Saturday, September 22, 2007

To My Daughter

My daughter was born on the fourteenth of December 1999. We were hoping for a millenium baby but she was in a hurry to see the world. I saw her first after two days because I was in the ICU after my BP shot up. She was fast asleep and did not show the slightest interest in mommy when the nurse brought her to me for the first time. But on her second visit her eyes were wide open (as wide open as a three day old child's came be), she sized me up with her piercing gaze, took a look around the small hospital room and then proceeded to get on with the task of feeding. Well it has been a rollercoaster ride, raising her since then and I have somehow got by with the trial and error method. Motherhood cannot be taught because each child is different and no amount of advice can help you deal with the case in point. My baby is exeptionally intelligent therefore she makes her own rules and can't think why she needs to follow the dictats of this disgruntled adult. From an early age her sleeping hours were very less compared to other new borns who slept for 18 -20 hours. She took very small naps of 20mins and woke up fresh and raring to go while I was raring to go to the nearest water body and drown myself unable to deal with the exhaution. I had become mom for the first and my mother in her wisdom had taught me to slip in the nipple as soon as the baby opened her mouth so it seemed as if she were joind to me at the breast! I have corrected that mistake when my little one was born. My daughter is a very friendly baby and she loves the out doors. She learnt to talk at one and communicated with us in Bengali and the maidservant in Hindi quite effortlessly. But it was a struggle to make her do the regular things that one is supposed to do in daily life (and it still is difficult) like brushing teeth, doing su su and potty, taking a bath, wearing proper clothes, combing her hair, eating food, wearing slippers at home and now studying. She is still under the impression that all these tasks are optional the main thing in life is playing and having fun.
From the age of two and a half my baby could draw a full human figure and she had a unique way of colouring too.She draws exeptionally well even now and she makes beautiful craftwork and cards. Whenever I tried to complain to her play school teacher nor art teacher about her tantrums they said "oh artists are like that"! So I have somehow made up my mind that she will study art if she sustains the interest she has in it. Meanwhile I am struggling hard to reach out to her and help her deal with life. I would not mind if I did not have a son but if I did not have a daughter I would have that niggling regret in my mind. Mother daughter relationships are much closer in our society than mother son. I have seen my father share a very close relation with his mother but what my aunt shared with my grandmom was deeper even if they stayed far away. My aunt sent innumerable post cards to my grandmom and she signed off with the two words 'Tomar Kum' ( Your Daughter Kum) those two words still move me it reflects how deeply she belonged to her mother and was connected with her in spite of the distance between them.
My baby also is stuck on me, in spite of scoldings, beatings, emotional blackmailings and all sorts of torture that I employ to make her do her daily chores she will still come running and smother me with kisses if she finds me sitting by myself at any point of time. She will tell me about her friends and her likes and dislikes, she will share her dreams and will also ask me about my plans. We know each other completely and I want to keep it that way. I will try to reach out to my son in the same way but I don't know how societal stereo types will affect our relationship. I cross my fingures and hope for best. I pray for my children let them get the chance to express themselves and may I help them achieve all that they are capable of. For my daughter on this special day I have only to offer my gratitude, she has taught me patience, responsibility, anger management and above all a lesson on how to love unconditionally and inspite of all the faults in your loved one's character.

3 comments:

Koko said...

Very touching....you have become more sensitive to all that is happening around you more acutely than I ever imagined you to be. Looking forward to your next musings. I do remember Ma ending her letters with "Tomar Kum"...its a pity though that I havent preserved any of her letters.I kept some of your letters and Mas as well for a long long time after somehow they dissappeared mysteriously after I left for college in Manipal. Reading your musings it saddens me that I never kept those letters which were always supportive and encouraging at whatever I did in my life....and I did have lots of low points in my life

diya said...

Koko-I have not come to terms with the fact that none of them are with us any more specially in pishi's case. I go over the incidents over and over again till the time I last saw her. It just takes a moment to reduce a whole life well lived to nothing! I could never inform you how I too in my own way remember her all the time, thanks to the blogging I can get that across.

Mishtu said...

You have captured the essence of the family so beautifully.. we often tend to take that for granted. Leave alone Ma's letters to Didun, I do not have a single letter which Ma wrote to me while I was in the JU hostel. They inevitably ended with: dimsheddho khash, beshi korey jol khash, ashirbad nish. Ma.
Dimshedhho was because she had told me that an egg was better boiled than fried, and she never forgot to drive that in.