Happy Birthday! This is my third letter to you (2005 2006). As you turn two on April 19, it is once again time to reflect on the year that was and whats to come. [Here are some recent photos of Abhishek.]
This has been a year when you have created some wonderful memories. There are times when I am away from you when I just think about those delightful moments that you created for me (and your mom) to savour. Of course, you didnt know that you were just being what you always are a sweet, little baby!
I remember the first time I took you out for an extended period of time without your mother. It was October 2, Gandhi Jayanti. Your mother had caught chikungunya, one of those rare tropical diseases transmitted by a mosquito bite. When I look back at it, perhaps, that was one of the better things to have happened for our relationship. Since Bhavana could not carry you (her joints ached and she had very little strength in her arms and legs), the responsibility of taking you out fell on me. Bhavana needed rest, so I decided to take you out. And from that day onwards, we have never really looked back.
That day, we went on a bus ride. Youve always liked buses. Sitting at the window of our house every morning, you want to see one more bus. So, I decided that sitting inside one of them will be a good experience for you. We took the first bus which came and went for a long ride. Of course, you fell asleep rather quickly sitting on my lap with the warm October wind blowing in your face. When we reached Churchgate, I woke you up and we went for a little walk around ending up at Oxford Bookstore. And then, after some time walking around the store, we took a cab and came back home. You had been away from your mom for four hours and didnt worry about it. We had something going!
After that day, I started taking you out a lot more. Most Sunday mornings, we would go out somewhere or the other just the two of us. At times, it was random bus rides to nowhere in particular. At other times, it was to the nearby bookstore (Crossword at Kemps Corner) or the grocery store (Akbarallys). All you wanted was to go out (or bar, as you called it in Hindi.) There was the time we went to Infiniti Mall in the suburbs that day you were without your mom for a half-day.
It all culminated with you coming with me for the office picnic. That was in the last week of December. You stayed happily without your mother for an entire day. You didnt eat much I just dont have the perseverance and patience that your mom has! But you managed quite well with the junk food I gave you. It was a great experience. You grow up a little that day. And perhaps, so did I as a father.
Tomorrow: A Day in Your Life