Saturday, February 28, 2009

Getting to a Month

In the spirit of Arhaan reaching the one month mark in the next couple of days I will hold my tongue regarding the Zardari-Sharif fracas.

My parents are nuts...thank God for me, I will break them into 'grownup hood' yet.

So we are getting to four weeks of Arhaan/Gul Sher joining our crazy household. With the exception of Pesho who has flashes of sanity, I am fast realizing that the youngest occupant of the house is the only ‘rational’ voice. At some stage I cant blame everything on ‘baby brain’ , especially as now they say women become more intelligent after having a baby , something along the lines of losing some grey cells during pregnancy and then nature overcompensating you later in the year. I want those grey cells back!! And if I have a choice where they can be directed, could it go to the part of my brain that does ‘proof reading’...I cringe and die a thousand deaths when I go through some of the posts in the past year. I can (NOT) walk English, talk English any more.

So in the past couple of weeks we have been blundering about and as I keep on telling anyone who cares to listen, the only reason we give the impression of cruising along smoothly is because of the baby (Ab usko nazar na lagey)...well behaved enough to encourage Gman to leave for Malaysia this week. My mom is here but she leaves soon..there will be two days when I will have to depend on Arhaan to ‘hold the fort’...I am fast realizing that what I feel for Arhaan is not so much maternal rather than this feeling that I have discovered an incredibly good pal to hang out with ..and its friendship in places unexpected. I know Im incredibly blessed and I am ever so grateful for this incredible little boy.

Some of the things that we have heard around the house in the past couple of weeks.

***Even before Arhaan, I would always confess to Gman that I would be so ‘fixated’ when it came to my babies that I would not be able to sleep at night lest something bad befell them...I would spend all night just watching them sleep and perhaps he could take the morning shift? If I was not worried about being the one woman who laughed so hard that her stitches burst open, I would tell you what I think of that statement now.

***Gman all flustered as he packs our hospital bags, the flowers and presents in the car...”everything has fit in, just let me prepare some space in the boot for the baby” (Please dont report us to social services, we do have a car seat for him!!)

***My mom as she pores over Arhaan (who is more Barack than Babar after a bath, all tight curls and coffee colored)
So perhaps he will be the first non-white Aussie PM one day and make history

to which I say

So indigenous Australia can say
phir hum naa hi samjhey...ab yeh desi bhee agaya?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Three Weeks and counting

No more pics until you speak to my agent.

So what have we learnt....some fun facts.

We held our breath (in horror) as Arhaan wriggled off the weighing scales, had I given birth to some horrible mutant? To be told by the health worker that babies are born with an instinct to wriggle and step –which they lose at some stage and have to learn all over again...major kabhee bhoola kabhee yaad kiya..actually if I had given birth with not a soul in sight and collapsed from the effort and blood loss-- nature has arranged for the baby to wriggle to my chest for nourishment (and the hormones released would contract my uterus, revive me and have me back on my feet). Impressive eh?

Of course being the crazy parents that we are...though none of us have mentioned it to the other.. but considering the Pathan genes in him (and his Gul Sher avatar) the dad does fear the baby wriggling to the knives drawer if the quality of the room service goes downhill he has started treating the boy wonder with new founded respect and trying not to do anything to antagonize him.

My mom has confessed that she has been surprised by our 'parenting skills' especially mine ...I guess the rest of my family particularly the aunty brigade had serious misgivings how the Mommy Project would turn out...I think a lot goes to the bub's credit, he has been seriously low maintenance..It is not that I developed Earth Mother skills all of a sudden.

And I guess it made a lot of difference that I waited and waited some more before deciding to spread my gene have seen more of the world, realised what SERIOUS deprivation is about (rather than being just deprived of sleep) and what real life can demand of you, but then that is just me...I'm sure there are many incredible young women out there who have figured out life and their place in the world in their early twenties...for me I have been incredibly blessed that the Good Lord has given me a kid with good health and an incredibly sweet nature...and I'm content in the knowledge that all my baby needs to be pacified is to be fed, burped or have his diaper changed.. He is not putting me through the moral dilemma of bringing Shariah to the Greater Melbourne region before he stops crying, or submit a hundred word abstract of the significance and innovation of my breast feeding skills before I venture to feed him... to revise my budget before deciding what brand of pampers to use.

More later, I'm still teary eyed over the incredible journey of Slum Dog as it unfolds at the Oscars...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Of Goddesses and Boons

So it has been two weeks since ABR aka GS has joined my life...and he has adjusted well to his eccentric household....any quirks on his part are excused by his arriving before Estimated Time of Arrival...(his due date was Feb 22, moved to Feb 12, 13 and 14 to schedule a C-section appointment that worked for everyone...meanwhile my liver gave up in this race against time so his birthday is Jan 31)....which is very surprising considering in South Asia even the stork decides to 'have a late landing' two hours past the ETA....sorry jee aap kee flight delayed hai....anyways this gives me a breather from the crazy comparision stakes as everything is brushed under, " officialy he should have been swimming in aminoitic fluid right now." so please stop worrying about his size, coloring, weight, poop.

