There is quite a lot to the term – nostalgia and especially when it is a season that brings back cherished memories from childhood. Of all the seasons, or should I say, of all the months in an year, I love the ending months or the ending season. Not that I don’t like the others any less, but I somehow love the shades of foggy white dawns, those wee dews and those tranquilizing nights of this season, which are perhaps patent to winters alone. And now in my hometown, as I peek out in the wee hours of dawn, I am taken back to a time…..
…..where I can see a small girl not aged more than 12 years old, in a school uniform cloaked with a blazer and a head scarf, with a big bag mounted on her back and patiently waiting at the corner of her street with her mom, and swaying her water bottle to and fro, making a few chuckling sounds as her mother instructs her about her schedule for the day. The time, I suppose is around 6:30 AM and winters always greet with a dawn much late than summers. Hence, it is pitch dark outside except for a mist frothing in the air that would have made it all the more difficult to differentiate between a night and a breaking dawn, only if it were not for the early birds that had already started their day with a lot of chirping and tweeting. And then, from the turning of the fourth street from where this mother daughter duo were standing, there was some roar of an engine. The next moment, the mother alerted and again patted her daughter and made sure, she had not missed out on anything. In a few seconds, in the darkness before a misty dawn, there was light coming from far away. The source was a pair of headlights. As it neared, the horn blared into the tranquility of the darkness which was fading away gradually. I could see now, that the source was a jeep. It halted at the stop and the daughter boarded in. Before that, the mother planted the usual kiss on the daughter’s forehead. The mother then waved her good bye. And the jeep honked off, leaving a trail of dusty white fumes…..The day had dawned by then, with a faint orange light streaking its way from the horizon into the dark blue sky…..
…..And at that very precise moment, the flowing nostalgia from a generation gone by is now intervened by a sweet cooing sound in the present followed by a long cute yawn by my 4 month old son. Yeah, he is already 4 months old and guess what, he has started communicating in his own language with a lot of sweet nothings like ‘waaaa-aaaaa-maaaa…….taaaaa…..tataataaaaa…….paa………paaapapapapapapa…..’ and there is no end to his music which is far sweeter than any melody heard until now. His kick boxing activities have increased by leaps and bounds and he wants to climb on anything he gets a foot over. Off late, he has started rolling in full swing and turns his head left and right perfectly, trying to take a better look at the surroundings, be it flowers, animals, neighbors or even TV, which a few months before were a way too hazy. Everything now fascinates him. And rather it is also the other way round. He fascinates everyone with his irrepressible charm and that billion dollar toothless grin.
Watching a child grow and learn is magic altogether. Every sound they make has a meaning, an indication of their needs, moods and temperament. Of course, as adults we are slow learners and it takes us a while to hang on to the learning schedule. Nevertheless, it is fun and at the same time bliss. In fact, people who don’t believe in God will start believing once they have kids. Every month since they come on board, every day is special, a milestone to reach. From those half closed eye lids to extensive observation, from those unconsciously lopsided smiles in sleep to consciously wide acknowledgement grins when not sleeping, from those crying out of need to much understood cooing and wincing, every phase dawns out the wonders of nature, the mystical ways of the omnipresence…..
I can clearly see the familiar loop of love, compassion and sacrifice taking shape again. The loop of parenthood. However, it is a new loop, filled with untold happiness, unseen challenges and achievements yet to be made. I now see, why that memory of that little girl breezed me. The feeling of having gotten a new role to play in life is now flowing in my veins. And the feeling is incredibly overwhelming. From a cherished childhood to a memorable present, motherhood has always been a journey of a lifetime. Only back then, the mother was a girl and now that girl is a mother. Changes are so certain and permanent. And sometimes, they feel incredible too. No more fuss over some extra pounds gained or some shades of grey on the head; no more cribs over the years gone by, or the moments of outings that seem more less than often; no more frets over sleeplessness and hunger, no more impulsive thoughts and actions……the evolution towards a new role has only started…..
“It is not until you become a mother that your judgment slowly turns to compassion and understanding.”.
When Emma Bombeck quoted the above lines, it just summed everything a mother would want to say. And, when it is about motherhood, every sacrifice made, every pain that is borne and every difficult decision made in life is worth all the joys a child can give, and mind it, the joys of life ONLY a child can give…..God bless…!!