After years of living in the Arab world, I finally experienced and realized what ‘insha’Allah’ really meant. We would casually use it as an ‘Okay, we will see’ or ‘yeah, I’ll try’ or also for ‘yeah right, but if it has to happen, it will happen’. Sometimes, even for a mere ‘Okay, I will do it’, we would annoyingly use ‘insha’Allah’. We would know an Arab would not be doing that job even if he has agreed to it but said ‘insha’Allah’ in the end. It was a habit, embedded in all of us, which has reduced quite a bit after I shifted base to India.
Lately, I have been extremely busy with various activities around me. I’ve hardly had the time to write on what I wanted to and now I have conveniently forgotten the topics. I have a reason, of course. No, it’s not only because I’m a wife or a mother to a three year old but more than that. This diary entry look in my article will tell you exactly where I am heading.
Month 1 – An opportunity came knocking at my door and I took it without second thoughts. Having a little Arabian worm inside me, I have wanted to learn the belly dance, a Middle-Eastern dance form, for quite some time but never found anyone close to home to teach me. Now that I did, I knew I couldn’t miss it for the world. I would pick my daughter from school and make her sit and have her lunch outside the class while I learnt something new twice a week. Besides that, I also had the opportunity to perform on stage for which the practices happened thrice a week. Basically, I was dancing for an hour all 5 weekdays every week.
By mid-month, my mother was in town, and I would drive her and my daughter to malls and markets almost every evening. As if that wasn’t tiring enough, walking my ten year old Labrador, who walks wherever he pleases, was a must irrespective of the time I got back home. But, I was enjoying my suddenly busy days.
Month 2 – After my mother left to see her mother, my daughter and I travelled for 17 hours by bus to meet them, and the rest of the family, for my grandmother’s 81st birthday. Touched by almost everyone’s presence, tears rolled down her cheeks. I was glad to be there. Also, I was enjoying the fact that I could eat as much as I wanted to without having to cook it.
We returned home in a week because I had to fly to the north for a training the following weekend. Two flights, a three-hour drive and a one-hour waiting period later, it was 12 hours from the time I left home to the time I checked into the hotel at destination. I had to relax before I did anything else. I spent the evenings having tequila shots, dancing Bollywood style and chilling in the ten degrees weather. This was my first get-away alone, after giving birth to my little one. After the twelve-hour journey back home, I felt the need to rest for a week before I doused myself in dance practices once again.
We were preparing for the most-awaited Christmas event, so as I got extremely busy, I realized I was avoiding my self-imposed healthy diet and instead, grabbing whatever I could get my hands on just to satisfy my hunger. I checked, only to find that I had further lost two kilograms. I was confused because I knew I could feel the excess intake of carbohydrates accumulating in my stomach.
Month 3 – I used the word ‘doused’ because I spent almost three hours dancing everyday. I was helping with choreography for one performance; my daughter was in another so I had to assist while she was there and I was dancing for yet another performance. Also, as a Catholic, I was helping the committee with the invites to a number of apartments on the evenings I skipped practice. Though the best part of the performance is the fun you have during the practices, I would get so bushed that I took a couple of days ‘off’ just to unwind.
I found myself consuming rice like there was going to be a famine soon. I was worried that my negligence would get me back to being chubby again. After all, I spent the past few months trying hard to reduce a few inches and succeeded. I couldn’t allow my laziness to undo all of it.
Four days to the event, a friend Laila and I decided to go shopping along with my little one. I was driving. When we were done, we drove around her area for some fresh air. Just as we entered the lane back to her humble abode, a biker, zooming on the wrong track, rammed into the front door smashing my window to smithereens. Before we comprehended what had occurred, there were glass fragments strewn all over the inside of the car. We were terrified. When my daughter saw what had happened, she began bawling. I moved the car to a safer side and took her out while Laila called her husband and mine to our rescue. By God’s grace, we all escaped without a scratch.
Three days later, my husband travelled and Laila came home to help me during the event. After an action-packed but successful day, we partied beyond midnight to celebrate a job well done with cupcakes, tequila and beer, chit-chat and friends. The holidays were about to begin.
After three days, my husband, daughter and I travelled on a 12 hour journey to spend Christmas with a few friends and family. Curious discussions lead my husband to buy me a home-pregnancy-test which told me I was pregnant. Shocked, we assumed I would be starting my second month but still unsure as I had in me a three year intrauterine device which was inserted two years ago. When we flew home after Christmas, the ultrasound scan showed I was already starting my fourth month and the device was nowhere to be found. I was stumped!
My husband was elated while I wanted to punch someone. What happened? Where was it? How could it have disappeared from inside me? I was sure it was inserted because I felt the pain then or had I lost my memory? What about my belly dance classes? What about the commitments I made for the coming year. And the biggest question! What about all the healthy eating and the sacrifices I made in the past months in order to reduce my previous pregnancy weight? I wanted to yell.
In a flashback, I realized that the activities I did in the past months weren’t something a pregnant woman was allowed to do. I ate and drank some exquisite items. I drained myself to a point beyond my maximum capacity. I travelled long distances on bumpy roads. I also realized that the accumulation I felt in my stomach wasn’t due to the rice I was eating.
However serious this situation may be, many still found it funny. A few friends called and had to finish their laughing before congratulating me. One of them even reminded me of the stuff I blogged about in the past months and I realized that God was having a hearty laugh while I was writing my ‘Children’s Day’ article on ‘second child’. I was already in my second month then. Many asked me when I was planning on having my second child and while I confidently told them I had no plans whatsoever, the foetus in me was already born.
I trusted the damned device and now it has conveniently gone missing. The doctors have made it a point to mention that it was nowhere to be found in the uterus or in adnexa. Still wondering where the device vanished, I realized that if God wants something to happen, it will happen at any cost. ANY! It didn’t matter what we wanted. This was what ‘insha’Allah’ actually meant.
PS: The last time I found out I was almost three months pregnant; I was learning bachata, a Western form of dance. Though my investigations, on the mystery of the missing Copper T, are still on, I’m thinking of getting back to singing!