My father’s shoes

BY JAYDEEP DESHPANDE

Dr Jayant Deshpande, a few years before he passed away

It’s almost weird what reminds me of my father. It mostly is small, worn-out, badly (rather hurriedly) chosen shoes on a middle aged man. He had small feet and he wore shoes like that. Uncaring and apathetic to brands, fashion, style and disrepair. It was a ritual in the home, for Aai to force him into buying moderately expensive, well-fitted shoes and it always led to an argument about how he was made to splurge money. Never mind that we, the kids, spent more money on movies and eating out in a week than he had to on those shoes. It was spending on himself that always made him act like a debt-ridden man.

He never cared about appearances anyway. Any grooming apart from the daily shower was more of a social and professional compulsion for him. That haircut happened when it became too evident and the hair took more than three seconds to obey combing commands and fall in place. Shirts and trousers were selected inside of two seconds.

The only vanity he allowed himself was a regimented, daily shave. Even in his days of prolonged hospitalization, he craved that shave and felt embarrassed when the doctors saw him with a little scruff on his face. He was after all, till his last breath a dignified doctor. I remember one exasperating occasion when, having had another in a series of brushes with death, the first thing he asked me when I came down from Ghaziabad to the hospital was to help him shave.

But that isn’t what reminded me of him today. It was a father-son pair at the barbershop that made me long for him today. Growing up as a cripplingly shy kid, I never had mustered enough courage to get a haircut myself till very late in school life. The daunting task of walking up to a grown man, looking him in the eye, telling him what I wanted and then course correction in between was just beyond me.

Most barbers tend to be too boisterous for my taste anyway, compulsively talking and socializing as they stood, snipping with their scissors on every branch of my family tree. So for me, he was the communicator and the handler of tough situations like asking the barber to make it shorter than what had been done. But ironically, I loved keeping my hair minimal, so every 10 days, I would drag him along to sit and twiddle his thumbs while I looked at him and signaled him to intervene every now and then. Time passed and my shyness abated a little, the barber issue was resolved when teenage hit like a tornado and our haircut philosophies no longer matched. But till the end, he remained firmly in-charge of the house.

So even though throughout my teenage, I continuously battled him for the alpha male position at home, demanding to be trusted, brandishing my bravado of having well connected friends and my ‘knowledge of the system’ (he remained too naïve and tended to get things done the straight way, as per regulations, which I thought was boring), I was never really required to take any responsibility of doing menial tasks like paper work, government filings, etc. I still don’t. Living away from home meant Aai had to take up the baton, something she has done so well.

Seeing that kid and his father at the barber today made me reminisce on the presence that he had at home. An anchor, that was drawn up in January this year, and our lives took a sudden, unexpected course that none of us had imagined. Like every kid is of his/her father, I was in awe of him. The reverence with which people spoke to him, his uninterrupted sense of duty which made him treat patients who had come home even at 3 AM in the morning, the way he had built whatever we had right from scratch, getting no handouts from anyone and through a sheer sincerity of effort. It’s now I realize how little he enjoyed any of what he earned, but I do not remember a time now when I had to really give up anything because of finances. Yes, there was the one odd really expensive toy I wanted that he refused to buy, but then I was just being a brat. For what it counted, education, lifestyle, books, things that truly enriched us, we were never short. The only grudge I still hold against him today is never buying me an RC Helicopter. And I will never buy it on my own, just to hold up his end of that argument.

I digress. So what happens to kids who are in awe of the parent? One word. Teenage. For us, it unleashed a demon that unraveled the very fabric of our relationship. When I rebelled, I didn’t do it halfheartedly. And for his part, he was too consumed of worries about my future, my academics, etc. for us to sit down and talk. I would anyway have fought my way through, even if we had sat down to talk. But for whatever reasons, we never talked about it. Even later, there were no apologies. Maybe apologies weren’t needed and this was a rite of passage, a testing of boundaries, so to speak. And we never hugged it out because in our dictionary, that was just plain weird. What broke the ice between us was the realization of mortality of a human being.

News of his cardiac surgery and the complications therein mediated an unspoken truce between us. At the same time, the quarter life crisis hit me, and in the hangover of that turbulent teenage, the smoke screen began to dissolve. Partly out of guilt for having done and said the things I had (and having not done and not said the things I should have) the thought of his mortality jolted us back into a time where I was almost subservient to him. And he deserved to be revered like that. Things seemed happy after the successful surgery. But that was short-lived.

