Babies can turn Worlds upside down. Especially if…yours is a small World involving a small 3-bedroom apartment, a 100-member office and a four member family. At least, my baby has changed my world.
Last night at 3 am I was woken out of my slumber by an ecstatic Rekha shouting: “She has turned! She has turned!”
Though Archimedes was my wife`s favorite scientist, I didn`t compare her “She has turned!” to his “Eureka!” – probably because we don`t have a bath tub at home.
I looked up from sleep, trying hard to see in the dark…and finally spotted our bundle of joy lying in the middle of the bed. Though I was sleepy, I could make out something was wrong – Rhea (our baby) was lying on her stomach.
“She has turned indeed!” I heard myself shouting. In the next 15 seconds I was as fresh as a lily washed in the first rains of Mumbai. There was a problem though. I was having trouble recognizing my daughter. Ever since her birth on March 29, I had only seen her face and stomach and knees…here in the middle of the night I was being shown a baby`s back and hair and told, “She is your daughter and she has turned!”
For a moment, I couldn`t believe my wife.
“That`s not our baby. Our baby doesn`t have hair on her face…and she doesn`t have a John Abrahamesque flat stomach,” I protested.
“Oh…stupid man…she has turned…can`t you see that?” Needless to say that was my wife censuring me.
“If you insist. But is this thing like new year…I mean…do we have to stay up at 3 a.m. and celebrate?”
I have a feeling Rekha didn`t like my question, for in the dark (our night lamp is 3 years old and gets tired by 2 a.m….and dulls down) I could see her cat-like eyes spit fire. In case you have been married you would understand that tackling one`s wife is easy in the dark. Desperate husbands seek the help of darkness to present their case and win compensation. Unfortunately, compensations won in the darkness are always in kind (and never in cash).
Instead of answering my question, my wife asked me one: “Do you know what this means?”
“What…what means?” I asked. I can never think if woken up at 3 a.m..
“Are all men like this…or is it just you?” She gave me a frown. I could see her eye brows move up and down in the dark.
How could I let down my brothers in arms…so I said: “No…no…it is just me. Now, tell me what does our baby turning mean?”
“It means, very soon she is going to crawl!” I could feel my bed reverberate – that`s the amount of energy my wife put behind the word ‘crawl`.
I didn`t respond immediately. Thinking before saying anything is a trait I picked up from my grandfather, who once got into a fight with a hunter and still limps in his left leg because of a gun shot wound.
I think I just kept on thinking and dozed off.
I got up in the morning with a start. “My baby will crawl!” I shouted…all sweating…and panting…luckily Rekha was in the bathroom and didn`t hear me. I wonder if I should be happy when my baby starts crawling. Where is she getting the trait from? Maybe, I shouldn`t have crawled in front of Ibibo`s HR team and pleaded for a job!