“Take care, will you? I may be late today too..”
“Sure, don’t you worry..!”
I smile raising my eyebrows, wave him bye, pick the paal vaali up and lock the door behind me.
It’s 6:30 in the morning but the Room paints a confusing impression of afternoon. The thick green curtain shines in a strong yellow shade with the rays of hot sun gleaming in an attempt to make fryums out of the fabric. I transfer the milk into a pan and bring it to a nice boil. Baby D, despite being asleep recoils to the right and left whenever the induction stove lets out a beep.
Today marks the twenty fifth day of our stay in the Room. The three of us are together once again, all cooped up in a 10×10 room that also includes a hermetically sealed bathroom whose washbasin, we use as a kitchen sink. Until the housing department offers us accommodation in the family quarters, this Room will continue to be our home.
Phooey, that’s too much reality to take in, I may have to gulp down another cup of coffee before regorging the experience here.
There are so many things out there that can kill you. Diseases, for example. Or being in a long distance relationship with your spouse after having raised a baby together. Dr H and I couldn’t pull through the latter for long and that’s how we ended up being three peas in a pod once again in this modified furnace called Room.
We have two single beds clubbed together towards the window side, two small tables over which I have arranged all my kitchen stuff – a pressure cooker, few quintessential flatware, even fewer masala dabbas and an indispensable water can. We also have a tiny wardrobe to store the rest of our possessions except baby D’s toys which are untidily scattered all over the Room.
The first few days were the most challenging in terms of parenting front. I had to unpack, organise, simultaneously say No a thousand times and run behind baby D who more or less acts like an unchained puppy in public. Kid still thinks the entire building is ours, behaves as if the neighbors are our guests and wonders why that particular guest in front of the gate always wears the same dress. And what do I do? I simply play along.
As a parent, I feel raising a toddler inside the Room is a preternatural experience in itself. It requires inexpressible patience, indefinite energy and more than these, a forever stable state of mind to engage the child with existent and inexistent elements throughout the day (and night if your better half is a medico).
It’s also this very reason that makes my world look exceptional and vivid. The Room has inevitably become an almost mobile-free zone due to the poor network coverage this area is blessed with, thus paving way for more interaction between the son and me. Mostly it goes one-sided. He plays and I keep on talking. Sometimes the conversation happens. And when it does, our laughter amplifies further, filling the Room with immense love.
I’m not sure how long we are going to be here but as long as this tiny realm reverberates peace, I am going to embrace the factors of unchangeability and verbalize only the good that comes out of it.
Que sera sera..!