One fine evening in December 1999, two families met for a cup of coffee, some rava idli and kesari. Mission: Boy meets Girl. Boy liked girl and vice versa, enough to consider a life time with each other. Just why and how, only the Almighty can explain that “tada” moment when you feel the wheels of your life clicking in place and somehow you know, things will be alright as long as you have each other.
The astrologer had a lot to say about our horoscopes too. Almost all points that could match were matching. We would have three kids. I would build a temple. It was a rare match in that both of us were in our last reincarnation and neither was expected to return to earth in any form.
Perhaps that’s why God had both of us on an accelerated path of moksha in this birth. Husband had a long and terrible history with asthma, which made his early life very challenging. On the other hand, I was getting operated on at the rate of one surgery per decade of my life on an average. All major surgeries.
Without going too much into the morbid details of these health issues and other challenges we faced and overcame together, one of the other things we haven’t achieved in the overall Matrimony KPIs and Metrics Chart is Children. KPI Achievements for Companionship, Understanding, Support and Love however, are always following an upward trend.
We do not think our childlessness is a tragedy. Over the years, many children have benefited and continue to benefit in many ways through us, and we shower all our love and means on less privileged children around the world. We are also aunt and uncle to a hoard of nieces and nephews as our respective siblings were quite productive. It is a role we enjoy and the kids in the family have a cool aunt and uncle as a go-to elder in the family. Works both ways!
Who knows, maybe this is God’s way of well and truly wiping the slate clean of both of us, because we’ve given Him enough to deal with over our respective re-births? Thou Shalt Not Leave Anyone in Thy Likeness Behind! I like to think so!
But whether we are upset or not, the whole world seems to be very upset about it. So rather than tell a complete stranger the whole saga, who by the way feels completely comfortable asking me within five minutes of meeting me how many kids I have, we’ve come up with the ultimate plan. Like my dad used to say, the tendency of human beings is that if we do not have a problem in life, we create one! On similar lines, we create non-existent children in our overactive imaginations!
Hubby darling is way better at this than I am. If my creativity is in the written word, his is in the spoken. He can spontaneously come up with the best of responses to the worst of questions! To give you an example, the other day we were negotiating with a travelling masseuse to come home and massage mom’s arm and knee. The masseuse was willing to quote a price only for a full body massage, which was not really the requirement in our scenario. Here we are, confused as to how to proceed, or whether to proceed or not and out comes the solution from hubby: “No problem. Tell her we have four bodies here, she can choose which parts she wants to massage on each of us and add up to a whole body massage!”
Based on this crazy interpretation of a full body massage, you can imagine how he handles the progeny question. If someone asks him how many kids we have, depending on the Baskin Robbins flavor of the day, we have either had the single lonesome kid, or two, or three. Either they are studying abroad in the US, or back home with our parents, depending on exactly where the person posing the question can’t reach to confirm facts any further. Either they are graduating, or their milk teeth are falling off.
We’ve decided to take what others perceive the saddest fact of our life and throw it in their faces with some fiction. But for many like us, this is a sore and painful reminder of what could have been. So, the next time someone struggles to form an icebreaker question with complete strangers, may I suggest: “How’s the weather?”
Author’s Note – This post originally appeared in SiyaWoman. The content has been slightly changed for relevance to present time. Republished with permission from SiyaWoman.