Life is made of people. Some people matter always and every second. Some people matter during a certain period of time. Some people matter all your life, but during a certain period they seem to matter even more.
Your name appears at the top of the list because you were a special sort of angel-cum-devil sent to me during the most turbulent period of my life. I discovered I was expecting precisely four days after you descended upon us. And one month after my son was born, I relocated to a different town itself. You see? You were especially sent by God during my pregnancy.
My husband’s cousin is the guy who I’ll always remember for making me breakfast when I was too sick to even crawl out from bed. He’s this too-loud, always-arguing, always-cracking-jokes type wise guy who watches movies all night. Early in the morning, when he’s just gone off to sleep, I call him. Call him on the phone, because I can’t even raise my voice enough to shout. I request him to please get me an egg and a glass of milk.
“La rhe hain bhabhi,” he says, groggily. Of course, you’d expect him to go right back to sleep. But I didn’t have to call him twice. Not a single day.
There are so many reasons I could write down here, but this is the one that’ll always stand out. And that’s why, Farhan, you’re being featured in a pregnancy blog .
That word always seems to have a forbidding ring about it. Not just for women, but men too. Well, I suppose not all mother-in-laws are satan’s assistants.
My mum-in-law gets a mention here ‘cause she got me up and running from down and moaning.[i]She dragged me out for the walks I needed, cheered me up with her personal pregnancy anecdotes, prayed for me and made me pray more, and generally did her best to pull me out of the manic-depressive state I was fast sinking into.
I was never a Momma’s girl. During my childhood, we were friends, we played a lot together, and she has saved all the poetry I wrote during my beginning years. Whenever I travel I miss her because she loves to travel and we have oodles of fun together. When I am away from her she loses weight worrying because she never believes that I can take care of myself. But, I repeat, I am not Momma’s girl. I did not miss her at all (yes) when I came to Delhi for my internship, started missing her only after about 2 months when I got a full time job there, and I didn’t shed a single tear at my rukhsati or bidaai (wedding) , unlike most girls I know who cannot bear to part with their mothers. I was always more eager to be out on my own, get some independence, see the world and all the rest.
So it was a totally new emotion for me when, during my pregnancy, I started crying about being away from my mother. I missed her like never before. I wanted to hug her, wanted to do the “Bare necessities” Mowgli-Baloo back-scratch that we always did, wanted to have those intellectual, philosophical talks that used to be a trademark of our relationship (it was she who introduced me to the Classics and to the general love of reading). Oh, the relief when I finally got to be with her…
I saved his name for last because I’ve probably already bored you with all my gushing about him. But he’s kind of the most important person in my life…. The best and happiest time I spent in my life—since my father’s death—was after I married Sajjad. This is the man who tolerated my evilest, foulest Mr Hyde version and loved me all through it. The man who truly was my partner and not the “superior authority” that most small-town husbands believe themselves to be. I’ve met so many people—men and women—who think that a husband who cares for his wife, and particularly one who cares for his baby (which includes burping, bathing and changing nappies, not just playing with the kid) is either a sissy or is doing a great favour.
But You are a REAL MAN for doing all this and never once trying to make it out as a favour.