A welcome song by excited friends, shrieks of happiness, mirthful laughter, and animated talks dislodged the calm that was prevalent at the home till then. It was a surprise welcome to our dear friend Priya, who had a pre-mature delivery – which tossed away our plans for a surprise baby shower party right out of the window. Each one of the ten-member girl gang was as excited as the second-time mother about the arrival of the new life.
Slowly, the atmosphere of elation gave way to warm hugs, broad smiles and baby language. After the madness settled in, all of us eased into the sofa and were engaged in bantering, all animated, nothing less for us, when the door-bell rang. Priya’s first born, Aryan, had come from school. Head slightly tilted and bent with a reluctant smile just about making an appearance on his lips he entered the house. His gait shouting, “Nothing affects me”, but his little eyes raised to scan the living room to catch a glimpse of his mother who was away from him in a hospital for delivery for close to 10 days. Even before his eyes could rest on her, he was bombarded with instructions, which came bellowing from the inside of the house - “Change your clothes”, “Wash your hands”, “Freshen up”, “Don’t go into the bedroom, the baby is sleeping,” from his father and grandparents.
He dragged himself off with heavy lingering steps as though he’s being peeled away from his mother. He made an entry after a few minutes, head still tilted and bent, a reluctant smile still playing on his lips, however now shoulders dropping too. As he was about to settle down in a chair, Priya, extended her arm and called out to him, and as if that was all the prodding he needed, Aryan quickly vaulted the hardly three-steps to reach his mother and snuggled up in her lap.
A simple question from Priya “How are you and how was your day?” brought a radiant smile on Aryan’s face. He answered as if a barrage was broken. Their talk continued, while I watched the beautiful bond between a mother and son being laid out. I also realized at that point Priya has a double role to play, a mother to an infant and a mother to a kid. Mind you, both are as different as chalk and cheese.