The other day, I was hanging out clothes and I heard the distressed wail of a baby- I craned my neck and saw a baby crying his lungs out- he was lying on a bit of cloth under a tree on the ground below our building. His mother was doing some grinding or some other such work near by- she was talking to her baby as her hands continued toiling. The baby would hush for a while and then again resume crying lustily when he realized that his mother was too busy to carry him. Finally she stopped her work, washed her hands from a tap near by and then swooped the wailing baby in her arms- The infant stopped crying almost immediately as its mother continued talking to it… and I was suddenly conscious of this pang, an ache in the depths of my being...
At some point, I was aware of a longing , to run down and pick up the baby- to hold a baby, to cuddle it, to talk to it- to hear it make gurgling sounds- to smell its baby smell-
…There is this ad on TV( Johnsons baby product- obviously),in which the mother is so moved by the sight of her sleeping baby, and then there is this another one in which this kiddo upon observing a leaky pipe waddles off after swathing the leak with its own diaper! Another one in which the mother is speaking on the phone while keeping an eye on her baby- and suddenly the baby takes its first unsteady steps- she’s left holding the phone open mouthed- totally mesmerized by the magic unfolding in front of her-
My brother sends us the video of his toddler- and I think its so nice to have such memories recorded- I don’t have any of my sons- sometimes, when I read through old diary entries of my sons in their childhood, I feel a kind of loss- and I have less such records of my younger son- be it snaps or diary entries- and I feel so many beautiful memories have slipped beyond reach- and I enjoy reading fizo’s, Priya’s, and ano’s accounts of their babies-
and though I’m relieved that the sleepless nights- colic and other childhood ailments are behind me- still sometimes, I feel like revisiting those memories yet again…
Where are the children of yesteryears?
Where is the infant suckling at my brest
I find no traces of her
In that other young mother…
Where is the little boy,
Who crept into my bed?
Is there anything left of him
In that balding young man?
My little children
Are no longer
They live only in old photographs-
Wouldn’t it be wonderful
If all our children
From all their past b’days
Could visit us just once in a while!