Sunday, July 22, 2007

Yahoo! Male Beta

The date 20.07.2007 is interesting in more ways than one for me. This is the day that I joined the long and weary legion of the brave breed known as... fathers.

They talk of lucky dates and lucky times nowadays. Apparently, 21st is a luckier date than 20th. Apparently Saturday is luckier than Friday. Apparently, Leo is better than Cancer. In fact, people even schedule their child birth to ensure optimum luck. Genetic engineering of the Divine kind?

But I know that Bumpy's luck started even before he was born. Bumpy was lucky to have a super strong mom who bore the pain so well, not letting everyone else panic more. Labor started earlier than they expected, even before her ob-gyn could reach. But Bumpy decided on a lucky time to come. Lucky because the doctor and anesthetist were on the way to hospital for another scheduled C-section. So Bumpy was delivered under care of the best in the business!

The story started late on Thursday night with absolutely no symptoms. Contrary to urban legends, Bumpy was very comfortable inside and showed no signs of coming even a week later. The doctor decided not to wait for Bumpy to share his birthday with Harry Potter on 21st July and induced labor a day early instead. The first hour we wondered if they were gonna send us back home next day, without a baby to show for the troubles.

Within a couple of hours, she was howling in pain. An anxious hour later, Bumpy was born. An hour that seemed the longest in history. An hour in which every scream, every yelp sounded final. A time when we knew all would be well, yet our hearts rammed against our chest fearing the worst.

Having a male child is the pinnacle of God's blessing in India. We were keen to have a daughter. Our family has an overflow of sons anyway. When the nurse peeked out to say "Its a boy!", some of the old ladies in the waiting room gave me glances of overjoy and envy at the same time. I am sure they found my return-envy whacko for all infants born that day, except ours, were female.

Then the nurse brought something out for us. The moment they first show you the baby is the best yet most surreal ever. This is me. This came from me. This is my new family! One look at the dried-raisin (aka Bumpy), and I to forgot all about lucky dates, lucky gender and lucky luck. I fell in love with his mom all over again.

Wow. Yahoo. Hurray. Baap Re!

His mom will blog his arrival on the official Bumpy blog, once she finishes going through the last Harry Potter installment (for which I let Crossword fleece me of a thousand bucks today!!). He still has to come home. We still have to name the kid. We still haven't started waking nights to clean the poo and feed the puke-e-mon. But boy! Am I looking forward to it. Here's wishing a long, healthy and humor-filled life ahead for you...

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Rangashankara, Marine Drive and Holding Hands without TV

I don't have cable TV.

People always end up shocked and open-mouthed when I tell them this. Some people even offer to gift us a TV if we cannot afford one. Because, oh my God, how can one live without TV?? I tell them, I have a TV. I just don't have cable TV, I don't have those 135 channels and counting... and we, my wife and I, have never felt let down yet.

On the other hand, I did get to watch TV for a long-ish spell recently. That actually did let us down. We are expecting a child so I spend a lot of my time at my in-laws house, waiting for the brat to arrive. The mere act of watching TV; of switching through so many channels and yet, finding nothing to watch. Or worse, finding something but wishing that it were not playing on TV. At least not on erstwhile "classy" channels like News and the History Channel. I realised we have been missing nothing. Hard to believe. But worth a try.

It is not that we are entertainment starved. Not having cable allows us to watch movies on DVD, what we want, when we want. We even manage to catch a lot of serials thanks to television DVDs. In addition, we can also reallocate the time saved from Kasamh Se to go view live plays in the theatre. Of course, in Rangashankara Bangalore now has a platform. What it needs is performers, radicals like Makarand Deshpande with guts to do something different, in a different way, with a different vision. I am confident that soon theatre will come alive again.

Ekta Kapoor may be single-handedly responsible for driving people back to the 'live' arts!