On Mithi

I became a father on 18 November, 2014. At that moment when fatherhood embraced me, perhaps I should have been elated, jumping up and down and doing all sort of activities that new fathers do, at least, that's what most sane people do. But nothing of that sort happened to me. When I heard my baby's voice, first like an angry cat and then a mild wail wafting across the operation theatre to the waiting area where we all were pacing up and down, the first thought that hit me was how was my wife? It was a C-section and she was partially unconscious. I should not have read Internet too much, for I was reading all sorts of horror stories, of mothers not waking up or recovering etc. I was petrified as I was not hearing my wife's voice. The doctors and sisters inside the operation theater must have been very busy with their other procedures. In fact, after bringing out the baby from the womb, they were busy closing the cut, I later got to know.

The realisation of becoming a father hit me when the doctor came out and said it's a girl and that both mother and daughter are doing fine. I was relieved. And soon a strange emotion descended upon me, something that I never felt. Overwhelmed perhaps, I went blank ... emotionally. Everything was happening around me, my mom and my in-laws were celebrating and congratulating each other, my sister and her husband were excited, but I was kind of vacant from inside.

After a few moments when I came back to my senses, all sorts of thoughts got hold of me. I started thinking about my job security, got worried about my almost non-existent bank balance, I got worried about the rising room rents and the zero possibility of me ever owning a house here in this city. How will I make my kid grow up and have a decent life? How will I be a responsible father? How will I fulfill my duties to my baby and my family? All sorts of thoughts, which should have come to me much earlier, in fact, before I even got married, started coming to me like a flood.

So much so that I got tired and stopped getting worried. After sometime a nurse brought my baby and kept her on a small bed adjacent to the OT for us to see.

I saw her, bubbles in the mouth and trying to open one eye, and suddenly all my thoughts vanished. I don't know why, but the thoughts really did vanish and so far they have not come back in a worrying fashion. The thoughts are always there at the back of my mind but I am not perturbed much.

It was not joy, it was not punching in the air, it was not a great achievement. It was a serene calmness inside me. It was like a deep blue ocean in an afternoon sun. Calm and composed. That's exactly the feeling my baby brought me as a gift with her. I fell in love with my princess, and I knew, this love is here to stay for as long as we both are alive. It was a pact.  

Watching my newborn for the last few days has made me a firm believer in destiny.

To start with, it is a miracle that I am alive. My baby had two chords attached to her neck, and in my case, my mother told me, I was not willing to come out in this world and there was a real threat that I would have died in her womb, perhaps taking my mother with me. Medical facilities were not that advanced at small towns and we both survived because we had to.

Every moment I am seeing my delicate baby, I am filled with awe that how much trusting humans are when they are tiny, entrusting no less than their entire life in our hands every time we take them. Babies have super delicate necks, like if we don't hold them properly, a baby's neck may simply snap. A newborn baby's head is a soft marsh-melon, worse, you can feel the back of the head pulsating like you have touched a heart in the open. It is a super scary thing to touch. There is zero scope of carelessness. There's small cough and cold, which can turn deadly if one is not careful. There's switching off the fan>undress the baby>remove the wet towels>wrap fresh towels>put some rudimentary dresses just to protect her from the elements> switch on the fan and take her on your lap delicately and try to put her to sleep.

She will sleep the whole day and will wake up exactly when you hope for a sleep. And then you try and do whatever she wants you to do. Luckily or perhaps unluckily I have not been subjected to that night duty yet as her two grandmas are present at home right now.

And there are infinite number of dangers and pitfalls that attract a baby. I am sure, I was not an exception and neither you, my dear reader.

Even after all these, I survived. I am writing this post and you are reading. This is miracle, and a deep bow to people I know and I don't know but who took me on his/her lap and made sure that there's support below my head and that my neck didn't snap. Oh! How can I thank you my unknown Gods and Goddesses who ensured that I am what I am today!

Or perhaps, it was simply my destiny. And my daughter has one too. Every person comes to this world with something pre-arranged, I have started to believe. While I will continue with my fatherly duties and try to make sure that whatever role has been assigned to me by my destiny, I be fair to it, I am also hoping that my daughter's destiny will take her far and wide, and make her immensely content with life. May God guide you always, Mithi, my daughter, my first born! Thank you for choosing me as your father. 


susan said…
This is wonderful news. Many congratulations to you, your dear wife, and to little Mithi for her great wisdom in her choice of parents. I'm also certain we each have a lesson plan in a universe that grows ever more aware of itself.
Vincent said…
Beautiful. And it got you writing publicly again, with the same kind of vivid truth, after a year of silence.

I've had a similar succession of different feelings each time the responsibility of fatherhood has been placed upon me. But you can put it so well in words.

Mithi has reminded you that you are a writer. Please convey to her my thanks next time you hug her.
ghetufool said…
Dear Susan,

Thank you for your good wishes and blessings. As I grow older, I am becoming less certain about science being the last word. I feel there's much to be explored, which when done, will confirm what we already know deep in our hearts but afraid to speak out loud, lest people call us superstitious and weak. At the same time, I am also becoming a kind of atheist. It's better to say that I am tilting towards believing that there is a wisdom, a wisdom of the Universe. Thanks for visiting, I was only expecting Vincent here. Elated to get you here.
ghetufool said…
Dear Vincent,

I have passed on your love and affection to Mithi. She smiled.

The reason why I didn't write so long is that I lacked the inspiration, or perhaps, being a full time journalist and writing all the time has taken the toll on me. I can't write for long. I was on leave for a fortnight, I just sat and started writing. This means, I have the habit of writing, but the habit is perhaps getting wasted earning my daily bread. I will try and write more but, may be I have to effectively channelise my priorities, but I don't think about those things anymore. I am not pursuing writing seriously and I have no wish to get published ever. Besides, I have nothing worthwhile to say anymore.

sourav mishra said…
Outstanding. Keep on writing buddy...

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