Monday, October 4, 2010

Why do I call them my ‘Redemption’?

A friend wrote this on her Facebook status message a few days ago - "They remind us of what we were like when we started out. What we can be like, what can be reclaimed. Babies. Toddlers."

I wrote back, "Redemption. They are our Redemption."

Nine months of carrying them in my womb and four years of bringing them up have made me so much a better person. I feel as if I have redeemed the better version of me with them around us. And also, sometimes worse. I am constantly evolving with them.

I try not to be insensitive towards my mother.

I don't sneer at those long phone conversations my husband holds with his mother.

I know what it means when my sister-in-law cribs about bringing up a soon-to-be teenager kid.

I am not judgmental any more. I try to look at the other side of the picture as well. So, you will never see me get into a debate over whether a mother should quit working after a baby or continue to be what she is.

I never comment on a child's behaviour any longer. Most of the times, I realise, it is not the mother's fault after all!

And yes, I have slowly started to learn what I can be like through them. Better or worse, that is for others to decide.
This reminds me of something immediately. I was at a friend's place last night to celebrate her son's birthday who turns two today. The kid had come down to see us off to the gate. He kept pointing at various things (and people) around him, as if asking for a reassurance that they will always be here for him. "Gaachh", "Patta", "Maa", "Baba", "Maashi", "Dada", "Didi" - he kept calling out in Bengali.
My friend turned back to tell me, "This little one is so happy when everyone is together. He wants us to be like this all the time, together. Surrounded by people."
I told her, "We have to learn so much from him."
"Yes", she said. "With all this 'me-time' and space that we keep ranting about... We have to learn quite a bit from him."
Didn't I tell you they were our redemption? And also our teachers. We learn with them. We learn from them.

Here is a diary entry I wrote with my kids a year ago one Sunday afternoon.

The two of them walk together
Hand-in-hand.
I follow them to the park,
Khaled Hosseini dangling in one hand,
Picture books in other.

We sit on a bench
In a corner
Under the Gulmohar tree,
And warm sun.
I sit in the middle,
As usual.

A huge fountain sits
Right at the centre,
Watering the lawn,
And the zinnia, petunia,
Marigold saplings.

I try to concentrate on
Amir winning
The kite-fighting tournament.
They look at the pictures.
Earnestly, and
Exactly for 12 minutes!

Then the slides,
And swings.
Two minutes of see-sawing.
Running after butterflies,
Collecting the dry leaves.

She draws
Straight lines,
Standing lines, circles
On the earth.
He puts sand over it.

And then they run together
Towards the water fountain.
I look, stunned and helpless!
They dance and scream.
I glare,
Shifting ground beneath my feet.

And then I join them,
While Maali looks on.
Drenched, exhausted
But happy,
We, then, leave for home.
हाथों में हाथ डाले दोनों
पार्क की ओर चलते हैं साथ-साथ।
मैं भी आती हूं पीछे-पीछे।
एक हाथ में खालिद होसैनी,
दूसरे में तस्वीरों की किताब।

हम बेंच पर जा बैठते हैं
पार्क के एक कोने में
गुलमोहर और
हल्की धूप की छांव में।
मैं बीच में बैठी हूं,
हमेशा की तरह।

बीचोंबीच एक फव्वारा है,
हरी घास पर गिरती हैं
पानी की बूंदें।
भींगते हैं जिनिया, पेट्युनिया,
गेंदे के अंकुर।

मेरा ध्यान आमिर पर है
जिसकी पतंग उड़ रही है
सबसे ऊपर, ‘द काइट रनर’ में।
दोनों तस्वीरें देखते हैं,
बहुत संजीदगी से,
पूरे बारह मिनट!

फिर झूला,
स्लाइड पर फिसलना,
दो मिनट के कुछ और खेल।
तितलियों के पीछे भागना,
सूखी पत्तियां जमा करना पॉकेट में।

वो ज़मीन पर
खींचती है
सीधी रेखाएं
और कुछ घेरे।
दूसरा लिखाई पर मिट्टी डालता है।

अचानक दोनों दौड़ जाते हैं
फव्वारे की ओर।
मैं देखती रह जाती हूं, बस।
दोनों नाचते हैं, चिल्लाते हैं।
मैं घूरती हूं।
लेकिन इरादा बदल रहा है।

फिर मैं भी साथ हो लेती हूं उनके।
अब माली घूरता है हमें।
भींगे हुए हम थककर चूर हैं।
लेकिन हंसते हुए
घर की ओर मुड़ जाते हैं
हम तीनों।

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1 comment:

गिरिजेश राव said...

सुन्दर।
इतना कहना पर्याप्त है।