Ya, well. I wouldn’t start by saying the obvious. The obvious…you ask, what’s that? Let me not spoil the fun by stating it. Let me instead tell you that the night you were born, there was someone who calmed you down, when you wailed like a new born baby. You were in fact newly born. Barely a day old. You were not yet tuned into this planet. To the world. To us. To me. And I had a hard time, quelling you down. And being operated on and reeling in pain, as the pain killers slowly wore off, didn’t make me fit enough to take care of you. You must forgive me, but that night I wasn’t up for motherhood.
So yes, as the night progressed, you brought the hospital down by shrieking your heart out. And for some time, the trained nurses working in the best hospital in Chennai, had no freaking clue how you — a one-day old infant would be silenced and put to sleep. It was then, like a knight in old pyjamas and cryptic tee, your dad took you in his arms and put you on his chest and lay on the thin bed, next to me, so you could hear his heart beat and understand: it’s okay to be born, it’s okay to close your eyes and lose yourself to sleep.
That night you learnt to sleep. To trust. And I didn’t teach you that.
As years passed, you grew, you flowered. You learnt to walk, talk, wear your socks and sign your name. Oh, my! Gives me jitters, really. And you know what, we learnt too. We learnt that it’s not okay to cry when you are being vaccinated. We learnt that not every stranger who talks to you is a pervert. We learnt to stay calm when you got into a fight and got hit. And we learnt that it’s okay to let you fall because you will eventually get up.
It’s been five years since then, and I’ve tried hard and I know so have you. To learn your letters and numbers. To learn the ways of this world….learn and learn. The learning never ends does it? While learning so much, let me proudly claim, you also learnt to love and trust. Isn’t that what good learning is supposed to do? Create intuitive individuals who take humanity forward through knowledge and compassion.
You see my dear, there’s no learning greater than love. There’s no darkness that cant be illuminated by it. No force as powerful. No feeling more sacred.
And that night it was your baba who lulled you to sleep and shared the most valuable lesson.