Sunday, June 26, 2011

12 Months

Being a father for 1 year - it’s simply great. My journey from the biological father to a wholetime father has been worth pondering when I age out. Initially it was superficial but now it’s deep seated in the deepest depth of my heart. The softness of every touch heals the scratchy midnight sleeps, the lightness when I hold him soothes the heaviness of responsibilities, the worries of future are overshadowed by the everyday moments; but nothing beats the “baah baah” sound that goes around Sterling Brookside C 511 these days. Who cares if he realizes this or not, but as time is moving faster than days, it’s not long though. For long I have though my childhood days were the best days of my life, now here comes Reimaan’s childhood and it has all the ingredients to make my next life better and my most cherished and memorable one. Photos and videos can’t capture all the father-son or mother-son moments and even if we were more diligent, how could we have captured the feel.
Also worth noticing is how Taan have grown as the big brother. Ghonto and Ghoncha will miss each other’s company as Ghonto learns to walk as Ghoncha is moving to US. The little Taan who says he wants to eat “car”, “bus”, “parking lot”, “sofa” wants Reimaan to eat “milk”, “cerelac” and “chips” only. He notices and wipes Reimaan mouth during feeds. He gets down from the slides or the swing to have a walk with Reimaan and Biku. Let’s see how much technology will help them in bridging the distance.
As parents our only worry is how Reimaan is shaping up literally. His lack of weight is a big concern for Tumpi, so much so that I am also worried a bit now. It worries me more as I am putting on when my son should have. This is going to lead to a scenario of Sunday evening in 2030 where Reimaan has stepped out of home and I am watching TV and Tumpi is very tense. Tense why? Fathers can’t probably understand how Mothers feel.
Life in and around Reimaan is fun for me as he is a stress-buster and pretty much same for Tumpi. However, for Reimaan, a sight of “baah baah” means playtime and “maam maah” could be anything from playing, biting, climbing, listening to rhymes to battling for the last spoon of rice. He doesn’t like to eat or sleep and wants to play 24x7. Even at 2am in the night, I am scared that if he sees me, he would give me a smile and sit-up.
Now as Reimaan completes a Year, I find myself being very lucky to have a wife like Tumpi. She is wholly and fully dedicated to Reimaan (like any mother, true, but) so much so that she doesn’t mind putting her Oracle work at stake. Never have I been asked to wake up in the night and never has a meeting interfared with Reimaan’s needs. It amazed Maa also the amount of chirping she does with Reimaan, the whole day. My silent wife has become a very talkative Mom. And there lies the trick as to how Reimaan’s vocabulary is increased and memory hardened.
Along the 12 months, we have been blessed with a great family as someone or the other either from my side or Tumpi’s have been part of this journey. Pushpadi taught him spot birds or “paakhi”; I will carry this forward when he grows up. Thaai and Dadus have looked after him when we were not around and were more concerned than us for most times.
More fabulous times lies ahead as he steps into new times. He is now able to stand for some seconds without supports, walks with support; crawls; sits unmoved while being pushed in his cycle and makes many sounds. The coming months and years will see the directionless crawling change to walking, to running to we running after him; the sounds change to the shape of words, to meaningful words, to sentences and finally we answering all WH questions; and lastly the tri-cycle being pushed to we running after his cycle.

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Other part of the 12/2010 Home Trip

We reached agartala on 3rd. On 5th Dec, we went to my in laws and they had a party on occasion of li'l Reimaan's arrival and that went pretty well. Lot of gifts, blessing, kissing, hugging left us bit uncomfortable. But that's the way it is, when a new born arrives and that too from their most lovable lady. We on the other hand were battered with 2 obvious observations - "You have lost too much hair" was for me and "You have put on lot of weight" was for Tumpi. Also everyone want to have us on either lunch or dinner or even Breakfast, so much so that someone offered to come at 1pm and have lunch and leave at2pm, since we were busy. We ended up accepting some offers from close relatives and started obliging.
Next morning we had Chicken Biryani for Breakfast as we could not give a Lunch slot to them. Reimaan was doing good as Tumpi gave him some sponge bath and we took off for another Lunch sitting. Once we returned after an hour, Reimaan was having 102 fever... we gave him some paracetamol drops but didn't know the quantity. We waited for 2 hrs for the fever to come down, in the meantime my mom and dad came and we took him to a senior Pediatric Specialist. The amount of paracetamol was more this time and the way to give him was also changed (we diluted all the medicines and gave him). The doctor suggested a Chest x-ray for the li'l one and it showed there was nothing serious. That night also Reimaan had fever again, and he only got out of that spell next morning. It was scary for us but with Ma and Baba around I was not worried that much. Those times, make you feel how much a presence of a doctor around can ease your life. Me and my brother never went to a doctor all our childhood. In 3 days time Taan would fall sick, and he already knows "nothing works like Dadu Sunil's medicine".
So this would mean, we cancelled all the invitation and stay home for the big occasion on 10th. The plan was to finish the ceremony in the afternoon and invitees would come for dinner. Reimaan did what he does well. he was very active on 9th, and I felt that he would sleep mostly on 10th.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Annaprasan Ceremony

Commonly referred to as First Rice, the ceremony is usually carried out when the child is about 6 months of age. The grandmother prepares a small bowl of paayesh (boiled rice, milk & sugar) which is blessed in a brief puja. The child is held in his Maternal Uncle's lap, who symbolically feeds him the same.

It was planned when my folks were in Bangalore and we found 10th Dec was an auspicious date. As planned we flew to Agartala on 3rd Dec. And with every travel home, there are lot of debates and discussion on day-to-day plans. This time we went after 2 yrs and for only 10 days. Tumpi didn't get enough leave and Reimaan was not 100% fit but the else part to the travel was not there... so we went ahead.

