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Motherhood - contd

by Sudha Chandrasekaran

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The implausible story of Motherhood - contd

It is now nearly three months and the appreciation and admiration contingent still keeps coming. Now, I call him Aarav and not Aaru, Munnaraja…..- the names by which Deepak addresses him –holding him tightly in his arms and all the while swaying along with him; throwing him up in the air and catching him while the little one bursts with wild peals of innocent baby laughter. Aarav doesn’t cry when he is in my lap for five minutes of the admiration torment. That must be a suggestive sign of my inefficient motherhood expertise. . But just when I switch over my hands and cuddle him, he brings out a laughter which seems endless and spills all over. I never could imagine a baby laughing so much….infectious laughter. That also after my reading of neither Mahabharata nor Ramayana but pure crime stories during my entire pregnancy.

Hey, what’s so funny guy?? He touches my nose- Chuckle; Holds my hands –Chuckle; I sing a nursery rhyme-Chuckle; Looks at his father- giggles loudly…. Yes. He giggles a lot on looking at me and spreads out his chubby arms which smell of baby lotion and milk, wanting to be held. The visitors find no fissure in this happy pantomime and hesitantly walk off to attend to their chores, as Aarav’s peals of laughter echo as they take their leave.

At times, when the attendant Priya is looking elsewhere, I try to pinch Aarav quickly to know his reaction as to whether he will start to howl! I mean, if he does not cry it maybe some medical condition of which I may not be aware of. But, he giggles away, considering it to be a new game! His cute little fingers try to pinch me, causing a mere tickle. Priya turns back on hearing the giggle. She appears to be over fond of Aarav and never budges from the room even for a minute. “Memsaab, such a sweet little fellow.” She continues, “Baba. Where are you -peek-a-boo!!!?”

Priya follows every movement of Aarav. Even during his sleeping hours, she sits by his side, rocking him gently and admiring him adorably. She leaves the room only when Deepak comes in.

Come Sundays and Priya is off on her weekly holiday. Aarav is fully under our
care-Deepak and mine. The mother that I am-PERFECT- when it is time for napkin change or to feed Aarav with his baby food- I see to it that I am glued to my laptop as if to avoid the a world war with my keyboard. Now, it is Deepak who obviously changes the diaper; and feeds Aarav’s food, playing with him all the while and singing rhymes till the bowl is empty and Aarav giggles! I know for sure that Deepak would not look into my laptop to see what I was actually doing, not knowing that it was not some office work that I was busy with, but actually playing some interesting game about Cops and robbers! I would have definitely taken up the task of feeding Aarav but would have given up the moment Aarav started pushing the food from his mouth all the while spitting and sternly refusing to eat. Wee, for sure, Deepak is made of a sterner metal and is a doting father too.

Both, the son and father appear to be strangers to me and not as persons whose dreams are closely entangled with mine as well. Soon Aarav finishes his mash and Deepak gently wipes his mouth and makes him burp, which Aarav does and starts laughing as though he had achieved something great! The duo then starts rolling on the carpet and enjoys yet another game of peek-a-boo! At times I see Aarav staring at me, with his brows entwined in deep thought. I feel that he is trying to find out my interest in the game that he was playing and whether I would be interested in joining them. But it was not like as though he wanted my consent or concurrence. But one thing is certain. If a smile blemishes my face, he tries to do the same act over and over again. Strange enough, I do not seem to be getting bored and at the same time I feel whether at all I will be a good caring mother to him. There is some magnetic power in his deep-set eyes that sparkles with inquisitiveness and an inkling of mischievousness that makes me think that maybe, when he outgrows his diapers and the lullabies, both of us would become good pals. Maybe, there is still hope, which I am not able to foresee now!

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