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Jan 23, 2011

Daddy Time…

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“A tiny daughter gives parents a life in a climate of perpetual wonder”

- Pierre Doucet


Dear Riddhie,

I have mentioned before how I enjoy you to rest your head on my arm or shoulder and doze off. Well, we had some extra time at hand last Thursday for you to know me a little better. The Dad-Girl bonding time however, was set in the parking area of an office tower at DLF Cyber Greens in Gurgaon where your mom’s office was situated.

It was around noon when we drove in. The idea was to let your mom finish off some official routine after submitting her resignation and since we could not leave you with anyone else, it was decided that while your mom would go to the office and finish off her formalities to secure her letter of experience and all, You and I would spend the time sitting in the car waiting for her to get back.

So together we waited in the parking lot and you played along by my side, tucked in your little blanket on the car seat. I guess we did find a reasonable area to park with bright sunshine filling in making it all warm and pleasant on a ‘not so cold’ day in the winters.

We spent the first hour or so with you catching some short naps and then happily kicking air with your legs as I shuffled through some music on the FM. However, as your patience began to wear thin, I ran out of ideas to find some suitable entertainment or distraction to keep you busy. I tried various channels on the radio, tried holding you up on the driver’s seat pointing things out of the window, taking you out of the car and walking along the road, briefly crooning and talking to you but I guess you wanted a more familiar face (of your Mom) around. Your expressions kept shuffling from an air of content one moment to all irritated the next. 

Luckily for us, she came back just in the nick of time to hold you and comfort you and we drove back. Off late, I can’t help noticing a subtle change in your mannerism. You have started displaying some indignation and anger at things that don’t hold your interest by letting off a shrill cry.

I shall probably write about that separately and would sign off this letter of mine. Before I finish, I shall leave you with a small video I shot from my phone while sitting in the car. I can’t get enough of the array of emotions that you have displayed towards the end of the video.

Here it is…
 


Love,
Dad.

Jan 20, 2011

The Tremor Night

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“Any idiot can face a crisis. It is often day to day living that wears you out”.

- Anton Chekhov.


0153 hrs IST, January 19, 2011

earthquake1 We had barely slept when the bed started shaking. The curtain rings rattled about the drapery rod and the glass on the bed post vibrated like crazy. It was perhaps the third major earthquake I had experienced (awake and not slept through it) and though its impact was not as profound as the last one I had witnessed (April 6, 2006 Gujarat), it made me spring to my feet and look around for Riddhie before I even could reach my slippers.
 
Luckily, she was sound asleep and the shuddering Earth soon came to rest. There was some commotion outside and a few people in the society had moved out of their flats to reach the ground. I waited a little longer before waking up my wife. The quake had subsided and I quickly inspected the walls and the ceiling to look for any cracks and assess if it was still dangerous to be indoors.
 
The calm and silence of the night was soon restored and the people who had moved out of their houses too decided to come back and go back to sleep.
 
I switched on the TV for news and as I suspected, the earthquake was a significant 7.4 on the Richter scale. However, the epicenter was the desert region of south western Pakistan and there was no loss of life or property reported. (Another of Pakistan’s unwanted imports I chuckled to myself).
 
I held Riddhie close and readjusted her quilt. The first earthquake of her life passed by without bothering her any bit. I went back to bed and tried to catch some sleep myself. A strange array of thoughts crossed my mind. We all know that Delhi sits at the helm of a tectonic belt prone to Earthquakes and tremors and is marked as seismic zone IV and it is perhaps just a matter of time when one such quake shall find its epicenter around Delhi and would engulf many a lives in its fold.

It was at this juncture of my thoughts that I decided to write the following letter.


Dear Riddhie,

No matter how you plan out things and lay designs for your self, life shall always take its natural course. There would be things that you would want to be a certain way and chances are that all such planning shall fail more often than you would imagine.

Well, that doesn’t mean that you should refrain from wanting what is best for you and planning things for yourself. Dream, as you must and work towards them. Just remember that you can not vouch for all dreams to be realized as and when you want.

I shall leave you to interpret this letter in more ways than one and the way you like. In fact I shall not even try and explain what I mean by it all.

