Challenges of having a lovable husband


There are only two days of the year when my brain works hard. I buy advises, dig the ground, seed imagination, plow the land and reap creativity for these 2 important days – Sep 9 and Nov 14, for that’s when our anniversary and Sayf’s birthday falls respectively.

The reason for this hard labor – I prefer personalized gifts.

My definition of personalized gift – Carefully chosen, crafted with passion, woven with lots of love,.. It should conquer the heart like ‘love-at-first-sight’. It should take them down the memory lane to the beautiful moments of our togetherness. It should create a moment of a special happiness that should drive them to a state of adulation. They should love to recollect it again and again. It should be the first of its kind that they receive :-). Tough!! But I managed to succeed so far.

There are a few complications with these personalized gifts.

1)Dissatisfaction!!!. Lot of hard work has to be put in to evolve a crude idea into reality. And me, a lazy-bum, drags it to the last-minute, under the name of improvising the gift and sometimes contriving a better one. Then after lot of running around, I somehow manage one which will look fantastic to Sayf, but I would still know that a little more of hard work would have made it look better.

2)Surprising him!! Acting as though am not even aware about the importance of the day ahead and still coming up with something really worth the wait. First part was tough for me as I did not use to drive then. I always had to take half day off from office, depend on autos and local trains for conveyance to manage the gift and fabricate a convincing story for being late to home that does not kindle the slightest doubt 🙂 This is not a problem anymore as my car has covered up my conveyance troubles and Sayf is at Dubai. Yet I had to be careful during the phone calls. My excitement sometimes lands me in major troubles.

3)Time!! With the daily chorus at home and office, I hardly found time to materialise or rather personalize the gift 🙂 And of late, Pari and her insomnia has added a lot of weight to this one.

4)Expectation! Compose one better than the pervious one.

5) This is the primary problem. SAYF!! The title of the blog should have rather been ‘challenges of having a husband with a sharp memory’ 😉 Honestly, am bad with dates. Besides, am rarely exposed to men who are good with dates:-):-) Even today, Nov12, my mother complained that I forgot her birthday. OK!!This is not the first time 🙂

Sayf is a package of surprises!!

On my very first birthday (Jan 9, ’08) that fell soon after our wedding, he had planned a treasure hunt at home. I had good fun tracking down those hidden little surprises. And then came a candle light dinner at Tangerine, a speciality restaurant at chennai. Their death-by-chocolate is amazing.

The first Valientines day (Feb 14, ’08), he contacted a colleague of mine, who decorated my cabin beautifully with his gifts, cards, little red hearts and what not. I was taken aback and embarrassed a little bit!! Ghee!! Let me admit. Not only that am bad with dates, but I have a poor memory also.. So valentines day also had to be remembered and celebrated.

Furthermore, I had a hard time fixing my fragmented heart after he introduced the concept of halfivesary (Half anniversary – 6 months after the wedding) into my life. He had planned a ride to Mayajaal multiplex on our brand new Avenger. Avenger was the surprise element. Its been 3 yrs of wedlock, 3 halfiversary’s passed, and I still have not remembered even a single time that it was Mar 9th. Shame on me!! Hope I would remember at least  the one on 2011.. Am happy to celebrate life, Am happy he gives me so much importance, but the pressure that I can’t gift him better. That’s what pricks.

And then came the first anniversary – Sep 9,’08. This time I had to get ready, for all I gave till then was a black forest cake during his birthday soon after the wedding – Nov 14, ’07 and a ring on valentine’s day. How I wish if his birthday had fallen after mine. At least I would have an idea how to celebrate it 🙂 So I planned for a surprise dinner. Hurried to spencer plaza, got a few perfume candles, a few archie’s stuffs, and when Sayf came home, there were candles everywhere, a baked chocolate cake, a few I-Love-You teddy bears etc etc. But needless to mention, my gifts always get dissolved. Sayf took out a Swarovski jewel set. Beautiful they were!! But before I could digest the beauty of the gift, along came the next news – A week at Shimla, Kulu, Manali. What a big scene I had to create at office to take that 1 week vacation 🙂 🙂

Earnestly, I cant remember what I gifted him on his 2nd bday, but I got a gorgeous Tanishq jewel set on mine. Oh!!I remember now.. A few poems were written as a tribute and presented 🙂 Personalized!!

