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May 31, 2011

Bouncing Babbles…


“I should have rather titled this letter ‘another Toy Story’ or something like that, but then it is not only the story about the doll I bought for my princess but the feelings which ran behind it too… ”

Dear Riddhie,

It’s been almost over a fortnight since I last saw you or held you close. I have been on a work trip and time zones away from you as I sit and write this letter to you. I had a word with your Mom minutes ago and apparently you have been giving her some sort of a hard time with your newly acquired skills of rolling over and wanting her attention 24X7. I guess, from my perspective she is lucky to be around you and getting to hear your MM..mmm..mmmmms and all those little sounds you have learnt to make. (Though pppp..ppppp…pppaaa still eludes you).

Anyway, this letter is not about me wanting you to call out for me but more like an outburst on how much I have been missing you lately. Let me tell you how…
Last evening I was walking through one of the malls, more so to kill all the extra time at hand than anything else when I decided to check out a “Toys ‘R us” outlet here. I was browsing through toys to buy for you and passed a shelf when suddenly it seemed like a little baby called. I turned around to find this baby doll standing in its cardboard crib and which probably was motion sensors activated so as to call out and seek attention of anyone who passed by. I came back to the shelf and this doll started bouncing on and made little baby sounds.

Can’t say if I was excited to see this little plastic wonder or saddened by the fact that it made sounds I had last heard you make. I guess my search for a toy ended there itself and I picked it up in a flash. This one is called “Bouncing Babbles” – an apt name for what it does actually and I hope you like it when I bring it across to you.

However, once back at my hotel, when I took it out of its packet and placed it on the table, I could not help pining for you even more, as every time I passed by this doll, she would bounce up and down and make baby sounds. In fact I had to switch it off and take out its batteries and pack it up within minutes to help my cause. Incidentally, you and your mom are still at your Nana’s place and your mom does not have access to either the Internet or a camera there to click your pictures and send them over to me and it looks like I shall have to continue the same way for another week or so before she gets back home and is able to get you in front of a webcam. 

Don’t know if you shall ever be able to decipher and reflect back all what we feel for you when you grow up, but even if you don’t I guess you shall always be my little princess as long as I live.

Missing you sweetheart.

Ah well, before your ‘Nimmo Aunty’ accuses me of making her cry at work again (You need to read her comments she left on a few previous posts to know what I am talking about), let me conclude by posting a little video I captured of your ‘Bouncing Babbles’. Well you may actually have broken it into a dozen pieces by the time you are ready to read this letter so, this little video brings across the “Bouncing Babbles” for you..



May 21, 2011

Getting Hands On…


“Give a man a fish and he eats for one day, teach him how to fish and he eats for the rest of his life”

Dear Riddhie,

I had read the above quote in a children's magazine years ago and you must note this as a very important lesson for your life. It not only emphasizes the need for being self reliant but also underlines the importance of gaining necessary skills in life. We, as your parents would always urge you to walk that extra mile and learn to work things on your own than to depend on someone else to do a job for you.

With this thought, let me narrate how you got your first lesson in self reliance. It was the afternoon of May 1, 2011 and we all were camped at Sonipat and were waiting for the lunch to be served. Your mom brought you your regular bottle of milk and handed it to me to feed you as she was busy with her cooking.

I got you in my lap and held the bottle for you. Few minutes later, someone in the room switched on the TV and my attention was diverted for a while. Perhaps the bottle had begun to slip a bit and since you were not done, you decided to correct its position and raised your hands and held the bottle yourself.

Just then, your mom walked into the room and pointed this out to me and I had this flash and took my hands off and allowed you to hold the bottle on your own. The next few moments saw you struggle with the feeder and then readjust yourself to hold it better. Soon, you were sitting and then wanted to hold the bottle yourself.

I clicked your first endeavors to do things on your own with my phone and the following pictures and the video are the ones that depict you doing just that.

 Riddhie Riddhie Riddhie
Getting Hands On

As I conclude this short letter of mine, you might be tempted to say that it was just a trivial thing and perhaps something that every child learns to do in due course of time. Well, let us put it this way that in life the process of achieving an end objective becomes more important than the final goal at times. There shall be days when you would feel as if you rule the world but the moment you let that go to your head and start bossing people around without actually knowing how the machinery under you works, chances are you shall lose your riches in no time.

The idea of putting this short incident in words was not to bask in the light of your new found art of holding the milk bottle but to tell you in as many words that no matter how trivial something appears to be, there is no end to learning and that even if we as your parents, could afford an army of servants for you, there can be no better worker than your own hands.

