My young neighbour Kumar whose wife was expecting a baby, rode in the lift with me to the car park below, “How’s the wife?” I asked pleasantly.
“Very excited!” said Kumar mournfully.
“But you don’t seem to be? Something worrying you?” I asked, “I know the name of a very good gynecologist!”
Have you heard of a Paternity Leave Bill?” asked Kumar.
“We don’t have one in India!” I said.
“But my wife passed the Bill at home yesterday!” said Kumar.
“You don’t say?” I asked happily, “You will have lots of time with your baby! Your family is very progressive I must say!” I said as the lift came to a halt but my neighbour seemed reluctant to get off, “Come,” I said, “Let’s go to our cars!”
“She’s watching from the window!” said Kumar, “Do you know how to change nappies?”
“Who’s watching from the window, and what’s this about changing nappies?”
“The wife is watching,” whispered Kumar, “She told me to get into the lift with you, and learn how to change babies diapers! I am a broken man! I am finished! I don’t know how to boil a cup of water, how will I change nappies?”
“But why would your wife want you to learn all this right now?” I asked, a little confused.
“So she can go shopping again, attend the gym, get back her figure! She has lots of post- delivery plans!”
“What about the baby?” I asked.
“She’s told her doctor to hand the baby to me as soon as it is born, and I will do the rest. I don’t even know how to hold a baby!” whispered my crestfallen neighbour and I held him gently as he wept on my shoulder.
As we walked slowly to the car park I heard a window opening above, I looked up and saw the smiling, happy face of his wife, flushed with the joys of pregnancy, “Have you taught him to change nappies?” she shouted in a happy tone as her husband wept even louder on my shoulder.
“This Paternity Leave Bill she has passed will be the death of me!” cried my neighbour as I took out my handkerchief and tried to show him how to tie a nappy.
“Just go to Google and search!” hissed his wife from the window, “It shows everything, nappy changing, baby holding, baby crying, everything. By feeding time I will return from shopping, don’t worry! If my country cannot pass such a bill, we women will pass it ourselves!”
I held on to my neighbour as with sobs racking his body he managed to tie a nappy on the bonnet of my car..!
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