Monday, November 13, 2006

Winter of Life....

There was a nip in the air. Days were getting shorter and evenings darker. People said this year winters would be the coldest. As I ran out of the house in the evening to gather with my friends in the park to play, Aunt Anita stopped me at the stairway and handed me a pullover, stating, “wear this, don’t take it off even if you are sweating and come back early”. I shrugged but could do nothing but obey.

Sitting 20 years hence, during one of the winters, it felt warm. Not just the pullover, the feeling with which she cared for me. She was not expected to take extra care of me. Or was she? Looking back, I guess, it was an expectation. And how does such an expectation come into being? She wasn’t my mother. But being a woman of the household, she was equally responsible for all children. I suppose the same accountability was for my mother towards all other children in the house. And reflecting back now, I realize all the expectations were met. Infact, jealousy and envy came to our hearts more at home than else where when at times mothers would affectionately caress and feed cousins more than us. Isn’t it? That was the beauty of a joint family. You were under 24-hours surveillance.

Ugly it seemed for us when we were kids, but don’t we want the same for our kids now? With both the parents working, decisions are aplenty. Are we ready for parenthood? How to plan for parenthood? Which is the best time to have kids? Whose in-laws should be called to take care of the expecting mother? With whom will the expecting mother stay before, during and after pregnancy? Which doctor to visit? Which nursing home? Once the child is delivered, the decisions get more complex and intense. Should the lady continue working? How soon should the mother get back to Office if the couple decides that the lady should continue working? Deciding on a full/part time governess for the kid? Which in-law should be requested step in to take care of the kid? Who will come early for the kid? How to schedule the week? And many more am sure. (Please bear in mind, I am yet to become a parent, hence having not crossed the bridge, am unaware of the depth of the water). This is the beauty of a nuclear family.

You decide all you want to do in life, absolutely everything. No parental pressure, no bugging relatives, no unwanted suggestions from the experienced ones and no liability whatsoever.

This is the winter of life. And deep down inside we all are waiting for that one voice to stop us from going out in the cold alone and unshielded.

Think about it.

(The author wishes to reassure all readers that his nuclear family is not adding on to the headcount of the family in the near future. The above write-up is inspired by one of the TV programs he was watching sometime back).

Comments/Criticisms are invited at

1 comment:

Venky said...

That was a real good one... especially the disclaimer at the end....

Everything said and done, parenting is the toughest milestone to cross for a DINK (Double Income No Kids) couple.