Recently, we went to Dubai for three days. It was your first international trip. Dubai is a short three-hour flight from Mumbai. It was a great experience with you in the aircraft and roaming the malls of Dubai. The first day you ran around excitedly shouting Dubai shopping, embarrassing your mother no end! Youd fall asleep in the afternoon, so I would put you on a sofa in the mall and sit next to you as your mom went around the malls. We bought lots of cars and trucks for you and some trains (though we havent given them all to you yet).
Ill remember the Dubai trip because it was the first time we got a lot of time together away from home. It was just us. Now that you are a little grown up, we can sit and talk. Just the other day, we sat at the window in our chairs and chatted about people and the world outside. It is an absolute delight being with youto the extent that I try and avoid overnight stays and dinner meetings. There is no greater joy than coming back home and being with you as you sleep.
You appeared in Newsweek a couple months ago. They were doing a story on me, and the photographer was shooting me near our home. I called your mom to send you down so you could see me. The photographer then asked me to hold you against a quintessential Mumbai backdrop of some neighbourhood stores. And lo and behold! A few days later, there I was with you in my arms on the Table of Contents page of Newsweek.
Your language comprises of a mix of English, Hindi and Marwari. Your mother and her parents speak to you in Marwari. My parents speak to you in Hindi. I talk to you in English and Hindi. Its fun watching you piece words together now to make meaningful sentences.
A few months ago, you started recognizing alphabets and numbers. It happened quite suddenly. We had bought one of these wooden toys, and you kept asking us what the various letters were and before we realised it, you were telling them back to us. Your memory astonishes us at timesor maybe we are still used to thinking of you as a little baby we just got back from the hospital.
One disappointment I have is your total lack of interest in reading books! I used to buy a lot of books for you, but we barely get past the first few pages. Maybe some day you will realise the joy of the world of books
The coming year is going to see you go to school probably in September. As you grow up, there are times I wonder if we should live somewhere else. I grew up in the same neighbourhood as you are growing up now. It all seems so stagnant. Perhaps, we need to reinvent the world around us in more ways than one.
Happy Birthday, Abhishek. Have a great third year!
TECH TALK Letter to a Two-Year-Old+T