A lot happened in the past year. I remember a lot more than I did the year before. Since everyone is reminiscing I thought I would do a little of the same of my 2 years on planet earth.
I do not remember much of the time spent in Mamma’s tummy though I know there was always a lot of activity and shouting. I was acutely aware of two people, one being my Baba – who I also call Shojo. The other one was Dada (Goofy). They were Mamma’s constant companions. Dada says him and me came to mamma and baba around the same time though I was still too small at that time to come out. I would regularly kick them if they came too close to Mum though – an activity I vigorously indulge in, till date.
When I was born, which is the biggest event of my life so far, Mamma had to go away from home for a few days. When she came back alone and dada couldn’t understand why I was not with her. Dada didn’t know if I would look like dada, mamma or baba and no one told him till I arrived a few days later. He said I looked like no one he has ever seen. I couldn’t walk or talk or eat like he could. I could only cry out to mum to feed me and the rest of the time I just threw my arms and legs around and gurgled. I pee-ed and poo-ed all day long and dada complained a lot to mum about the smell.
Then I started chatting with dada when we would lie together on the mattress. Dada helped me when I finally started crawling. We went on long crawls around the house. Mum forbade everyone to wear shoes inside the house and I couldn’t try on any for a while – although they looked quite tasty. Dada would sometimes take advantage of the fact that I was too little (to protest) and bully me and bug me. I continued drinking my favourite food – milk (which I love to drink even now) but mum also started making these weird concoctions which didn’t taste all that bad. I ate them morning, noon and night though they wouldn’t give me what they ate. In between sometime during June I started saying Babbba which catapulted my poor Baba straight over the moon. I did say a lot of things – so it’s really strange why that particular word got him all excited.
Around this time, all my grannies and great grannies heard about Mum’s torture and invited me to their India land called Kokatata (Kolkata). I got a new blue book with a photo which said I was a grown up now. Dada planned to go on a little vacation of his own to visit some of his own folks. We dropped him off and then went to the airport. It was my first time on an A-pin (Airplane) though I didn’t know the difference. I was busy working my charms on the pretty women who came by every two minutes cooing at me.
On reaching the destination I was met with lots of people wearing weird clothes who insisted on cuddling me. They did have lots of gifts waiting but I refused to leave Mamma even for a second in this strange land. Mamma turned a bit weird too and started wearing their clothes and insisted I go to them all as they are my grandparents. I vaguely remember meeting them before but couldn’t place any of them.
They arranged a huge party and ceremony for me where Dau (Grand dad from dad’s side) did puja with me on his lap. Dadan (Grand dad from Mum’s side) fed me rice for the first time. I dressed up in funny new clothes and got lots of gifts and cried bucket fulls. I met with a lot of my cousins and all my important family members. I knew them all except the one I called Gono (Mashi – Mum’s little sister) and Benky (Mesho – her husband). I even had my first Durga Puja there. All in all it was a great vacation.
We returned home all exhausted to find Goofy dada all weepy because he missed us so. Mum said she will never let him go on a vacation alone again. He will stay on with the nanny at home in future.
Then one day I was strong enough to stand and another day I started taking a few wobbly steps. Mum, Baba and dada do that all the time and yet they were elated. They thought it was a Kodak moment and made me walk around till I refused to be exploited anymore. You see, one year olds have rights and views too.
In no time, the Christmas and New Year was over. I slept through them both. And then in a few more days I had another smaller party. They got me a cake and sang me songs and told me I was 1 year old. I had no idea what they meant and didn’t know why they wanted me to wake up and smile when I was so sleepy. Dada told me to keep shut and just eat the yummy cake and so I did. It was good. It was a pretty ordinary year by my standards.