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Feb 26, 2012

Two Sick Parents and a Hyper Baby…

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What happens when your child wants you to get up and play and you just want to hide under the bed and snore…”


Dear Riddhie,
 
common cold There isn’t much story in this letter except for what is revealed in the subject itself. The last two weeks your mom and I were under the weather struggling with bouts of cold, sore throat and fever one after the other. How cold drains one of a will to do anything physically taxing needs no explanation. However, at your age currently (about 16 months) it could not be explained to you.
 
With no one else to our aide here, it became imperative for at least one of us to be up and running at all times so as to give you, your needed time and attention. To make matters worse this was the time when you were beginning to get your canines and were irritable and restless as well.
 
It became kind of a tight rope walk with us balancing between work, life, sickness and your needs. There were evenings (thankfully only a few) when we were reeling under the heavy sedation of a cold and cough syrup and you would be sitting fresh demanding to be taken out or wanting us to play with you.
 
When I was younger, I had read something about the art of dealing with sickness. I am sure that the lesson learnt during that time was tested to the core. However, just as good days pass away, the bad ones fly off too. We overcame the flu and I resumed my office routine and life returned to normalcy soon.

The little lesson, however for you here is to know and understand that time eventually sets things right and impatience is never fruitful. Life would always spring up a cocktail of good and bad days and would test you for your capacity to handle your concoction. My little advise to you would be to never underestimate the value of a deep breath. When you feel bogged down and irritable, take a long deep breath and exhale a few times. Clear your head, seize control back and move along with renewed patience. Hopefully you should pass your stumbling block with just another go.

Love,
Dad.

Feb 18, 2012

Lakdi Ki Kathi…and the first dance moves…

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I always thought it was a great song, Riddhie proved that it was a masterpiece”


Dear Riddhie,
 
I shall keep this letter really short and would let the video speak for itself. This letter probably accounts for your very first dance moves and your first signs of affiliation to the sound of music. I don’t remember now how and when we introduced you to this song and perhaps you shall get over it soon, but this still needs a special mention as this song has by far become the most played and listened to song by us in last few weeks.
 
Every time that this song is played, we find you mesmerized to the tune. Be it day or night, you are drawn to it almost instantly. We did try playing other rhymes and songs for children to hold your attention but the way you react to this song in particular is difficult to describe in words. In fact, your fascination to this song has been so strong that we have been using it time and again as a tool to pacify you when ever you are a bit cranky.
 
Within a span of few days ‘Lakdi ki kathi…’ has become our anthem and has crept into all ipods, computers and phones and we have been playing it all possible times and places – mornings, evenings and night, washroom, kitchen or in the car. To be honest, we have been playing it so many times that I can repeat the lyrics even in my sleep now.
 
It feels amazing that the song which first came out when I was a kid still holds its sway and magic over children. It speaks volumes of the genius behind this creative marvel and I guess with this letter I would also like to congratulate and send in my word of thanks to the entire team of Masoom. Maybe I would even drop a note to Mr. Shekhar Kapur (the director of this film) whose blog I have been following in recent times.

For you, let me post in this little video we shot of you swaying and moving your legs to this magical chartbuster of its era.



Love,
Dad.

Feb 16, 2012

The Mystery of The Missing Shoe..

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The title may be reminiscent of some old Enid Blyton classic but honestly, I don’t really know how to tell you this story, the way you experienced it or the way we as your parents witnessed the entire episode. It would have been so much better if I had shot a video of your expressions the time when you found your lost treasure but I guess we were so lost at the look of sheer exuberance on your face that we just stood there reveling in your joy.


Dear Riddhie,

Of all habits that you have picked up over last few weeks perhaps the one that we as your parents have been particularly appreciative of, has been your NOT wanting to move around barefoot at all. You bring us your shoes to put them on your feet any time that you are let down from the bed and every time that we plan going out of the house, you are up and ready, dressed or not, with your shoes in your hands, wanting us to help you wear them.  

Though your mother ensured you had multiple pair of footwear to go along, at this moment you are particularly fond of one pair of white and pink sneakers that I had got for you. Maybe you like the shade or perhaps it is some comfort factor but the moment you are asked to go get your shoes, you always return with the same pair.

But as it happened, on one of the weekends when we decided to go out for regular grocery shopping your mom could not locate one of the shoes from your favorite pair. She searched for it in all possible places but still could not trace it. After a long but wasteful hunt she came to the conclusion that it perhaps somehow got mixed with the trash and was thrown out accidently. It was quite a possibility since you loved to rummage through the waste bin and shelves and old newspapers and often mixed your stuff with random things. It was however, difficult explaining the situation to you. You kept bringing us the single shoe that was left and kept pestering us to help you wear it even if you had a different pair on.

We tried looking for a similar pair in the market but I guess as it had to be, an exact same pair could not be sought. And so, every time that we decided to go out some place you would come around carrying the single shoe and look at it with your brown puppy eyes and make whining sounds and your mom would turn the house upside down all over again in a vain attempt to look for the missing shoe.

It seemed that no other pair was good enough for you. We kept taking that single shoe away from your hand and you kept bringing it back to us, putting it over the tables and in your toys and everywhere that you thought was special. Finally, your mom and I decided to take it and throw it away as well and just as we were about to do it, your mom suggested that she would just put it in your clothes cabinet and we could throw it with other things before we moved out of the house for good.

