The Hmar/Malayali horror show

(To the people I told this story to before I wrote about it: Skip ahead, turn away, forgive me.)

My nephew is a couple of days old. His mother is Hmar. His father is Malayali. His grandparents are anxious and his aunt is feeling loopy.

On Day 2 I am enlisted to help out and hang about clumsily in the hospital room. His mother is dozing and so is his grandmother. I look towards the cradle covered in gauze nervously. There is no sign detectable to me that a human being is in there.

After a while I can't drive away thoughts of crib death anymore so I tip-toe over and peer at him through the gauze. This doesn't work really well so I lift the gauze and peep at him. The kid looks like he is made of plastic. I bend over double, put my head really close to him and see if I can detect a breath. A minute passes and I am utterly terrified. Then the damn kid snaps his eyes open like the beast in a Korean horror film: THWUNGGGG!

I nearly scream in fright and my hair turns white. The moment the kid is old enough I am going to beat him up.

Before that I might beat his father. The father, my one and only, much adored brother suddenly became an adult and decided to get married. In a panic I asked him, "Are you sure? You have not known her long?" To which he replies with great kindness, "We are not like you. We don't think too much."

Subsequently I have become the great bumbling South Indian stepping carefully trying to make sure I don't offend by idiocy or intention. Cut to this week in the hospital room. It is filled with guests and baby clothes and flowers. A woman is crooning in Tulu to the bite-sized baby. A Mizo girl is complaining about 'these horrid Manipuris always speaking in Meitei'. Both grandmothers are nodding and giggling at each other since they don't have a language in common.

Meanwhile, my brother is near the window on the cellphone loudly declaiming, "No man, I can't make out whether the baby is chinky. All the babies in the nursery look chinky at this stage."

We all sighed/groaned/moaned according to the level of our lady-like disposition.

7 comments:

:D congratulations!

July 8, 2009 at 7:42 AM  

warning-long comment follows:

the father of my child saw her for the first time and declared to everyone who called in the next 8 hours that the baby looked not line him but like our friend l liang. as i arose from my c-section stupor i got worried calls from b'lore telling me that friends in the city were abuzz with this juicy bit of gossip.

next time you think the baby is too still- put little finger in front of baby nose. not your whole self- the poor baby will never recover from trauma of aunty's face staring away one cm away, for no apparant reason

enjoy auntyhood. and congratulations to the family.

July 8, 2009 at 9:36 AM  

OMG. Arun is dad? Now I feel old.

(And congratulations :D.)

July 8, 2009 at 3:36 PM  

Sooo cute!

PS: Sometimes it's best if in-laws don't understand each other's languauge.

July 9, 2009 at 8:09 AM  

Congratulations!
And now I'm waiting for the post where you will tell us how you beat him up!

July 11, 2009 at 5:45 PM  

Oh congratulations Aunty!! I look forward to more doting-aunt posts!

July 14, 2009 at 12:20 PM  

You are all evil women. :)

July 15, 2009 at 9:11 AM  

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