A couple of years down the line, all hell broke loose. I won’t go into the details of it. It’s unnerving to recount the horrors and moreover, now that it’s all over, the everyday details that I then thought were terrorizing have lost their sharp edges. Now, they seem more like a movie we all watched while in a deep state of exhaustion, floating through the days, deeply connected emotionally but somehow physically removed from the scene of the crime.

What those three years did is more important now. It changed the meaning of a lot of things. It changed the meaning of Aai. From being a mother and a wife, she went on to be a selfless organ donor, never even questioning why she was doing it. From being a sister, Renu and more importantly, her husband and her in-laws, went on to be generous, large- hearted care takers that we shall forever be emotionally indebted to. For me, it changed the meaning of going home. Now in my vacations, I didn’t go home, I went to the hospital. Flying down from Ghaziabad stopped being a happy occasion and started being one long, tensed time-out. A phone call from Aai even a minute off from the usual time sent the heart leaping out of the throat and “Hello” changed to a panicked “What happened now?” The only place that felt eerily safe was the hospital premises, because having hospitalized him twice in an emergency, seeing his life almost ebb out in the car had left driving with him an unpleasant and scary suggestion.

The hospital became our new home. The chores of sending home cooked food to the hospital and giving medicines and checking vitals every few hours almost became a routine. Again, had it not been for the sister, her husband and her in-laws, who turned their entire household machinery to suit our schedules, none of this would have happened. And what changed most was him. From being a fit, active man who bordered almost on an anxious restlessness, he waned away physically. He still remained mentally sharp, checking his own medical reports even while on a ventilator, but that flock of thick, dark black hair (that had survived at an age when most of his contemporaries had submitted to alopecia) went away. From being a man who sprang to his feet at the slightest sound even while in deep sleep, he had to be held while walking. And the displeasure of having to accept these physical changes was apparent on his face. After all, he still wanted to hold on to his position as head of the family. More than the condition that afflicts them, I think patients are more terrified with the prospect of being dependent on others. And for people who had built their life from ground up, it seemed almost like a cruel, insulting defeat at the hands of fate.

Three years of running in and out of hospitals, misdiagnosis and mismanagement at Nagpur, shift to Pune, panicking, continuous and compulsively worrying, a transplant, almost made it. Wait. Something went wrong. No, ok, it’s treatable. Yay! Happy Diwali! Wait, again somethings not right. Uh oh, this might be serious. Ok, serious but treatable. Yaaay. Wait. Fracture. Ok healing well. Yaay again. We will pull through. Things will be back to normal. Let’s plan what all of us will do after Diwali. Go on a trip, start your practice again. Cough cough. Tch, damn cough. Let’s just be a normal family and start arguing again. Baba, you’ve lost it. You are immune compromised, can’t be around sick people anymore. Ok fine, but only 10 patients a day just to keep you busy. Cough cough. Wait. Doctor doesn’t look happy. Shit. Oh ok, not that serious, I read the report wrong. Doctor says it’s negative. Yaaaaay ok so back to planning. What the hell is partial lung resection? Honestly? Phew. Ok fine, doctor says it’s a pretty routine surgery. Ok, bye baba, I’ll wait here in the, well, waiting room LOL. Be back soon. Ah, all doctors are going in. Surgery must be over. But too soon, no? Why am I being called in? I know what a Myocardial Infraction is. I’ve become half a Wikipedia doctor myself. May pull through? Ok. He’s pulled through before. He will again. I’m confident. Heart stopped? Ok, restarted after 20 min? Yaaay? Ok. He’s unconscious, but can listen to me? Ok. Baba, got a good job, just like you always wanted. Will you come to my convocation? Baba? Ok I’ll wait. Wait. Wait. Wait……….

Silence.

So he didn’t pull through after all.

I will never be able to faithfully express everything that happened and that we felt in those years, but then maybe some things aren’t meant to be faithfully expressed. Some thoughts, some moments of laughter, tears, anxiety, are best preserved in the mind as mementos given by those who left us. With him, our lives too set sail. Never had we thought that Nagpur will stop being our ‘home town’. It was a city where our lives happened. It was a city where I knew most of the lanes and where I had spent all of my formative years. It was a city, where even random shops on the road had a memory to share. It was a city where he raised his family. Tearing away from the hometown, with the collateral damage of a much loved dog has been the hardest decision to deal with after him.

