Every man complains about not knowing what a woman thinks, our unpredictable behaviour and saying the total opposite of what we mean. But I wonder what exactly people expect from a woman. To what extents do we have to go to show the people we love how much we love them? How do we express our feelings when the person in front just cannot understand them? How much do we do? I’m not sure and this incident really got me thinking about a lot of things.
I had to get my passport re-issued due to the mishandling of the important travel book by an incompetent nincompoop, at the Xerox shop, who did not even tell me about it when it happened. I realized it two months later when I went to get some information out of it. The cover was in my left hand while the book was in my right. My jaw fell.
I was pregnant for the second time, so trips were delayed. Waiting in line for anything was annoying to me. Finally, in the seventh month we decided to wait for the second baby so we could get all our passports done in a single trip. A month after I delivered, I filled up my son’s form online but it did not allow the submission of the same until an ‘Adhaar number’ was verified. It amused me but on checking with various sources, I was informed that the infant had to get an Adhaar number. Weird as it sounded, my husband and I went to get it done.
I went there with my husband and first child. We asked them the procedure to get my son an Adhaar number to make him a fresh passport. They insisted that each parent apply for an Adhaar card, only then could my children apply for the same; adding that the ‘candidate’, referring to my new born son, had to be physically present. Besides telling them that my son was smaller than the word ‘candidate’, we repeatedly told them that he is only a month old but they still stressed that we get him to their office for a photograph and fingerprints. I hoped my son wouldn’t contract any germs if I got him to that crowded place.
Next day, I got him to the office and they tell me that Adhaar cards can only be made for children above four years of age. I was furious and my small-scale knowledge of Hindi did not help. After calling the passport office itself, I got to know (from a very polite gentleman) that any parent’s Adhaar number could be mentioned on a minor’s passport application. I wanted to sue that Adhaar card office but had better things to do.
After we received our respective Adhaar numbers, my husband left town for a month and I avoided going to the passport office on my own with both the kids. When he got back, we got all our documents ready (my husband re-checked just in case I missed something) and visited the passport office together.
My husband had a quick important errand to run so he dropped the three of us to the bureau and left. I went inside and tried to re-organize the papers according to how they needed it, while carrying my now-six-month-old baby, my handbag, his diaper bag and holding onto my document pouch and four-and-half-year-old daughter. At the next counter they needed to verify my originals, so I had to dig into my bag while also keeping an eye on my little girl. Basically, I was trying to be ‘Spiral’ – from X-men.
Bored, with me trying hard to be a superwoman, the lady at the counter offered to hold my son, while I got what they required.
For my passport, after a few seconds, I was sent through a turnstile boom barrier that my tired body barely fit through while my diaper bag got stuck in it. The security woman helped me break free as I had no hands left and also held the barrier up while my daughter hunched and came through.
By then I had already begun feeling the burden of obligation hover over me. I thanked in my mind these helpful women who I couldn’t repay in any way. This transfer of baby to different service counters continued a couple of times. Finally, when I sat for the photograph without any disturbance, I looked dead.
Round two began when I had to start from counter one, all over again, for my son. By the end of it, I had passed my ability to multitask. I was exhausted. Just before the final signatures, they wanted my husband’s passport and I did not have it. After all this, I had to come back again. The long lecture began by my husband while I was at the receiving end. How could I not remember his passport and why didn’t I properly read all the documents that were required.
Now, I probably had fumes steaming out of my ears while my nostril hair was on fire. I went through the turmoil inside me and pushed my body more than it could handle but nothing I did was appreciated and nothing I did was applauded. Instead, I was, for a moment, put down until he realized what he was saying and apologized.
The hurry was due to the international travel plan we had a month later. I ran around and received our passports a week later only to find out that our travel plans had to be cancelled as my husband’s passport was stuck in another embassy. Ha-ha-ha!
I went through strain for a couple of days with unacceptable reactions thrown in my direction and went mad. Imagine a woman going through a similar situation each and every day of her life. Imagine your woman does everything for you and your kids and all you do is suppress her personality and neglect her feelings. Imagine what is happening to her. Imagine the turmoil she is going through. Imagine what her mind is facing.
Would she be normal enough to give you a straight answer? Would she be sane enough to understand any feelings you have? Have you asked her how she feels about something or what she wants instead of ruling over her and giving her what you THINK she needs?
Take care of the women in your life. They have feelings too. If they are taking care of you and your needs, you should do the same for them. too. Think about it and imagine if she’s gone tomorrow, would you miss her cooking more or her hugs and smiles? She multitasks the whole day only for you. Besides being physically tired, she’s probably mentally exhausted, too. So have you hugged her yet? Don’t expect her to behave normal if you haven’t.
Feature picture taken from Chopra.com