Sunday, April 20, 2014

Radhika : Part I

When you read this years on, if at all you do inculcate a habit of reading, I am sure you will not fully understand what a father or parents go through once they become one. You will be far too young. Too juvenile (a phrase which used to irk me no end when my girl-friends used it on me!) and fairly lacking in understanding what this all means. Trust me, at your age, your father was no different. And for that matter anyone else's as well. 

This is not a post about how your father was. Or rather what he was. By now, you would have figured that out. And it would not be a surprise if the opinion is not one worthy of a mention. All children look upon their parents in their teens as been clueless about their dreams, desires, life in general. I will not put up a defense but merely let time work its way in letting you know how wrong you were.

This post is about you and how you changed us in your first year.

We were warned that our lives are going to change in ways in which we cannot imagine from the day you were to be born. So, your mother diligently went about preparing for it. Books were lent from friends, websites surfed to give her a false sense of being ready. Your precocious father refused to do both in his ever so familiar prudish outlook stating that 'learning on the job' was his tried and tested success recipe. Then you came in. 

Too much hair. A blunt nose. Beautiful eye-lashes. Lovely eyes. Hardly a perfect creation, totally expected from an imperfect set of people. We had heard people being delirious with joy, ecstatic and amazed at the arrival of prince or princesses and going berserk on espousing the 'unbridled joy' that is parenthood. We assure you Radhika, nothing of that sort happened to us ! We were happy but scared. We were not king and queen and hence did not expect you to be either a prince or princess. Furthermore, I already had one in my life before you came in and to this day that has not changed. And in the first 21 days, the most emphatic feeling we had was one of dire helplessness and sleeplessness. Superlative adjectives expressing joy were a far cry. 

Our lives had indeed changed. From being people with avid interests in multiple things, we got down to learning about our parents. We understood what is meant by a 'bond between a child and a mother', we appreciated the efforts our parents made for us, we realized that without being a parent, our lives would have been incomplete. We would not have known why we are the way we are. We would not have known ourselves completely. 

My initial doubt about your ability to cry loudly on the day of your birth was put to rest in the month to come. You would just refuse to stop crying. Your mother and I had no fucking clue (Yes, we did use such words and some more of the choicest ones when we were young !) And you would not negotiate. Either 'my way or the highway' was coined probably keeping you in mind. But you smiled. Only when you shat ! Then, it started getting better.