When the reading stops, writing stops too. Isn’t this the worst!
As I type this, I have in close vicinity, a small human cooing and making the sound of a vehicle applying breaks. It is one of the most inexplicably weird emotions felt as a human – to have another human that is your own doing. That human was (re)produced by me and my wife and has our DNA and genes. This feeling can be felt only after it is realized. The small human resembles us, shares the same surname, and will depend wholly on us for some time now. That human has the same nose like me, and also the same amount of hair as me (at the moment!). Although surprisingly, and to my utter disappointment, she has blood group of her mother.
So, in a world full of %yaans and %aishas, I became a father of a baby girl not named like above a month ago. In these pandemic times, the taking care of the mother, the frequent doctor visits were all adventurous but fortunately safe. Nevertheless, after everything, here we are with a baby and that leads me to write my experience briefly after a month of being a father.
Delivery of a baby is a process like none other. All my conceptions and misconceptions were shattered/answered as I was fortunate enough to be in the labor room. The whole process took 9 hours for us and with each hour, it becomes more and more intense. It was like the movie Hurt Locker in which after each passing scene, the protagonist is given a much deadlier task of diffusing the bombs. If someone is reading this blog and is afraid of going through the ordeal, 1, Of course, you have heard it right and all your fears are true. It is painful and violent and bloody and requires nerves of steel and no man can understand or feel it. And 2, no matter how improbable, impossible, <insert adjective from i>, it might look, somehow, and from somewhere, the woman conjures all her strength to go through it successfully, mostly. I have absolutely no idea how that happens but when I saw it happening, it was exhilarating and exhausting just as a viewer. During the very moment, when it was about to happen, it felt like I was taken into some different world, and then I was jolted back to reality when the nurse shouted at me to come and stand closer to my wife and encourage her to push harder.
The moment the baby came out, I was asked to go outside and within seconds I heard the cry of the newborn. If I try to explain that feeling, it will ruin that moment for me. So, I will savor it and keep it within me. I will just say that those were the sweetest sounds ever and my whole body kept on shivering and each goosebump stood up in unison. Every happy hormone got activated and I doubt if I will ever feel the same.
I have achieved some happiness in life. But that moment of happiness tops everything else a million times over.
What is Sleep?
Almost everyone who wished me luck when I announced the soon arrival of our baby, also cautioned me to take as much sleep as possible. Now, I am not a big fan of sleeping so I didn’t take such wishes in the right manner. Who are they to tell me? I can manage sleep. What’s the big deal? I was happily sleeping 6 to 7 hours daily all my life and could manage late nights or early mornings with ease. I can pull this off, I thought. Only now do I realize that I slept like a baby earlier because no baby woke me up after every 2 hours during those 6 hours and asked me to stay awake for any time between 15 minutes to a couple of hours at any random time during the night. The sleep and the sleep cycle have been broken. Now I doze off after my baby has slept. I get up whenever she wakes up. Not that I want to blame my baby for it. Everything everyone cautioned against was true. I just blame everyone who formalized my circadian rhythm all my life.
No matter how bad the world looks thanks to crimes, wars, pandemics, climate change, Internet Bans, traffic, potholes, pollution, traditions, etc, I still feel that the future holds something good. So the world my daughter inhabits will also have pros and cons. I will attempt to train her as much as possible to deal with it. I cannot predict the future but can hope that she gets to feel as equal as I felt and is able to tackle things I struggled with in a better manner. Rest everything will fall in place I guess. Why overthink!
Not wanting to sound pretentious, but we know that the world is full of idiots. And all those idiots have had kids and they brought them up, somehow! Most of the kids turned out fine too. 8 billion times! Does it happen in flow or is there a trick to it? How did they manage their work and sleep? Although it takes a village to raise a child but who all contributes?
It has just started. I will be able to give a go-no-go only after a lifetime. But as of now, these are looking like the best days of my life.