What I do vividly remember of Baba now is how in those few moments of remission, he never stopped putting up a brave face. He had been our go to guy for all medical queries. Now that he was on the other side, he had to hold the fort even now. And he still smiled. Worried as he always was, listening to stories of Nagpur and how stupid some people are, he gave his usual, easy laugh that came so naturally to him.

Those shoes that I so nostalgically mentioned, had a metaphor in them too. We grow up with our idols. We try to be them, we fail, we shun them, we see them in a different light, then we try again. So we try to be a mutated version of them. I wear better shoes than what he did, but then, I can never fill his shoes anyway. They may have been small, odd, and in bad fashion, but in what they represented, a life lived for others and in worry of other, they were just too big for a man of my stature.

Phew. So, kid at the barber shop. Be a brat. Love every moment of being a brat while your father caters to you. It’s how things happen. You too will grow up, you too will be at loggerheads with him. You too, will come back to him. I can tell you to be nice to him you will regret it later and blah blah blah, but the thing is, you won’t understand. I didn’t either. Maybe guilt isn’t a bad thing after all, if it ends up making you a better person than what you were yesterday. But don’t be too hard on yourself. Forgive yourself. Your baba will too. And hope the same for me.

About the author: Jaydeep went from being an engineer to a copywriter at a radio channel to an MBA student to now being an Assistant Manager with an Ecommerce portal. He writes, on and off, mostly for himself.

 

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The joy of being a father again

BY FAIZ MOHAMMED

Yes, yet again its a top-of-the-world, lump in the throat and I-am-the-king-of-the-world moment.

However it’s definitely different; even the discussion to arrive at having a second child is different.

Picture this :

“Hey, it’s time we have another one!”

“It’s time? According to whom??”

“Well everybody is asking about it, Our family, friends, relatives, facebook friends, whatsapp friends and even my beauty parlour wali friend”

“So we plan another baby to get “likes” or “comments” from them?”

“No, it’s not just that, I have always loved the idea of having a bunker bed in my house”

Anyways, emotion wins over logic (read wife wins), moreover there isn’t a prettier sight than having both your legs grabbed by your kids after you are back home.

Also, unlike the last time, you cant be so impartial about the gender; we have a boy, we want a girl (though having a healthy baby is THE ONLY PRAYER)

The D-Day arrives and you follow the exact schdedule of your “earlier achievement”; like the batsman who wears the same underwear he wore when hitting his last century.

Waiting out, is the longest hour of your life; finally the angel-in-white tells you, “Congrats, it’s a girl”. And you jump with joy; the last time I did this was when Dhoni hit that six to win us the World Cup.

The Almighty bestows a special grace on girls; I have always been biased and considered women a superior race, so am glad to be blessed with a daughter.

Our nest is finally complete and I can borrow a funny line overheard from a proud father. “I have two kids and two kidneys.”

Just KIDding 🙂

 

About the author:

Faiz Mohammed (or FM, as he likes to be called) has been with FM (Radio City, Radio ONE) for a decade; he knows really well he is better heard than seen. He is a Gujrati, born and brought up in Bangalore – now you know the real inspiration behind Chetan Bhagat”s Two States. When he is not convincing his clients to spend their hard earned money on air, he reads, and very rarely, also writes.

 

How a daddy met his nurture side and loved it

BY NITIN PUJAR

Women who give birth have often ranted about the physical and mind-numbing body changes that they endure during the conception and postpartum processes. They own this kind of physicality of process that they thumb all males down with and, of course, never let their men forget for the rest of their life.

And I have seen all sorts of women personas go through this: the quiet pregnant woman who is nothing more than slightly plump through her ten month process of being mollycoddled by everyone around her, to the glaring ‘the-world-is-so-unfair’ working woman who is a shrieking banshee at work as well as home through her pregnant months..

One thing is common to all women who are pregnant: the presumption that men do not, will not and cannot understand what they are going through. And yes, that is physically true. But what is not true is that they don’t go through their own sets of peeves, fears and personality swings through this process.

I was suitably abused for not understanding anything about anything, for the entire nine months by my daughter’s mother while she was being tracked through a series of doctor visits in the womb. The doctors, some male and a couple of delightful females, kept looking at me quizzically as I seemed chilled and question-less while I interjected with nods and paper napkins when they were reached out for. I was asked by the mother of my daughter to read up tomes of day-by-day pregnancy symptoms and indicators and told the books were written for the Americans and so were irrelevant. The doctors had the ‘eyes rolled up’ look of having to deal with the over-involved couple, all the time. Though to be fair, I said very little.