And I guess you should be thankful to her since as she went and opened your cabinet and there, to her surprise, she found the other missing shoe neatly tucked between layers of your clothes. We realized that you were so fond of your shoes that you actually had taken one and kept it safe and tucked it in with your clothes. Maybe you had done it knowingly or perhaps as part of your regular play routine, we couldn’t say. But the moment your mom brought the other shoe out, united the two and brought the pair to you, your eyes sparkled bright and you let out such a cry of delight and heart melting smile that we stood transfixed to our place.

RiddhieI am sure by the time you read this, most of such little things would have lost their meaning. A piece of candy might not bring you the same cheer as it brings you now but nonetheless I would want you to learn and understand how to segregate between pleasure and happiness. A smile often lasts longer than a laughter so let this little story be a reminder to you that while it is important to seek and pursue things that make you laugh, a lasting smile can only come from the contentment that you feel inside and at times while the former can be easily achieved by spending some money, the latter often requires pushing yourself to your limits and testing yourself time and again. I hope you would know what I intend here, for if you can understand this, I am sure I would see you smiling when you come around and see me now.
 
Love,
Dad.

PS: Just for the records, here is a picture of your first favorite pair of shoes…

shoes


Feb 6, 2012

Swap The Parents…

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Every generation comes with its own frame of reference that is often interpreted as radically improper to the one before it. Defiance is an old tool that changes hands every generation and I am sure the script would be no different when you grow up…


Dear Riddhie,

Looking back at the incident which I am going to narrate now, I would be surprised if you do not grow up to be as brash and rebellious as I had once been. But let me tell you something, swimming against the current slows you down, it also tires you and most often you find yourself being dragged against your will. However, what is important, is to know where you want to be when you get out of the water. Anyway I shall save the lecture for another time and begin narrating the first chapter of your new found free-will with this letter of mine.

It was the Sunday of January 22, 2012 when we stepped out of the house to do our weekly grocery shopping and run a few errands. Your mother dressed you up prim and proper and ensured you were warm enough and well fed. Our destination wasn't really far from the house and before you knew it we arrived at the mall. Like always, you were generally excited with all the lights and glitz and people around and kept throwing smiles at unsuspecting people and we kept hearing random 'awwwwwws' every now and then.

Your mom wanted to check out some clothes and accessories outlet and seeing you all at ease, we decided to take our chances and stepped inside that relatively crowded place. The first 20 minutes went by fantastic - you kept smiling and spent time looking at the display of colors and fabric around and kept to yourself. Your mom in the meantime found a few things she liked and kept trying stuff on as I sat with you outside the try rooms.

However, as time passed, you began running out of patience. You started with low whining and within minutes were crying at the top of your voice. First you wanted to be released from the stroller and just as I did that, you wanted to be out of the store at top speed. The next couple of minutes we spent playing the game of getting you back into the store. I kept running after you to pick you up just as you would step out of the store and carry you back inside and you kept slithering out of my arms to rush outside just as eagerly.

4-3 This would have worked fine for some more time if your mom hadn't decided to wrap up her shopping and call me in to check the final selection and of course to pay for the things, which meant that you had to be confined back to your stroller and this certainly did not go too well with you. I am sure everyone in the store had a story to tell when they got a dose of your full vigor, all volume, speaker blasting shrill screams for letting you out of the stroller straps. With no other option to save us further embarrassment, we conceded to your behavior and let you free again. It was a matter of seconds that you made it clear that you did not like it inside and were all ready to run outside again. I am sure by the time we paid up and picked up our bags and stepped out everyone else inside was already praying for us to leave.

The moment we were out, you wanted to take a walk on your own. You shrugged my hand away, pushed your mother's fingers aside and started walking ahead of us, half crying, half irritated, stomping your feet, throwing your arms around and showing us your anger in all possible ways you could express.

Not only this sudden swing in your mood took us by surprise, we were equally shocked to see you wanting to follow your own instinct. However, we were in for a bigger surprise a little later in the day. On our way back I had to make a quick stop at a store to check some travel luggage and having experienced your displeasure on being put in the stroller we decided to just carry you in our arms. As we entered the store and put you down, you decided to run away again.

Your mom asked me to go ahead while she kept an eye over you but you had other ideas. Across the aisle where we stood there stood another couple checking out wares in a show window. You left your mom's hand and walked up to this other couple and started tugging at the trousers of the guy there. Needless to mention that these people were startled as well, but one look at you and they decided to play along a bit. The guy held your hand and you possibly gave her the best of your smiles and then to our sheer shock turned around and waved at us and started saying 'Ta-Ta, Ta-Ta' (your synonym for a bye).

This entire scene perhaps lasted about two minutes. You were unwilling to come back to us and eagerly wanted to go away with your chosen set of new parents. As your mom stepped by to pick you up (Yeah, though tempted, we still did not let you go) you started crying at the top of your voice again. To a bystander, we would have appeared as two 'bachchaa chors' attempting to steal someone else's child.

We did not waste any more time after that and packed you up in the car and drove home immediately. That night as you fell asleep by my side, I kept playing the events of the day gone by in my head and wondered at what would have led you to behave the way you did. I guess more than the shock it was also heart breaking that one of these days you would actually walk ahead, do a 'Ta-Ta-Ta' and move out and then your mom or I won't be able to run after you to pick you up and bring you back.

Well, until that happens...(sigh)...I would savor all I can and enjoy every moment and every new trick that you pick up including all such days where you decide to test our parenting skills.

Love,
Dad.

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