Communicating a baby’s birth to the World

I don`t know how my family communicated my birth to the rest of the world. Some of my guesses are:

  • Drum beats sounding like the much fashion-walked song ‘Cotton Eye Joe`
  • Painting the trees in the area red (when the trees got cut and towns got built the phrase changed to ‘painting the town red`)
  • Marathoners who could run 42+ kilometers and dropped dead as soon as the message was delivered
  • Asking the relatives to mark a bigger territory (you know how) coz there was a newer member
  • Now-a-days times have changed. Relatives no longer go around town pissing on parapet walls, tree trunks, lamp posts, post boxes, and picket fences just because a baby was born in the family.

    With little resources in hand, I have decided to use my mobile to communicate to the world as soon as our kid is born. In a way, it is revenge. In the eight years I have had a mobile phone, I received this dreaded message – ‘At ** p.m. today, I became a father. Both the baby and the mother are fine` – umpteen number of times. How does one go about replying to such messages? Here are some of my responses over the years –

  • Way to go. You proved yourself as a man!
  • Wow. Congrats. So when is the next one due?
  • Phew! That was quick.
  • I thought you guys got married only two months ago? Didn`t you?
  • So, what is she saying now? Have you spoken about divorce yet?
  • One thing that has bothered me for long is…why don`t the mothers send these messages? I am yet to receive a message reading: “At ** a.m. today, I became a mother. Both the baby and the father are fine.”

    Maybe the women in my world are lazy. Or maybe, a child birth for them is just another daily chore. Or maybe, they reach out to their husbands lying next to them in a stretcher (after witnessing all the action in the labor room) and ask them to send out the SMS.

    I will be in Kerala when my child is born, and sending messages to the 300 odd contacts in my phone book would cost me at least Rs 1000 (while roaming, Hutch charges Rs 3+ per message). Quite a costly affair, considering I didn`t accept a penny in dowry. Primarily, coz penny isn`t accepted in India.

    With little money I plan to drop the inform-by-an-SMS plan and look for a simple (by which I mean a cheap) mode of communication.

    Maybe, I can place a star on top of my house – like how Jesus` parents did. The problem is, my house is not a manger but an apartment (from outside, that is). Even if I decide to have the star, I need to get the permission of my flat association president and I am sure he wouldn`t allow me because I sent him this message when he announced the birth of his daughter: “Wow…I never knew your wife`s tummy actually had a baby. I thought it was more a case of overeating.”

    The other option I have is to immediately boot my laptop, connect to the internet and dispatch a mail to all contacts. I have done my homework in this regard – I already have the mail ready. Here is how it goes:

    Hi all,

    With great difficulty, Rekha and I became parents today. It has been quite a journey – especially from Chennai to Kannur…in Mangalore Mail.

    I am not sure of the time the child was born, because I was sedated and was in a stretcher alongside Rekha, when the baby saw the light of day. (Note to myself: Find out the time of birth and head for the nearest astrologer).

    The child is doing fine. Is all of 3.2 Kgs and like his father is also a bundle of joy. Don`t think he will grow up to be a stand up comedian because he can`t stand up, yet. He is always in a state of meditation – wonder if he is the next Buddha. This thought scares me because like Buddha he isn`t wearing any clothes either.

    Jammy (the husband) & Rekha (the wife)

    If you forward this mail to eight people within the next eight minutes, you will get a baby in the next eight months. Unmarried people please use your discretion.

    Other Must Reads

    # Kissing – how it all began
    # Getting to know sex
    # Toilets – how lucky we are to have them
    # The initial months of pregnancy

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