Monday, January 9, 2017

Baby and Child Care Part 2 – Modern Parenting

The Story of Mr. and Mrs. X and their Baby  
Short Fiction – The Story of a Modern Urban Couple

Mr. and Mrs. X and their BABY – Fiction Short Story by VIKRAM KARVE

Mr. and Mrs. X desperately wanted to have a baby.  

So – Mr. and Mrs. X tried very hard to have a baby.  

Poor Mr. and Mrs. X  they tried and tried  they put in a lot of effort  but they could not have a baby.

As time flew  and the biological clock ticked away  Mr. and Mrs. X became more and more anxious.

So with resolute perseverance  Mr. and Mrs. X put everything at stake to have a baby.

Mr. and Mrs. X made determined efforts to have a baby – they consulted the best doctors and fertility specialists in town – they spent huge amounts of money on the best and most sophisticated infertility treatments possible – they tried all sorts of things  exoteric and esoteric – they left no stone unturned – they struggled and struggled  with dogged persistence  till  at long last  at the age of 36  Mrs. X conceived – and she got pregnant.

Then  after a difficult, delicate, gruelling, backbreaking, anxious, harrowing pregnancy  Mrs. X overcame all sorts of complications  and finally  after enduring for nine long months  Mrs. X successfully delivered a beautiful bonny baby.

Everyone was delighted.

The parents  Mr. and Mrs. X  were proud that they had proved their mettle.

The doctors boasted about the success of their treatment.

The grandparents were relieved that the family lineage was preserved.

The soothsayers, the relatives, the friends – everyone was happy that the much delayed and much awaited baby was born after so many trials and tribulations. 

3 months after the baby was born  I happened to be in town.

I decided to visit Mr. and Mrs. X and their Baby.  

On the way  at the jewellers  I bought a gold ornament as a present for the baby.  

I found my way to their classy house in an elite residential society located in the most posh and exclusive neighbourhood of the city.  

When I reached the deluxe apartment  I felt a tinge of envy  thinking about Mr. and Mrs. X  the young IT Techie whiz kids  who could afford such an expensive apartment  and an ostentatious living style  so early in life. 

The proud grandparents opened the door.  

The bonny baby  on her grandmother’s lap  looked very cute.

Yes  the baby was very cute and cuddly.  

The baby’s parents  Mr. and Mrs. X  the young mother and father  were conspicuous by their absence.  

It was late evening  and I had expected Mr. and Mrs. X to be at home  doting upon their adorable little baby.

In fact  the baby was so small  that I thought that Mrs. X would be still breastfeeding her baby.

I was curious why Mrs. X was not at home  so I asked the grandparents: “Where is the young mother...?”

“At work...” the grandfather answered.

“Oh. The young mother is already back at work...? The baby is only 3 months old and the mother has already started going to her office so fast...? Okay 
– no problem – it doesn’t matter  I want to meet her  I am in no hurry – so I will wait for her  she should be back home soon  isn’t it…?” I asked, looking at the wall clock.

“No! No! She won’t be coming for at least 6 months now...
” the grandfather said.

“6 months...? Mrs. X won’t be coming for 6 months...?” I asked, confused.

She has gone abroad  to America  on an important project...” said the proud grandmother, cuddling and mothering the baby.

“And what about Mr. X 
 the proud father of the baby – he should be coming back from work anytime now – isn’t it…?” I asked.

“He is in Singapore. He got a fantastic job offer on the same day the baby was born...” said the grandfather. 

“What...?” I said.

“You know  the Baby has proved real lucky for her parents. The Baby’s mother got promoted as project leader with a hefty raise and was sent abroad to America for this prestigious overseas assignment  and  the Baby’s father got this fabulous job offer in Singapore...” said the proud grandmother, cuddling the baby.

The Baby suddenly started to cry.

“It is the baby’s feed-time...” the grandmother said.

The grandmother handed over the baby to the grandfather  and she went into the kitchen to warm up the baby’s milk.

“It’s good. I feel happy for my son and daughter-in-law...” the grandfather said 
 lovingly fondling the bonny baby, for all these years when they were trying so hard to have this baby  they had put their careers on the back-burner. Now that they have got their baby  they can focus on their careers once again...”

The grandmother came out with the milk bottle 
 and she began feeding the bonny baby  while the doting grandfather lovingly looked on.

I looked at the grandparents – the surrogate parents – the glorified “nannies

Then  I looked at the Baby.

Mr. and Mrs. X had indeed “produced” the Baby.

But  it was the delighted grandparents who would enjoy the joys of parenting the baby.

In fact – now – for the old couple – it was the Baby who was their light of life  their raison d’etre  their very reason for living  and certainly the source of all their present happiness. 

And  the parents of the Baby – Mr. and Mrs. X – both are busy in the pursuit of their careers  the mother in America  and  the father in Singapore.

Mr. and Mrs. X do not know what they are missing by “outsourcing” their parenting and child-care duties.

Also  I do not understand one thing. 

The “Moot Question”:

If Mr. and Mrs. X did not want to look after their own Baby – why did they make so much effort to produce the Baby...?

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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This story is a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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