Sunday, 18 June 2017

Happy Fathers' Day!

I haven't taken time out to blog in the recent past, and the one time I did, there was some technical glitch so there's some unfinished business, I need to get back to some day. But today, being Fathers' Day - I owe Prantik this one.

Ayaan, your Baba, was born before you were. The day I told him, there was a chance we were 'pregnant', he jumped in exhilaration and hugged us tight. The first time, we saw the littlest form of you on the Ultrasound screen, our joy knew no bounds. The day, we saw your heart racing on the Doppler scan, your father's heart skipped a beat, in sheer excitement. Eager though we were, we decided to keep your gender a surprise - so, when he used to talk to you, within my tummy, he referred to you as 'Lymu' instead - and mirroring Baba's excitement, you would, either 'high five' or kick, in response. When we were in Australia, for our baby moon, with the extended family, we held a Koala bear, close to us; our minds were abuzz with the thought that soon, it would be you, in our arms.

As the time for your birth was drawing close, and your heartbeat fluttered; your father, paced up and down the hospital corridor. While in the Delivery Suite, he played upbeat songs like "Sultan" etc, to keep my pushing tempo up! And when the glorious moment came, and you finally, entered our lives, your dad's eyes were completely fixed on you. For the first time, I felt forgotten (haha) and for obvious reasons, you became the centre of our attention, in a jiffy.

When your Baba held you for the first time, a rush of emotions ran through his head. But most of all, it was overwhelming love, while you continued to sleep in sweet oblivion, in his arms. For most of the initial weeks, at home, days went by while attending to your feed-diaper change-sleep needs. And in between all of those, Baba held you close. Babies don't develop neck control until they are about 3 months old, so initially, you were literally this flimsy little thing - but Baba, impressively turned out to be a natural when it came to handling you, changing diapers etc.

Soon enough, the sleepless nights commenced. So did trying out all sorts of things to get you to sleep. Right from bathing, again in the evening; to loads of play time, shadow games etc. Baba finally discovered that Lata Mangeshkar's "Ruk Ja Raat"/"Aapki Nazron Ne Samjha" did the trick. One can always find Lataji's playlist, in the recently played list on his phone. And when all failed, he would hum the impromptu Konkani jingles that I would usually sing, to send you to dreamland - he would adorably mispronounce some of the words, but brownie points for the earnest attempts.

A couple of weeks later, you greeted us with smiles and pouts and what not. With time, we learnt, you were quite the happy, smiley baby. Baba even named you "Pokhlya Pintya" referring to your heart-melting toothless grin. You would reciprocate Baba's expressions and smile back, stick your tongue out etc. Baba was also the first to teach you to mouth-ride your motorbike, by spluttering all around! Soon, it was a drool fest for all of us.

Weeks changed to months, and as you grew up, discovering new things around you every day - Baba facilitated the learning process by surprising you with new toys/books etc. He would carry you around on our strolls to the park or visit to the aquarium. He would keep you afloat as you splashed about in the jacuzzi, in your jolly mood. And when, on one of our many flights, you threw a tantrum 30, 000 ft above sea level, and I was at my wits end, your Baba, very calmly, clasped you warmly in his arms and stood up, rocking you steadily, in the aisle (the seat belt sign was on! but we were desperate) and soon, you flashed a bright smile at the fellow passengers, while your mum i.e. me, sighed in relief.

Our mornings begin with you going "Aye" in full-tapori style, and you kicking your Baba up ;) Later in the evenings, when Baba gets home, your eyes twinkle up, and you slide across the living room to be raised up in the air by him. Your face lights up with the widest smile and happiest giggles when your Baba throws you up in the air.

Your play times with him sometimes even make me envious. I think I bore you with all the book reading, while the two of you connect so well, playing with balls and drums. When I'm running late from work, and you are in the proximity of 'cranky zone', Baba knows very well, to take you to the study room with the bouncing monkey toy, to instantly distract you, from the thought of missing your mom. Days that I work late evening shifts, Baba takes charge of bed-time, so often, upon entering the bedroom, I see you asleep, on Baba's lap, intermittently dream-sucking the "I <3 Papa" pacifier, so blissful.

As the months turn into years, I think, Baba might just be the cooler parent. He'll be the one to play catch with you and teach you cricket; he'll be the one to let you go on that overseas school trip; he'll get you the latest gadget in town and what not. But more importantly, he'll be your rock. Trust him to be able to patiently listen and extract your deepest fears from within, have faith in him to always support you and give you wings to fly. For that is what our fathers did with us, and expect no less from him.

When I see him with you, my heart swells up with pride and happiness, like I've never felt before. You cry "Amma" when in distress, but "Ab-bbaa" seems to be rolling out at all times - a perfect Fathers' Day gift, I'd say. From Chotu, to Baba, from AyuBabu to PranBabu.