Which brings me to the superstition… My mother, after a lifetime of being a fairly sane if pig-headed lady, turned all weirdly superstitious last year. The wedding-planner (diary) could only be written in in red. (If you didn’t have a red pen/pencil/marker, you wrote on a piece of paper and stuffed it in the pages till the red thingie could be found.) The wedding could not be on a Saturday or a Thursday or on any day at all, seemingly. We could not travel during poush maash (mid-Dec. to mid-Jan. – which is when we did eventually travel, thanks to my beautifully timed stint of typhoid, hah!) Stuff like that.
And now it’s all spilling out again over the baby. She almost did something to me in the fifth month (I forget what you call that ceremony) but I was in bed and couldn’t have ceremonies done to me. Then she fluttered around trying to give me a shaad, but a dida put a stop to that, saying, “Don’t tire the poor girl out, she’s having a tough time anyway. Do whatever you want after the birth.” Good, because the very idea of having more than two or three people fussing around me is tiring in itself. And then, she wouldn’t allow me to ask the ultrasound doc whether F’s a boy or a girl. Now I ask you, how can I curse with any degree of fluency if I don’t even know what I’m cursing???
The one superstition everybody’s agreed upon though is the one where you don’t prepare for the baby. Everybody sorta (metaphorically) puts their hands in their pockets and whistles airily and claims not to know that a baby’s on the way and will need embroidered blankets, and wee dresses, and booties, and things. I felt very deprived, I can tell you. But everybody works around superstitions, I find. Ma’s been sneakily stocking up on old cotton sarees (for nappies, Wishful). Cousin J started college this year and got some new shirts tailored for that. Her mother ensured that half a metre was cut from every bit of cloth; she’s not actually making any dresses, of course, but she’s all set and ready to go when the dresses need making.
Ma and I have come to an agreement: I can plan whatever I like with Aunty Hy, so long as I don’t tell her I’m doing it. Because, you know, if she doesn’t know about it, it’s not happening.
(I don’t have a daughter yet but I can hardly wait to drive my own up the wall… *nasty smile*)
That doesn’t mean F’s a girl. Everybody wants it to be, including V and all my friends-and-relations, so, if my contrariwise genes hold out, F’ll be a boy. Hah!