2nd anniversary was carefully planned. Running on my second trimester, a last-minute mess was impossible. So I had a hand crafted book, with poems, writings and photos that covered our eventful 2 yrs.

Currently with 3 birthday’s, 3 valentines days and 3 halfiversaries post marriage,…and am plush with gorgeous jewel sets, elegant salwars, a whole collection of Calvin and Hobbes, a digital photo frame and lots more which my poor memory does not assist to recollect. All in the luxury of his love 🙂 And I appreciate his efforts behind the gifts. He captures those small things that we may casually mention during a normal conversation and makes a gift out of that.

5)This is the latest one. Distance!! How to ship it to Dubai?????

And now that Nov 14th is just a few days away, I was trying to do some online shopping. Most of the US sites does not ship gifts to Dubai. But a friend of mine, suggested www.cafepress.com. You should try this one. You can print photos, designs and tattoos on an umpteen range of gifts – T-shirts,buttons,magnets,mouse pads, even iphone cases and ship them to almost anywhere in the world. You can even start an online store of your own for free and earn commission. Have a look at mine – http://www.cafepress.com/Zradar

There are a few desi versions too. www.dilsebol.com and www.zoomin.com. Zoomin is my personal fav with a lot of in-built features.

However, none of them satisfied my definition of personalized gifts. But the word ‘personalize‘ was attractive. Presently Sayf has started with gym, so I decided to personalize a gym bag. This guy is a big foodie. One of his favorite jobs would be to replace foodie in NDTV Goodtimes. Here is the design which I created (personally created implies personalized gift 🙂 :-)) and gave for printing. Hope it reaches him on time. 

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The long 9 months…


While hurrying through my closet for Pari’s vaccination card, I came across her first Ultrasound scan report. Taken on 7th Jul 2009, the report read, “The uterus was visualised and contained a single intrauterine gestational sac with fetal pole measuring 0.64cm corresponding to 7 weeks gestation”, which meant my has been medically confirmed. It meant that there was a teeny tiny life inside me, who was 7 weeks old and 0.64cms long….

I took the report and sat on one corner of the bed.. Pari was sleeping sound on the other end. I tried to recollect the 9 months that we waited eagerly and restlessly to see the first glimpse of this little girl.

Jun ‘09: The home pregnancy tests were positive on 3rd week of Jun. But accuracy was only 50%.

Jul ‘09: On Jul 7, doctor added the rest 50% and both of us  held our hands tightly to witness the most beautiful phenomenon. Inside my uterus was our little one, with a rapid heart beat (twice the rate of a normal adult) and a small food sack for her nutrition supply. Doc asked me to include 2 lts of milk, 1 egg and 1 cup of pulse in my daily diet. Milk and egg. Grrrr!!!

God is great!! He had another pleasant surprise in store. One of my best friends, Sheetal had confirmed pregnant too.

In another weeks time, my sickness started. Anything that went inside would come out in a minute or two.

Aug ’09: Sickness continued for the first 2 weeks of Aug. I managed to stick on to the milk which had now reduced to 2 cups a day :0)

Work was getting onto my nerves. In addition there was an immediate requirement offshore. Some good things happen at the wrong time also 🙂 There was too much of pressure to fly that finally I had to disclose the reason.

“There is a good news and a bad news for you, Mugundan”. My project manager got ready to face both the news’. “Good news is that I am carrying, and the bad news is that, I would not be able to fly for the same reason”.

The first trimester scan was full of excitement. The baby was in shape, kept moving throughout the scan but did not show the face

By the last week of Aug, I regained my health. Sickness subsided and I started walking on the evenings.

As you gain weight during the later stages of pregnancy, the circulation to your legs decreases, and hence walking helps.

Sep ’09: I got busy deciding on our Anniversary gift. Our second anniversary fell on Sep 9th. It was special this time 09-09-09 🙂 I was clueless and finally got a ring. As usual, my gift got dissolved in the beautiful jewel set Sayf got for me from Narayana Pearls. He is too good with gifts.

By Sep,I had put on 2 kgs. My belly had slightly grown and I could feel the slight movements inside, as though a feather moved from within.…

Oct ’09: My stomach had come out, dresses got tight, Pari kicked harder, still October was adventurous.

