The sometimes wacky, mostly wordy, frequently pictorial, blogdom of Mark Devereux

A Prickly Situation

Over the years I’ve learned (sometimes painfully!) that when certain hormones are coursing through a woman’s body, it’s best to strew around the eggshells (liberal helpings, I would suggest) and tiptoe across them with extreme delicacy. Given such experience, you can imagine my consternation when advised by the good Dr. Banerjee that my job over the forthcoming 12 days was to poke my wife in the backside with a hypodermic syringe full of just those hormones – ie. a vicious circle of increasing hormones – inflict painful needle – increasing hormones – inflict painful needle – etc, etc….egad!!!! I’m pleased to report, however, that we have now passed Day 7 of such insanity, and that, for the most part, I’ve escaped relatively unscathed and that not too many eggs have been broken in the process. The particular hormone in question is FSH…which, ironically enough, is the thing that results in multiple eggs being produced. Hence the universal law of eggs neither being created nor destroyed (in the form of strewn eggshells) has been held sacrosanct…or does that universal law concern “matter”…whatever…eggs are matter too!

These afore-mentioned eggs are, apparently, the end-result of follicles being created in the ovaries. Not to get overly technical, but we’re waiting for the little fellas, the follicles that is, to reach approximately 14mm across (last Wednesday, they’d grown to 7mm), at which time, my tension level will rise once again. You may well wonder how, given the eggshell scenario set out above, this could be possible. Well, the simple answer is that I will then have to provide hypodermic pokes both in the morning and the evening, thus increasing the potential hostile risk by a factor of 2! I sympathize more and more with the South Koreans, notwithstanding Sarah Palin’s vacant ramblings on the issue…

We have another visit to the clinic tomorrow to see whether our follicular friends have grown to the hoped-for 14mm (I’m thinking of naming each of them) and to finalize the contract (which has been back and forth about 3 times and has confirmed my view that most Indians are great and easy-going with the big picture but details are often the problem). I’m sure we’ll get it done tomorrow since the clinic’s lawyer will finally be present…and it would be far too embarrassing for him not to get it right!

The second theme of this post (vaguely continuing on the egg subject) is the awesome domestic staff that Percy has surrounded himself with. Starting off with the cook, Ahmed, who is an expert on breaking, if not strewing, eggs himself. Every morning, he prepares us a great breakfast (his “masala omelette” is fabulous) and, usually, lunch and dinner as well. In between, he delivers hot tea on demand and never fails to have a smile on his face…. Here he is, the master of his domain…

Ahmed in his domain

Next comes Rai, one of Percy’s drivers. Rai is a master of many skills (and you have to have untold numbers of those to manage any number of large vehicles through Delhi’s insane traffic). He has tracked us down outside numerous, confusing, airport terminals, ferried us to and from the clinic, put up with waiting countless hours for us to potter around various shopping areas across Delhi…all the while being completely unflappable and professional. I should point out that he’s picked us up at the airport well after midnight and taken us there at 4:15am (separate occasions) so is on call as and when necessary. Talk about stellar service! Here he is from earlier today at the Khan Market where Brita shopped and I sipped my first latte in over a week…

Rai at Khan Market

My final comment on the great domestic staff around here concerns something that, initially, left me completely confused. I have now discerned that there is a particularly rare variety of bird to be found in these parts (I’ve dubbed them the “Security Birds”) which only come out at night. They insist on announcing their presence every hour, on the hour, starting at 11pm and continuing until about 5am. They tend to have a shrill call which is repeated in rapid succession over about 30 seconds, after which they go quiet for the balance of the hour. I was quite baffled by all this until I was advised that these are the birds in question:

Security Birds!

Apparently, there are three of them stationed around the property and are required to switch positions every hour, whistling as they move to their next station. This is so none of them fall asleep on the job and, I suspect, the first fellow’s whistling serves to wake up the second one while providing evidence to those inside that they’re actually working. Oddly enough, I now seem to sleep through all the whistles after midnight. That’s probably because I’m getting good at tuning out all the other noise as well (fireworks every night, marching bands playing up a storm….it’s wedding season and one of the big centres for this is the Tivoli Gardens next door).

I should point out that when I took this picture earlier this evening, given my abysmal Hindi, I think these poor fellows thought I was doing an inspection (Percy’s away in Bombay) so they insisted on blowing their whistles with great gusto (until I asked them to stop)!

The last, but certainly not least, subject on the agenda is another reunion with an elementary school (the afore-mentioned Higgins School in Calcutta) friend. In this case, not just any old friend…but my first crush! Yup…36 years later, I finally got to see Sanober Randeria (now Sanoo Katrak) again. I was just a tad nervous because when I tracked her down via Facebook a few months ago (she lives in Columbus, Ohio), she had no idea who I was. Hah! Oh, the ego slap! Even after telling her that I was sure our Grade/Class 5 romance was mutual, she still insisted that she wasn’t sure who I was. Oh dear! Subsequently, she claims to remember the kid with curly hair, so I’m slightly placated…I think… Anyway, it was great that she happened to come to Delhi for a friend’s son’s wedding so Brita and I met her at her hotel for dinner. It was really a lot of fun and it was so nice to catch up. See…we all got along fabulously!

Sanoo, Mark & Brita

In fact, we got along so well that we got together again a couple of days later. We ended up in Greater Kailash 2 (GK2 to its friends) and wound up having some masala chai at this place – which held itself out as a cafe but, it turns out, doubles as a nightclub in the evening! You know you’ve got pretty comfortable with each other when you can sip chai with pole dancers lurking in the background….welcome to the Mannekin Club! Made my day….

Sanoo and Brita hanging out with, ahem, mannekins...


7 responses

  1. Such a good read, Mark. Your journey in India has been so interesting to follow and I love how many old friends and old places you’ve been able to reconnect with. What a feast for the senses you’ve shared with us!

    November 26, 2010 at 11:03 am

    • Jennifer King-Jones

      Hi Mark,
      Sounds like you are testing all your limits in India and that this is truly “a life changing” experience. I am very happy for both you and Brita. You both look amazingly happy and from that will come a beautiful baby. One day, you will have a great story to tell to your child.

      Love Jen

      November 26, 2010 at 11:34 am

  2. Sonja Futehally

    Hahaha! Mark, I love this story! It sounds like you are being looked after well 🙂 Don’t poke Brita too hard. I will pray for egg growth from here!

    November 26, 2010 at 1:56 pm

  3. Lisa

    Oh my goodness I laughed out loud at this post! I wonder if we can get some whistle blowers on our “property” to keep the noisy binners out of the alley at night!

    p.s. Love the pole dancer!

    November 26, 2010 at 3:28 pm

  4. Mark, great post. I wish you much follicular speed. Within this egg-citing journey, I can see you are acquiring life skills that would be a matter of envy for many men. I am sure that is true for Brita too. Trust me this is “paperback- publication” material which you should consider seriously. Keep rockin’

    November 26, 2010 at 9:18 pm

  5. Sanoo Katrak

    Hilarious! Even if I didn’t do much for your ego.. you certainly have for mine! It was great to meet you both and do grin everytime I think of the ‘pole dancers’! What a fun time. Good luck with the rest of the stay and lets not take another 36 to meet again.

    November 27, 2010 at 6:30 am

  6. katherine

    here we are on the evening of December 1 wondering . . . what happens next?

    Travel well, you guys, and see you soon.

    December 1, 2010 at 10:59 pm

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