It’s about to get tough out there for you. My birth is right around the corner, and oh! I am so excited to see the world you live in. I can hear it all.
The music you listen to, your calls with your boss, Mama’s typing when she frantically writes on her computer, the lullabies Dadi sings to me. I can even hear you and mama make plans to start putting aside a sum every month for my future. And I want to thank you and Mama, dad. For working so hard and thinking of me, even before I am born.
When I come into your world, I want us all to play together, stay together. Read to me stories from far away lands. Change my nappies, tickle me till the sound of my laughter bores you. I know this will be a handful, but pat me to sleep if I wake up crying at 4 am.
I’ll need that money, Dad. But I know already that I’ll need you and Mama even more. So teach me about a thriving life. Show me the meaning of love. Tell me about how you and Mama fell in love. Tell me about that time when you Chachu and you fought. Tell me how, in time, you forgave each other.
Tell me about how you saved to buy this house we stay in. Share your life with me, Dad. Show me who you are. Tell me what’s right, and what’s wrong. Teach me to respect life and living beings, to be a good person. To take care of myself, and the people I love. But not at the cost of those who I don’t call my own.
Whether I may be a boy or girl, show me how to free my potential, teach me to think and give me a voice. Get me ready for the world, Dad. And show me what it is to live a life free of the society’s standards. Teach me to cook and clean. Teach me about dignity of labour.
I know I won’t have everything etched in my memory when I grow up, but it’ll stay deep within me. It’ll guide me. When it’s difficult for me to share my troubles and my dissonances, your words will show me the way.
Dad, I also hear the world is in disarray. But isn’t that what life is always? It’s never easy, is it? Teach me how to cope when things don’t go as I planned. Like Daddu who had to survive the riots. Like Badi Dadi, who with her father and her sister-in-law crossed the border from Pakistan to India during India’s partition. With a 30 day old toddler in tow, no less.
We will thrive. Because you will show what it is like to be there for each other’s ups and downs, Dad.
The Little Footballer in Mama’s Tummy