 911 for Amma - 2

My mother has always expressed her reservation about going abroad to help someone during delivery. Even if that someone happens to be her own children. While I respected her view, I couldn't help wondering why she was so averse to the idea. When other mothers seemed perfectly happy tending to their grandchildren and helping their daughters during the early months of the baby, why was my mother not keen on it at all? I suspect that her judgment on this issue was coloured by her dislike of her sisters-in-law (who did it all the time) and also with mild envy that she would never be called upon to do a service like they were. Well, little did she know!

Now, I knew from previous experience that childbirth is a time of great stress. I had my first son in India and it was an overwhelming experience. A combination of sleepless nights, turbulent hormones, physical and emotional exhaustion and the constant, stifling attention of family left me feeling utterly frustrated. I had had a perfectl…

Dial 911 for Amma

There was a time, some years ago, when nearly every other month would see some aunt or the other jetting off to the US to assist their daughter during childbirth. The process would start with announcement of the good news followed by frenzied months of preparation. It would kick off with applications for passport and visa. Every new development would be discussed, debated, put to vote and finally taken a decision on. If there was a small item in the Hindu on page 14 about restrictions to the number of visas being given out that particular month, favourite gods would be invoked, sacrifices promised and fasts undertaken in order that such a decision not affect the concerned family member's application.

An auspicious day would be chosen and packing for the trip would commence. Sarees would be chosen, suitcases dusted off, woolens borrowed and dry-cleaned. Contents of the suitcase would be constantly rearranged like a loose-limbed jigsaw puzzle. Half a kilo of thuvaram paruppu would t…

Just a walk in the park

Good luck to all those running today's London Marathon. I use this opportunity for my shameless annual plug. My own moment of fame when I ran the 26.2 mile/42 km course 4 years ago. It feels like yesterday, in fact it still hurts. Here are some images.

Soundtrack of the moment

I absolutely love this song. It was used brilliantly some years ago in the excellent (though ridiculously titled) C4 documentary 'The boy whose skin fell off'. And now it's been used in the latest Cadbury's commercial. What's your soundtrack of the moment?

Penmani and other things

A couple of new and interesting questions are up on Penmani that you might have an opinion on.

And I'll be announcing a new participatory exercise soon. It should keep the blog ticking over nicely while I get some semblance of normalcy back into our chaotic existence now. So watch out for that.

Also, please join me in wishing my dear friend Anouradha Bakshi a wonderful birthday today. Happy Birthday, Anou!