Being a grandmother is like having a piece of Paradise in your hands all the time. This time, when my little sparkle came to India with her parents, she had begun to smile, and to respond to our timid overtures. She sat and bobbed about on the resplendent mat that was a riot of colours, following us with her large eyes, smiling at the profusion of blocks, noisy musical toys and little knick-knacks strewn around. Despite the cushions we placed behind her, she toppled over, hit her head and screamed for just a moment, till her curious mind found something more interesting around.
And then there was a transformation, from a cute little caterpillar who wriggled around to an even cuter butterfly, flitting around, as she began to stand, chubby legs all a-wobble, looking like a tiny Atlas holding up the world. And in two shakes of a duck’s tail, she was careening around like a mini cannon, as she scampered from side to side, following me into the kitchen and her grandfather to the bedroom with the alacrity of a tiny bolt of lightning.
One evening, when daughter dear had put her to bed with great difficulty, and come out to sit down and have a peaceful glass of coke, and we were all set to have a conversation, there was suddenly a giant thud following by a screech. We rushed into the room, and there she was on the floor, even as our hearts broke to see her there. Luckily God saves little babies, goes the old saying, and apart from a hard knock on her little head, and a bruised ego, she seemed fine.
In no time, I was warbling ‘One Little Finger, Tap Tap Tap!’ while I washed the dishes and Grandpa blared ‘Johnny, Johnny” the moment he came home from office. The little one would wait for him to say ‘Open Your Mouth’ and chortle, ‘Ha ha ha!’ ‘Where is Zoya?’ would elicit a prompt response, ‘Here I Am!’ as she would point to herself.
I found myself humming tunes like ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’ and ‘Old Mac Donald’ while on a walk or in my kitchen, and my husband, who had never sung a rhyme in his life was now dancing to various ditties. However, the shocker came when we realized that, while rhymes were all very well, her favourite song was one unfortunately called ‘Bloody Hell!’ from the latest movie Rangoon. The moment the opening bar was played, she would drop all that she was doing and zoom on to the television, and Kangana Ranaut couldn’t have a more avid little fan, rocking away and cooing at her dance moves.
Miracles are everywhere, one wise soul said. Our miracles are simple – we watch the little one smile her toothless grin, waiting for tiny white pearls that take their own sweet time to emerge, even as she goes through ‘teething’ problems at regular intervals! We miss a heartbeat as we watch that little twinkle in her eye when she does something smart, or something mischievous! As she traverses three wooden steps all on her own, her hair all over her chubby face, or reaches for our luckily docile cat (tat!!!) with her chubby fists with not an iota of fear, as her nails grow like tiny little talons every week, and especially as she mouths words like ‘Mama’, ‘Dada’ and ‘Ammamma’, our hearts turn into marshmallows. Also when she says ‘Ummm every time she wants food, and opens her mouth like a little bird at the sight of her spoon. For she is the greatest miracle of all, this little Princess of ours, and may God bless her forevermore!