My sweetest little Paapu,
Amma’s VERY FIRST letter to you!
Have not been updating this space regularly due to various ‘being busy’ reasons. Thought of a number of posts – about the sunny summer, about some frustrating family drama, about our camping trips and many others. But, decided to chuck them all and write this instead. Because, this thing called time ..isn’t waiting. So I better jot it down before it flies away.
Your newborn days are long gone, and I already miss them. You have started rolling over and reaching out already! And, you don’t fit into those tiny little baby socks and newborn onesies anymore . For the first time in life, I find myself looking back at the past so very often that I fear the present is laughing at me!
Well, they all did warn me..but, who knew?
This letter is for you to see the role your Ajja-Ajji ( my mom and dad) played in the first few crucial months of your life. How they were your world and you were their..well, everything!
To begin, Ajja-Ajji wanted you so badly, they emotional-blackmailed me with “Make a baby, or else we will never visit you in your foreign land!” No amount of coaxing to ‘simply visit your daughter’ worked on them. But, the day I announced you were in my tummy, they packed their bags and put on their travel shoes! You won’t believe me if I say, they were dying to come to me when you were just 3 months old in my tummy…only to touch and feel you grow inside.
Ajji took the long flight first and landed here weeks before your expected arrival. Then, when you hastened and arrived 10 days before the due date, I panicked, but Ajji was SUPER DELIGHTED to have you earlier than expected. The way she held you and silently looked at you that day….cannot be described in a million words. I am her daughter, and supposed to be her favorite, right? Not really. From that moment on, YOU, my dear, were her world.
It was like the whole of universe was focused on one thing for her – taking care of you, showering you with love, making sure you were well fed and happy. And that included keeping your mother ( me, me!) happy and well fed too. Ajji stretched all her limits of hard work doing every little thing for both of us that she lost track of her own well being. She needed reminding to rest and eat! That freaky night when she collapsed in the bathroom into an unconscious state for a few minutes….I acted brave and held her. But, I was so fragile with fear…shivering and sobbing from inside. She realized that was a wake-up call and began to rest/eat properly since then. Phew! Such is Love
While she cooked really yummilicious gourmet items to my liking, I must also make a mention about those awful tasting kashayams and special thingys she made me consume..all for your sake. The timely, sweet tasting milk from me that you so much enjoy is thanks to Ajji too!
Where was Ajja all this while? In India, repenting his decision to come later..and spending most of his waking hours watching few of those pictures and videos of yours, on loop ..non stop!
Ajja flew in when you were three months old. We were all very eagerly waiting on the tip of our toes to greet him at the airport. I was holding a welcome board (hehe) on one hand and you on the other. Overwhelmed to see him arrive, as I rushed to hug him..guess whom he wanted to hug/hold first? You, of course
You had just started to smile and flashed one very expensive one only few times a day . Ajja-Ajji greedily waited to catch them all and made such a big deal whenever they got to see one. Initially, I got a little jealous when your precious bright smiles were not coming for me, but only for them.
Oh, It was only a matter of time that your sunny toothless grins came in abundance for everyone….filling the house with such cheer and radiance!
One of the things I enjoyed the most was your bathing sessions with Ajja-Ajji. While Ajji sat down, laid you on her legs and oil massaged you, Ajja sat beside her holding a musical toy and entertaining you. Then, when Ajji soaped you and carefully poured warm water, Ajja sang beautiful songs as you lay there wide eyed, shaking your little arms and legs in glee, enjoying every bit and still wondering what’s happening?? LOL!
We all made a few long trips together. It is Ajja-Ajji’s first visit to this country and they had a good time being amazed at all things America! But, I still remember that day when we were on road and had to pull over urgently because you were crying hoarse continuously.It seemed like you were tired of sitting or simply unhappy about something. Ajja and Ajji both immediately declared their protest against any long trips then onwards. “Paapu comes first, no matter what! We don’t want to travel or see anything anymore, but her happy face.”
Now, when I have started to go to work, leaving you behind, I am least worried about your well being, because they are home with you. I see you cooing and gurgling in great joy when I return back from office and I thank my lucky stars for giving you such wonderful Ajja-Ajji to take care. For the first 15 minutes, when I hold you close to my chest, take in your sweet smell, feel those chubby little arms grabbing my hair…Ajja-Ajji narrate to me all your ‘adventures’ for the day. They are so excited about every little thing you do..it’s contagious!
There are only few more weeks for them to pack and depart…go back to their home. I know, it is inevitable, but I am sad already. Sad for you and me, who will miss them so dearly…
They have both started mentioning their return trip and how much they are dreading that day…that moment when they’ll have to pull away from the tight hold of your tiny fingers and go home far far away. “Cannot imagine what we’ll do without Paapu. Will she miss us ?” they ask.
Will you miss Ajji’s animated talk to make you smile?
Will you miss long hours in the garden with Ajja showing you colors and butterflies?
Will you miss their daily stroller walk in the park?
Will you miss their sounds, their warmth, their feel?
I know, I sure will.