I have realised that even though my life has changed drastically, some things will never change...I will still wake up teary eyed after another nightmare about Swat and all that plagues my part of the world...and even as I plunge elbows deep in pamper duty, I will have thoughts of pink chaddis keeping me bemused.

And in the past fortnight the images of two Goddesses have kept a silent vigil by my side.

One has been Saraswati... followers of this blog would have known of my picking up a mobile of her on a trip to Varanasi during the Phd years...I have found her an enigmatic figure in a world of docile Sitas and rotund Laxmis...and the original free spirit creating her own identity, she is Vac Devi (the goddess of speech) in a world where little girls are still taught to be seen not heard, she shuns material wealth and embraces knowledge, cherishing the book and all that is Divine. So like a guardian angel she would be suspended over my computer table and was solace in the long days when even I would wonder " if everything would turn all right", and descended in the quick sand of ' what ifs'.
And touch wood I realised that all my rebellions and turning the life cycle inside out were not in my other 'divine' Shahrukh Khan assures us 'kehte hai ki filmon ki tarah hamari zindagi mein bhi end tak sab theek hee ho jaata hai..happys endings...' and the sweetest gift and ' sign' of all was ABR arriving on Saraswati Puja day, yup, it is as she gave me a thumbs up and whispered in my ear us sistahs should stick together and show those Martha Stewart wannabes that things can work out for us exiles as well.

And the other Goddess has been Draupadi, or the Draupadi/Dopdi from Mahsveta Pramod Mutalik worries about 'core issues of Indian culture' and bullies women in public spaces, I want to remind you of Dopdi and her power to 'invert' and return the gaze.

The following is Gayatri Spivak's translation from the Bengali of Devi's Draupadi...I would urge you to go and read the full short story, powerful stuff, and perhaps some inspiration as the crazies descend on all us agnostics.

Then morning comes.
Then Draupadi Mejhen is brought to the tent and thrown on the straw. Her piece of cloth is thrown over her body.
Then, after breakfast, after reading the newspaper and sending the radio message “Draupadi Mejhen apprehended,” etc., Draupadi Mejhen is ordered brought in.
Suddenly there is trouble.
Draupadi sits up as soon as she hears “Move!” and asks, Where do you want me to go?
To the Burra Sahib’s tent.
Where is the tent?
Over there.
Draupadi fixes her red eyes on the tent. Says, Come, I’ll go.

The guard pushes the water pot forward.
Draupadi stands up. She pours the water down on the ground. Tears her piece of cloth with her teeth. Seeing such strange behavior, the guard says, She’s gone crazy, and runs for orders. He can lead the prisoner out but doesn’t know what to do if the prisoner behaves incomprehensibly. So he goes to ask his superior.

The commotion is as if the alarm had sounded in a prison. Senanayak walks out surprised and sees Draupadi naked, walking toward him in the bright sunlight with her head high. The nervous guards trail behind.
What is this? He is about to cry, but stops.
Draupadi stands before him, naked. Thigh and pubic hair matted with dry blood. Two breasts, two wounds.

What is this? He is about to bark.
Draupadi comes closer. Stands with her hand on her hip, laughs and says, The object of your search, Dopdi Mejhen. You asked them to make me up, don’t you want to see how they made me?

Where are her clothes?
Won’t put them on, sir. Tearing them.

Draupadi’s black body comes even closer. Draupadi shakes with an indomitable laughter that Senanayak simply cannot understand. Her ravaged lips bleed as she beings laughing. Draupadi wipes the blood on her palm and says in a voice that is as terrifying, sky splitting, and sharp as her ululation, What’s the use of clothes? You can strip me, but how can you clothe me again? Are you a man?

She looks around and chooses the front of Senanayak’s white bush shirt to spit a bloody gob at and says, There isn’t a man here that I should be ashamed. I will not let you put my cloth on me. What more can you do? Come on, counter me – come on, counter me -?

Draupadi pushes Senanayak with her two mangled breasts, and for the first time Senanayak is afraid to stand before an unarmed target, terribly afraid.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Photo Is Our Motto

Please say a prayer when you see these pics ....

Sleeping on grand mom's lap can be addictive

At two in the morning everything seems a laugh...even if its just gas.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

