Suspended Animation

The baby project is worrying me a bit. I’m not that sick, and last time when I wasn’t – the cycle failed. I don’t want to think about it, but the thought is impossible to escape. Hopefully today’s scan will establish that all’s well. But other than that…

The days here in Mumbai have taken on a surreal quality. The skies are grey, the air warm and misty, and most of the time the rains are pounding so hard that you can barely see what’s in front. My routine is just going to the hospital, taking the shots, and heading back. I wait and I read and I look out of the windows. I stay in bed for hours even when there is no sleep because there isn’t anything I want to do. I’ve frozen out every thought except what’s around this treatment. I spend my days in cabs, staring straight ahead to avoid my motion sickness taking over. I daydream about the baby and what my life would be with him/her. I plan naming ceremonies, and education, and mannerisms. I know it’s too early to do that, but I’ve been told too often now “behave as if you already have something, and it will come to you”. Sounds like good advise.

It was on one of the cab rides that I discovered something about myself, something surprising. I like devotional music! I got in to a cab and he was playing Hanuman Chalisa; the sound was so soothing that I felt an instant calm. So when it finished, I asked him to play it again. And I felt very calm throughout the day. Then I thought of expanding the scope, there was a Bhajan an old classmate sang and something we’d danced on in school. That was soothing too. And I moved to sanskrit – I’ve always liked the resonance of the mantras so of course this one dedicated to the goddess Kali became my favorite. Perhaps it was nicer because these little girls were singing it. In any case, being an atheist, it was a revelation. But then I reasoned, liking a song is not believing in the gods. Anyway I always thought these verses described great men and women who were deified because of their great deeds. And if I enjoy the stories of their lives and their heroics – why not!

While I was listing to the Bhajan – it describes the beauty of Lord Ram – I thought of Gaurav. The 3rd day of our wedding when there was a big Puja organized to bless the couples. All 4 of us were doing the rituals and Gaurav and his brother were wearing the traditional silk dhotis and their janaus on their bare torsos. I could see him as if he was right there in his bluish dhoti that brought out the fair tones of his skin, the still damp hair curling on his forehead, the red rimmed but sparkling eyes (his eyelids always had a reddish tinge about them), and a roguish smile on his face. I was in a Saree that I was supposed to wear on my wedding day but didn’t because of some mix up. I remember wearing a lot of glass bangles that kept breaking. It’s considered a bad omen, so Gaurav would keep hiding them under the carpet on which we were sitting. I don’t remember much of the ceremony, except how deftly he did all the rituals and thinking he could have made a good priest himself. We looked good together, G&I, and I couldn’t help but think that he deserves a song too. I wish I could write one!

So here I am… in this maximum city, in a state of suspended animation, thinking thoughts I haven’t bothered about before and wondering and hoping if I would get a piece of him this time…

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