Its her first ever birthday. My niece, a cute, little, chubby packet of Joy – Vrinda.

London to India

Last year, exactly same time, I flew to India to see her arrive into our lives. We were showering with lots of excitement and racing hearts. Doctor said, we need to go for C section and obviously we agreed with him. And As a traditional Hindu family, Papa rushed to the astrologist, got the holy time – date for the birth and we informed doctor – when to do it. I smiled looking at my father as if he had just cheated the god.

On 19th Nov.2019, 3.35 PM – She came to this world, a very tiny living being, moving all around, and yawning every single time. I got into the ward and I was the first one to embrace her in my arms – even before her mother (because she was unconscious till that time). This small baby was too restless and delicate, and my heart was racing with fear that I might not hurt her. I held her and kept looking at her till the time doctor kicked me out of the ward.

Outside the OT, somehow, there was a silence. Expectation was a boy, and we had a girl. Couple of days back, I had made a bet with my father. I was with the girl and my father was expecting a boy.

Today, I was happy to win and we had got the little princes home. I somehow rushed to bakery, got lots of sweets for the entire hospital and celebrated. Everyone was asking if we had a boy!!!! … It had pinched me deep in the heart, and I was thinking –

“What a crap, people still differentiate. Just eat this sweet if you would like and just shut up!”

Genuinely, I don’t like kids – they are noisy, messy and selfish. They always try to get whatever they want, whenever they want. But this little baby is different. She has made our life full of joy. I could spend just 4 days with her and then I flew back to London.

Since then, we are just meeting virtually – Through Video calls. Many a times – Internet is pain in my village and I miss seeing her.

She grew very fast. I still feel, as if she was in my hands yesterday. Now, She started recognising my voice and remembering my face. She even started recognising a Skype tone – she knows, “whenever this tone goes on, someone from the TV tries to talk to her. Wave to her and laugh with her.”

We started building a strong bond. I saw her growing, crawling, uttering her first words, seeing her first steps – Everything is just virtually. At-least – I thank god, that I am in era where I can make a video call.

Just couple of days back she tried to call me first time. That too with my first name – Vijya….!! Those were too precious words. Immediately , my mom jumped in to tell her – Call him ‘Baba’, with respect (for uncle).

Who knows, I am too much happy for she calling me with my first name and I am going to teach her to do the same forever. First of all – I don’t feel that old, and second – Its friendly. I don’t want to be her Hitler uncle, but a friend.

Finally, Today is her birthday. The first ever birthday!!! Time just flew, and she became one…Definitely, I wanted to make it special with lots of memories built in.

With help of some friends, colleagues, relatives – I had managed to send all the decoration, cake, flowers and gifts. I woke up early in India time, exited to decorate her room. My Brother, father, mother, and everyone else – started decorating and I could just talk and share my ideas.

There was feeling of being missed. I wont be in her photos for her first ever birthday. I could not share the precious time of her first few years. Since last few months, she made me realise – The most difficult job in this world is to balance in emotions, expectations, money, and reality. Its like walk on the knife.

And finally time came. Little celebrity, dressed in beautiful pink dress, with fairy butterfly wings and beautiful bow on the head – came to cut the cake. Surrounded with the people, with praises from everyone – she took the knife with help of her dad. Flash started flashing, capturing these beautiful moments. She put the knife on the cake, but she cried. On the video call, I just told my heart – yeah, she just missed you. She missed her dear Vijay.

Wish you a very long and very happy life my dear. Be strong and be bold. I will be there to support you.