Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Meitei myths and beliefs about pregnancy

Can any community not have its share of myths and beliefs about the greatest mystery of them all--creating life? Well, I am sure, there's a bunch of these "old wives' tales" regarding pregnancy in every society. Here are some that I found out exists in mine and are still being followed and even propagated to this date! Most of these have been filtered down to me via word-of-mouth and well-meaning advice from female relatives and friends right from the day I was a bride! Enjoy these myths for the laugh-riot factor or for the fact that they are there!

Determining baby's gender:

As the tale goes, if you want to have a baby girl, try to conceive on the fifth, seventh,  ninth, or any odd numbered day after your period starts. And if you want a baby boy, you are supposed to conceive on the sixth, eight, tenth, or even numbered day of your period.

Another way to see whether you'll have a boy or girl seems to depend on what your age was when you conceived, much like using the Chinese calendar.

A lady I know has a battery of questions that ranges from which side you tend to lie on while sleeping (a boy if you feel comfortable lying on your right, a girl if it's the left) to which foot you tend to put forward first (right foot--boy, left foot--girl).

Also, being happy throughout the pregnancy is supposed to guarantee a baby boy! (Umm, wherever did we hear that it's the Y-gene? )

Determining baby's looks:

The person you view the most is supposed to influence how your baby will look!  By this logic, your baby could very well end up looking like the icecream-vendor you meet every day to satisfy your cravings! LOL!

Determining baby's complexion:

Eating veggies like eggplant and using coriander as garnish to be strictly avoided if you want a fair-complexioned child.

Misc. beliefs:

  • It's considered ominous if the expectant parents harm any living creature while the baby's still in the mother's womb.
  • A strict no-no for parents-to-be to hit nails into the walls of the home--actually, driving a nail  (or any sharp instrument resembling a nail) anywhere is out of the question
  • The expectant mom must cover her head with a piece of clothing while stepping out of the house post-sunset to avoid evil spirits. Also to be followed while she's in the loo or bathing...
  • The expectant mom must eat all the food she craves for, else it would lead to her having a baby that drools all the time

Monday, September 19, 2011

After the hiatus

So here I am again, after a long break...

Much water has flown under the bridge-- had a lovely baby girl in Aug last year, went back to my home town for nearly 3 months in Oct, got back to Delhi and back to work in Jan 2011. Shifted house in Feb-Mar. Managed without a nanny for my baby up to Mar end, had stay at home guests (family of three) for nearly two months, got thinking about my pending coursework and met my Prof. Plan in place, execution pending. Getting back into the groove slowly... (April 2011)

Status Now:

Had to deal with the nanny's leaving the job without notice (to get married)...have a part-time babysitter now--the arrangement seems to be working fine so far, though nothing compares to the previous nanny (sigh)...

It's September now, and still to execute on the plan on my coursework...

But let's talk of achievements, however small:

  • Finished translating "Europa-gi Mapao" to English from Meiteilon
  • Flew back to Delhi alone with the baby from Imphal
  • Managed without help for the baby for a couple of weeks
  • Mustered up enough courage to shop alone, leaving the baby with my sister--Thank God for sisters :)
  • Went to visit a friend who lives at the other end of the city, with the baby on the Delhi metro, then took a cycle rickshaw ride...it was drizzling but we enjoyed it!!! :)

Thankful for everything :)

PS: meant to post this in April, but as you can see...so much has happened

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Note to Granpa...

Dear Pupu,

I know you left this reality for another, but recently I saw you in my dreams. I was introducing you to the member of a royal family from Rajasthan who'd come to visit an ordinary Meitei household...the lady in question also happens to be deceased...

I wonder where this is coming from, but I guess I miss you a lot...

I cherish the time you sat me on your lap to teach me how to count 1, 2, 3...and the Hindi numbers too...

How your face would light up every time with pride as we showed you our progress reports--every small success that we achieved was your greatest moment of pride and joy! How you'd brag to your peers that your grandchildren were the best --I'm sure every grandparent feels that way for their grand-kids :)

And I remember your words, "You'll miss me when I am gone..." I miss you Pupu, I wish you were here.