Readers Write In #113: Why Babies Cry?

Posted on November 13, 2019


(by Amit Joki)

When I saw the first light of my life, I was bewildered. There were so many unknown people who were poking me, disturbing my cheeks, pulling my fingers and toes. It seemed to me these people had no jobs but to have a go at me.

I was powerless. My tiny little arms and legs could do no harm. Whenever I tried to give them back, it probably looked awkward because they all would go, “Aww!” It took me some time to realize that they were fond of me and pinching my cheeks was not a physical assault as I had come to believe.

Two people, I saw the most were of different kinds. One had hair on his face while the other didn’t. I liked the other one more because she would feed me when I was hungry. I don’t know what animosity the one with hair on his face had towards me because not once did he let me suck from his chest. A pathetic fellow he must be!

It took me a little time and wisdom to know that the one with the hair on his face was my father and one who I fed off from was my mother. They were the most loving people I would ever have. I forgave my father as I noticed that he hadn’t the balls of milk that my mother seemed to have. No mistake of his. Must be biological!

I became more and more curious in the ways of these humans. I noticed from the windows by the side of my bed on which I managed to pee almost every day; those little adults wearing the same kind of clothes were going somewhere. I longed to be one among them. I was fed up with being clumsy, peeing when least expected, and don’t get me started on the nature calling me at weird times.

My father would go with some kind of bag every day and return only when The Sun had disappeared. My mother would feed me, clean me and make me sleep. I was beginning to worry if I was becoming a high-cost maintenance to them. But since they showed no hostility towards me, I threw that thought out of my mind.

I saw a strange device which had a movement within itself. I was quite intrigued. It seemed to be all-powerful because people often looked at it in equal measure when I was supposed to be the elephant in the room! It seemed like it controlled people’s life for they would go about their work after having a look at it. Was it giving them instructions? I’d never know.

Anyhow, I didn’t like this contrivance. I toddled my way to the table on which it was perched upon. It was as if it was conveying metaphorically that even I, The Baby, was under its charm. No longer mister! I used my butt to its full effect to knock the table around. I bumped and bumped till that weird looking thing gave up in front of my majestic butt.

I just wanted it to show its rightful place but as soon as it fell (and I couldn’t catch it, because face it, I am a baby!), the figures which were being pointed by the arms of the thing (which annoyingly ticked away), had an extra “0” added in front of them. It suddenly stopped and I panicked. I didn’t know what would befall me when my parents would come to know of this.

In the midst of pangs of panic, I fidgeted around the thing and saw that there was something on the back of it which I could move in a round manner. I turned it a little and lo! All the three arms, the younger one, which was incessantly roaming around all day, the middle one who was lazier than I was and the elder one, who’d move quite frequently, coalesced into one single arm and rested atop the figure which looked like “10”.

Suddenly, I was no longer a baby. I could see that I resembled those tiny adults with similar dresses who I had gazed at back when I was a baby. I didn’t know how, but I began making sense of the figures on the thing I held in my hand. It was the numbers 10, 20 all the way to 120. I could read the caption inside the thing. It was a Clock. I saw a card hanging down my neck with my face on it which said I was aged 10. It was my ID card.

Suddenly, I was no longer the apple of my parents’ eyes. When I did all those things which were once a glorious source of wonderment, I was looked down upon. Apparently, I had to act like a grown-up. I was sent to school from 9 AM to 4 PM and I made quite a lot of friends but things began to stagnate. “Pass your school with good marks and your life will be set”, I was told. And curiosity got better off me and I could no longer hold back from testing my future.

I turned the clock to 20 and there I was aged 20. I had grown and puberty had hit me hard. There were pimples which annoyed me. I was pursuing Engineering somehow, even though I knew I was very much into literature and writing; the arts to be succinct. “Pass your college with distinction and your life will be set”, I was told.

A girl flirted with me and man was she beautiful! Fate had bestowed me with a girlfriend. I didn’t know her but I tagged along. Guess jumping through the time made me oblivious to the times that transpired in between. My testosterone fueled curiosity wanted me to look at our babies. Had I got a job? Had I built myself a house? Where would I be when I will be 30? Such plethora of questions continued unabated in my mind.

