Tuesday, August 21, 2012

An open Letter from a grandfather....

Dearest Betu
    Your mom is going to throw a fit when she hears me call you Betu- but that is what you are to me.  Betu and Ghughu.  I gave you those names- the first, because it came to my lips the second I saw you. And the second, because those were the first sounds you made in my arms. All of 5 weeks old; and you were already connecting with me. It's been a while since you and I had a talk. Maybe now is a good time.....A part of me wants to give you advice; but today, I'll just let you know me.
   I'd wished for you even before I had my own children - your mom, and your maamu. You are so much extra special because you're my first grandchild. Your naani and I were so excited the day we heard that you'd be coming into our family.  The day you were born; we called up the entire family with the news. I couldn't wait to meet you.  But I had to. We finally met when you were about a month old. You probably don't remember. Your naani and I stayed with you for 6 weeks that year.  All that time, I never left you alone. I even held you while you slept. And after we left, your mom complained that we spoiled you because you'd no longer sleep on the bed!  :-)) I brought back pictures of you with me; and I had them all over the house. Even back in Delhi, I used to talk to your pictures and hope that my thoughts would reach you somehow.  When your mom called to speak with us, I'd ask her to make you cry or laugh; just so I could hear your voice.  I missed you so much, that soon after meeting you, I decided to quit my job. So we could come and stay with you for longer.

  Despite all my efforts, we didn't meet again till you were almost a 2 and a half years old. That time we came to visit you for longer. We had a fun time together- you and I watched Dora together and sang silly songs that drove your naani nuts. We went for walks every evening, and I taught you about traffic light - Red means Stop; yellow means Wait and Green means GO- do you remember that?  And we played Hide & Seek and sang your alphabet song all day long. I never had more fun in my life than then.  Your belly laugh was so contagious....That is the picture of you that is always with me. A bright eyed little girl that could laugh. And I still remember you holding on to me at the Airport.
Our first meeting....
    I am really sad that your mom could not bring you to meet me when she came to visit me. I believe she tried...but she always came alone. She'd tell me all about you though, everyday. She brought back your pictures, and videos. And you maamu recorded the sounds of you kids playing for me.  And through them, I saw you as a bright, happy 4 year old you must have been. That is what kept me going throughout my 5 weeks in the hospital. Through her, I tried to tell you how much I loved you...You were the last thought that I had in my heart...you're still there.
      I am no longer there physically to watch you grow up into the intelligent and beautiful young lady that you will be one day. I'm not there to hold your hand, or walk beside you through the long, twisted way of adulthood.  Believe me, I'd have given up anything to make that happen. This will always be my biggest regret in life. The other is that I never got to hold your sister, baby P. Let her know me....

Learning to shave with naanu....
    You are a big girl now - in a couple of weeks, you will have a milestone birthday. So today, I will tell you what I told your mom when she turned 10.  Always, aim for the Sun- there is nothing that's too far out of reach. Don't settle for the second best - for you're the best and deserve the same. Remember that you will write your own destiny, so proceed with caution. Don't be in a hurry to grow up- keep your inner child alive. And finally; laugh. Laugh your troubles away. Your laughter is very very precious.  
   If you read this on your 10th b'day, I'll be gone for 6yrs; you've probably forgotten my touch, my voice. But I am always with you- within you- watching over you.  I never left you. Your journey has just begun. You may feel lonely, but you'll never be alone. I'll walk beside you....always.

God Bless you.

Love,

Your naanu....