A is for…

…April Arrivals!

Apparently golden-yellow sunshine has given way to pale moon beams and then returned to reclaim its territory over and over for more than a month now. When I was told, I blinked in disbelief. I moved out of my room and looked at all the calendars in the house suspiciously, to see if I could spot any sign of mischief, but all of them; from the one that hangs in my parents room to the one on my phone; show me that today is the 8th of May! It seems then that what I have been told is true – I have been entrusted with the care of the most precious parcel for five weeks already! I can scarcely believe that she has been here so long. True she was scheduled to arrive in April; but she made her grand entrance a lot earlier than she was supposed to. A friend of mine joked and said, “She definitely knows her mother is a CA…why else would she arrive on the first day of the new financial year!?!”

When I called my doctor to discuss what I thought was a silly problem and she told me that the baby had to come the next morning – days before she was due – I did what any reasonable person would have done in my shoes…I panicked. Would the baby have grown enough to be able to survive outside its cocoon? Why so much before the due date? Was I becoming an inhospitable host? Why wasn’t the husband there by my side?! Could I handle a baby? Would I know what to do? What if we didn’t bond well?  And worst of all…was I even ready to be a mother?!? To say I was freaking out would probably be an understatement…

wpid-img_20150508_092554.jpgNow a little later I know, although it is normal, I didn’t have to turn into a great big mess because lying on that operating table, strapped up to strange contraptions, my mouth covered with an oxygen mask, I can’t recall a time I was happier than those few seconds when they let me gaze upon her face before whisking her away. I realized that my biggest fear about being ready was probably the most foolish of all. Of course I was ready! I’d been ready to be her mother since the day I saw her as nothing more than a little speck on the ultrasound.

April…you have brought with you many nights of disturbed sleep and a painful recovery post surgery, but, you could not have been a more beautiful and blessed month!

Firsts

My mother has been using a very basic phone so far. It’s so basic that the ‘smartest’ feature on it is its speed dial option. The time for an upgrade was yesterday but, in spite of scouring the internet, anything remotely interesting was way out of budget. Then, I chanced upon the launch offer of the Moto E (2nd Generation) phone. As I studied the specifications (albeit with my limited knowledge of these things), I realized that the phone is like one of those cars which cost a fraction of the luxury brands and still have all the important features – in other words, it has all the things I am looking for in a new phone and won’t burn a hole in my pocket!

But, I can’t just go ahead and buy it. Ma has to use it and not just put it away until the phonecurrent box of metal and plastic dies completely. So I asked her what she wanted out of a new phone. After the usual reluctant, “No, but I don’t need a new phone…” and “What will I do with a new phone?…”, she warmed up to the idea a little and said, “Well, I want something that I won’t struggle to operate. I am comfortable with my present phone, simply because it’s so easy to use. These new phones that all of you handle look much too complicated for me.” (Now I know where the technologically challenged strand in my genetic make-up comes from…) From what I could see on the website, the Moto E is quite simple to use once you get used to the touch screen from the old phones with keypads. No complicated settings or difficult to use software. Being as good with technology as I am (read not good at all!), it looked like it would be a breeze for my mother to get used to it.

But an easy to use phone isn’t what makes a smart phone a smart phone so I asked, “What else Ma?”

“It would be nice ”, she said, “to be able to check e-mails and sign in to Facebook when I am sitting comfortably in the living room instead of having to go to the computer. The mountain and Mohammed type scenario, you know? I want to be able to get access to the internet from anywhere in the house. Plus I would like to be able to take good pictures of Adelin (my niece) and my garden whenever I feel like it and upload them instantly onto Facebook without having to transfer them to the computer first. With my present phone, the pictures are so unclear. Also, if my new phone has a front facing camera it would be even better because then I could have video calls with you when you go back to Bahrain. I’ll be able to see my new little grandchild everyday and not just when you come on holiday or if you post pictures to me.”

Having been a child who grew up in the time before Skype and IMO and other video calling apps hit the market, I saw my own grand parents only once a year and I was ever envious of my cousins who grew up close enough to see them everyday. My mother’s wistful request has made me feel emotionally compelled to get her a better phone. I checked the features on the Moto E and I found that although the cameras are no where close to the kind you would have on a high-end model, (and perhaps this is one of its only slightly disappointing features), at least with the Moto E, Ma will be able to connect to the internet on her new WiFi enabled phone and see us when we move back to Bahrain. My baby will feel more connected to everyone here too. (Bonus feature: The Moto E battery has been specially designed to make sure it lasts all day and the processor has been upgraded so that it’s faster and smoother than the earlier model so my mother won’t need to worry about running out of charge all the time. Added bonus: My child would be cooed at by so many more people! 🙂 ) Welcome to the addictive world of the internet on your phone Ma!

“Anything else Ma?”, I asked when she had been quiet for a little while. “Well…”, she said laughing, “…does this phone you have in mindMoto E (7)_620x376_7_0_0_0_0_0_0_0_0_0_0_0_0_0_0_0_0_0_0_0 look good?” I could not help but laugh too. Of course she would want a phone that looked good! She is one of the most stylish women I know and is consistently complimented on her choice of clothes, shoes and jewellery! I said, “No problem! Check out the variety of coloured bands that you can use!”

That’s when I showed her the videos on the site.

