To See You Smile

It was a balmy evening with just the right breeze. I decide to take my little baby for a stroll. My son, Inu is eleven months old. We live in a two storeyed building - apartment style. There is a small park in the front yard. I rarely go down for a stroll. Noisy kids and a restless screaming Inu is not exactly my favorite combination. Inu gets restless when he sees the other kids. He wants to get down from my secure grasp and play with them, preferably in the mud. If I do not entertain his request he gives this piercing scream which can be heard across four streets. It takes an awful lot of time to console him and bring him back to his normal state of mind.

From birth, Inu had always been with crowds. Our family is a huge one and while I was at my native after my delivery, there were always some one or the other visiting Inu, showering him with hugs and gifts. After I came here, its just me and him in this big house. The first couple of days, Inu was completely restless yelling and screaming for his grandparents (my mom and dad). My presence was little consolation to him. He was completely wide-eyed and bewildered to be alone in a new place with new people. Nothing could soothe him then. His tantrums were endless and his screaming was driving me over the edge. I had never been alone with a baby earlier. There had always been help in some form or the other. It was like the two of us in a separate world. My husband would go to the office in the morning and come back late at night. There were the cursory questions and answers. At least somebody was happy we were here!

I put on my salwar shunning my night dress which has been my costume for the last one year on account of the feeding schedules. I wash Inu's face and after I'm sure his drool is under control I take him to the little park. We can actually see this park from our balcony. But no! Inu likes to be in the place of action. The park is crowded as usual. I hold him uncertain what to do next. All the play things are occupied and there is not even a place to sit. Should I go back? I muse. Inu is quiet for once observing his surroundings.

"Hey there." I turn around. "I'm Sanu, Rihan's mom". A nice lady in pink salwar is talking to me.
"I'm Sneha and this is Inu, my son"
"How old is he?"
"Eleven months."
We engage in casual banter. Slowly complete strangers start gathering around me asking about the baby. They share their experiences on motherhood and assure me that boys are naughty by nature. The conversations flow naturally as every one is eager about Inu. They carry him around, hug him and introduce him to their kids. After coming here, it is the first time that I see Inu actually grinning and enjoying himself. He loves their attention and the noises. His face has a big smile. Adjusting to a new place should have been difficult for him too. But as a mother I know that I have to make every effort to keep that smile in place. It is challenging and sometimes I myself want to throw a tantrum along with him but instinctively I realize that every mother should have gone through the same emotions at some point of time. It is a lot of work but not impossible. I hug Inu, a little more close to my heart.

A Contented Mind

"When will the bus arrive?" I asked the old man standing next to me. I was travelling back to my place after visiting my native village. There were limited bus facilities and unlimited crowd waiting for the bus. It was afternoon and the sun was at its full height.

How do these people do this everyday? I silently admire them. There are no luxuries in the village but still everybody seem contented. Strange, isn't it? I for one can always remember wanting one after another in my life, a good salary, nice job profile, a computer, a scooty, a new dress... I'm seldom contented. Maybe it requires a different level of maturity. Their ungrudging happiness and fulfillment is beyond my understanding.

"Here comes the bus", the old man next to me interrupted my train of thoughts. I run forward to secure a place to stand. The bus was full to its limit - surprisingly not only with people. I could see chicken, goats and a lot of vegetable sacks all going to some town just like me. I was ushered in, a little graciously since people recognize that I did not belong to the village.

A family of three adjusted so that I can sit along with them. Wow! What are looked at as inconveniences at the modern town are read as a helpful gestures here. The journey was an hour long. I looked around to pass the time. There was a little girl sitting next to me talking animatedly to her mother about her friend. She must be around six or seven years old, I assume. Suddenly she turned to my side and gave me a wide grin.

"Your bangles are nice. Will you give me these?" I engage her in conversation.
She nodded her head in the negative. I expected this. I wonder how these kids learn the word 'no'. Maybe it is the most used word in a household. Anyways, all kids are possessive of their belongings.

Before I could persuade her, the girl simply said, "Do you know why you can't have this? Because they are too small for you. You need a bigger size. I have some bigger ones at home. I will give you those."

If I say, I was dumbstruck, it would be a gross understatement. The child looked very vulnerable and came from a very ordinary family. Her parents looked as if they worked for daily wages. Yet they taught their little daughter the importance of being contented. The little girl had all the innocence that came with a village territory- the charm, the non-stop talk, the bright colored dress with mismatched bright ribbons. Beneath all that was a heart of gold. Learning to be selfless is an art even most elders do not manage to foster. The girl did not even know me. Still she was ready to give up what little she had. I learnt a very important lesson that day. Contentment and happiness go hand in hand. The girl believed that she had everything she needed. That was why she was open to sharing whatever she had. I made up my mind. I'm blessed with so many things. In the hurry to go forward, I'm forgetting to enjoy the moment that unforgivingly passes by. I learnt to be contented. I learnt to be happy.


What's Hot?