I guess, with time I shall know which way your abilities and sensibilities are aligned and how you tend to approach each new day. I hope to hold your hand and lend you my shoulder as long as I can, but then a day would come when you shall have to wade through waters on your own. Life shall come with its own unpredictable moments and you must learn to deal with it with a balanced head and strong arms.

You and I survived the quake last night and we, as your parents could render you the necessary cushion so that you did not feel any tremor. I am sure there would be many more to come. I wish you all the best to fight through and stand tall for all coming ones as well.

Love,
Dad.

Jan 19, 2011

The Simple Joys…

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“When I bring you colored toys, my child, I understand why there is such a play of colors on clouds, on water and why flowers are painted in tints”.

- Rabindranath Tagore.


Dear Riddhie,

By the time you would be ready to read this, the sole thing of your joy right now, would be long gone. I would have already heard “Dad, I must, must, must have this” a gazillion times and you would have already made me spend some sort of a fortune on your gadgets and gizmos and things that all young girls can not do without.  

However, as I key this in, the only thing that gets your attention and helps you calm down (these days) rests on my desk. It is something which is simple, bright and vibrant and makes some noise – a rattle to be precise and apparently your very first toy.

This simple piece of plastic gives you endless joy right now and I can’t get enough of your sunshine smile when I shake this in front of your eyes. It amazes me no end to see that you already have started displaying a sense of likes and dislikes and making sounds of pleasure when you are being entertained.

Probably a simple play of colors is all it needs to get you excited and make you happy at the moment. I know that the coming years shall see this being changed to more complex needs and a more elaborate wish list, but for now this rattle is all you care for.

Well, I shall try and get you all the stuff that you would need in years to come (do note that I said ‘need’ and not ‘want’). But, at the same time, I want you to know and remember that happiness is NOT a function of the price tag on an article of interest. The things that can bring you real joy often can not be bought in stores. Always value and remember a present not for its price but for the feelings with which someone got it for you.

As you grow older, you shall come across people who would want to impress you with their money, would offer you expensive gifts to influence your judgment of them. Sadly, the world and society that we live in is full of people who tend to respect your clothes more than your virtues.

At all such times, when you feel the need to realign your reference frame, I would advise you to hold your ground and look at the picture of your first toy here and remember that you need only a few things in life to be and stay happy.

Be satisfied with what you have, strive for what makes you smile and gives you real happiness without making you compromise on your integrity and values.
rattle 
Love,
Dad

Jan 8, 2011

The Past Few Days

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“Time goes you say? Ah, No! Time stays, we go”.

- Henry Dobson.


Dear Riddhie,

Let me begin by wishing you a very Happy New Year 2011. I know it’s a little late in doing so but the last few days have just whizzed us by. The quote above by one Mr. Henry Dobson also probably highlights the fact that life probably passes you by, when you are busy doing other things.  

Couple of things happened over the course of last few days and I would rather put them in words in order of their happening.

1.1.11 was a special date for those who care and well, you spent most of it, snug and sleeping in your bed. The Gurgaon weather has been particularly severe this winter and the temperatures are floating around 2 –3 degrees Celsius which is around 4 degrees lower than what is seen in these parts of the country normally. We spent this new year’s eve at Gurgaon most uneventfully at home with some good food and lousy TV programs. Maybe the coming years shall see us do a bit more than this but I guess it was important to keep you warm and easy than party outside and invite some discomfort for you.

Then there were your vaccinations and doctor’s schedule which happened. Things are good on this front and I wish and pray that the days ahead see you in best of health and spirit. You also completed your first three months and well though we did not have a party or something, I want you to know that every day and every moment is just as celebrated and joyous to us as it ever was.

Off late, you have been up to new tricks. It’s amazing to see you make loud noises of laughter and approval and equally funny to see you try and make an effort to rise from your bed when your back and neck still doesn’t hold as well.

I have a feeling that you have begun recognizing the sight of me holding a camera and you tend to hold your gaze and have actually started posing for the camera. I did click a couple of special pictures yesterday and I guess you enjoyed every bit of it as much as I did.

Riddhie Riddhie

I don’t know what the days ahead shall bring us. Just hope that you keep healthy and we get to cherish each and every moment of yours – your angelic touch making every bit of it just a little more special.

Love,
Dad
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