My mother couldn’t stop smiling…

Who doesn’t hold their firsts in a special little place in their hearts? That first love, first kiss, first job, first salary or even, as it is in my case, first pregnancy related stretch marks (which made their appearance about a week ago and brought a very wide grin to my face)! So what if it’s not me making that first smart phone memory myself? It’s my mother and I can’t wait to see the delight on her face when she starts with Moto E!

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Do visit their website at http://www.startwithmotoe.com/!

Photo Credits:

Pic 1: My mothers phone.

Pic 2: Here

Restoring Faith

I was looking at the housing.com website and watching the Look Up – Housing video and their ideas of housing being the right of everybody – filling the world with positivity and optimism resonated with me. (You can check out the video here). I suppose it has something to do with the fact that there is a baby on the way (and who might be here a lot soon than I anticipated) but, I seem to have a lot of questions that I desperately wish I had answers to. From the silly, ‘will my child ever see a tiger or will poachers truly wipe them out?’ or ‘will my baby really have to listen to music without soul?’, to the more serious, ‘will he or she be able to cycle in the street and not leave me constantly worrying about an accident?’ or ‘will he or she be able to go to school and come back home without some sick sick person taking away his or her innocence?’ As any mother-to-be must wonder at some point, I have looked at the world around me and questioned if it makes sense to bring a child into the world when things are as miserable as they are. While on one side we celebrate India’s wins at the cricket world cup, on the other we hang our heads in shame as we come to terms with the existence of men who can so casually justify their heinous crimes. Whenever I think we as a country can sink no lower and the only way is up, something happens and I realize that it’s only getting worse. But, it’s not just at home…it’s everywhere in the world. Is anyone, anywhere safe anymore? There are days when the future seems all too bleak…

But then I only need to recall an evening I recently spent with my four-year old niece…

That day, she wanted to play “sports day” and got out her little motor bike, Speedy. “Come Teyti! (which is what she calls me) Let’s have a race!“, she said. Thinking that it could be fun and since everyone had told me the more active I am while pregnant the better, I agreed and like any normal adult, I made sure that I followed her slowly while she turned on “super speed” mode and crossed the finish line first. My mother put an imaginary medal round her neck and she was thrilled.

We had repeated the race a couple of times and she had won a whole lot of imaginary medals when suddenly she stopped and looked at me very sadly. “You haven’t won any medals no, Teyti?” I shook my head and said, “No. You’re just too fast for me!” That’s when she said, “Come, I’ll hold your hand so you can go faster and get a gold medal this time. I have so many already.”

I looked at her and all at once, my faith in our failing world was restored. I remember seeing an episode of Greys Anatomy where one of the characters said something like, “This is how the world changes, good people raising their babies right…” Perhaps it isn’t such a bad idea to believe that and be optimistic about tomorrow…

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Growing Up

When I published that little post the other day after all those months of…hibernation?…Yes, I think that’s probably the best way to describe my state of being…I realized just how much I have missed writing/blogging regularly. Moving to a different country brought with it change of proportions that I didn’t expect to encounter so quickly and for a while I was almost struggling to cope. My “home” here was the last thing on my mind. You see, when I first moved to Bahrain in July 2014, the husband and I thought it was time we took the “We two, Our one” (for the time being at least) plunge and try to extend our little family of two. Never did I expect to see those positive lines on the home pregnancy test just a month after we made that decision. I couldn’t digest the fact that at that very moment, I was already playing host to a baby and would be for the next nine months! Could I really be that lucky? I wouldn’t allow myself to believe the test. Truth be told, I think I only accepted that I was going to be a mother when my doctor pointed out the tiny little speck that was to be our child at my first ultrasound. (I needed her to show me where the baby was twice, because I couldn’t spot the baby the first time. I am hoping that is no gauge for how I will fare as a parent…sigh…)

I spent a lot of the first few months of my pregnancy like most other women, with my head bent over a toilet unable to tolerate the smell of food let alone eat it and shed weight so fast that at any other time in my life, the weighing scale and I would have been friends for the very first time. But, I was not in the mood to make friends and instead anxiously worried about the baby. I was also really lonely because since it had been just a month that I was in Bahrain before the onset of the morning sickness, apart from the husband, there wasn’t anyone else who I had the time to get to know well enough in the country to even spend an afternoon with to take my mind off things. Being at an emotional and physical low point (and being allowed to be extra fussy since I am expecting), I convinced the husband to let me have the delivery in India; in surroundings I know and with more people I love close by. So, here I am…back in the settings I ached for when I was all those miles away.

I didn’t write…couldn’t in fact…for months and months, but now, having reached the stage where my belly has begun to enter a room before me and people no longer just ask how I’ve managed to put on so much weight, I feel the need to get back to writing. In a little while, if everything goes well, the husband and I will become completely responsible for another human life. Am I excited? Of course I am! I adore children and knowing that I have one of my own on his or her way makes me thrilled. Am I also scared? No…I’m plain old terrified! I am after all the woman who for the longest time truly believed her baby’s movements were just gas… When I think of that part of me that wants to write, I wonder if I will be able to sit at a laptop or desktop and have the time to write what I feel. Somehow I don’t see that as a sure thing in the near future. But, I’ll never know if I don’t try.

I suppose it’s time for me to accept that the girl looking back at me from the mirror has grown up and a new chapter is about to begin – motherhood…won’t you wish me luck?