There are some things more scarier than L.K. Advani becoming the Prime Minister of India and him dozing off in his swearing-in ceremony. More scarier than him suddenly waking up and saying – Now I can die peacefully – and then doing exactly that. I wonder how our President will react to that. Wait! Who is our President nowadays?
Sorry Dear Diary, I went a bit off track. I was talking about scary things. Right.
Ever since I have seen parents handling their kids, the one thing that has scared me the most is the act of cleansing the child off undesirable and discarded belongings. I have always found the act repulsive and the mere mention of a diaper would give me cold sweat. I really could not understand eager parents who would open the diapers at the drop of a hat to examine the insides, the same way they would examine their child’s report card years later. There are some who do not take the pain and simply sniff the diaper as if they are strolling in the annual flower show in the Mughal Gardens. Then there are some who put their hand underneath the diaper and weigh it to guesstimate its approximate weight and act accordingly. There are times when I have seen parents indulge in incredibly horrifying and nauseating multitasking like eating Rajma Rice with one hand and handling the diaper with another.
I must admit Dear Diary that I have turned my face away with aversion whenever I have seen the act. But as they say – You can run, you can hide but you can’t escape God’s sadism.
When I discussed it with Geet, we hugged and cried with relief because she felt exactly the same but was always afraid to discuss it with me. She told me of one lone incident when she tried to change her nephew’s diaper and then could not eat anything for the rest of the day. There was a soothing calmness in knowing the fact that we were equally hopeless. Dear Diary, you cannot believe the burden it took away from our shoulders.
The fear returned when Anika was born. Geet was too weak to do anything for the first few days and it fell upon me to do the inevitable act that I have dreaded all my life. The moment of truth had arrived. I waited with bated breath for the sound of release. I had no idea how it would sound like or whether there would be a sound at all. And then I heard it. It sounded like a dormant volcano that has come alive. My heart was in my mouth as I opened the diaper with trembling hands. Beads of perspiration were glistening on my forehead. Geet looked at me with an expression that smelled of pity, helplessness and amusement.
Dear Diary, what happened next was so unexpected that I still find it hard to believe. My mind was un-pooped. There was no feeling of revulsion or disgust. I did not choke. In fact I smiled as if I have discovered diamonds in the diaper. I cleaned her, changed her diaper and then closed Geet’s hanging jaw.
I don’t know how it works. How does your mind behave in an entirely different way when it is your own child. I have been fighting this phobia for such a long time but when the time came and things actually happened, my mind behaved as if it was the most natural things to clean butts smeared with refuse with a straight face. I guess, there are a few switches that are turned on after you become a parent.
This, Dear Diary, has been the most fortunate turn of events. And it wasn’t just me. Geet too did not feel a thing. In fact, there are times when we examine everything closely and discuss various factors like colour, graininess and flow before using the wipes. There have been times when Anika has done a ‘Balam Pichkari’ on my clothes and I have laughed at that too.
I have done it 230 times till now. Yes, I have been counting. It is an achievement dammit. I have also realized the fact that diapers are so expensive. I keep telling Anika to use them judiciously and she has been a nice girl.
Time is flying. She is a month old now. Geet and I are already discussing investments for her. Oh wait! There she goes again. Oh! That sound is so amazing. Etna has erupted.
Time to go.
[image from here]