Marveling at the resuscitating powers of a mother’s love, Santosh Bakaya watches a bawling baby turn into a happy bundle of chortles under a smiling sun.
Morning Meanderings is a musings column by Dr Santosh Bakaya. Enjoy her jottings with a hot cup of tea. 🙂
“What is the meaning of this gross outrage? I demand an instant explanation.” This is what the one-year-old child would have said, if he could speak.
Holding him by one leg, his father had picked him up like a rag doll, and put him under the water tap under the tank and the poor child was bawling away, trying to bring the sky down.
But the sky was held up by a gigantic sun, which was seemingly coming in the way of the toddler’s lusty efforts, and the poor son down below was held down by a highly energetic father. My heart went out to the tiny son.
A staunch believer in the dictum that ‘injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere’, I could not tolerate this oppression right before my eyes and could not stop the question that sprung to my lips:
“Kyun pareshan kar rahey ho bachchey ko?”(Why are you troubling the child?)
Without answering me, he spanked him a couple of times, turning him this way and that, and then again holding him by his leg, handed him to the mother. Dripping and woebegone.
“Maine isko nehla diya hai, phir nahi kehna main kuch kaam nahi karta,” (I have given him a bath, don’t tell me again that I don’t work.) the father said, slumping on the string cot under the tree. Hopelessly tired and sleepy, in no time, his stentorian snores were rocking the neighbourhood.
“Madam ji, yeh to roz aisey hi kerta hai. Sharaab key nashe mein dhutt rehata hai,” (Everyday he does this, sloshed as he is always) she said with a rueful expression.
Actually the poor child was not handed to the mother, but flung at her, and she caught the child like a consummate child-catcher, glaring at the father. She covered the child with a tiny towel, held him close to her heart, smothering his tiny face with a thousand and one kisses. Then she lovingly put him in a patchwork hammock hung between two trees, and soon the notes of a lullaby were floating in the air. But the infant was in no mood to sleep, he had taken a fancy to the sun up above. The sun up there beamed at the son down below, and the son broke into an expansive smile, overshadowing the sun.
Under the loving ministrations of the mother, the rag doll was now replaced by a son full of happiness and chortling with pure pleasure. Leaving the child to his gurgles, the husband to his snores, the woman now picked up a shovel and started shoveling away the concrete from the road.
Marveling at the resuscitating powers of a mother’s love, I heaved a happy sigh. But alas, hurt by the son’s efforts at trying to blot it out, the sun had scurried behind a cloud cover and gone into a sulk.
Great things were unfolding around the world, but for me, my celebration time was right here – in front of me.
It is the ordinariness of life that makes life extraordinary, isn’t it? The birds whispered as they flew past, and the wind whistled as it blustered past…and yes, the sun had also given up its sulks and was peeping again through the clouds, celebrating life, celebrating love, celebrating the extraordinary ordinariness of life.
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