Summer of 99
Didi and I were spending summer break in Dubai along with Paapa who worked/lived there at the time. However,Mamma and your Umma couldnt join us because Umma was all set to pop you out.Now when i think of it,i have this gut feeling that we were sent to Dubai to stay out of Mamma’s hair while she prepared your Umma for mommyhood.
Fast forward to 3rd May,1999. I see Paapa pacing up and down the sitting room (yes he has been doing it ever since) ever since he received a call earlier that day informing him of Umma’s hospital admission.
And then another phone call!! Its a girl! Paapa finally sits down- expressions of exhilaration and concern playing on his face.Exhilaration on the arrival of his grandchild and concern on the well-being of his first child.i distinctly remember witnessing this and swallowing a sob that threatened to choke out of my throat.
Along the years
First child! FIRST GRANDCHILD!First niece! So many firsts! You had carved a place in our heart that no one else could or will ever fill.Every milestone was celebrated.. every smile was rejoiced. I remember wanting to hold you all the time and not put you down. All my friends knew you. You visited my school and my college,rode pillion on a scooty sandwiched between my friend and me( of which paapa has no clue to date!!)and was just basically a part of everything i did.I did not know it then but i know now. The mommy in me was born the day you were born.
Summer of 2017
What! 18 already! What rubbish! And what is this i hear- off to college????? Away from home!!! No freaking way! Someone hand me a bag.. i think i am going to be sick. I thought i was the only one who was not prepared but all my friends who knew you were in denial too. (Probably because it meant they were approaching old age. Not me though!18 till 1 die is the motto remember). But oh boy was i proud or what! Aced your boards,aced the entrance exam! I thought my chest would burst with all that pride i was feeling!!!
And so before you embark on this journey and at the risk of sounding paranoid, i have listed a few things that i want you to remember always
-Stay safe always! Always!always!
-Trust your instincts.The rare few times that it may be wrong is still ok. After all-rule number 1
-Morals/Ethics: do not give these up for anyone or anything. Stick to it like glue because this is what defines you
-Do not do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. If you find yourself in such a situation, quietly walk away. It is better to be alone than in the wrong company
-Do not let anyone make you feel inferior to them. Because you are not
-Do not make anyone feel inferior to you. Because they are not.
-Not everyone will do things the way you do it. But as long as the heart is in the right place and common sense too,that is what matters. Also rule number 1
– Get out of your comfort zone. Start that conversation. Make the first step. Break the ice.
-The first few weeks will be the most difficult. You may find it difficult to function at all because everything and everyone is so new. Gradually it will get easier and you will then reach a point where you start enjoying this new life. However you need to force yourself to take that first step towards feeling better even if you don’t feel like it
– You can tell us anything. Think of the worst possible thing that can happen and then multiply that with a 100. See that! Yea you can tell us that too. So pick up that phone any time of the day or night and make the call. At least one among the 6 of us will be available at any given time
-Be nice but only to people who deserve it. As for the others,you have all rights to take out that attitude umma keeps complaini about.😁. No Gandhiji policy for us pls! If you have to kick some ass then you have to kick some ass!!
All the very best kiddo!Super fun,super exciting and super happy days ahead. May life offer you the tastiest most juiciest mangoes. Yes there will be a few hiccups along the way but what is life without some drama right!