Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Boy! oh boy!

re-written since
Emirates Parent Plus. February 2011

Nine years ago, I was this miracle maker that produced the most wonderful 21 inch wonder of all – a Baby Boy! I was congratulated, applauded and celebrated. Add to that, I had provided the family the first grandson of the generation, the only one in a decently long line of probables.

A few weeks ago, someone brought back old memories. The stimulus for this talk was a young couple, in the close circle, expecting their baby. Speculation was rife on whether my son’s exclusivity will be challenged!

Newsflash informs me that the record remains. My personal glory? Well, let’s just say, “I know the feeling”.

As it happens, I am fortunate to be among the fun-loving, academic and professionally very well accomplished, who continue to further their illustrious ilk. So while I had comforted myself with the thought that this obsession with the boy-child was the jurisdiction of only the senior generation, and even that, more out of habit rather than conscious decision, I was rather surprised to discover that even the younger lot shared similar sentiments.

The gap between high flying careers and genetic coding is rather hard to bridge, I can tell, because in an instant, all education, all exposure and all enterprise had been relegated to the first page of rather desirable curriculum vitae.

I have no doubts in the power of the past over our present, and I hold no objection to it either. But how a present that bears only a little resemblance to the past, can be such a seamless extension of it, has always held me in awe.

Mothers’ Day comes along next month and I find myself wondering about the day that we dedicate to the source of all life.

Mother Nature, we say... Goddess of Spring ... Dame Fortune ... Lady Luck. She is essential for all beginnings, preservation and nurture. And yet, when the time comes when another is born in her image, the family ‘line’ suddenly looks short.

Logic must be a man – there is no grey there! For, in femme fatal world, it will be a Pandora’s box that will open and the Damsel-in-distress will weep longer than her labour. And it will be another Step-mother-Witch casting a curse upon the Fairest-of-them-all – poison apple and all.

This never ceases to amaze me. We blame men for everything. Not that I’m about to stop now, but just to make a fair point, there’s a reason their lives outside the office are simple. They are not emotionally strung (so, they say). They see, they want and if they are ‘man’ enough, they get. They, generally, don’t waste precious time niggling others’ nerves and intentions.

We women, on the other hand, are laden with the hand-me-down doctrines of love and compassion. Deception, we deal with routinely. Rejection, is a resident we love to hate. Expectation, we fulfil by default.

We are taught to keep. We keep home, we keep husband. We keep homely husband’s. We keep ours’ too. We also keep jobs. And when a child comes along to expand this universe of joy and toil, we pray to our various Gods, to keep us! Usually, it all works out.

So, why change something that is working, right? Simple Man, has no problem plodding on. And he does so as long as he continues to look good. That there is always a woman taking care of the essentials, to make sure that he never stops, tends to get quickly forgotten in the thin air of successful heights and points of no-turning-back.

Same is with his woman, funnily. At least, until she is stretched beyond reasonable resilience. And today, blame it on beaten down thresholds, if you will, but she is beginning to see the end of reason, sooner and sooner. Not funny anymore.

Notice how one issue spirals into another and the tirade winds out like a tornado gripping our simple pacts of community.

Someone had said to me, long ago, that if you don’t respect yourself, why should anyone else. The gurus said, “love yourself”. I was still in my preteens and vulnerable. I was also sensitive to such deep motivation. It is something I have tried to keep in mind, but find hard to unequivocally adopt.

Our social norms, our customs and the expectations that we are trained to fulfil, have inadvertently squelched our instinct to question the irrational and selfish. Custom and doctrine remain steel fisted and are hard to break. Years of coding have rendered our personalities complaint to assimilation.

I strongly believe in this code of society for it is, really, a nurturing one. But I stand against the practice employed. Because if the wheels are to stay in motion, all cogs need to turn in sync. Why do we tend to, habitually, forget this?

To always know Love, it is imperative to respect the one that gives it to you.

Right now, however, warm up to something immediate. Keep the red of your roses blushing and raise a toast to the one that makes you love – the one that makes life, enjoyable.

Happy Valentines’ Day.