Daily Archives: August 10, 2004

Pregnant Possibilities

‘Are you pregnant?’, asked the lady behind the ticket counter.

‘Whoooosh’.. I could hear my confidence zooming past to never never land. “What?”..it sounded like a slap to my self esteem and vanity. Little did it occur to me that the question could be duty bound.

“Am I really looking like *that*!!”, I thought to myself.. seeking consolation from somewhere in the recesses of my mind, for the insult that comes with a nonpregnant girl being questioned abt pregnancy!

Ok, let me give a “bhoomika” here first. The scene: I was coming back from Japan to India via Singapore, early last year. Due to the luggage restrictions and it being the coldest winter I could have ever imagined, I did the smart thing of wearing most of my clothes :-). So eventually I was with inners, warm thermals, a t-shirt, a shirt on top of it, 2 sweaters, warm legging, jeans, 2 pairs of socks, a *big* heavy leather jacket (it weighs 3 kilos by itself) and a muffler. Not to forget the big, lady’s handbag (which was more like a cargo bag), an actual handbag (weighing 11 kgs) and a laptop (the case of which I had stuffed with all that didn’t fit in my checkin baggage). Only I know how I managed to balance this load on both shoulders. Ouch.

I had missed my connecting flight to India and thus got an overnight stay in Singapore. One of the freebies at Changi Airport, (how can a desi not avail of these) is a tour of the Sentosa island via bus or boat and that was the booking counter for the same in front of which I was asked that … offending question. As I was trying to convince myself that it was *definitely* because I was wearing too many pairs of clothes, holding too much luggage and walking in the most awkward gait I could manage with that luggage; she asked me the question again and I spluttered ‘No’. She had probably noticed my squeamish expression for she clarified that pregnant women are not allowed for the boat ride and it was a customary question.

That was MY reaction. But there are others for example my aunt who have an entirely different reaction to a synonmous situ. My aunt (who stays in the US of A) has 2 kids. Despite of having delivered them years back (they are teenagers now), she still looks like the docs forgot something inside.. in other words, central obesity makes her look like she’s expecting. Many a times she’s had to face situations like (and worse than) this. But they only add to her daily dose of laughs and in fact she has a nice time getting pampered! It can certainly work to ones advantage if one knows how to veer the situ :).

One such situ happened when she was recently coming to India. The ppl at customs asked her if she was pregnant. She replied in the affirmative and was readily whisked away so that she doesnt go through the scanning at customs, while she gloated with glee inwardly. Further, the ppl freighted her luggage all the way like slaves, because – you guessed it – she was supposedly pregnant. Whenever she goes to Supermarkets, she gets lots of sympathetic and understanding glances from ppl in all age groups. Some offer to carry her stuff. Some offer her water to drink etc. She even wins awed and appreciative glances by (desi) aunties who happen to watch her playing basketball in the pink of her pregnant state of affairs. The lady at McDonalds stares in awe when she gets an answer to her question regarding the due date. After all who wouldn’t when told ‘the baby is due tomorrow but I wanted to eat french fries today’.

Fortunately, for me, I haven’t managed to land myself in such spots..phew.