Tuesday, October 19, 2010

By The Water Cooler: Contest Entry

Of late, I've been able to catch some time with the world outside home and the little one. That means, if I'm not feeding or cuddling the little fellow, or wiping his poop or throw-up or putting him to sleep or preparing his feed, I have been reading a lot of blogs which talk of other mom's doing all or some of the above. One of those spaces which I have grown rather addicted to and really really fond of is this. To say the least, I love the tone of the writing and am waiting for an outing to the book shop to purchase a copy of her first book - Bringing Up Vasu- That First Year.Well, I can dedicate an entire post to how fabulous her way with words is, but then I really think that would in no way match the experience of reading her writing, first hand. This post is primarily, my way of wishing her luck on the launch of her next book, which is titled the same as this blog post, and secondly an entry to the contest she is hosting. (You will find the details here.)

I did not notice until now, that as I typed all of the above, I was lying on my stomach, sprawled on the bed. Yayyy! Finally. Nearly five months after that cesarean. Phew!!!

Here is my entry :

While I was pregnant with Chittu, and doing the 9 to 6 grind at work, I was inevitably faced with numerous nosey colleagues, who were always willing to make seemingly polite inquiries about my pregnancy, unrelenting opinions about how a natural delivery is so much more preferable, as if they were so sure that I had already entered into a secret agreement with my gynac to have surgery, and stupefying advise on good foods, bad foods, hospitals and such related details which really I was not interested in soliciting from them. I had a tough time handling the inputs, commands and demands I was getting from relatives, and that was BAD enough.

I am not a sociable person. Usually when I smile at my co-workers, it does not mean - Hi there. How are you? Who are you married to? Native place? Children?School? College? Residence? Breakfast? Lunch menu? Dinner plans? Nope. Sorry. None of that. It just means - Hi. Good morning. Period. But really, almost nobody got that. 

So as I walk into the elevator:

Colleague1 (Female. Shiny diamonds on ears, nose, neck and fingers): Hey. Morning. How are you?
Me: Smile back. Fine. Thank you.
Colleague 1: (Quirky, silly smile): So which month now?
Me: 7
Colleague 1 (elevator door opens to our floor): Really? You don't look like that?
Me: (Smile back again) Silence. I got a meeting at 9.30. Excuse me.
Colleague 1 (to herself, dejected): Oh! But the interview ain't over yet.
Me (to myself, pleased) ; Rush to desk with very very serious expression on face. Escape! Ah. This should be a good day. Lucky me.

Later before lunch at the wash room:

Colleague 2( best friend and confidant of Colleague 1, possibly majority partner in Gossip gang) : You will here only for delivery no? Your mother's place is in bangalore no?
Me: Ummm....no..I am going to Chennai. (tries very hard to show expression of finality, and would have rushed out of wash room had it not been for the little fellow in the belly making me want to pee atleast once every half hour.)
Colleague 2 (very happy about new piece of information collected and cannot wait to share with remaining members of gossip gang): Oh Chennai... Which hospital?
Me ( wondering if person occupying the loo currently is laying eggs and hatching them and trying to change subject of conversation): Not decided yet... Is not this year very hot here in Bangalore?
Colleague 2: Ya. I know. Bangalore is just getting hotter every year. It must be very difficult for you na? That too, you are pregnant! But you should decide on the hospital fast, no? When is your due date? From when do you plan to go on leave?
Me (almost fainting from the volley of questions just encountered and nearly suffocating in the smell of the horrible odonil fragrance): I think I can hear my phone ring...

Sometime later, as I am furiously typing out a draft agreement, Colleague 3, in the sales department on the first floor, who is presumably feeling left out of my pregnancy banter that is making great lunch time discussions in the office, for no special reason at all, saunters by my desk to drop a file. This is what ensues:

Colleague 3: So? All set to become a mother?
Me: Ermmmm... (Stupid smile.)
Colleague 3: Arey! You are feeling shy and all?
Me (mumbling in the head): Well it's a private feeling, you see. And I am not specifically interested in discussing my impending motherhood with you, dear complete stranger. (Still stupidly smiling)
Colleague 3 (waving excitedly to colleague 1) Arey! Your necklace is very beautiful Kahan se liya? Golda?
Me: Extremely relieved about the end of that conversation, goes back to typing furiously, as if there were no tomorrow.

I never got this - This assumption of the right to being informed about everybody else's private life. I usually cringe about making personal inquries. I have not even made friends with my neighbour. Well that's me! Usually, I am very comfortable being left alone. I don't appreciate small talk. I'd rather just be mumbling to myself or even be left alone, doing really nothing. But these people won't let things be, and so as I am waiting for an autorickshaw to return home after work, the last of the gossip girls, accosts me, yet again:

Colleague 4: Oho!You also go home by auto every day? Where do you stay?

Before she could proceed with - Oh! How much does it cost you all the way home? Oh! Hundred Rupees? Is that not too much? How you come in the morning? You don't know to drivea? But it is not safe to travel in auto when you are pregnant... and such comments on my safety, security and finance policy, I jumped into the first auto that came my way, to spend the next hour happily with no people people who utterly disregard the right to privacy.

1 comment:

  1. Work place is a tricky place , personally it took me 7-8 months to make a friend , otherwise people in general were nosy . Between a good post :)


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