Being 5 months pregnant, I had a 12  in without a berth,not even a seat. Sayf’s parents had plans to go for Hajj, but the dates were fixed suddenly. We had to go home, see them off, but no tickets to travel. Everyone had asked me to stay back, but I wanted to meet my ‘N’ laws before they started for the pilgrimage.

We came back to Chennai the next day itself. The second trimester scan showed a fully developed baby. She had her head, neck, spine, heart, lungs and stomach fully developed.

We travelled to Bangalore the very next weekend to meet Sheetal. Bangalore was major fun. We showed off our reports, examined the profiles of our babies, found that one had bigger nose and compared their weights.

Nov ’09: Second trimester was cool. No sickness and a Not-so-heavy-stomach. Sayf’s bday fell on Nov 14th. I brought a scrap-book, scribbled a few poems and pasted photos of the most important moments in the past 2 yrs. Sayf loved the book.

Pari had started rolling inside. At times, she would do a roller coaster ride. Sayf could feel her too.

Dec ’09: Belly had grown really big. I weighed 58 kgs and had started experiencing breathlessness. No clothes would fit anymore, and one more month for my maternity leave to begin. Too much of pressure was there at work, and it affected my regular walking. Back pain started and then came the varicose veins.

Sayf was behind me to know on my pregnancy craving. Honestly, I had none.

Pari started weighing heavier and kicked harder that you could see the shape of your stomach changing. She kept me awake during the nights. On a positive note, she trained me to stay awake which proved helpful during post pregnancy 🙂

We had started googling for a nice muslim name.

Jan ’10: Then came my birthday on Jan 9th. Sayf had a range of surprises for the whole weekend – Movie, Mahabalipuram, dinner. .

One more week at work. Staying away from Sayf was painful, but I still was excited about the 7 months vacation, I would get after I started working on 2003. While packing my stuffs, I came across a 2 yr old Anchor Stitch Kit that was left half way through. I packed that too.

I experienced the freedom of being at home after long(6yrs).It was immense pleasure to be a child again. Wake up and sleep as you wish, and worry only about eating 🙂 and watching TV ofcourse!! I also tried to work on the Stitch Kit and immersed in books on labour and birth.

I weighed 60kgs and increased 3kgs every 2 weeks. Breathlessness became heavier, so resumed walking. Luckily, I had Sheetal to share everything with 🙂

Feb ’10: My false contractions and pseudo pain began. Feets and ankles were swollen. My doc examined to confirm that babies head was not fixed. Amma made a list, packed the bags and did the last- minute shopping.

Sheetal had a bleeding and was kept on observation for a day. Doc sent her back the next day, but she had started dilating, and delivery was expected anytime.

I kept on working with my stitch kit, tried some breathing exercises, read more books on what to expect during labour. However, I was running out of room. It was a pregnant forever feeling. Sheetal was admitted for the second time after a heavy bleeding, but Pari seemed to be too comfortable inside 🙂 She showed no signs to come out.

Feb 17,2010: I was due on Feb 25th as per the records, but on Feb 17th 4:00am, my water broke. Hospital was just 15minutes away from home. I dropped an sms to Sayf and prayed for a healthy baby when I stepped inside the hospital. The nurses tried their best to answer my curiosity and induced pain by 05:30am. The contractions started slowly, like mild cramps on the stomach. I tried the breathing techniques that I read. But as the labour progressed, the contractions became powerful, longer and frequent. The doc confirmed that am in the second stage of labour. They moved me to the labour room and I pushed the baby out into this world on Feb17, 09:48am.

While the doc was working on my stitches, I could hear the nurses talk ”Normal baby, 2.8kgs, 50cms”.

 

“Girl baby”, she handed over the little one to me. Wrapped all over, Fareiba looked like a small bundle of cloth. I couldn’t take my eyes of that small, brittle, lovable creation of god. She looked exactly like the man whom I admired the most – Sayf. I realized the value of this little creature god has handed over to me, that I cannot give Sayf a gift more valuable than her…

Sheetal gave birth after another 2 days. They have named their daughter Shrishti.

I finished my Stitch Kit two months after the delivery.