ARB Stocks Go Public

There can be two ways of writing this the short, sweet telegram of and baby doing well, dad very proud. Or we could do it my might not be as coherent as I planned, trust me I have been drafting this post the past five days as I sat in a hospital room WITHOUT ACCESS TO the internet...HOW CRUEL CAN THIS BE, I thought the spinal block was supposed to make my stay painless, ha! So I would sit and fret and try to check my email through my mobile phone, but not as much fun.
Ok so the story begins Saturday morning,well Friday night to be precise when I decided to order in pizza (to emulate some of the mommy bloggers I have grown to know and “channel”over the past year) I had read about most of them eating pizza and having happy babies. One aberration...Nepalese momos, good friend GS who has known and looked out for me since 1998 (across two continents) came over with my fav dish EVER as she knew I had missed out on the " pamper mom to be package" because of all that had been happening (I was supposed to have a surprise baby shower this weekend I hear!!). So it was a “happy family”reunion with GS and her family, Aman and Sups...the local AIT chapter was ready to farewell me in style!!
It was a crazy night as I lay fasting and trying to figure out if the baby was OK or not and quizzing Pipette's Mom and my sis about all that could or could not go wrong...the morning of Saturday was an “interesting”experience for Gman and me...a nice, bright day, happy people everywhere, you know the kind of day when you get ready for an exam and resent the fact that the rest of the world is enjoying a weekend of uninterrupted fun and frolic!!
So checked in at 9...was shown my room and the prelim round of questions , tests began. The anaesthetist came in and told me the details of his role in the procedure and asked us for our choice of music so it could be played in the theatre...considering it took us nearly an year to decide on the name of the kid, we could hardly decide on the choice of music to be played in half an hour!! I suggested something that would inspire them to work better and then considering I would need Gman's help in the coming days put up Deep Purple....Gman said he wouldnt mind Bollywood...(later on I heard Neil Diamond on the theatre system, I guess its the surgeons who decide)
Now Im afraid the rest of the update (as in details of) has to wait till a later day as Ive just looked at the watch and its close to 1 am and the baby will be wheeled in from the night nursery any time now for his feed.
So HIGHLIGHTS: the operation...I was prepped by a gentleman who had been at Monash ten years ago, I was discussing the current social revolution in Pakistan nad how I read it as “Marxim for the Taleban” and feel a nice tingling warmth in my legs which spread to my waist and all...I asked what it was and found out they had already administered the spinal, wow such a delicious feeling...will so not judge people on drugs any more.So at this stage the anaesthetist turns around and says they have to test whether the block works or not and the best “check” was that they had already started the procedure, YIKES! Had instructed Gman a hundred times to record the C-section procedure, apparently the hospital has a policy of no video recording (and no they were not making their own copy and selling it out to us) , gman wasn’t keen on actually clicking the “first cut” after a couple of minutes they ask him to come and click the bub being taken out...i hear a wail and a little Hobbit is being dangled in front of me bawling his lungs out...very very surreal. Minor scrub up, gman snips the umbilical cord and the hobbit is wrapped in a towel and put on my chest..there was a very funny light in the theatre and i can only remember my saying an awkward Khushaaal ussa (stay happy) to the baby..and then as things go the baby and team plus gman were off to the nursery... my mom arrived some time in the night and she left with gman for home..and I was one happy daughter and mommy.
The next day was kind of a blur...Monday i requested mom and gman to visit me for a set time every day as I wanted to be comfortable in my own groove and find out if i could cope on my own, many a haw hai from the rest of the world but I persevered...Arhaan also known as Gul Sher has been a sweetheart and has tolerated all our craziness with good humour. And I tried to channel my obsessive compulsive disorder towards meeting Research Office's guidelines towards my recovery , but frankly it has been a LOVeLY experience,,,the C section not that traumatic and I would have another baby in this hospital just for the spinal block!!
And im proud to say I went off the “take it easy Aneela program” only once... that is woke up one morning to write a section of a proposal, there were many a raised eyebrow when I opened my laptop in my hospital’s room but I soldiered perhaps “fingers crossed” it can all work out.

There have been other happenings and non-happenings..but what does not kill you (like my horrible liver condition ) can literally MAKE you a happier will sign of now with the promise to write about them as soon as possible.
Just an interesting observation for D (who had done a post a while ago for signs) Gman and me walked to the Delivery Suite (yup you actually walk towards the knives) a man passed us by wearing a Beer Chang Tshirt (Chang for the uninitiated is a Thai brand...Thailand having played some role in Jab We Met) ...I told the mid wife walking us down about it and she was pretty impressed and was looking for a “spiritual”angle..I told her it was a sad day when God decided to use alcohol advertising to “send me a sign”...and observation number 2...our room number was Room 27 (27 being the house number of the house I lived in and where my mother still lives) also the room number of my first “flat”...INTERSTING NA!!
P.S: its Thursday afternoon now, Im back home...Pesho my sweetheart has GROWN and Im afraid my mom's dire predictions of putting her on a diet some time soon may come true...she looks like the sarkari hospital cat I thought I had left behind in Pakistan. She is too busy chasing possums to take any interest in her " baby brother" as yet. I hope there is no " sibling" rivalry...once everyone settles down I will have a pic of all of us. There can be no " happy family" until Pesho is ready.
And as the post title explains it has been Day 6 of our darling boy being "launched " to the outside world...yes like the erratic stock market we are monitoring the ups and downs of ABR's jaundice levls, weight and feed intake...hope ours is a happier story compared to the rest of the world...but as I keep on repeating God has been kind, Im flattered with all the good will I have encountered and as ever we all need your prayers.