I cant believe she knows me so well!
From the radio station she selects in the car on our way back home, to the way my towel smells and feels after a long day- God! my wife knows me so well! It wasnt like this initially- or was it?- and I just never realised... never realised the colour of my shirts that she matched with her churidaar, or how our bed spreads were magically changed just when I felt they needed a wash, or the amount of sugar I need in my coffee is different from that amount that I need in my tea... Was it really always like this? Was she always so particular, and was I really never particular about realising this? Really?
I never noticed that when I would be engrossed reading the newspapers, she would wake up the kids, get them each ready for school from their hair to socks and safety pins attached with their I-cards, then proceeded to prepare breakfast and served all three of us, then packed all our bags, and somehow she would also find the time to get dressed herself, her hair smelling exactly the way it should- the Riddhima-ish way. How did she do all that? while I tried my level best to reach to the Sports section of the paper...
"Then why do you have to read each and every line of the news item?" she asked me once... I shrugged my shoulders, "cuz thats the way I like it..."
Today Rehaan and Zara are three-they are petite, cute identical twins. My babies- oops, our babies-. Recently Rehaan learnt how to climb out of his cot and that created a series of trouble for both Riddhima, me and Zara. He now has easy access to the baby monitor, which for some reason he loves turning off- then falling into Zara's adjacent cot, which is not as dangerous as it sounds- but yes, in the process he wakes up his sister and I have no words to describe Riddhima's expression at that point of time. Of course we hired a nanny-though i suggested two but Riddhima felt there was no need- but once they turned three and troubled comparatively less at night, my wife thought it would be better for the kids to adjust without her while sleeping...
Thankfully the two are extremely sound sleepers- a huge blessing, if you ask me, and well if you ask Riddhima...err- and that helps for we can make them both sleep together in the same room. For otheriwse, one's wails would wake up the other and the last thing you want in the middle of a night is to handle two three-year olds crying at the top of their lungs without any visible reason. Zara is the cranky, uneasy one while sleeping, so Riddhima knows exactly how to pacify her without waking Rehaan up... Except for this one time when Rehaan got this really bad colic about two years back, he's never been the cry baby atleast in the middle of the nights...
But what amazes me the most is, that inspite of all of this- and trust me, handling two infants with hardly any considerable help- all by yourself, day and night, is not at all an easy task! You cant feed both of them at the same time, you can only listen to one of them narrating an incident with the neighbour;s son, you have to have two separate attendants for the two of them while driving and if a time comes when both of them want to go to mummy's lap and nowhere else- eiks! thats a nightmare sometimes... But Riddhima... man, she's got to be the most patient woman in this whole world! From wiping their noses to checking if they went to the loo and helping them colouring, wow! my wife is really, really something!
Another day gone by... Rehaan just didnt want to get off me during dinner. These days all he wants to do is eat food himself and then when he's the messiest, the dirtiest, wants to come on to me and wrap his arms around my white suit... Seriously, i need to be armed from head to toe with these kids ALL THE TIME!! I wonder how Armaan takes it, though... I dont remember the last time we went out for a quiet dinner, or even a long drive, or any drive, without the kids shouting in my ears.. Am not at all in a presentable state when he comes home... today toh was the limit! Thanks to Zara, my hair had pieces of roti stuck to it and my clothes were greased with dal. I suppose sometimes Armaan must not wish to come home at all... no proper welcome, no smile or hope-your-day-was-fines... Its like I've been on a treadmill since the past three years.. Okay, thats not true.. I remember him taking me to Goa for two nights when we left Zara and Rehaan with Anjali di and Maa. God! I sometimes wish we can still do that... but that was like two years back and all you had to do was feed and change the babies... now toh uff!
"Mamma i want what Rehaan is having..."
"Mamma i want what Zara is having..."
"Mamma Rehaan coloureded in my book,"
"Mamma Zara ate my jelly in school,"
"Mamma Ms Lily says I look like Rehaan,"
"Mamma Anjie masi said she'll get both of us barbie dolls- noooooo!"
"Mamma see I made a pink house,"
"Mamma see hahahaha Zara made a house and coloureded it pink!!"
"Mamma Rehaan is always laughing at me,"
"Mamma I always laughed at Zara,"
Wow! no one prepares you for this... feeding and changing and cleaning the throwing ups and all is one thing- the other thing is that you have to be mentally prepared that its an indivdual- and in our case, two of them that you're bringing into the world! so obviously they are bound to look and recognize new things, toys, people, books, teachers, other kids, television shows, ice-creams and jellies, barbie and pikachu coloring books, tea set and bayblade... wow! really wowow!!
Seriously, though we were told about it all from the very beginning, none of our friends had any experiences with twins and therefore, what followed after their birth was soemthing we never expected even in the wildest of our dreams...
Armaan is so sweet! -yesterday he got me two slices of banofy pie- just when i was past the craving level and on to the next indescribable one and am sure he laughed to see my eyes pop out when I opened the box and smiled at the pieces. It was after I had almost finished the second one that I realised his gaze at me and when I looked up to see him gazing at me lazily, my heart fluttered. If life was a movie, then that was my favourite scene! He looked at me like there was no tomorrow, I think I grinned like an idiot in between mouthfuls of the pie. Somehow, he just somehow he manages to convert the messiest of the moments into the ones that I shall always remember- wiping the edge of my lips with hisfinger, he smacked it with his lips, taking the caremel and cream into his mouth. Perfect, he licked his lips and then I chuckled and mumbled, looking for a spoon, when he caught hold of my hand, broke a tiny piece and ate it. From the spoon. My spoon.
Somehow, we've just never been that close- or should I say intimate, with each other... We make adjustments according to the other one, we make changes in our lives just for each other, and yet there is this slightly formal timge to our relationship... It cannot be explained that clearly... perhaps the best way to put it is that our relationship has been based on respect and loyalty to each other. Sometimes I think- and blush- that maybe we really are perfect for each other... Of course it was neither of our decisions to get married to each other- we met only twice before our wedding and everything else was decided by our parents. But still there's this unspoken bond that I cherish so deeply- and I wonder if he does too... in all these years, when we sometimes look at each other, or when he takes a cranky Zara from a more cranky me, I feel like there's more to us.. more to Armaan and Riddhima... and for all I know, it could be what others call... love...?
Hope you enjoyed it...