Oneman in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages. At first the infant, Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms... This is how Shakespeare described a baby’s act — but what we don’t like is a howling baby.
No, it’s not a baby’s fault. If it is anything, it is these “new mothers” whose level of intelligence is to be blamed. Think of it, if you’ve ever been around a tiny tot, you must have spent half your time smacking knives out of their hands and teaching them not to lick the light socket.
And think of all that they are capable of doing — perhaps a lot — punching the puppy, banging their head on a dozen sharp corners, colouring their entire face blue and also drinking the leftover beer with cigarette butts in it, from the glass which you had left inadvertently on the coffee table.
As for the babies, I don’t hate them. I know it pretty well that it is quite a task to nurture these little beings, who don’t know what the hell is going around them and are busy, either eating and pooping or crying.
But this yelling and crying is pretty obnoxious, if not to parents, to others. You’re sitting in a restaurant trying to enjoy your meal and then out of nowhere comes a sound “AAAAHHHHHHH!” You may be sitting in a theatre, engrossed in the movie completely, and there comes the noise again.
Before you start wondering what’s wrong, you realise that it is a baby crying with his “parents” sitting calmly, waiting for the little soul to “cry its heart out.” They just sit there looking at you, waiting for you to say something and the moment you do so, they are well-prepared to attack you for being insensitive to their little one.
These new-age parents are so dependent on the nannies that the babies get emotionally attached to them, and the mommy dearest takes a back seat.
I experienced a mayhem while having lunch at Taipan recently. A toddler running around in his light-fitted shoes and chased by a maid with a handful of noodles, spilling from her hand. Baba kha lo, the nanny kept repeating and pleading and all this while the parents kept staring at each other and in between kept having their meal. It wasn’t just poor me who was disturbed by the sudden hullabaloo but other diners around me were equally perturbed.
Suddenly, the nanny swooped down the table, scooped out two dimsums and started chasing the toddler again. My appetite went for a toss and I just couldn’t enjoy anything, neither the meal nor the company. I had come over to have lunch with a friend, paying through my nose to enjoy the meal and the moment in solitude, but what welcomed me was the ruckus created by the toddler.
What is the way to beat the baby blues? Eateries and restaurants should have a separate room for babies, toddlers and their nannies while their parents and others enjoy their meals in peace. Well, that is the norm all over the world. Come to think of it, it would have been sensible for me to visit Haldiram where I would have spent one-tenth of the money and would have happily borne the babies’ antics with a smile because that is how it is.