Thursday, July 23, 2009


It's been sometime since I blogged and the reason is ... we are too busy these days ... our grand daughter 'Meher' is here. She reached Bangalore on the night of 01/ 02 Jul and our world was transformed by her magical presence. The last few days have delightfully slipped by, no complaints. She along with my wife and daughter have left for Delhi this morning and I am back to blogging for the next four days.

She was all of 09 months old when she got here but she could teach a number of lessons to the two of us. We have brought up two kids but being a grand parent is the time one becomes a grand parent, the perspective changes... you seem to enjoy the child more, because one has generally seen what life is all about, and one starts valuing the TRULY valuable things of life... like the little ones and what they bring into our lives and relationships - their innocence; their bewitching smile; the magical twinkle in their eyes; their unique ability to have full conversations with you without speaking a word, and all through gestures and expressions, without ever losing eye contact. (This is the privileged grandparents world - all perks without the responsibility, which can sometimes be overpowering - we were also parents once).

Poonam had done the necessary spade work for her arrival... all glass and other breakables were removed from below 3 feet height and the floor was generally kept clear for her to crawl. She has this fascinating crawl. She puts her hands forward and then bounces forward like a rabbit... of course during the course of her stay here, she has perfected crawling and it is evident that she now hates to crawl. Given the slightest vertical support, she would rather stand, and attempt walking. She learnt how to stand at our place. It was a lesson in management for us adults. Our centre table is her pet. Watching her learn how to stand on her wobbly legs has really been very enlightening.

On the first day she tried to stand, she crawled towards the centre table - stopped at a distance of about three feet and stretched her left hand forward - it did not reach the table; she crawled forward a little more and attempted the same again - same results; she continued doing this until she could reach the top edge of the table. She then put both her hands on the top edge and dragged herself up - we were all waiting for the inevitable to happen and it did happen - she collapsed under her own weight. No problems - try and try again until she finally managed to wobble up - the look on her face was worth noticing - a look that said that this was something she really enjoyed accomplishing.

After this it has been normal for her to come up to the table - reach out (her 3D image of estimating distances is slowly inching towards perfection - her reaching out range is getting closer each time; sometimes she does it perfectly now) and then stand up - she still falls once in a while, when she thinks she's got it, but she never gives up. For a few days she did not dare move her hands but slowly she started moving one hand to reach out to objects on the table or just to thump the table top - her confidence seemed to be growing.

One day she started to walk while still holding on to the edge of the table, initiating the move with one hand followed by the same leg and then shifting weight - each manoeuvre that we adults take for granted is such a beautiful act of co-ordination for her. The other day, I offered her my hand and she left the table top and hung onto my hand and walked away from the table. I then gave her my thumbs and she did the same - though the wobble in her legs increased and her grip on my thumbs was very tight. Couple of days later, I attempted giving her only one thumb - she held on with one hand and moved forward for five steps and then fell down - loud wail - thump the ground where she fell, and she is all smiles again.

Eyeing the newspaper - she is teething and enjoys chewing on the newspaper

Watching her learn to stand has many valuable lessons for us - aim (always slightly more than what you can comfortably accomplish); plan; act; revise plan; act; persevere; try and try again; 'you never fail, until you give up'; know your capability, and improve it every day; trust; communications without words; the power of a smile; focus on the job at hand - karma; and the biggest of all - living in the present moment. Thank you God for grand children.