Sometimes I feel so guilty for having brought you to this world and then not looking after you properly. As I told you in my earlier post about your coming to my life and also how busy I was at that time, you might have understood the kind of life that awaited you in my life. Perhaps this is the reason that you were always a quiet child, never making much hue and cry over anything. You were so complacent in whatever you got that your Nana would say that a much contended soul had taken birth. Just like a contended person you were above greed that most infants display at this age. So much so that feeding you enough for your survival was a tough job for us. You would not even cry much and Ma would tell me to make you suck milk after some intervals so that your mouth doesn’t go dry.
I had started with my masters in English and would be busy looking after you as well as my books. Many a times I would put you in my lap and would study from the book in my hands. Multi tasking is the word that they use these days for such an activity in management studies, but the truth is that life itself teaches management if you are a good learner. I was learning new things and you too were learning new things quite early in your life.
I remember when you started crawling, you would crawl to a corner where you would find a page, a book or even a news paper and would bring it back to me saying in a stuttering voice, “read”. We all were adapting to a new way of life with you around us. Your papa who used to exercise each morning and evening, would now take care of you and go for a long walk carrying you in his lap. He wanted to give me time to study. And would have you exclusively to him for a while. A very convenient arrangement indeed.
Everything was going fine till the day I discovered that I was again pregnant.
I was really in dilemma. On one hand, you were too small and on the other hand I had my next HAS exams in August-September and the second child was to arrive in early October. I just didn’t know how to handle so many issues at one time. Multi tasking was of no use at this stage. Once again my ma’s advice came to me to stop feeding you my milk. I don’t know the point behind it but she thought that it would be harmful for you. I wanted to feed you with my milk and was advised against it. Worrying about your health, I abided by the advice and once again you were to suffer the consequences.
I was responsible for depriving you of your right to my milk. I have done a lot of injustice to you my dear. I ask for forgiveness.
You became quieter as now even we had more problems to think of than we could solve. I had stayed with your nani for my first confinement but now for the next I wanted to go to your dadi’s home. It had become a hot issue. I thought that since my ma was a working woman and didn’t have any leave due to her, why I should burden her with my responsibility once again. But there was no letter from your dadi asking me to come there for my second confinement. Tense as we were, you had to bear the brunt of all this. I was irritated woman. Looking after a small child, carrying another in my womb and HAS exams to appear in at the same time. You would look at me with your sparkling eyes and for a while and would forget about all my worries.
I needed some time for me to study but where from to get it? At that time a small child care center was opened in the village. As we were living in the same village that your nani lived in, she extended all the help that she could. I would send you to your nani’s home in the evening at about 4 pm when she would come back from the school and next day early in the morning she would send you back to me at 10 am before going to her school. You were made to shuttle between two homes much to the convenience of all of us. But we just forgot what it was doing to your psyche? It was the time when you had started t outer few syllables and you would not understand who your Mom was—me or nani? You would call both of us as Ma. We would laugh over it never realizing the harmful impact it was having on your sense of belonging.
My HAS exam was over in late September and I traveled back from Shimla, all alone, even during the last leg of pregnancy. It was a case of mismanagement, your papa traveled to Shimla to escort me back, and I came back all alone as so home sick I was for you.
I would write in my next post how did you react when a younger sister came in your life, the one who till day is so caring for you.