There you go off jumping again, ever the bubbly kid with a mind of your own. No amount of pleading or scolding is going to stop you from doing what you exactly want to do. A rebel already. Shades of despair fill my mind at times, but inside, I am happy that you choose to follow your own mind. The world can do without another conformist.
Sitting in the silent confines of our flat, waiting for you to come back from your sojourn to our hometown (“Kolkata” , you know it already), I am thinking about the hurricane that will descend the very next week. Without a nanny this time, it will be both of us who will manage you (or will it be the other way around?). It’s an exhilarating and perturbing thought at the same time. You will be running about, opening cupboards, lifting utensils, tearing up your books and in general have the gala time that you always seem to enjoy!
What a change in one and a half years.! It was a cold, foggy Delhi morning, one of those days when one simply feels like curling up in one corner of the room with the heater and just letting the world be, when you came into our lives- crying and smiling at the same time. If people said a newborn baby could smile, I would never have believed it. But smile you did. Your ability to charm was always there. When the doctor said it was a baby girl, a huge relief swept through my mind and I thanked him profusely. Both of us had wanted a daughter, and there you were! I would have given up anything in this world to enjoy this father-daughter bonding. All you have asked for is my love and affection, tons of it- something I gladly give everyday.
I know that the road ahead may not be easy. You are going to grow up, become a prancing kid, then an impulsive teenager and subsequently a college- going young lass who will in all probability go through that same period of rebellion and subsequent realization that we all have gone through. You might face more than your fair share of trouble from those around you. You will learn the ways of the world, probably in heart- breaking ways. And if you decide to go back to Delhi, the city of your birth, I guess we will always be worried about your safety. Parents, you know! But then I am confident that we shall all make it together.
We have always made it together. Like that instance, one month before your birth, when you stopped kicking suddenly inside your Mom’s tummy and gave us the scare of our lives. We rushed to the hospital, draped in heavy woollens in the bitter December cold, got the emergency cardiotocography done, and were relieved to see that all was well. But it was a frightening scare. I guess it happens in all pregnancies, and that’s what makes it, well, special.
And special kid you are. Is it the effect of those omega fatty acid capsules that the gynaecologist had prescribed in the antenatal period, when she predicted that “baccha bada brainy hoga “( the child would be quite brainy)? It must be the effect of those capsules that makes you tirelessly run like a hurricane, a clock which does not require any unwinding, throughout the day!
On our first night with you, you spent the entire night howling. We were terrified and simply could not fathom why. Apparently, we had kept you warm within blankets, and the heater was working fine. But then we did not know how to adjust a baby’s blanket, something that Mom-in –law pointed out the next morning!
We remember those months of struggle in the bitter winter cold and fog, at our flat in Faridabad. Two heaters throughout the day, endless rounds of hot water, constant change of diapers and sleepless nights. But through it all, we were ecstastic, because our lives had changed. We would gladly endure it once again.
The first time we took you out, we kept you tightly shielded, protected . You were quite sporting about it, only bawling one when you felt hungry. And then I remember the subsequent trips to the malls, pushing you on the parambulator. Every parent is proud of his or her kid, but it was amazing to see you turn heads even back then, make even sour people smile, and generally get attention from all over. That continues, and I know you have just had a photoshoot and exhibition in Kolkata where I have no doubt, you were the star. Most of all, it’s amazing when I look at you and realize that I am looking at the images of my childhood. That’s when my heart warms with a satisfying glow that extends down deep inside.
Do I worry about how your life will turn out to be? Not really; I am confident you will be a happy, contented and fulfilled person. Whatever you do in life, you will not be a race-horse, you will study exactly what you want to study, do exactly the work that you want to do, grow exactly the way you want to grow, fulfilling your own likes and desires. I promise that I shall never impose my wishes and prejudices upon you. All that I ask is – do what you love and love what you do. Live with passion, happiness, contentedness.
As I sign off, I have a vision of a day, many many years later, when you will introduce me to the man that you love and probably want to build a life with. And despite my knowing that this is a ritual of passing that has been enacted since times immemorial, my heart would still ache somewhere, because I would know that I would have to finally let you go. Then, on a balmy day in spring, when a cool breeze would be blowing and our well-wishers would be gathered around, you will finally settle into a life of your own, tying the knot with the person that you choose to spend your life with. You would be a striking, tall, beautiful lady then, but as I would look at you, would I see you that way or would I see a bawling newborn who has just entered this world on a foggy, cold Delhi morning? I think you know the answer; no matter how older you get and wherever you go, for me you will always remain that tiny bundle of joy who came into our lives and transformed us on a magical January morning of 2010.With lots of love