We have done quite some travelling this year. In May, we went to Pune twice to attend my cousins weddings. In July, we went to Bangalore. In December, we went to Sankeshwar (near Ahmedabad) and Surat (where your SaifaliMasi lives with her husband and Niyati-didi). We also went to Bangalore and Chennai. Most visits have been short ones about three days or so.
I like taking trips with you because it gives us more time together. You also get to see different places and people. I dont know how much you will remember but that is not the point. All of these become experiences for you. Travelling in trains and planes, seeing the world outside, sleeping not on beds but perhaps on a dinner table or a shoulder these travels help make you more adaptable.
There is this one evening I remember. We had gone to the National Handloom Exhibition in Bandra in Mumbai. Your mom was window-shopping at the various stalls. That left the two of us to walk around. You saw another, slightly older kid playing with a ball. And you instinctively went to him and started playing together. Suddenly, without saying a word, you both were happily kicking the ball around. Two complete strangers, laughing together, oblivious of the world around. Why cant we grown-ups learn from you?
There were a couple of scares we had with your health. This was when you had bronchiolitis in August. Your mother called me in he afternoon saying you are going to have to be admitted to the hospital. I was a little shocked you seemed quite okay in the morning. In the hospital, they had to clear your chest congestion by nebulisation and put you on the drip. Seeing you there with all those medical things around scared me. But you were brave. You didnt cry. You just patiently waited till you got better. And in two days we were home.
This February, we had to get an operation done for hernia. It was hard making you go through it, but we had no choice. We were in the hospital for a day. You dont remember much about it, but it was a tense period as you were getting operated. We knew nothing untoward would happen, but still
Another evening I remember is New Years Eve. We went to Granth bookshop in Juhu. And then, we (just you and me) went to Little Italy for a little meal. Can you imagine that just the two of us together in a restaurant on New Years Eve! We ordered some bread and nachos, ate the stuff, and came back home. You played around the restaurant as if it belonged to you! (We were early so there werent others in the restaurant.)
You first identified yourself as Aapap. Its a word which means many things, but it mostly means you will do things yourself! Its a signal of your growing independence. Its a sign you are growing up. Its a reminder of your increasing confidence. It feels nice to hear that. Now, you call yourself Abhi.
Of course, there are times, when I wish I could freeze time. And then, I look at you. You are so happily living through each moment. And thats when I let that thought pass you are growing up, minute by minute, day by day. I have to be more like you enjoy the present and not worry about the future. Well live it as it comes, right?!
Tomorrow: Memories (continued)