Satire in the Age of Letters and Technology- more than just a pinch of it.
By: Aditi Mallick
The stork. Does the word ring a bell? Any bells? The harbinger of babies. The sound pitter patter of little feet in the house. Gurgles of laughter. But why the stork? Why was this bird chosen specifically to deliver babies? Well the Romans, who had an answer for everything said that the storks were found to hover over the houses in which babies were being given birth. Also, parents found it more convenient to tell their children that the stork brought their baby brothers and sisters instead of telling them the whole…ummm process. Yes yes, The stork brings happiness. But has somebody ever considered the real consequences of the bird giving babies. If not, allow me to give you insight into the matter.
Well, I have seen two little new additions into my own family. My brother’s angelic daughters’. Well angelic sounds good at least. The true colours only surface when the little bundle of joy comes home from the hospital. All the coochie cooing stops. The novelty of the new addition has worn off mostly. Then the wailing starts. The mind boggling, ear drum bursting wailing. The attention seeking wailing. The kid who looked so calm and peaceful in the hospital, just for getting some people around it, howls and howls till it gets the attention required. Rakhi Sawant, much? The hungry wailing, when the little one is hungry. O boy, this one is the loudest. But as they say nothing alters a mother’s love. The poor mother never gets irritated with her bundle. Always there. But sadly, nothing similar can be said for the other people living in the house. Sleeping at night becomes a mission. An impossible one at that. All the pillows in the house are brought out to stifle the howls of the little one. One tosses and turns at night to catch even 40 winks. But somehow, the little one always decides to wail at that particular moment when you’re just about doze off and you’re startled awake again. If you happen to be the father. God save you. You really can’t afford to say anything. Your loving wife might just snap your head off. You can choose to sleep in the other room. But I doubt that the other half would appreciate that.
The burping. The little one has to be burped. After every feed. Doesn’t sound so difficult, does it? You sit with the little bundle on your shoulder waiting for the burrrrrrrrp. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. The poor mother keeps trying but then the bundle is passed onto anyone around, it still doesn’t come. As soon as everybody is tired holding the little one and is putting it back in the crib, the burp comes. But the kiddo, wants to be held now. So you end up holding the kid till it dozes off. Once you realise that the baby is asleep, you cunningly creep to the crib to put it down but as soon as you are creeping out of the room. The wailing starts. Sigh. Back to square one.
The strangest part is when the parents of the new born attempt to talk to the little one in its tongue. Really? Do they seriously think that their incoherent gaga goo blah blam de bam is the kiddie’s lingo? People say that when someone crosses the 60s it is their second childhood. Uh huh. When someone has a baby that is when the second childhood sets in. The poor kid can do no nothing but to stare back at his parents, disgusted.
Well, even though it can be slightly painful, nothing compares to the joy of having a new member in the family. Especially if the little one resembles you. Uncanny isn’t it? The same features, the eyes, the nose.
The dimpled cheeks, the toothless smirk and the consistent babblings maybe fun folks. Not when you’re subjected to them every hour. Not to forget them damn wailings! Sigh. The parents will obviously be enchanted by their offspring. I suggest a pair of earmuffs and a swig of the ol’ whiskey to get by.