The mother of the mother, both in-law and out-law, would call in and ask inane questions about their daughter’s (in-law and out-law) eating habits and so on and proffer advise to me about what their daughter should be drinking or such. All this was of course followed by the wife asking me what they said and then, being told in turn about how they don’t know anything. See? Makes sense, right?

My clients, my work and my life in general had ceased to be meaningful to my wife or should I say irrelevant. Which was fine because they all understood what it meant to be in the generic thankless process of being ‘becoming’ a father. They sympathized, or in most cases if they were men, did not even ask about it or talk about it.

‘Lamaze’ or something (laa-maaz) classes were paid for and thankfully not attended due to the fact that they were inconveniently timed for the wife (who worked till the last possible day ). Some sensitive friend of hers had done them with their respective loving wife and so we had to pay and forget about it and never mention it, ever. (“Never, ever”..like Arnab Goswami famously says).

Then there was that last minute panic outside the labour room of the Christian missionary-run hospital which forbade me from entering the labour room!! This is where the macho, male assertion that one will be there with the wife even if one were to be jailed for it, worked. Not that my wife noticed or has even spoken of it ever after.

Yes, it was horror inducing to see all the animal reality of mammalian birthing and the equally horrifying cutting and suturing and casual mayhem of a surgical labour room. In the middle of the timing the breathing I asked my wife “Shucks, what if it’s a boy? I have not thought of a name!!” She just looked at me with her cold stare and shrieked, “You are supposed to help me push, not ask me questions!”

And then of course, the moment when the tall woman who is now my teen daughter came into the world with nary a whimper, but a happy cough and sniffle, I was all relived that I did not have to think of a name. But what I was never prepared for was the stunning sense of nurture that washed over all my senses as I was given this tiny bundle of helplessness to hold. It is a trip that was never experienced before and never ever after. It is a physical, chemical and mental zoning out that makes for a whole lifetime of waiting.

 

About the author:

Nitin Pujar enjoys the never ending luxury of being curious about all of the women in his life, while trying to decipher them, knowing he can never do so.

On becoming our parents

In between our mothers and fathers lies us.

We set out to be our own people. And then there comes a moment – maybe quickly, maybe in our middle age, maybe later – when we turn around and think, “I have become my parents.” However much we may try to insulate ourselves, it is true that we are turning into our parents in strange and insidious ways. In our ways of looking at the world. Ourselves. In our ways of being happy, sad and everything in between. In our ways of living and loving. That’s the treachery of inheritance. Research says that 32 is the age when it usually happens. I am way past that, so I am sure I am a huge blob of dichotomy by now. Albeit a happy one.

When we were kids, Sunday mornings were about dosas. Actually, every other day was about dosas, but Sundays was when we could have them leisurely, all crisp and brown, ghee-roasted and paper- thin. My mother would be in the kitchen, doling them out one after the other, keeping up with the collective appetites of three kids. As we crunched on the ghee-roasted crispiness, we would bellow requests to the kitchen. “Make the next one light brown, not dark brown” Or “Don’t fold the next one please, I want to fold it.” Sometimes, our neighbours would smell the dosas and step in uninvited. I often wondered how my mother kept pace, since I am sure we ate faster than she made them, despite having two tavas on. Very often, by the time we were done eating, the batter would be over, and my mother would be seen eating the ‘rejected’ or ‘burnt’ ones. I would ask her why she hadn’t ensured there was enough for her and she would say, “When you children eat, I feel like I have eaten.”

When I became a mother, I realised this was the biggest load of bullshit ever. That if mothers have martydom written on them, it is their own doing. Perhaps that’s why mothers are more scarred by parenthood than fathers are. They start putting themselves on the back burner and some never reemerge.

I started baking after Re was born. Whenever I made a batch of cookies, I ate the crumbs and gave him the best pieces. I felt like my mother, although she never ate what she baked. A few weeks ago, a friend came visiting and got me mawa cakes from Kayani’s. Re staked his claim to them. I was a bit despondent, because sometimes, you want your treats to yourself. When it was down to one, I asked him if we could share it. He refused and proceeded to eat it all by himself. Once he was done with the exciting brown top half, he handed it back to me saying, “Okay, you can have it.” I felt cheated. The next time mawa cakes came to the house, I kept three aside for myself and ate them all alone. It felt good.

