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Dirtscapes

Read. Suffer. Try to Enjoy.

Tales From The (Father) Hood... (Part One)


Dear (occasional) reader,

Just in case you didn't know – I am a father now, worth around 10 months of experience.

With that out of the way… let’s…

Hark! Forsooth! Did I hear someone say “Learnings?!”

Ye be in luck, for some choice ones follow…
  • Gynaecologists' waiting rooms are perfect to catch up on essential life skills like baby-poster-staring, (own) fingernail health inspections, bladder control (expert level), cord blood bank brochure reading, and of course, accurately counting out dineros by the kg. Also, you slowly realize that It is perfectly OK to read ‘What to expect when you’re expecting?’ – really. Not that there's anything wrong with that...
  • The actual delivery of the baby? All a blur, all a blur. You plan, you panic, you learn to pray. And then, you get your own, you know, kid. After the most intensely scary waiting period in your life ever. (The only thing that will remotely ever come close to this later, is when the missus pops into a changing room three months down the road, and wonders (aloud) whether "she is looking toooo fat in this..."?) Just as you wonder how to come to terms with this supremely wrinkled little thing fresh out of the delivery room you now call you know… yours, comes the take it home bit. 
  • Home, which will never be the same again. A microcosm of your own life, in short. Saying good bye to all forms of retentive, ‘Everything… in its right place’ kinda behaviour is the only way out. You have seen the end of orderliness as you know it. Resistance is futile…
  • The first hint of a smile, of being able to express joy for the very first time – is simply a beautiful thing to behold, capable of making the strongest cynics melt a little. You keep marvelling at natural instinct. And never stop at the wonders of natural programming.
  • Baby speak, they said. Hell no, I won’t do that, he said. Not on my life, he said. It’s just stupid, he said. Till the first time he tried speaking to his one in an adult tone.  And that’s when he realized that he had utter, complete communication breakdown. Baby howled, he did too. Till he lost all propriety, and cooed and talked utter nonsense. The results were amazing. He was rewarded with the time of the day. And going forward, smiles which were proportional to the ridiculousness of his speech content. (True story, happened to a friend of mine…)
  • If you ever pride yourself on your ‘Hulk – smash!’ routines when woken up from the supremely sexy embraces of REM 5, be prepared to be humbled as badly as the Indian cricket team whenever it travels abroad.  Learn to adapt. Embrace the pain. There’s no sleep till playschool.
  • Baby clothes are a LOT smarter these days – remember those ‘H A P P Y’ t-shirts with four balloons and brown corduroy trousers which were the epitome of fashion when you were a kid? Well, well, while you were growing up, the world moved on to brands offering sweatshirts, singlets, coloured denim, cargos, v-necked tees for kids. All of them costing as much, or much more than what you wear even now. Also, you might even begin to realize why in your childhood, baba/baby always got two sizes bada clothes. Just about…
  • Meal times – are a glorious, glorious mess. Especially if they involve mashed stuff of any sort. Because for baby, mashed stuff is as much meant to be languorously, joyously played with, as it is to be actually consumed. You shout a couple of times, and then join in on the fun. Till you are both covered in pasty food, and are grinning gloriously like prime idiots. Much happiness.
  • Baby nails, are as tough as well… nails. Now to fully understand, just present your face real close to the subject. At first, there are a couple of sweet strokes and pats on your cheek, which make you go awwww... and then comes that Ninja swipe. Much blood can be actually shed, with some choice cursing from self (on mute). A couple of such incidents later, boy, are you are ready to trim those fingernails every day if need be... 
  • The baby grip can be surprisingly strong. Enough to topple half full buckets of water, give you nasty blood clots and bruises when pinched, and also almost rip off your nasal septum in an extremely smoov move when you get too close.
  • Only when you go to buy toys, is when you realize how pervasive Chinese manufacturing actually is. Gone are those quintessentially ‘Indian’ toys you grew up with. What you have instead are majorly battery operated contraptions with ghastly, tuneless songs - all in Mandarin. Some of these morph into proper earworms, and have a funny habit of burrowing themselves into a fold in your brain, slapping you awake in the stillest of nights. Rendered helpless thus, you start retrofitting Hindi lyrics on to those tunes to fall asleep before the next duty call. The horror...
  • For sheer entertainment value though, the finest that China has to offer, however ain’t got nothin’ on the followin’
    • The friendly household broom – the dustier, the better.
    • All sorts of shoes and slippers – again, the dirtier the better
    • Dust bins
    • The bucket of incrementally dirty water generated while swabbing floors
    • Spectacles
  • The Baby Product industry is a fantastic joke of our times – with products from febrile minds like
    • 'Sterilizers for feeding bottles' which you know, boil water
    • Audio Visual projectors – which are supposed to beam soothing montages on ceilings. The catch? The music is in (you guessed it), and actually awakens babies to a peak state of activity. So much for ‘make slumberful boby for magical night’.
    • Toothbrushes for babies with one tooth, two teeth, three… and so forth.
    • Snot suction devices for month-olds.
       Da Fuq? Word.
  • Crawling speeds are always faster than you estimate. Just when you think your lazy ass has a minute more to loll on the couch before baby gets to the nearest subject of havoc, is when you are beaten to it. And reach the scene late, just like that Bollywood cop cliché.
  • Babies are generally just happy to wake up, eat, crawl – basically just be. Which is something that we forget pretty quickly – when was the last time you really smiled at someone first thing out of the bed?            
  • No one said parenting was going to be easy. Hell it ain’t. In the same breath though, Hell? It ain’t. It ain’t...


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1:03 PM, January 02, 2014
Blogger RB said...

Haha! The baby may have taken away the sleep, but the sense of humour is still intact. :)

Bring on part 2!    



4:12 PM, January 02, 2014
Blogger Nikhil Nerlekar said...

the verbatim still persists... still remember the communications skills lecture.. train platform chai wala.. lol....all the best for the furture antics though ;)    



3:45 PM, January 03, 2014
Blogger Shashibhushan Gokhale said...

Glad to see you writing again. Good post. Waiting for the part 2 :)    



12:20 AM, January 05, 2014
Anonymous Arpz said...

empathies, sympathies and much more!

glad u are writing !    



2:54 PM, January 05, 2014
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats..

Hope to read more of your posts.    



12:52 PM, March 06, 2014
Blogger Swapnil Ogale said...

Haha - nice to finally see a post (again) from you Tapan. Wonder how your Prabhuji would cope with "bundle/s of joy"?

Keep writing!    



1:30 PM, June 02, 2015
Blogger tejanshu said...

Join the gang buddy! Congratulations on losing whatever sanity you thought was left post marriage!


Aye - dat be da truth about them chinese toys. Not to mention the psychedelic lights that are built-in with the military-grade (ahemm) plastic, musical toys.
The music and lights takes you back to Bappi-da disco times .._https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7B1_y2LAeI__ (Yaad aaaaraha haii...e.ee..)

And what was that ?? Dear (occasional) reader !! ... hmmm.. I wonder why ... the alleged infrequency! :D    



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