|I woke up and called all my cousins and friends who had a boy child to share the information. I don’t know if that’s how they wanted to start their day. One of them had a one year old. I hope I didn’t change the way she would look at her son. If you don’t know, new moms are extremely paranoid and new dads are like like a deer in headlights.|
But I was sure I was saving the world.
But slowly thoughts started taking over me… If I have a girl child, I would know somewhat when she would get her periods, I know everything about female hygiene. I asked myself, “Do fathers talk to their sons about hygiene? The only thing I remember my parents screaming at my brother was, ‘ poyi kulikyada.’” (Go take shower.)
Anyway, I would not take seriously when my girl child’s hormones act up and she would turn into a monster. I would be able to empathise with her when she would have period cramps. But I would never be able to understand how bad it hurts when a cricket ball hits the crotch of a boy… I would never know if I should tell him more than “poyi kulikada” and if so, what? and at what age would I start seeing fevicol…
I had to talk to someone who is more experienced. There is something about me that you would have realised by now… I’m sort of a control freak I need to know everything about parenting before I even think of having a child. So no sex till then… I don’t care if my man turn 35 and fat… I need to know everything…
Once when I was in Delhi, my brother and sister-in-law came over for weekend stay at my parents’ place. In Delhi, after dinner we all sit around to catch up with each other’s life. My sister in law is a North-Indian so we have mixed all three languages and created something of our own to communicate.
My brother had shifted his job recently. My mother and brother both work in health care industry so we had our traditional debate on whose hospital was better… That is when I remembered my quest. My mother is a woman who has a boy child! Who better than her to answer all my questions….
So I cleared my throat… and started “Mama… last week Abish’s friends were over….”
I didn’t know my mom’s eye could open this big…. My brother tried to change the topic but I was adamant. I continued, “Ma, did you ever see fevicol in Ashish’s bed and what did you do?“
My mother started laughing. My brother sprang up from the seat and moved to the sofa area screaming, “Yeh pagal ho gayi hai“. (She has gone mad.)
I didn’t care if I made him uncomfortable. I turned to my mother and asked one more time. She was almost breathless. My dad politely got up and moved to the sofa to join my brother. He took out the newspaper and started reading. I should remind you it was almost 11 pm and last time I checked, dad reads papers in the morning.
The distance from our dinning table to sofa is just 10 steps, so if they actually wanted to avoid the topic, the men could have moved to the bedrooms. By now my sister in law also joined the conversation. She asked my brother, “Tera weird place kahan tha Ashish?” (where was your weird place?)
My house by then looked like Priyadarshan film’s climax sequence.
I looked at my mom again. She said,”Ende kuttikal valuthakumbol othiri chodyangal chodikkum ennu enikku ariyaamaayirunnu. Pakshe ingane onnu prateekshichilla.” (I knew my kids will grow up and ask a lot of questions but I never expected this.)
My dad by then decided to somehow end this mess so he looked at me still holding the paper and said, “Archana this is sin.”
He dropped the S word. In Catholic faith everything is a sin. The sin list is so long that no mortal can ever make it to heaven by living in this world. But that’s a topic we’ll save it for later.
I took a deep breath. My brother mentally gave a high-five to my dad for saving the day. Everyone was quiet except for my mom who was still laughing. I was thinking of a comeback…
My mom’s laugh increased. She looked at my dad and said, “Oh, pinne oru punyavalan. Onnum cheyathe oru aal.” (Oh, a saint! As if you haven’t done it)
I was in shock. Everyone started laughing. My dad was still confused what to do.I can worry about my son but in no way I wanna think about my dad’s weird places.
So that’s it… I decided to end my quest.