Wednesday, April 06, 2005


The baby was just a month old. She felt exhausted all the time. It seemed to get busier with each passing day but she had recovered well from surgery and was more comfortable going about things now. A C-section from incision to delivery takes about 2 minutes but recovering from it is a whole different ball game altogether. She had already started to worry about the scar but “I have bigger problems than that with my body” she thought grimly as she lay her darling down for the 4th diaper change of the day “And it’s only just noon” she thought. Sujay would be back in an hour and they would then have to get ready for the long drive to the Doctor’s office. “You’re going to get your first set of shots, sweetie” she murmured as she kissed the soft head of curls. “Be brave”.

Nayana turning 1/12 of a year also marked the beginning of the end of her maternity leave. In a week she would be back to work. She wondered how things were at the office, there had been cut-backs in every department and her girlfriends told her things were crazy and they had all been putting in extra-hours every day and almost every weekend. “Good timing or very bad timing?” she wondered…but not as often as she used to do, before the baby. Timing had seemed all important at that time. The right time to get married, the right time to apply for that promotion, the right time to buy the house, the right time to have a baby. Everything had dissolved when they had found out she was pregnant. Knowing she was responsible for a whole new life was overwhelming to say the least. Her work as a Data Analyst had deliciously yet alarmingly lost its place in her mental priority list over the last month. It all seemed to belong to a remote world she had inhabited a long, long time ago when most things were made out to be a bigger deal then they actually were. Now day-care was her biggest deal. “Please let Nanu adjust” she thought as she watched her drifting off to her dreams, fed and changed and looking the picture of contentment, fists clenched as usual. It tore her heart that she would be able to catch these nap times and the hundred other events in Nanu’s day only after 6 PM soon. She kissed the tiny feet and stood up to start on some vacuuming. Maybe she could even get some washing done before Sujay came.


She picked up the phone hoping it would be a telemarketer so she wouldn’t be thrown of her schedule for long. It was her sister from India. “It’s okay yaar, it’s just 5 rupees per minute, thanks to all this wonderful outsourcing” She laughed and continued. “We can call too you know….but tell me, are you busy? I better ask you right away because take this as a warning, I am in a chatty mood” They talked like they were chatting after a year, it was always like that. Reema sounded cheerful. Her son had been sent off to school and the younger one was playing with Dadi. Dadu was off for a walk and promised to pick up her dry cleaning while returning. So Reema thought of her little sister and decided it was just the time to catch up. “So Sujay took the half-day off for Nanu’s shots?” she asked incredulously. “Yes, I find it difficult to drive for long after the surgery”. “O well you people do everything so differently” she dismissed and moved on.

Later, as she kneeled by the crib and looked at a sleeping Nanu she wondered about the opportunities Nanu would have. They had saved and skimped so they could live in the best school district of Atlanta. They could even easily afford private school for her when the time came. They would do everything to prepare her for her life ahead but they couldn’t do that and prepare her for her daily afternoon naps too. It had been an easy decision to come here looking for a good future but their future had involved only them at that time. “What would Nanu prefer?” she thought. “She is like me and she will surely thrive in this fast paced world. She'll be a strong little fighter” she concluded happily. Nanu woke up and instantly reached out. Taking her in her arms she felt the tiny fist gather her collar in that determined grip and suddenly she wasn’t so sure any more.


Anonymous Ash said...

Poetry and prose ? Waah, Gabbie tu to badi talented nikli !
Or is this biographical ?

NANUUUU ! We called my baby cousin that :D

5:02 PM  
Blogger alpha said...

biographical?? gabby, bataya hi nahin!!! No wonder Nanu is taking all your time these days.

6:30 PM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

geeeez! ashy no babies here :) & thx for the compliment !

It's a big baby called Alpha who calls to yap about her popularity and it's far-reaching consequences (some of them quite troubling, poor thing!) that's taking up all my time :)..

8:15 PM  
Blogger thennavan said...

You weave a lot of intrigue with your stories. Perhaps you were Vishnu Sharma in your previous birth :-)

10:00 PM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

thennavan - LOL! Thanks! Vishnu Sharma managed to end every tale with neat little moral though & I'm writing about indecisiveness..!...but well maybe things were easier in my previous-birth-days! :D

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautifully written. And you are NOT a mom yourself?


1:09 PM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Shobha - Thanks. & no, I'm not.

Are you the same Shobha who left a comment on my previous post? Thanks for coming by.

2:20 PM  
Anonymous Ash said...

Ayyo, didnt mean to imply u had kids...note, I said biographical and not autobiographical :x

Anyway, looking forward to further installments like these... :)

2:55 PM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

hai re, of course, you know I don't have babies...hope I won't be hang-gliding or jumping off cliffs when I do have one...(I might wanna jump of a cliff for altogether different reasons of course!) mislead with Alpha's accusations there...well it is biographical...there's some extrapolation though. Glad you enjoyed it.

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Subtle. Nice.

4:14 PM  
Blogger AmitL said...

Nicely penned,Gratisgrab.:)I almost want to ask u when the sequel comes up.:)

8:43 PM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Amitji - *Almost* want to ask me hahn? :) Thanks man...

11:27 PM  
Blogger phatichar said...

touching. And you write so well! Ever tried your hand at short stories? :)

2:08 AM  
Blogger GratisGab said...

Thanks phatichar...I'm trying to get into the short story writing...but looking at all the fabulous work on other people's blogs, i feel i have a loooong way to go...!

12:14 PM  
Blogger phatichar said...

Not a very long way. I guess, like it was written on a 'chicken soup for the writer's soul' book - a novelist is an amateur who never gave up! Keep 'em comin' :)

8:44 PM  
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10:21 PM  

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