Saturday, March 04, 2006

Farewell, my pretty!

Most times, I think getting attached to anything is totally not worth it. Ofcourse, easier said than done.. What happens when someone places a 15 minute old new-born baby in your hand and she holds your little finger? As cliched a scene as this might be, its not the easiest thing to deal with. I find it hard to describe what was running through my head at that point. I love kids. But, lets set that aside for a few minutes. Here I am in the maternity ward with my cousin S (well, more like relative.. but well, thats the only family I have here) and her husband A and his parents. We'd just rushed into the room after nearly 14 hours of sitting outside in the lounge waiting to hear good news.. I was there just helping them out if they needed anything. After spending a couple of minutes in her grand-parents' arms, Rakhi was handed over to me. She didn't even cover the length of my arm from elbow to wrist. But, then the most amazing thing happened. She reached out and grabbed my finger. Hard to say when the bond formed.
That was a year and a half ago. I visited Rakhi as often as I could since then and she was always delighted to see me. I was one of the faces she recognized other than her parents and her baby-sitter. I've now watched her through the stages of being a rolling rollicking baby, a crawling infant (more like a half drag I should say) and now a walking toddler. I was extremely delighted when she picked up my name a couple of months ago. She had no hassles staying with me for hours. She understood Gujarathi and Marwadi (languages her parents spoke to her in).. but not English or Tamil (the only languages I know). She even understood some German 'cause her baby-sitter was German and she spoke to her everyday in German. I always looked forward to the day when she would have a conversation with me..
Unfortunately, things change. Life changes. Yesterday their family flew to India. They won't be back before I leave the US. And I won't be meeting them in India 'cause they're not going to be in Madras. I drove them to the airport and spent some time with them there at the airport. Just when I was saying bye to them, I realized, I didn't know when I would be meeting Rakhi again. Maybe next year? Maybe a couple of years down the line? Would she remember me then? I'm not sure I have the courage to imagine her not recognizing me. But then, all things change.. Farewell my pretty. A bond/attachment I shall never regret, but nevertheless one that will probably hurt a lot.


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