‘Do I look like vampire?’ my friend questions me in phone. ‘Do you realise that it is 3 AM and you have called me to ask THIS?’ I reply back. ‘Ahh! Never mind the TIME first answer my question’ she says. I sigh and answer, ‘No you don’t and shall I go back to sleep now?’ She seems to ignore the anger in my voice and continues ‘OK dear go back to sleep now. See you tomorrow in office.’ From the day my best friend came to know she is going to be mother, she keeps getting these weird doubts and also weirder cravings.When I came to know the news I was excited and happy for her but little did I know what was in store for me (Phew!!!).
‘Now it is your turn’ says my friend. I start singing the next song and my friend joins in. We both are in bus going to office. We both are singing songs to our heart content ignoring the stares from others. This is our daily routine when we get into bus these days (Listening to songs and singing is good for pregnant ladies – says my friend). Knowing my singing ability still I dare to sing in public. I am sure kid is cursing me every day. ‘Stop the bus’ says my friend suddenly ‘Right now!! Stop the bus’, she shrieks and stands up. The conductor and driver of the bus get scared and stop the bus. She gets down the bus and walks very fast across the road. I get scared and get down the bus and run behind her. ‘Hey what is it?’ I shout to her. ‘Why did u get down the bus?’ She does not answer me and crosses the road. I just follow her. She stops finally in front of a hoarding and pants. I also look at the hording; it is some advertisement of a hotel. ‘That’, she points out to the hording and says, ‘I want to eat that.’ I don’t understand what she wants to eat. ‘What is that you want to eat?’ I ask her. ‘I want to eat that sweet in the advertisement now ‘she says. Oh!! She ran across the road for this. ‘Do you realise you scared all of us and crossed this heavy traffic road to show this stupid sweet’ I ask her. ‘This is not stupid sweet!! This will be the most delicious thing I will ever eat. Now!! Right now!! I want to eat it’ she says.
I call an auto and tell the hotel address shown in the advertisement. I have taken photo of the sweet from hoarding so that I can recognise it in the hotel. ‘You grab a chair and wait, let me go and buy the sweet for you’ I say to her. She nods happily and settles herself in a chair. I go to the counter and wait for my turn. ‘Please give me a piece of this sweet’ I show the photo to the man behind the counter. That guy gives me a strange look and packs a single piece for me. I take it back to my friend and give it to her. She looks at the sweet and does not touch it. ‘Eat’ I say to her but she does not touch it. ‘What happened? Eat the sweet’ I say to her. ‘But the colour of the sweet in the advertisement seems bit different from this one. Somehow I don’t feel like eating it now’ she says. ‘Are you serious?’ I say in disbelief. We have come all the way here and now she does not feel like eating (Sniff …Sniff… Yeah I am crying!!! Thanks for your concern!! ). ‘Yes, let us go back to office’ she says.
I reach canteen in tea break and there I see her waiting for me, lost in her serious thoughts. I sit in chair next to her but she does not seem to notice and is still lost in her thoughts. ‘What is that you are thinking now?’ I ask her. ‘I want my kid to have long hair like me and big eyes like my husband. I read somewhere that if we see a person’s photo graph daily then the kid will have those features. Hey I want my kid also to have dimple like you. Shall I keep all the photos in my bedroom and look at them daily?’ she asks me. ‘Oh!! I didn’t know you are going to give birth to photo copy machine which will copy features from photographs. I thought it will be human baby which will be formed from your genes.’ I say mockingly to her. She laughs at my irritation. ‘Ok!! At least let me buy some cute baby posters for my bedroom’ she says. We say good bye and get back to work.