Hope you imbibe this. 


May 18, 2011

Table Licking - Good


“I am sure this is what all infants do but the joy of discovering the phenomenon with Riddhie has been simply delightful….”

Dear Riddhie,

Let me give you a brief account into your new found fascination of reaching for things around you and showing them the door of your little mouth. Toys, spoons, newspaper, hand-towels, mobile phones and almost anything that gets forgotten around you is now a candidate to get a lick from you. You have been taking immense delight in discovering the sense of taste but strangely enough this is not as easily extended to baby food or mashed fruits that your mom so meticulously prepares for you as it is to oddly placed inanimate objects within your reach.

At times, as parents we have wondered if it would be easier to feed you if we just left the saucer of your food on the bed or table for you to pick it up on your own than coax, sing and plead with you to have a spoon or two.

In my previous attempts of feeding you, I have often experienced the pleasure of being sprayed with a milk fountain emerging out of your lips and being your face towel. You love rolling your brown puppy eyes and sending out your mouthful of milk in a well bodied spray right on my face and take an uncanny delight in wiping your mouth on my shirt specially when you are driveling ‘Cerelac’ or the creamy semolina that your mom prepares for you. But then to be honest, I love the way you do it so I am not really complaining. However, I am sure your mom would not really agree with me here as much.

Anyway, coming back to what I started off with - your newly acquired habit of reaching out for things and shoving them in your mouth. I remember a night about a month ago when we had dared ventured to eat out and took you along. Your mom and I were sitting at one of the food courts in a Gurgaon mall.

You wanted a slice of the pizza your mom was having and then kept reaching out for the chicken wing in my plate. When we pushed these away, you wanted a taste of the paper napkins on the table. I had barely taken them away from your fingers and you reached out for the glasses of water and nearly knocked one over all the food that was there. In an exasperated move, your mom hurriedly removed everything possible from the table. She had barely heaved a sigh of relief when you again lurched ahead and started licking the table itself.

I am sure this reads funnier than we thought it was, at the moment when it happened. We then had contemplated finding a rope or something to tether you to a chair (OK I made this part up, but then it was amazing the way you wanted everything in those few minutes that we sat there). We eventually ended up packing up the remaining food and having it one after the other sitting in our car in the parking lot.

All said and done, these short, funny incidents and stories of your childhood and our parenthood are the ones that we love being a part of. Just hope that I can keep a track of all that you learn and do and give words to your actions for you to read through when you grow up.

For now, I shall just sit back and look at the following few pics I took few days ago...




May 17, 2011

Between Days…


“Just thought I would summarize the reason for some gap in my last letter to Riddhie and this one….”

Dear Riddhie,

The last few weeks have been pretty excruciating for us - mentally, physically and emotionally as well. We took a decision to move from Gurgaon to Sonipat for a while and the entire house had to be packed and parceled over and finally, a good bye was said to the flat and city where you were born and your mom came in after our wedding. Maybe we would go back to it some time later in life, but as of now this is how it stands.

Next, I was scheduled to travel to US on a 4 week work assignment in the same week when your uncle Vishal's marriage was scheduled which just meant that your mom and I had to stretch ourselves that extra bit to make ourselves available for a multitude of parallel tasks that came our way. Add to that the labor of relocating to a different city and the constant work pressure and it has been a pressure cooker situation for me recently.

However, all of it is in the past now. It is May 17th 2011 today and I am finally away and you and your mom are currently at your grandpa's place in Kaithal. It's almost four days now since I last held you in my arms and it feels terrible to be away already.

To tell you the truth, you haven't been very friendly to me these last few days, in fact to be honest every time that I have tried getting close to you or pick you up, you have been literally pushing me away with all the strength in your little arms. Every time I have tried cuddling you up, you have looked away and reached for your mother's lap. Perhaps it is the growing sense of recognition for your mom and your constant need for her attention that prompted you to act like that but I guess I am even missing you push me away just as much.

I believe I shall use this time and the weeks ahead that I am away from you to write about all little things that I have been piling on from the last few days when I was busy shifting, travelling and attending the marriage. I am counting on your mom to send me your pics and details of your fresh tricks and actions in days ahead to make up for this lost time. I just hope that I get to word in all the details the same way as I would have, had I been around.

So, I guess the next few letters or posts shall be about things that you have been doing in recent times and the account of your uncle's wedding for you.

But for now, really missing you sweetheart.


PS: Just for the records, this is the last picture that your mom clicked of you and me together before I set off for my trip.

Riddhie & Dad


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