The concept of Birth

Somewhere on this globe, every ten seconds, there is a woman giving birth to a child. She must be found and stopped. Sam Levenson (1911 – 1980)

My birthday made me wonder….

Giving birth is quite a phenomenon. We men are never told about it, and are left to fend for ourselves. The smart men (and there are very few) find out early about this whole birth thingie…the rest of us…. depend on movies to teach us the nuances of life.

I think I was somewhere between the smart and the not-so-smart for when I was in class six I found out that birth was quite a natural phenomenon. All a man and a woman had to do was get married and naturally the child followed. For long I wondered how the child knew that his/her parents were married and it was time for him to come …

It took me two years to realize that it was the kiss that was instrumental in the birth of a child. So whenever I saw a small baby, I would look at his/her parents…and wonder why they weren`t shy. They ought to be shy….they had kissed…and now that the baby was born…everybody had come to know that they kissed.

I think it was my biology madam Geeta Kumari madam… that`s what we would call her…who taught us the whole birth cycle.

She was quite a not-so-bold lady and openly announced in the class that after marriage it generally took 10-12 months for the baby to be born. We were supposed to take the hint. But one young lad, who would have otherwise sat down staring at his Big Fun stickers (remember the ‘collect runs/wickets and take home a cricket bat` offer?) jumped up at Geeta Kumari madam`s wrong lessons.

“No…a baby is not born immediately after the marriage!” he shouted.

The madam was visibly perplexed…but that day we had failed to notice it.

“Shombit Chatterjee, I did not ask you to talk,” the teacher censured the young lad.

This really put down the kid. He never got such opportunities to showcase his street-smart ways – the whole class looked silent and confused – but he knew something about it. And he wanted to share it.

“What you are saying is wrong. The child is not born after marriage,” Shombit said.

Even as he said this, he turned towards me and egged me on. But I held on to my nerves and my seat.

The teacher did not know how to react. Shombit carried on.

And then he dropped the bombshell: “The parents need to kiss each other for the baby to be born!” Even before he finished, he threw a glance across the class…a glance that meant he was superior.

Shombit and I had discussed this earlier. I had told him that the parents need to kiss for the baby to be born. But since then, I had learnt that a lot more than just a kiss would be required to come up with the most beautiful creation in the world – a baby. Unfortunately, I had not updated my uncouth friend.

As soon as Shombit finished, most of the class (especially the girls) and the teacher let out a sigh of relief. Not to mention…all that laughter that followed. All the guys were silent…and confused…..

That day I realized that girls ARE fast. Ever since, I have left the women in my life lead me like a little boy. I have also known that it is neither marriage nor a kiss that results in a child…but a very happy wife. At least that`s what Rekha tells me.

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