It’s not that I don’t like my job, I do, most days at least. But of late, I’ve begun to wonder if it’s coming between me and my life. I want to do those things they talk about in pretty pictures with quotes — about how we need to stop and exhale, and see the flowers, and feel the wind and get wet in the rain… But there’s no time. No time to stop and breathe in. To say, today is a beautiful day. To think how the grass looks greener today because it’s rained, to watch the sky turn orange and red, and grey at sunset.
Forget all that. There’s no time for a bloody pedicure in a week of 7 days, month of 31. No, not one day in a quarter of a year for a pedicure. There’s no time to get a massage in a fortnight full of backaches. Or ever before that. I see those white strands of hair every time I comb my hair — they’re right in the front, near where I part my hair. There’s no time to even think if I want visible grey in my hair right now or not.
I wonder if this work is coming between me and my life. I have no time to do the things I want to do — to read, to write, and sleep, and do it all on one day. I want to cook, for my baby. I want to watch movies too. I just want to watch TV. I want to put my legs up and maybe just watch a movie on the TV. Why can’t I just do that?
I have a zillion plans in my head, all of them need time, that I do not have. I live each day like I’m on a short fuse. Actually, my days are on short fuse, they just blink out before I can fit everything I want into them. I’m meeting deadlines every single minute of the day. And nothing gets done which doesn’t need to be done before the deadline. What kind of a living is this?
Of all the things I want to do, I want to do nothing the most. You know, nothing at all. I want to empty my head out, and make space in it for some things new.
There has to be time for something new.
Yes, this is the same man I live with. This is the man I’ve been married to for close to 10 years. This is the man I’ve known since 1997. So why would I write a post about just 12 hours with him? Because they were 12 hours of just him and me, and nobody. In the last 21 months, that’s a first!
So it was a day trip to Delhi — we’d taken a flight on Sunday morning from Lucknow, and were back that evening. We went without the little one. The last time I had to go to Delhi for some office work in March, I had insisted that Arjun come with me. And had tagged The Guy along to babysit him while I was at work for a couple of hours. The Guy tried to tell me I could make a round-trip on the same day, since the Lucknow-Delhi flight is just 50-minutes long. But I was petrified that I might not be able to come back in time to be with my baby before he goes to sleep (I always put him to sleep, how will he sleep without me?). What if my flight back from Delhi gets cancelled, I had argued like only a mother in distress can. My family had given in, smiled through the unreasonableness of my argument, and played along. But this time, I gave in. This was also a work related trip, except that this work involved both of us — The Guy and me. So, no one would be there to babysit him, and everyone knows that getting work done with a restless toddler isn’t the easiest thing in the world. I had butterflies in my stomach about leaving him behind, but what must be done, must be done. Also, in the last four months, we’ve grown up just enough as mommy and son to know that we can stay without each other for 12 hours. So, I planned his day so that he would be at Nani’s place for half the time that I was away, and back home for the other half.
I woke up my son before leaving, said goodbye to him, and took off.
It was like being on a date. We talked, we joked, we teased each other, and laughed. We ate together. I don’t think he has any idea how much it meant to me.
I realised some time on the trip that I had been missing this, that between answering the urgent, persistent calls for “Mamma!” and the tugging at my hair for attention, and the sealing of my lips with his as I open them to say something to someone else (yes, my I’m-in-love-with-mommy son does this), The Guy and I have lost the space for conversations. Usually, we don’t even realise we miss it, we’re so immersed in parenthood.
But you can go out for date nights. We do, but it’s just not the same, we don’t perhaps call them date nights, they’re just dinners out. But they’re always hurried, we both tend to rush through our meals, and have so much else on our minds, we cannot relax enough.
But you can talk after your son’s slept. Yes, we can. Except that the whole task of making a toddler unwind and go to sleep is so laborious, I end up asleep by the end of it myself. There’s no time to talk.
And for those reasons, I found this half-day reprieve from everyone was a God-sent. Even in London, we were with family, never alone. And needless to say, it’s not the same. As much as I love to be with my bachcha, I wish they were more days like this.
Sorry for the rather cheesy headline, all I’m trying to say is that I want to be pregnant again! I took really long the first time to get pregnant — first, there were the years we didn’t want a baby, and then the ones when we wanted one but weren’t being able to conceive. But good things come to those who wait. I had the loveliest baby in the womb. And so, my pregnancy was such a smooth ride. I loved being pampered. I loved the sleepless nights because I ended up reading so much then. I loved having something to look forward to. I loved all the happiness that surrounded me then. I loved the last days of solitude before the baby came and took over our lives with his cries and laughter. And just for those reasons I could be pregnant again.
But I don’t think I’m ready yet for another baby. No, not at all. My almost 18-month-old keeps me busy enough. And I cannot imagine just now forsaking the joy of running after him to cuddle a baby growing inside me. Forget all that, having another baby is nowhere on our plan. And The Guy says I will have to look for another man if I want to have another baby!
But that’s because he knows nothing of the joys of carrying a baby. I was wary of speaking about my pregnancy when I was carrying Arjun, for fear that I would jinx it. But now that that’s not a possibility, I can say how much I enjoyed being pregnant. I fell in love then with the little bundle that would kick and writhe inside me, making me aware of my body like I’d never felt before. And that’s one of those things that The Guy — an extremely hands-on dad and sensitive husband — will never experience. And so, he’ll never know why it is that I want to get pregnant again.
I sometimes think I’m making a dangerous wish — what if it comes true! But the heart has its reasons, which reason knows nothing of!
Because it’s summer, and summer’s when everything comes alive, most importantly my spirit. It’s like I’ve been sleepwalking all of the year, and Spring begins to awaken me, every tiny nerve in me that tingles with restless energy — happy, restless energy. And it awakens within me this will to be happy, to go and embrace the world — the same world that’s been a pain the rest of the year.
I hate the seasonal cusp between summer and winter, when the days become shorter, and darkness descends on sunshine. But I love, in capital letters LOVE, when the season reverses, and the days become longer, and I can step out at 6, even 6.30 in the evening, to be met by the gently setting sun, still a warm orange at that hour. It calms me down at the end of a hectic day, tells me to slow down, because I still have ahead of me a long evening to unwind.
I love how green summer is. No, not a pallid, faint excuse of a green, but a bright, sharp green, that’s calling out to you. I wait for the yellow blossoms to bloom, when the red Gulmohurs fire up the leafless trees. I love how blue the sky is — the colour you get in pictures after they’ve gone through serious photoshopping.
I love how we no longer need to rush to shut out the icy cold winds that slyly find way through the smallest crack, and that we can now finally open our doors and windows to sunshine and summer breezes.
Next time, I want a summer baby. Imagine, the double joy of a baby and this season! Oh, and I must add, if there is a second time, that is.
…Because being rich isn’t enough anymore. Either you’re filthy rich, or you’re whatever you are.
Get the drift?
…But lucky are those who have the luxury to be weak.