Nov 17, 2011

Baby boy

P, the young woman who works in my house as a maid, delivered a baby boy last week. When I visited the hospital, it was quite crowded outside and I wasn't sure of the visiting hours that after a few minutes hesitation, I called her. Thanks to the ubiquitous mobile phones that even moms who have just delivered keep at an arms length I was able to reach her right away. "I will send someone," she said and added, as way of identification, that the girl coming out to fetch me was of really dark complexion. I wondered how she would describe me to that girl - bespectacled? has a deer caught in headlight look? benign with a 'pavam' look? 

The ward was  quite noisy with quite a few young kids running around. Out of the three beds in the large room, two were occupied by women who had already delivered but the third seemed to have just come in with labor pains. Their families milled about. P was delighted to show me the baby. She asked why I was not holding him, 'I am afraid,' I said sheepishly. P laughed quite amused by this. Her husband had just left to buy a cradle she said proudly. The matron came and asked some random questions.

After some time I took leave - P was still disappointed I didn't hold the baby. This little hospital with people walking in and out like a carnival, with its noise was definitely so much in contrast to the hushed environs of the upscale maternity wing of the hospital not a kilometer away. Those young mothers I felt would certainly not ask me to hold their three days old babies I felt. Which mothers are likely to get postpartum depression I wondered.

I came out to a bright, bustling, bangalore morning. The little boy with no name yet [only three months later, she told me], born at this time and at this place has all the potential for a bright future I thought. And if he had her pretty smile that brought the dimples out, then there is no doubt about it. 

November 17, 2011