The Box Life: In Delhi Metro

I love travelling by the metro, I regret that these instances have become scarce now but nonetheless whenever I do I always come out rejuvenated. I know this sounds crazy to many, taking into account the craziness of over filled metros or the mixture of smells that fill the air from expensive, even ultra-expensive perfumes to the stench of sweat. This is not one of the travels that everyone looks forward to with people stomping your foot, or comfortably leaning on your back while you are leaning on a pole. Reading a book, turning your head, grabbing a bottle of water, getting your phone out of your pocket, keeping a check on all your belongings, making way to the exit when your destination arrives, yes it can be nightmare travelling by metro.

But then why do I get so fascinated by it, is it simply because I am always fascinated by absurd things or because you see so much life happening in the course of your travel, I cannot be sure. Women in the metro intrigue me, because I see so many facets of everyday life. One can find women of all ages of course, but what is also interesting are the various backgrounds they belong to. From burqa-clad women to girls in shorts, you find everyone there. Unmarried women, some engaged, others probably in a relationship with their phones held tightly to their ears, their conversations with their men are endless. Many newly married girls with big bright bangles or large bindis on their forehead who look at the unmarried ones with envy as their time has passed, they do get occasional calls from their husbands but those end after the location of the metro is identified. And then obviously there are the long married women or women with kids who have by now realized that most of this will fade away sooner or later when reality strikes in, all they want to do is to sit and catch up with their sleep.

The conversations are as interesting as the people, from young college or school girls exuberant and loud who discuss the latest trends in fashion, movies and food, there is an unstoppable surge of selfies that are being clicked, the giggling and gossips are endless. Yet another set of women are busy gossiping about their life at home, the obvious target are mostly their mother-in-laws who suffer the maximum brunt, stories are shared, solutions discussed, these conversation mostly end with a sigh and a decision to surrender to the situations because they conclude that there is nothing much they can change about it. Some of the conversations are office gossips where the bosses and their favorites become the target these are mostly accompanied with a lot of hand movement and shaking of heads.

And then there are the old ladies who see and observe all they nod their heads in disapproval at the short clothes or conversations, they are the ones who can give you long stares throughout your journey if they don’t like you. They are also the ones who start abrupt conversations and start telling you their experiences. They are glad they are able to see a day when they could travel in a metro. For them INDIA has developed.

So I see, hear, connect, observe these people. Something about it makes me smile when I reach my destination, I do open my book to read, almost always or plug in my ear phones for music but eventually I give up and decide to soak up everything that is happening around me and that in itself feels like an experience.

Second Innings (Child); Let Me Decide!!

I wake up to a blaring beeping alarm clock, with closed eyes and despondency I extend my hand to the alarm clock and unwillingly get out of my bed. What follows is a monotonous routine of getting my little munchkin ready for school amid other household things before leaving for work. The day ends with the same routine of hushing and rushing until my munchkin goes to sleep. But things have changed a lot from where they started, I mean my daughter is a bit grown up now which allows me time to do things I want to do. I have settled and accepted this new routine and yes my munchkin is adapting well to my lifestyle. So I am in a happy space right now!! I enjoy being with her, showing her the world as I see it, understanding the way she sees the world. Finally I have nights of sleep without hindrance, I can read a book, can plan outings and do many other things, I have fitted back into the dresses I wanted to wear, which I thought I probably would never be able to do.

Alas this happy content family bubble bursts every once in a while when we attend family functions or when my MIL meets her friends. All this is always followed by sulky looks on my MILs face and repeated rounds of discussions at home. If I count a slice of blueberry cheese cake every time someone asks me ‘when’ I am having a second child, ‘IF’ I am having a second child, ‘WHY’ am I not having a second child,  TRUST me I would be able to open a factory of cheese cake, (That would be good thoughJ). From aunties at weddings, relatives at home, and even at times random friends of my MIL inquiring about the day of arrival of my second child. I am stupefied by the kind of concern they have in their voice when they are lecturing me about having the second child. I must say that some of the unsolicited advice are sane but sometimes the conversation gets way ahead from declaring me unfit for pregnancy, recommending treatments, even doctors who might be able help me out in the situation they think is disturbing me. They imagine in their own fantasy world that having another child is the main sole purpose of my life now and that I am thinking about it night and day!

And if in between the conversation you quip to these aunties that you are not planning a second child you are happy with one, congratulations you have been able to give them a heart attack (which I am sure their daughter in law will thank you for!!). Time suddenly stops, the earth shakes and you wish the earth had opened up to gulp you in before you spoke out what you were thinking, ALOUD. This response does not go well with them and then you have glaring relatives who have taken it up to them to make sure that you get pregnant (pun intended!!). They cannot imagine that their theory of you being infertile is incorrect that you have chosen not to have a second child. . Suddenly the whole universe is judging you on the decision of not having a sibling for your only child. It astounds me that all this interrogation is confined only to me, nobody ever asks my husband if we are planning the other one. His stand remains unchallenged, and even if someone asks him about the arrival of the second baby he conveniently puts the ‘Baby Venture’ on me. I feel like thrashing him there and then. Whatever happened to the ‘We are not having a second baby decision’.

Their audacity to ask and question me is unnerving at times, my husband and I have decided that a second child is not on our cards right now, both financially and emotionally. But the questioning and explaining has always put me into a dilemma, it is tough to stick to your guns which you are sure is right with suggestions pouring in from all directions. I have realized that the idea of a perfect family for me and others can be different, my aspirations and needs from my life are different. Having one child works for my little family, I have now known after the first baby that for me my space is very important, to let go of all the freedom, career, aspirations, and ambitions again is tough. Because whatever said and done it is the life of a woman that changes dramatically after having a child. Let us just say extending the family is not a simple decision, everyone has their own set of problems. I don’t think I am ready for another baby it is not me at the moment, later in life maybe. All said and done either don’t ask me the question or be ready for my response and accept it. Just that having a second child is a very personal thing.