I always used to wonder how would people who lived in history felt when they had to undergo some calamity. Natural disasters, Wars, Revolutions, and whatnot. Well, we got the opportunity to face a pandemic during our lifetime as well. Pretty depressing couple of weeks, aren’t they. I just hope and wish that the crisis ends soon and whoever is becoming part of the stats, becomes part of those 98-99 percentage who survive with mild symptoms.
But as I write this, the city I am in, Bengaluru, is breaking records every day. As I recall, in the first week of March 2021, the number of daily cases was around 200-300. Today, it has crossed 20,000. I don’t know about others and don’t have to wait for the government, I have imposed a lockdown on myself and won’t be venturing out for anything at all till better air prevails. I am privileged to do that, fortunately. But sitting at home makes one feel extremely anxious when notification after notification just piles up the frustration and feeling of helplessness. What can I do with my limited resources and a family to take care of? Mind you I have seen what a family goes through when they fall prey to the virus. The amount of panic and frantic calls one makes to arrange a bed is suffocating figuratively, to say the least. Even right now, I have already had plenty of news after news of friends, colleagues, and relatives testing positive and nobody can help, to be frank.
Last year, people donated money to PM Cares wholeheartedly when hospitals in India could manage and avert the crisis to a certain extent. Since then, from the government’s side, what could or could not be done is all evident. People in power or with influence and governments who could do things didn’t do or delayed in doing, without any shame or remorse is also known. I would wait for the blame game for some other time but here are some resources I found which can help NOW. I am not a huge influencer or anything but can certainly help in my own limited way by sharing some genuine links which can be of some help.
If you want to donate from out of India:
For friends who stay outside India:
Telegram Group for Information:
Telegram group – https://t.me/joinchat/NPW-kgUldiAzMzQ1
I can also do this minor thing, although again, I am not a pro artist, and neither this blog has a great reach but SEO works:
If you make a donation of Rs. 1000 or above, please share the receipt with me (https://abhinavbhatt.com/contact/ / http://twitter.com/abhinavbhatt01) and I can send you any one of the high-resolution soft copy minimal movie posters I made a few years ago. (please adjust with this for now)
I haven’t blogged for 10 days straight. That’s the longest span since I started blogging daily last year. But I didn’t have any writer’s block. I had too much to do with work and the life which remained apart from work left me so tired that I slept like a baby as soon as I was done for the day.
Any habit which people take up, takes immense amount of hard work to be done daily. Despite all the challenges, some people still make out time to go about it. That calls for amazing patience, and the ability to take out time for themselves.
Guess, people who can take out time to do things they like are the ones who are good with time management. That’s what it needs and takes. It is The thing to learn and be better at, throughout life. If one can manage time, one can manage life.
Here’s to Writer’s Block getting over and resuming of writing (any good habit), whenever one can.
“If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in the dark with a mosquito.”
– Betty Reese
As Sunny Deol said in Border, the word Problem is synonymous with the word Life.
I had shared the quote in the above post just a couple of months ago. But then I got a chance to complain about certain things. Lately, I realized that harping about problems doesn’t make them go away. Solving them does.
To solving problems…
Anything which hasn’t been meddled with by humans yet could be called natural. But everything gets impact by human activities. The remotest place on the planet would have had some impact of things happening elsewhere. El nino and what not!
When it comes to food, normally we wouldn’t check ingredients. But there’s a reason that there is a requirement to show the ingredients on the packaging. So as one grows older (and pants become tighter), we start reading what makes the thing so tasty: generally added flavours, emulsifiers, refined sugar. But then what’s actually natural? Potato, tomato, chillies weren’t naturally available anywhere except few countries. Now we have them everywhere, GM or not.
It is indeed difficult to find natural things. So what can be done? What Tradeoffs between luxury or taste, economic value or ease can be made?
I guess, the expert answer as per me is this: As long as you can tolerate, enjoy what you think is natural (or what law allows). Later, everyone takes support of unnatural things like medicine, technology, and luck. Enjoy.