To put it in three words flat ‘I am here! No need for that supercilious smile on your face, I know that I cried and howled a lot when I was ‘ushered’ into this world but then under the circumstances what would you do! Imagine that you are sleeping in calm and peaceful environs and then suddenly a gang of masked hoodlums slashes open your sleeping bag and without even giving you so much as a chance to dress yourself you are dragged out under a glare of extra bright lights! Wouldn’t it scare the daylights out of you! What else can a guy do except cry and create a din and a fuss!
What is more, the harassment doesn’t stop there. Handed from one hand to another I soon landed up with a particularly sadistic team that proceeded to unceremoniously scour and scrub and rinse me till I was sore all over. After an unnecessarily vigorous toweling my limbs and the rest of me was thrust into bits and pieces of clothing. Thus packed and trussed up, I was handed over to my relatives who were waiting outside the theatre.
As soon as I was handed over to them I bawled out lustily trying to register a complaint against the indignities that I had had to suffer in there. It seems, however, that all the adults are somewhat stupid (later events further confirmed this suspicion of mine!), because nobody took any note of my complaint. Instead they all looked like they were trying to outdo each other in expressing their joy. Strange faces loomed into my field of vision, some laughing and crying at the same time (Imagine!). Finally, nearly smothered in a couple of blankets, I was taken to a room in a procession.
A white-bearded Santa Claus-look alike (who turned out to be one of my grandfathers!) pulled one of my ears and shouted an Azan into it and while it was still ringing with the same he gave me a second dose of it in my other ear. A good thing that was because it reminded me to mumble my prayers which it looked like I was going to need a lot of in the times to come! In fact, the danger started almost immediately after this. A white coated lady came in and shamelessly exposing my bum jabbed me with a needle. Again I bawled out as much as my lungs would allow!
Now I was on full public display. It seemed that everybody was determined not to let me sleep in peace. Every other minute a face would loom up overhead and try to compare my looks with someone or the other in the family. Somebody commented that I was a sleepy chap as I kept my eyes mostly shut. It is not that I did not open my eyes but what for to keep them open when the only sight that meets them is an unsightly close-up of people’s nostrils! Not an alluring sight that, as you would probably agree and I hope this does not sound rude but not all of them were in a spic and span condition either you see! I was trying to sleep and yet forced to accept a feed without anyone even telling me what is on the menu or bothering to enquire about my taste or preferences. My mother squeezed me close to herself, something was forced into my mouth, somebody held my head, someone else tickled my feet and yet another tweaked my ears. I knew that these people were not going to let up till I oblige them so I sucked reluctantly (with a scowl on my face as a protest statement) for half a minute or so, an effort that was mightily cheered! I didn’t relish this forced feeding and I could sense that this was a potential conflict zone in the times to come and that there was going to be many an argument on the issue of how much and what I am supposed to eat! Not that I would always give in so easily. There will be a lot of time for vociferous protestations and even a tantrum or two later on. No need to tip my hand so early in the game!
One would think that after having obliged them, they would allow me some peace. But no! Now they kept peering at my hind quarters! What do they suppose I am! Some kind of a miracle worker! In one end and out the other! It takes time to digest and process things but no they wanted instant results! Finally I coaxed my bowels into action and once again obliged if only to assure them that I am fully functional. Embarrassingly enough, the news of my achievement – my first bowel movement – was conveyed to all concerned and a murmur of thanks went up.
So that’s it! Somebody up there had told me that the Almighty has not lost hope so far as mankind is concerned (in spite of their continued transgressions!) and that’s why he keeps sending fresh batches of babies into this world! I guess that makes me a proof of the Almighty’s faith in mankind! Kind of inspiring, isn’t that! Anyway I am sure life is going to be quite an adventure and there will many a tale to tell. Right now it is nap-time. Zzzzzzz…
(Truth is mostly unpalatable…but truth cannot be ignored! Here we serve the truth, seasoned with salt and pepper and a dash of sauce (iness!). You can record your burps, belches and indigestion, if any, at [email protected])