I could no longer contain it and so I jumped to 30. I could have jumped to death and still be feeling less hurt than I did with this transition. I had grown fat over the years and the boyish charm had disappeared. My girlfriend was married off to someone from her caste. I hoped she would miss me. The country and especially my sector were reeling under recession. I was unemployed. Wretched be the people who gave me unsolicited advices. My life didn’t look set; worse, it never looked so precarious.

I was grappling with existentialism. I didn’t know where my life was going but I had the means. This time, I was just hoping against hope that at least by 40, I should be content. With a turn of the clock, I turned 40. I was now a salesperson for the lack of a proper job. I had a wife to whom I was not an iota attracted. It must have been arranged. My libido was dead, but I saw that I had a son and a daughter. Mechanical sex, I thought.

My wife haggled about needing money, money and even more money. I had to take care of the children now. Heck, I didn’t even know their names. But I knew I’d not spout that crap – “Do this well now and be happy forever”. Because I knew it made no sense, not for the sane. All this was getting on my nerve. All this mediocrity around, a sense of helplessness was making me sick. I couldn’t have had any more of it.

I looked forward to a happy 50 but that wasn’t to be. I had to work even harder for my daughter had come of age and had graduated. It was the time for her marriage. I can never understand why marriage has to be such an extravagancy. Nonetheless, I was happy that my daughter didn’t want to look after the household chores but to work in a position that she deserved to be in. To do the work she educated herself for. This was the ray of hope amidst the darkness of the abyss.

I was satisfied that my daughter grew up to be an independent woman. I wanted to see what would happen of my son. I turned 60 with a turn of the clock. I could see my son nowhere. My wife and I were alone in this new locality full of old people. Son, I know what you did there! But I found more peace here than in the past 60 years. I had started writing a story and for the first time felt that I was doing something productive. This was where my heart lay all the time.

The manuscript had been taking a long time to complete and I wanted to know if it will ever get published. So I went up a decade with a turn of the clock. I had one bestseller to my name titled, “How Not To Dream!” but with rising blood pressure and diabetes, I couldn’t continue to shell out a few more. My vision had begun to betray me; so did my hearing. I suddenly began developing hatred towards the clock. You know how old people can be!

I wanted all this to end. I anticipated that I’ll be dead by the next decade. Would I be in Heaven or Hell? It better be Heaven for it was quite a hellish time back at Earth. Would I attain the salvation? Is there after-life? Will my soul continue to roam about? Will I get to meet the Lord? The Almighty? Do I get to live there as I wish, with courtesans for my company? My head exploded with such questions and I dared to jump to 80. No one would be so enthusiastic to want to turn 80.

And suddenly, I found myself in an ICU. This was it! But I felt the need to live at this dire moment! I suddenly wanted not to die. I had jumped through time and never really experienced the life to its fullest. Why did the darned clock find me? I realized I hadn’t spent much time with my wife, my children, and my parents. I was just being selfish. All those little moments to savour went past unnoticed!

I wish I could turn back the clock and bring the wheels of time to a stop. I so badly wished that. In the train of life, stations aren’t as important as is the journey itself.

I suddenly had the most mind-numbing seizure and it was as if I was pulled to Hell! The excruciating pain spread all over my wizened body as I was breathing my last. My wife stood there, tears running down her cheeks. My son and daughter were there too, but I never felt being attached to them. I so rued the lack of emotions for they were just strangers to me. Why did it have to end like this?

And then there was the similar sensation. I had peed in my bed again. I woke up in the middle of the night and started crying like it was the end of the world. The clock stayed intact in its place as good as new. I knew that I was born to be a writer. I knew that I was born to tell stories.

You see, this is why babies cry a lot. We, the babies, have nothing to do, so we often procrastinate on how our life would end up like and we come up with these ridiculous dreams. As a baby, it is my duty to pick up the good things from the dreams or as other babies like to call it, “God’s Vision To Thyself”, and disregard the bad things and move on.


By the way, peeing is our defence mechanism, so that we don’t go through a lot because let’s face it, we are babies!