Look, in a matter of two-three years, it will all be good. May your cooker always whistle, may there be echoes of sweet laughter in your sunny courtyard always, your grandmother put her hand on your head and said.
Are you up to breastfeeding again, your husband said.
You will become like any other woman, your mother said.
You do what you think is right, everyone is going to back off later and leave you alone, the college friend said.
It’s a woman’s good fortune, your grandmother kissed your head and said.
Think hard, this may be your last chance, the doctor said.
Twice as much work but ten times more fun, a blog said.
“My mother was my first country, the first place I ever lived,” a poet said.
This may be our last chance, you said.
You can forget about your writing, your life, your plans, your mother said.
We’re good, we’re fine, everything has its other side, your husband’s friend said.
Don’t be crazy, it will be back to normal in a few years, and then you will regret, the mirror said.
Don’t rush into a decision, the housing society friend said.
A woman will go to any length to protect her family, an advertisement said.
Now you’re done for, your mother laughed and said.
It’s just a different kind of difficult, I guess, a celebrity mom said.
All the shitty mess, all the chaos, and my god, are you really up to breastfeeding? your husband said.
Four thousand rupees, shouldn’t be more than an hour, the receptionist said.
You’re not doing a disservice to anyone, the college friend said.
There are women who would die to be in your position, the housing society friend said.
We’ll go to a good place, your husband said.
Reason? the nurse filling the form said.
We are not ready, you said.
Are you comfortable? Is the air-conditioning fine? housekeeping said.
The cucumber sandwiches were really good, your husband said.
Your mother said nothing.
Anju Sharma grew up in Uttar Pradesh, India, majored in history from Delhi University, worked as a copywriter, taught copywriting, and then went back to being a student – this time of literature – purely through the act of intense reading. She is currently editing her first novel with her agent and inching towards the fabled land. She is full of rage, so she laughs a lot.