Thursday, December 15, 2011

Papa, God is seeing you

We were at the dinner table with my daughter next to me. She was in her own blissful world playing with her toys totally uninterested in food. To make her eat, I said, “if you don’t eat, the ant will come and take your food”. She usually listens when I say the ant will come or a polar bear will come; but this time she did something new. She looked at me and said “Papa, God is seeing you”. For a moment I was so scared, I could not utter a word. I finished my dinner without looking at her or asking her to have food. She might have learnt this at her preschool but this was something I least expected.

A few days back she showed me the clock and said “Papa, look, Y”. The hour, minute and the second needle on the clock were in a position which looked like the alphabet Y. She is just 2 ½ year old and I am surprised how different her perspective is. I am sure every father will have his own share of learning’s from his kids; and it’s just amazing how much I am learning from her. Watching her play, I often feel like I am re-living my childhood in her steps.

To my daughter Akshara!

She looked tender, cute bundle of bliss
As I held her for the first time and blew a tiny kiss.
Looking through those sleepy beautiful eyes
Felt as if I had clinched to my own life. 

At home she was an instant star
Our lives evolved to her rhymes and the baby choirs.
She soon was the priority in every decision of our
A vacation break or a restaurant run were no more a quick get over.

Despite the changes that have happened in our lives
The joy she has brought is beyond every blessings and praise
Her actions and words often make my mind prep
Re-living my childhood in her every step.

~Narendra V Joshi

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The lucky few

I like the rainy season and I like the smell that accompanies the rain especially after a dry spell. A long drive on an open road during a light drizzle is great;  and its best with a cup of hot coffee and hot spicy pakodes! It has been raining just the way I like it, for the last few months. Maybe the rains in the last few days might as well be the last rains for the season before it gets cold.

I had read about the drought in a nearby state, a couple of weeks back. It said this was the worst drought to hit some cities in more than a decade, putting thousands of people into grave hardship.
Couldn't stop thinking why it can't rain there too as here.

The cool wind struck as I stepped through the door
Rain laden clouds had started to pour
The water flowed; the aroma spread
And the sky above looked glaring red.

Months have passed with pouring treats
It will soon be time for the rains to retreat
Nectar or not but like bee buzzing around flower
This is the only place it always seemed shower.

People and cities quite a plenty
But the rain spread seems surprisingly scanty
Lucky as I said to myself
Letting empty answers speak for themselves.

~Narendra V Joshi

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Big Kid now

Our daughter loves to play in the childrens play area of the mall. We usually head to the mall on the weekends and sit in the play area watching her play. The toy car, the slides and the bridge seems to be her favorite.  I remember, just 6-7 months back, she could even barely reach them, leave alone climb them. She would try to climb only to be pushed aside by the big kids. I would lift her and put her on the slide top once in a while for her to slide down. She would get bored in a few minutes and would want us to carry. Things have changed much in the recent months. She has grown tall and simply jumps on the toys.  She easily spends an hour or more playing and I no more have to help her with the slides. I just sit there happily for hours watching her play.

The slides were big and cars were tall
A climb on the rubber bridge meant a sure fall.
She would try nevertheless to climb on the toy
Hoping to slide like that big girl and boy.
Months have passed and she is a big girl now
A hop into the car is no more help from around;
The slides and the rubber bridge are just steps of fun
As she and the big kids play the toys they have won.
I wonder how long will all this last
The toys and the play area will soon be memories of past.
The envy, the efforts and the winnings will all fade
Only the play area stays looking for new memories to be made.

~Narendra V Joshi

Friday, April 01, 2011

Kid things

I am allergic to pollen and get sick every year in spring. The itching watery eyes and running nose with the occasional heaviness in the head makes me miserable. I avoid the freeways and usually take the inner roads to the office at these times. Today was one such day. I was on my way to office and reached a traffic stop at a busy intersection. My eyes were watery and flowing. I pulled a tissue to wipe my eyes dry as I waited at the stop sign. I put my glasses again and noticed that I was behind a school bus. The bus was full I believe, I could see some movement behind the windows. There were 2-3 kids at the rear waving at me.  It took like a minute for me to realize that they were actually picking on me. I think they had seen me wipe my tears and they too were trying to rub their eyes with their hands waving at me. I could not stop smiling looking at what they were doing. They seemed to enjoy teasing me as I candidly followed them until the school bus took a turn into a neighborhood. I just could not stop smiling even after I was miles away from where the bus had turned. Kids are amazing! 

I cannot imagine a day without my daughter. One of us, if not both, me and my wife, has to be always behind our daughter. Watching where she goes, what she pulls; pretty much we have to constantly keep an eye. I had left my personal laptop on the dining table the other day. My daughter cannot still reach the dining table but she did something I had not imagined. She got up on a chair and then climbed on the dining table. Once on the top she had pushed the laptop down. From then on we are extra careful with the things we leave around in the house. I am amazed at the way she can get to things. She somehow comes up with surprising solutions to get what she wants. 

But I think we adults are sometimes even more amazing. 

If the kids do something new, it’s like an achievement for the parents. After they do it a couple of times, it becomes an expectation from them. This happened 3 or 4 months back. We were getting ready to go out for dinner. Once she was all dressed, my daughter got her shoes from the rack and she put them on herself. We were surprised. She was only one and half year old but she had chosen the correct shoes and had even put them on, on her own. We just could not stop praising her. I even called my parents in India to tell them how talented my daughter is! For the next few days we would curiously watch her as she would select her shoes and put them. Once we got over our initial surprise it became an expectation from her that she will put on her shoes herself when we are going out. She was just a year and half and whether kids of her age do it, we started expecting her to do. Similar to the appraisals that happen at work. The first time you do something amazing it’s "Beyond expectation". The next time you do the same, it’s "as expected" and if you continue doing the same it will be "below expectation'.

My daughter still does not speak much but a few days back she called me by my name. We were very happy with the way she spelt my name and made her say it again and again. She started calling my wife too by her name. It sounded good initially but soon she struck to it. From then on in front of our daughter I address my wife as mama and my wife addresses me as papa. Our daughter now calls us papa and mama. I think my wife and I have to address each other as papa and mama at least for some more time. I am sure 10-15 years from today when we recall all this or if my daughter happens to read this, we will all have a good laugh.

~Narendra V Joshi