I remember my years of singledom in my cute little apartment that I always loved coming back to, shopping for produce, planning meals, deciding what I wanted to eat.

“How can you cook for just one person?” they would ask. It was as though doing things just for the pleasure of it was an indulgence.

My father gave us a childhood full of journeys, never mind if some of them never made it to the destinations. Our means were limited, but our hearts were full and our lungs always had more oxygen than they could handle. He got off platforms and missed trains, he forgot to confirm reservations, he made us ride back from Dhanolti to Dehradun on a truck laden with peas, as we missed the only bus for the day (we ate a lot of peas on that ride). He spelt wanderlust.

At 74, my father left home to pursue his dream of becoming a farmer. When he showed up at the ration office to get himself a separate ration card, he was reprimanded for abandoning his family and leaving his wife in her old age. He waited all his life for his ‘someday’, but when he exercised his option, he was written off.

I exercised mine much earlier. And almost in the tradition of my father, I was abandoning the known for the unknown. Leaving something I could do in my sleep to doing something I had no clue how to. Like my mother, there is frugality even in my dreaming. But like my father, I take my chances and there is method in my madness. He is still the young-at-heart, living-life-to-the-fullest guy. My mother is still the one who worries for all of us. I am somewhere in between, the worrier and the liver in equal measure. I think they did good.

We all need to claim our crusts back. We need to stop eating crumbs and broken cookies and demand the whole brownie. We all need a place in the world we don’t have to share with anyone – children, parents, siblings or spouse – to find the essence of us.

My father called me a few weeks ago and asked me,”How’s life?” He was at his farm, I was on my hill. “I heard about your new adventure,” he said. “It must be so thrilling!” Yes, I said. When I am I seeing you? “Let me finish my harvest. I will hop on a bus and come there. We can share stories of our adventures,” he said.

I can’t wait to.

This post first appeared as my column in Pune Mirror on September 15, 2014

Absolute imperfect: Why I’m like dad

IMG_1622.JPGA few weeks ago, I was bitten by wanderlust, a disease I have inherited from my father, and duly passed on to the son. Just the words “choo choo train” or “let’s pack a suitcase” is enough to send Re into a frenzy. So we took off to a Himalayan village under the pretext of watching documentaries for three days. Two trains later, we were at Kathgodam, filing into private taxis that would take us on the three-hour ride to Sonapani, our destination. As the signs for Ranikhet, Nainital, Corbett, Bhimtal and Almora flashed past, I had a sense of dejavu. I had been on the exact same road with my father over three decades ago. And almost in the tradition of my father, I was abandoning the known for the unknown. My father never told us where we were going. “You will see,” he would tell us. We would end up at Ramnagar or Kausani or Dhanolti or some such and my mother would always ask why we never went to Kulu-Manali or Darjeeling or at least some place people had heard of. My father would say, “Everybody goes to Darjeeling!”

I feel grateful to my father. For a childhood full of journeys, never mind if some of them never made it to the destinations. Our means were limited, but our hearts were full and our lungs always had more oxygen than they could handle. My father got off platforms and missed trains, he had a tough time keeping track of three children, he forgot to confirm reservations, he showed up at Lucknow in winter at 1 am without a hotel booking and didn’t blink an eyelid when the porter suggested a dormitory, he made us ride back from Dhanolti to Dehradun on a truck laden with peas, as we missed the only bus for the day (we ate a lot of peas on that ride). He lent money to a co-traveller in Pondicherry who pretended to be robbed even as my mother was muttering through her breath that he was faking it. He ended up broke at the end of that journey, still optimistic that the man who duped him would show up. We went without food on that train-trip and ate Horlicks.

In our quest to be the perfect parent, we often realise that it’s the imperfect one who leaves a mark. I always wished my dad could somewhat fit in, be like my friend’s dad, ask the right questions, nod at the right places. But secretly, I was happy that he allowed me to be the person I was trying to be. My father never read us books or told stories or gave us advice on money or careers. He took us to markets, nurseries, made us work in the garden, taught us bridge and cricket, travelled and trekked with us, and helped facilitate my life-long affair with food. He was hardly around at annual day functions; he couldn’t deal with the sham of small talk with other parents. I never missed him. He encouraged me to bunk school so we could watch test matches together. I was allowed to buy him ciggies from the local paan shop, till the paanwala and my mother collectively conspired not to sell cigarettes to a ten year-old.

He is 74 and mostly on a farm somewhere in Belgaum, hoping his green thumb will make him a millionaire. He is a maverick, but he is the maverick I aspire to be. He is the parent who set me free.