‘I have moved to a new place here. I hope I will make new friends here too’, our friend who stays in USA has called. It another (boring) day in office and as usual all our gang is on the conference call. ‘Hey don’t worry am sure you will be fine’ I say. ‘Wish you can take break during my delivery time. You can see my new born’ says my best friend. ‘Yes, let me plan my visit around that time’ says my USA friend. ‘How do you manage food in new place? Do you get any Indian food there?’ I ask my USA friend. ‘Yeah, I get everything. You know what I ate samosa other day and felt so nice’, he says and laughs. Suddenly my pregnant friend says ‘ohhhh!!’ And she is dropped of the call. ‘Hello!! Are you there? What happened? Anything wrong?’ I say. There is no answer from her. I feel panicked. ‘Let me go to her floor and see what happened’ I say to others on the call. ‘Yeah just go and check on her. Hope she is not in any pain’ says my USA friend. I drop of the call and rush to the floor where she works. From the window I cannot see her in her place. I see a colleague of her going inside the work place. I stop her and say, ‘Can you please check and tell me if my friend is there inside the work place?’ She checks and confirms that she is not there anywhere. I quickly go to Ladies room and check if she is there. Even there I cannot find her. I check in every corridor and her favourite place where she stands and talks on phone. I cannot find her anywhere. My phone rings and I see my USA friend is calling. ‘Hello!! I cannot find her anywhere’ I say to him. ‘OMG!! Where did she disappear?’ even he sounds panicked. ‘I will call you as soon as I find her. Bye for now’ I say and cut the call.
I go to parking area to see if she is there anywhere but she is not there. May be she is in some trouble. Maybe she went to medical facility and at this thought I run to the medical facility in our office. ‘Has any pregnant lady come here?’ I ask the nurse there.’ Nobody has come’ she answers me. I go inside and check all the beds I cannot see her. In between I am calling her and her mobile is not reachable. I check dormitory, near ATM and any other place I can think of. I am worried now should I call her husband and inform? Let me inform the security first and then call her family. I am walking towards the security who is standing near the canteen suddenly I see her in there sitting in one corner. I run towards her and see that she is eating samosa. Evening sun is falling on her face; she is glowing and looks very happy as if she has achieved something. ‘What the hell are you doing here? You have cut the call in between and without notice you have disappeared. Do you have any idea how much worried I was? Your phone is also not reachable. ‘I yell at her. ‘You guys were talking about samosa and I felt like eating it so I just came off to canteen’ she says innocently. I forgot all the tension I went through and burst out laughing.‘You heard samosa so you cut the call and came here to eat samosa?’ I say still laughing. She also says yes and joins me laughing.
Days are passing by with new experiences each day. I still continue to sing horrible songs and make her listen to me. Sometimes we both even compose songs together with silly notes. I started experimenting new recipes and make her eat. Her weirder cravings and doubts continued making me go mad sometimes. And one day the baby came. I rush to hospital as soon as I get the news. ‘Hey!! How are you feeling?’ I ask my friend. She smiles and nods her head. I see the tiny little baby beside her. I carefully carry her in my hands and look at the sweet little face. ‘Ahh!! Here you are the cause of my troubles for all these months. No more womb services’ I say to the baby. Suddenly the baby smile ceases, she looks at me intensely and starts crying. ‘OHHH!!’ She has come to know that this is the voice which sang all those horrible songs. May be she recognised my voice and got scared I will sing again. ‘Shhhh …. baby Shhh…’ I say ‘don’t worry I am not going to sing’. She continues to wail at the top of her voice. The nurse comes running to the room. ‘I have not done anything. I dint sing also’ I say in panic. Nurse takes the baby from me and says to us ‘If the baby cries first check if you have to change her sheets.’ We both look at each other and smile.
I sit in chair and relax. From now on days will be cool. I can relax. No more cooking new recipes, no more singing songs, no more running with food snaps to match them. I can relax now. Another best friend comes to see the baby. ‘Guys, I have news to share. Guess what? I am going to be mother. My husband is travelling on work for 3 months anyways you guys are there to take care of me right’ she says. ‘What?’ I say loudly, ‘I mean congrats’ I say. I look at the baby in the cradle and she winks (I swear she winked ;-))