13 years back, in a dimly lit hospital corridor, a tensed up expecting dad walks his paces up and down. His wife has been in labour for more than twelve hours. The doctor hasn’t come yet and there is no word from the nurses on when he is expected. This doctor is the final word in gynaecology in that town, so all he could do was to wait. All of a sudden there is activity around the labour room, the delivery has started and the doctor is on his way. He reaches, and goes swiftly in without talking to anyone. News comes out that the baby’s head is out, but since the mother is tired, they are trying the suction now. Suddenly the doctor rushes out, and tells the waiting man, that it has to be a caesarean now, shift her to the operation theatre immediately. Even through the utter disbelief and shock, he didn’t realise that he was about to go through the most nerve racking few minutes of his life. There was no attendant to move her to the operation theatre, so he and her cousins carried the stretcher, with a semi conscious expecting mother in it. The biggest shock was yet to come, the elevator of the popular hotel- turned hospital would not fit the stretcher. They can’t move her in the wheelchair with the baby’s head almost out. All they could do was run and hope they do not tumble, and make her fall. They ran up 3 floors through the narrow staircase and moved her into the operation theatre. There was anger despair and absolute helplessness. As they gasped for air, the news came that a baby girl was born. I and Kavitha were thus blessed with our baby girl Anandita.
Today as I remember those tense moments where we almost lost our baby due to sheer non-competence, I have no anger. I realise today that we have a fighter of a daughter, who would make her mark one day, fighting her way up, as she did on that night. It makes her even special, and everything she achieves on her grit and will, makes me feel special to be her dad.
Today, she turns a teenager, the next phase of her life. Yes, I miss her childhood, I miss her running up my arms as I would reach home, I miss her sleeping on my chest, I miss her crawling up to be cuddled on my tummy, I miss feeding her, I miss bathing her, I miss carrying her in the middle of the night when she would refuse to sleep, I miss playing insane childish games at two in the morning, I miss rushing back to home in the mid of a work day when she refuses to go back home without me, I miss myself crying when she would fall sick, I miss my baby . I realise, I may never be able to do any of that with her again. Because, today she is a teenager.
Girls grow up differently, and I wonder why they grow up so fast. Today she tells us to be mature, expects us to have more realistic discussions with her. She writes her blogs about parenting. And I think, I have not grown up beyond that nervous man outside the dimly lit hospital corridor, but she has grown, and will continue to.
Happy Birthday to my teenage sweetheart.
Happy Birthday Ammu.