The day started bit late for Reimaan as he woke up at 830 am. Tumpi gave him a qiuck sponge bath and made him ready to visit the LaxmiNarayan Badi, a temple in heart of Agartala where auspicious things are started. The temple closes at 1 pm and we reached there by 1245. What was surprising was the number of 5/6 month old that were present at that time...nearly 20-30 kids were having their Annaprasan there... our plans of finishing it fast seemed impossible as there were no queues and to get a glimpse of the idol was a scamper, forget about doing a small puja... Reimaan was dressed like a typical Bengali groom. Then I asked Tumpi to show the pujari to show a 100 rupees note, and it worked. that guy sort of called us to come in front and performed the puja... the 100 rupees note was donated and we went back home, satisfied.

Next up was the main occasion where Subho (Tumpi's brother) would symbolically feed Reimaan.... It went well with some really coool pictures as Reimaan will open his mouth to grasp everything that's shown to him... Another important part of this was Reimaan was given a choice to choose something from a plate where a book, a gold bangle, some silver stuff, and sindoor was placed. Idea was, whatever he touches is what he would become in future... he took the whole plate !!! All these are captured... coming soon in next blog.

In the evening was the big social function where close to 200 people were invited and that went well with lot of unknown faces showering blessing packed in gifts. Unnecessary but a custom, it seems. As most of the invitees turned up, it was a good occasion but we wait to see Reimaan's health the next day further to announce. Photos and Videos will speak more... than my words.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Photoshoot 3

First of many first Experiences - Flying and Holidaying

The day of 11th November 2010 will always be special in Riemann's life. This is the day Riemann first travelled by air to attend his dearest maasi (Supriya)'s marriage in Kolkata on 12th Nov. And that qualifies for the next first of his life - Holiday in Kolkata.

It was not as great as I write today, since he was suffering from severe cough and cold after Diwali (5th Nov). We thought he would be fine in 5-6 days but it was not to be. However, we travelled as we had to as the occasion was huge. During the trip also he was not well, his smile was short lived as after every 15-20 mins he would get jittery because of the coughing. The nights were bad as he struggled to sleep. He would need to vomit to feel relaxed from the immense cough, wonder how much can be be inside such a little soul.

Coming back to the flying experience, he did well to take care of himself during take-off and landing. Tumpi planned to feed him during take-off, but he would have his way and fell asleep when we were about to board the air-craft. We got a middle row which was pretty cramped and in the process he woke up. We somehow managed to put the bottle in his mouth during take-off, and he suckled. Its important for the kid to suckle at least as movement of the jaws would ensure that his air-pressure in the ears are balanced when the flight air-pressure drops. He slept through most of the 150 min flight and during landing also he was sleeping.

In Kolkata, we had a tough time with the heat and he immediately developed rashes. Since he was having cough we used to wrap him heavily and then he would sweat and become cranky. So we were also confused to great extend and ended up loving Bangalore weather even more.

While coming back, I booked the first row seats and that help us big time. We also understood that worst thing would be that he would cry and that would also ensure the air-pressure in the ears are maintained. Yes, he might end up vomitting aswell. Riemann did show signs of my genes though as he was staring at one of the air-hostess. By the end of the trip, we are more educated about air-travel with kids and more confident that he would enjoy air travel.

Life is changing and its happening so fast, but we are trying to enjoy every bit of it. Only thing I pray is his good health. Amen !!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Reimaan learns to enjoy

Its been a long time since I posted the last update. Anyways now Reimaan has started doing a lot of things and keeps us busy and amazed at the same time.

We did finish the 10th week's quota of immunization, and he did good to keep down his fever. There has been no other health issues with him other than the minor coughs and cold which I guess is part of Bangalore.

He has been totally on mother's milk. It took us some time to move him to mother's milk from the formula feeds as he was not suckling properly. However, now when its time for Tumpi to join office, we realised that he needs some formula feed in a day as well. So now we are trying to make him adapt to bottle feeds again - and that's tough, now that he is developing the concept of "rejection". This is a big learning for working mothers - Keep trying for bottle feed even when the baby suckles properly. Life will be easy when the maternity leave is over.

As for Reimaan, his sleeping habits are showing signs of our genes. He sleeps pretty late in the night, but good part is he is playful till then. So any attempt to make him sleep ends in frustration and him being cranky. We learnt this lesson to make him sleep when he wants to. Last night, he slept at 1130 and the last to it was 12 am.

Over the last month, things were hectic in office, but Reimaan has been a great stress-buster for me. Seems like the best part of being a father has arrived for me. Whenever I come home, play with him for 30 mins and I am fresh to work again. He started making sounds at will. The best is his social smile when he sees me after a long day's work. I have started reading him the morning newspaper and he makes lot of sounds. Whistling to him also triggers him. Whenever he is happy he raises his legs up while lying down, a good workout for my abs if I try to match him. Even if he wakes up, he doesn't cry when he doesn't see us, he waits and stretches makes sounds. He has his "musical bear" and bunch of friends - lion, monkey to give him company. So we can put him in the cradle with them and have dinner.

My Father-in-law went back to Agartala after 3months stay and my parents are here to supplement Reimaan's care. Tumpi is still working from home and taking care of Reimaan. Some hard decisions to make there to make things smooth. Its like learning every day and enjoying it.

Today as we celebrate Maha Nabami, Reimaan witnessed his first Durga Puja, though in Bangalore but should get some sense of Bengali tradition and culture. Its the time of the year, which I think every Bengali need to spend in Bengal and for people like us in Agartala. We realized and planned to spend the coming Durga Pujas in Agartala. Being at Home during Durga Puja has no spiritual or religious reason but it's all about Celebration. Reimaan needs to feel, smell and taste Durga Puja in the right place and we will ensure to make it happen.