Monday, June 02, 2014

The Prodigal Son

Rahul left Calcutta early in May with my mother. He was to spend the rest of the month with my parents and brother in Vizag, the idea being that I would get a break from household work in the May heat and he would get some respite from my temper. (It was my idea, too.)

When he was younger he used to go off on visits without us all the time and though it was never easy we learnt to get used to living without him. He'd visit my parents for weeks at a stretch as a very little boy, and frequently spend long weekends with my aunt, uncle and cousin. Then, with school, and life, intervening, we spent I think the better part of two years without such independent socialising. We got used to going out in threesomes or not at all.

Near the end of 2013 and in early 2014 he spent some weekends with my uncle and aunt when they visited Calcutta and those weren't easy on any of us. He would come home unsettled and the house always seemed eerily empty without him. Vicky and I tended to go out to movies or meals to keep ourselves occupied. Especially in these months that I've been pregnant I have found it very difficult to let him (or Vicky) go off anywhere. It's the last few months we've had as a family of three and I've been clinging to it as I suppose only I can. Though it's a good thing they had those weekend visits because soon after, with very little warning, my uncle took up a job across the world and they have now moved.

May 2014 was hard on me. Once my mother and Rahul left, I missed them both desperately and spent a couple of days crying. I know it's partly the emotional upheaval caused by the pregnancy hormones but I really missed that boy of mine more than I had expected to. In forty-eight hours I was morose enough for Vicky to book us both for a surprise trip home. So, after another fortnight, we flew off to Vizag to surprise my parents -- and Rahul. To my delight, my high school friend Shanu got married the day we reached Vizag. I couldn't attend his wedding or the reception the next day because the hour-long drive out of town was actually beyond me, but I did finally get to meet his long-time girlfriend, now his wife, who is every bit as perfect for him as I'd always imagined her to be.

The week in Vizag was spent without doing anything much or meeting anybody else, and that was fine by me. The climate was kinder to me than Calcutta's had been but now that I'm in my eighth month, I find I can only do so much even on the best of days. We drove down to the beaches on a few evenings and walking on the sand helped me loosen muscles stiffened by months of overwhelming lethargy. There were a few wonderful storms that reminded me all over again of how much I love Vizag in the rains. During one of those we had gone to run errands, Vicky, Baba, Rahul and I. When the rain started we picked Ma up and went for a drive in the hills. Vicky, my father and I went out one morning and V bought me a beautiful gold chain. We had lunch at Food Ex. Munching on the chicken puff, listening to Michael Jackson, I closed my eyes and went back sixteen years effortlessly. We finished with really good ice creams next door.

Rahul has developed a Godzilla fascination this summer. He hasn't seen the new movie yet but he's seen plenty of the old ones and also an animated series that is even sillier than the movies. I sighed and tried to convince Niyogy Number 2 (in utero) that my interests are more, well, interesting.

Coming back to Calcutta last Friday wasn't easy. The weekend turned out to be rainy and miserable (strange how exhilarating the same rain was in Vizag!) and this morning I woke up angry and depressed. I got some chores done, choked down some breakfast and took a long nap so as to keep my mood to myself. And then, finally, at lunchtime, Rahul and Ma arrived. After lunch and a game of Coco Crazy Ma and he napped. And it was then, finally, as he slept, with his arm and leg around me, that I finally felt happy once more.

No doubt tomorrow I'll yell at him and get annoyed at the things he does, but for now, I'm happier than I can describe to have that boy of mine back home.


Sri said...

Ohhh...i can understand how you feel...even I left my daughter with my parents at Hyderabad for the first 3 weeks of May...I felt a bit anxious for a few days but somehow diverted my mind on work and my upcoming exams...

Good to know you spent some quality time with your parents...:)

Anonymous said... must be nice to have him back, his warm little self wrapped around you. I recall leaving a 4 mont old V with my parents in Goa to get some respite to finish up my master's thesis and initially revealing in the silence and the freedom and then feeling morose and listless till I upped, booked myself a ticket from texas to go fetch him back. But it's also a great way for grandparents or other loved ones to connect with the little ones independent of their own parents so Rahul is always going to be much enriched by these little visits.

All the best for the arrival of the next lil' one. Dunno when you're due but rest, take it easy, eat well and think good thoughts.


Anonymous said...

Oh yes, the gorgeous rains in Vizag. Sitting in this stifling heat in Delhi makes me miss them so much more!

Sue said...

Sri -- What exams are you studying for? All the best.

Deepa -- True. :) I'm due in another month, thanks.

RamyaK -- I know!

Sri said...

Sue-Law exams! Thanks so much!