Bangladesh Slideshow

21 February, 2008

Tick Tock

I got married well into my 30s. That is very unusual for a Bangladeshi woman. My wonderful parents let me pursue my own interests, and even though my mother succumbed to social (read interfering busybody paternal aunts) pressure from time to time and begged me to settle down, my wings were never clipped. I was able to soar to academic heights, and enrich my professional life both at home and abroad. I also rode on an emotional roller coaster and finally returned home for good in 2004.

I ran into my future husband at a workshop in December of the same year, and while we were nothing more than colleagues at one time, a spark was lit this time around. A whirlwind romance followed and we got married in 2005.

Almost overnight, people started wondering when we would start a family. Heavy hints were dropped, oblique references made, and outright questions asked. We were not to be allowed a period of newly-married bliss. “Your case is quite different”, quipped my sister-in-law (in a not-so-veiled hint about my age), who had gotten married barely out of school, and took nine years to ‘enjoy’ married life and a career before starting a family.

Like most married couples, we too would like to be parents. But in our case, the hope has not yet translated into concrete plans, despite the constant reminders about the biological clock ticking away. We look at baby names on the internet, we find baby clothes cute, the baby furniture at Jatra had me planning a nursery there and then. I’ve already got a number of baby books, do plan on reading them to our child(ren), and the other day picked up a book called “What to Do When There’s Nothing To Do”, which is all about keeping children of all ages happily occupied through games and crafts. But we are not yet ready to actually bring a life into this world. The biological clock has nothing to do with this mental preparedness. But can someone please tell me how to get my point across without sounding vague (soon, soon) or evasive (it will happen when God ordains it) or flippant (we have a child - the puppy!) or downright rude (none of your bloody business!!!)?

Now please don’t get me wrong. I do have maternal instincts (well, I hope I do, look how I treat my puppy!). But I want everything to be just right when our baby arrives. There should be adequate funds to cover all possible contingencies, a nursery straight out of ‘Home and Garden’, the best available nanny because I’d want to go back to work… Okay, I admit I am a compulsive planner. And maybe a baby cannot be planned the same way as a vacation. But don’t all parents want everything to be perfect for their little bundle of joy?

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