7th June: Every June we pack up our house and throw everything we can find in massive suitcases and head off on our annual vacation .
This year we have three extra bags which carry all the essential requirements of a very tiny person: The baby.
How can an 11-kilo baby need 85 kilos of things is a calculation that would involve equations of relativity that I can't solve. All I can do is make lists and go on packing.
I call my mother desperately asking for her help. She arrives in half-an-hour, and instead of assisting me with my mundane task of organising diapers and matching hairbands, decides that all the paintings in my house have to be rearranged at this very moment.
I am standing helplessly in the midst of six suitcases and she has badgered my staff to drop everything they are doing, including last minute washing and ironing, and are now all busy drilling holes in my walls. Grrrr...
8th June: We are at the airport and what was supposed to be a smooth journey has now descended into utter pandemonium. The man of the house has decided that he only wants to fly Emirates so a trip that should have taken us around five hours has become a mammoth 10-hour journey.
We have reached Dubai where we have a three-hour halt. Our son is an excellent mimic but performing little acts where he pretends to be a British old lady looking for cinnamon buns or a teenage Chinese pop star in the middle of Dubai's international airport can cause him to be deported and as I am desperately looking for a burka to gag him with, the baby decides she must go to the bathroom right now but will not sit without her pink hello kitty potty seat.
We are aimlessly sitting at the lounge. The man of the house is looking at his iPad, our son is dozing off on the couch and the baby is on my shoulder. I am singing a song to her which has something to do with the moon but since it is made up by me and not Gulzar, it consists of only two words: Chanda and aaja. I am finally at peace and she is giving me a tight hug. This is what makes it all worthwhile, this tiny moment of joy when suddenly I yelp; the little beast has nipped me hard on my arm and is grinning saying, 'I doing biting'.
Why did I have these children? If I merely wanted to be tortured I could have just gotten weekly tattoos rather than have voluntarily reproduced these tiny 'mini-mes' albeit with martial art skills.
I vaguely remember travelling with my parents when I was a little girl. Did my mom also run behind us like this? Did she not want to be free sometimes, just to breathe with no one tugging her shirt, no one asking her what's for dinner? Free to fly wherever she wanted, do whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted. Life is full of contradictions. We crave security and independence in equal measures. As I am in the midst of my random musings, my reverie is interrupted by the man of the house saying 'I am hungry, let's get some food!' Sometimes I am glad I am not a philosopher, how would I ever complete a single chain of thought when someone is constantly asking me to do something? I don't think Plato would have been able to write Timaeus if he had a wife who kept bugging him to pass the pita bread.
This is reality, it's not all lullabies and fairy tales, it's grappling with tiny ferocious zombies with sharp teeth, throwing enormous amounts of food down quite a few throats, protecting them fiercely, breaking our heads in disbelief and exasperation and it's about enjoying the chaos that love brings into our lives.