|creative commons image|
It’s been a while since I burst any crackers for Diwali .I would have probably lit the odd sparkler a few times in the last ten years . But still, I think I used to be excited about the Diwali ritual of getting up early at 4:30AM and bursting a cracker the first thing in the morning till about I was twenty years old. With every new generation, the age kids grow bored/ conscientious about pollution gets lower. My younger cousins don’t burst crackers any longer. I don’t know whether to feel sad or happy about it. Obviously, this is a good thing for the environment and our poor ozone layer, but I wonder if kids are missing out on some real simple forms of enjoyment these days.
I still remember the days when appa used to bring home a huge bag of crackers and a bunch of us cousins used to waste no time in starting to burst all the “heavy duty” crackers. We had competitions in the neighborhood as to who would burst the noisiest cracker. We always lost , because our parents didn’t believe in getting us anything more than a thousand-wallah. Somehow Lakshmi patakas and atom bombs were enough to keep up deliriously happy. We looked down upon kids that burst “bhijilis” and lit sparklers.
Anyway, this Diwali , as usual no cracker bursting happened and I got a belated Diwali gift of seeing the little Bubba the very next day. The second trimester is a very strange thing- you suddenly stop throwing up and your appetite is suddenly so huge that you start wondering if you are pregnant any longer at all. Add to that the fact that I last saw the lil’ Bubba almost two months back during a scan , I was antsy and a tad worried. I have always been a chronic worrier and despite everybody telling me everything was going to be okay, I started imagining the worst possible things. Also , the fact that I wasn’t able to sense Bubba’s movements when I was well into my 21st week was getting me a little jittery.
But then every pregnancy is different and each expectant mother experiences these things at a different time period. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like for my mother’s generation , where medical screening before delivery was kept to the bare minimum. Amma tells me that she saw me just once before I was born. An aunt says that she didn’t even know that she was pregnant with twins until the nurse handed her two bundles and told her that she was a momma of two lil’ boys. Technology just increases tension and nervousness associated with pregnancy, I think.
My date with Bubba was fun. He/she refused to co-operate when the technician wanted to take the spinal measurements. I had to walk for almost an hour in the hope that the Bubba would wake up. and turn .But the lil’ one was stubborn (like me) and refused to move an inch. After three unsuccessful attempts at getting Bubba to turn , the technician started spanking my stomach in the hope that it would wake the lil’ one up. Still no luck. Finally, as the last resort , the technician asked me to slap my stomach. I hesitated a little , but decided to go ahead. Three brief taps later , Bubba turned and showed the technician his/her spine.
I was speechless.
The tech told me that sometimes the lil’ ones get so used to their mommas that they listen only to them. All I can say is , life is such a miracle that one really can’t explain it. A baby whose brain is not yet developed and is currently the size of a banana can actually recognize it’s mother’s touch? Wow! After the scan, I stopped referring to the baby as an “IT” and it has really sunk in that there really is a living thing inside me and not just a bunch of cells.
Sex determination is a crime in India and has been banned for several decades now. We briefly toyed with the idea of going outside India to check Bubba's "goods" , but finally decided against it. On day of the scan , the lab-tech was discussing the weather with another colleague of hers and she suddenly goes
“The S-U-N is not shining today. I wish it would come out and give us some respite from the rains.”
It took me a few minutes to figure out the implication of that sentence. These lab-techs are so damn brilliant. If she had said “Sun” and had not spelled it out, it could have gotten her into trouble , as I could have assumed that the lady meant that the baby was a boy. She smartly spelled the words out , so that there was no confusion in anyone’s mind (nor would she get into trouble!). I am sure the techs are given a primer on the words to avoid during a scan, but still I was amused that the lady said “S-U-N” almost as naturally as someone would say “hi”.
While still on the subject of ultrasounds , the hubby has resorted to pulling my leg about how I teared at my first scan. Of course, I hadn’t shed any tears and no amount of arguing makes him drop the subject. He very embarrassingly tells everyone that I “cried” when I saw a bunch of cells (during the first scan only the embryo is seen;The baby shape is discernible much later ). I might have felt overwhelmed during the first scan , but am sure that I am at least four months away from reducing into a ball of hormones, mush and tears.
Well, the latest of Bubba-chronicles is that I started sensing the lil’ one’s movements a few days back and I have no qualms in saying that this is one of the most wonderful feelings I have ever experienced. Bubba is most active when I play him/her a song that I’ve been playing for the last five months. I like to believe that Bubba recognizes certain sounds, though there apparently is no scientific proof that says that babies recognize sounds that they heard in the womb.Yeah, I guess lil’ Bubba is already making a huge difference to my life. I can’t wait for my life to change completely and be taken over by a whirlwind of nappy-changings and sleepless vigils.
The last few days we have been finalizing wall colours and fittings for the house and I found myself perpetually confused and hare-brained. For someone who is slightly design-challenged (yours truly) , I find the choices available just mind boggling. We contemplated hiring a much-recommended interior designer, but it turned out to be a nightmare , because he just wouldn’t listen to what we wanted and just went on about how our house would edgy and sophisticated and contemporary and stream-lined and colour-coordinated.
Well, I don’t want to live in a museum or an edgy-impractical home. I need lots of clutter and colours in my home. I am happy we didn’t hire the guy (so much easier on the pocket too! Some of these designer guys are frightfully expensive). Our home might end up looking like some Mondrian primary colour nightmare, but I guess it would be “home” and not a prime subject of an ad for a interior design company.
Have a super week,guys!