As soon as October rolls in, it seems like BabyA’s calendar gets packed up with so many birthday parties that she becomes a Goa hippie, party hopping from one shindig to another. And by any chance, if BabyA’s working Bhua attempts to see her on a Saturday (otherwise known as Bhua-Bhatiji day in my house) between October and March, the only way she can get a time slot is if she begs me to beg the host to let her accompany BabyA to a party.
I’ve always wondered what it is with people having babies during this period. Even when I was registering at Breach Candy Hospital to deliver, everyone kept talking about the fact that I was lucky mine was an off-season (April) baby, so I would be able to secure one of those coveted sea-facing, SINGLE occupancy rooms.
So how did these moms manage to create a baby season? And why did they choose October to March? Yes: the weather is great for birthday parties as well as, it’s a good time to be “very” pregnant but people like me find it hard to understand how so many women are able to set their body alarms so efficiently that they start family planning in February, and *RINGRING* out pops the baby in October. For fertility-challenged women like me, this is a mystery.
Or maybe it’s all about New Year’s and people trying to sync everything with the start of a new year: “I’ll give up all fattening food on 1st January” or “I’ll give up alcohol for a year on 1st January” or “I’ll give up condom usage on 1st January”. Maybe family planning is tied to that idea of “one last time”. Our YOLO* generation likes to make shopping lists, bucket lists and “one last time before I have a baby” lists… because today, with our short attention spans and our hectic lives, having a baby is equivalent to a social death. That’s why people plan ‘babymoons’: a holiday timed in your second (and best) trimester because the assumption is that after the baby comes, travel will be less frequent and much less fun!
Since we only live once, we might as well live it up during our last pre-pregnant Diwali, followed by Christmas and New Year’s parties, at this point, always merged with one amazing holiday where we shall drink till we puke in the river at Darling Harbour, Sydney. Then, as the aircraft doors open and the Bombay humidity hits us, so does reality. We realize that now we have no more excuses, and the responsibility towards the family of producing more dysfunctional products to complete the unit has dawned upon us. Out go the birth control pills, and soon enough, there’s a bun in the oven, ready to come out in the lovely winter months of Bombay. And I guess if you factor the ones who take a little time to conceive too, even they are ready with a filled up oven by May/June.
This planning has fabulous results: because you must suffer through one boring Holiday Time (December) and then reap the benefits of lovely parties held outdoors!
Everyone knows what an outdoor party means to pigeon-holed Bombay children who are used to calling a patch of astro-turf in their buildings a garden. I remember taking BabyA to a party in one of those complex buildings in Parel, and as we entered the huge garden, she screamed an excited, deafening scream. It was my realization that she had never seen so much empty space before. And then she ran, like an unbridled horse! That’s the day I understood why people times their baby’s births: because at least on their birthday, they want their kids to be able to run like the wind, and taste a spoonful of freedom! In Bombay, even if that means only for a moment, in the great outdoors.
*YOLO- “You only live once”