The perfect parent messes you up. I am still trying to outdo my mother. I can never be as non-controversial as her, never reach a state where I am blessed by an absolute lack of cynicism like her, never do things with the same consistency of purpose as her. She woke up early, kept a good house, baked, cooked, sewed, knitted, worked, was hugely respected by her students and colleagues, managed finances, did family, friends and synchronised her life beautifully and is the mascot for “nice”.

The thing about having a child is that it makes you love everything about you and hate it in equal measure.  I looked at parenting as my chance to redeem myself. The childhood I wished I had. The mother and father I wished mine had been. It was unfair and stupid of me and it took its toll on my sanity. But I couldn’t have been half the parent I am if my childhood had been any different. We end up who we are because we are more than what our parents made us out to be. And no one gets points for a bad childhood.

As I pointed the snow-capped peaks to Re from our cottage in Sonapani, he stood in attention and started singing the national anthem. My father would have so laughed out loud, I could almost hear him reverberate in the mountains. I felt grateful again.

The curious case of daddydom

daddyIn a strange sequence of events, the man I married came up for scrutiny every single day after we made a baby together. He still does. It is a fact that has crept into my head in an insidious way particularly after I read one of his comments on Facebook which said something like “Interesting how most of marriage is spent plotting how not to get screamed at by the wife.”

This needs damage control, I thought. The husband believes that he has the unique power to annoy me even when he’s not in the room, and I think he may have a point. In my overwhelming pursuit of being a good mother, I had clearly lost out on being the good wife.

I married a man who doesn’t cook, walk or exercise. Someone who always thinks of vegetables as the dressing for something more succulent, preferably with legs. One who hates trains. One who wields an electric racket to kill mosquitoes (yes!). One who was gifted a Nintendo by his father at age 14. One who may skip a bath but never forget his hat. One who could easily declare someone he met three weeks ago as his best friend. One who doesn’t read or play any sport, unless it involves a controller. One who is still afraid to pull over a T-shirt around the boy’s head, thinking it might hurt him.

After a child, everything that a man used to do semi-okay is now wrong. Women feel that men were already stupid to start with, and after producing a child, the last brain cell also vanishes. And so we are often guilty of trying to fix our men through our children. ‘Re is so perfect, his father better match up,’ is what I am thinking most of the time.

As for the men, well, one day they are the sperm, and the next day they are the parent who knows zilch about parenting. At least, women have the hormones that make motherhood a little more organic than it’s purported to be.

Some men beatifically fake the holding of the baby in the first few weeks and change a total of six diapers before they realise that this is not really their calling. And there begins the War of the Roses.

Women raise the bar for men after having mothered their children. Men are so overwhelmed by the complexity of post-partum behaviour that the only thing they are looking for is a place to hide. Since most of us didn’t marry with checklists and did it for larger causes like love and hormones, it might be a tad shocking that the product of our conjugation is very often greater than the sum of parts. I think if we have rigid ideas about how we should raise our children (bathing and brushing is sacrosanct, eating junk is sacrilege) we should have these conversations before our libidos get into a blur and the baby is already made.

And so I plead guilty on the following counts:

1. Maybe, when I expect you to take the ball and run, I should at least tell you where the ball is. Or what it looks like.

2. If I was so averse to technology, I should have told you right at the start, before our remote controls produced babies and grandchildren.

3. Somewhere, I fear that your tech toys may have a greater power of seduction on the boy than my books. Or cupcakes. Or salads.

4. I suck at drawing so I was hoping that you would doodle for the child and make dogs look like dogs and lions not look like hyenas. It was presumptuous.

5. I thought your OCD for orderliness would also translate into organising the child’s toys, clothes and books.

6. I celebrated your transition from PS2 to PS3 to Xbox360. Why now am I mortified by the PS4?

7. Someday, I decided that television was not okay. I should have told you then.

8. I know you don’t do parks and playgrounds but I was not counting on building Lego parks on the iPhone as outdoor stimulation.

9. I thought having a chirpy morning child would turn you into a morning person. I was wrong.

10. Sometimes, I am angry with you just because you can switch off. Maybe, I should find my switch-off button too.

Yes, I admit, we have never fought as much before as we did after the baby. But we never wanted to make up as much either. Maybe Re has helped us grow. A wee bit at least.

 

This post first appeared as my column in the Indian Express on 3rd March, 2013