Abu came into our lives as a tiny, scrawny 2-month-old baby. But we had already decided that he was the most beautiful baby and that we would love him no matter what, even before he was born. Even while Ritu Didi was carrying him, we knew he would be one of us. More than Ujesh Unlce and Ritu Didi, his parents, the four of us- Acha, Amma, Chechi and me- were excited about his arrival.
Didi left to Chandigarh for her delivery. It was a complicated case, because she was highly diabetic. The day she went into labour, we heard that it was going to be difficult. She had gone into labour two months prematurely. Ujesh Uncle kept us updated about what was happening. He was tensed. There were chances that they won’t be able to save the baby. We were all praying fervently for the baby we had never set eyes on even, but were waiting excitedly since the past seven months for. Finally uncle came and told us and Abu had entered the world, after a lot of difficulty, drugs and drama.
Abhishek Sharma was born on 23rd August 1998.
And ever since that day, he has had two dads, two moms, and two sisters. Five years later, one brother too.
He lived in our house, pretty much all the time. Didi used to put him to sleep, place him on our sofa and then go for her bath and to finish off her chores. So tiny was he, people who came to our house were hardly able to make out that the small lump on our sofa is actually a sleeping baby. He slept at our place, he ate at our place, he played at our place. He grew up at our place. Since his flat was right opposite ours, it didn’t take him much time to just cross over and come to our flat. From 7 in the morning to 12 at night, our door used to be open all the time, because a) it was getting tiresome opening the door every five minutes to a tiny little fist banging on the door and yelling “Viji Mummy, darwaza kholo!” and b) he had figured out how to lock doors from outside. So just when we had to go out somewhere urgently, we would pull on the door and realize that Sir Abu had locked it from outside. We would then stand at the window and yell for one of our neighbours to open the door for us. So ya, it just made better sense to leave it open. We had to device new ways to make him eat his Cerelac, because he was a very fussy eater. Chechi and I would sing songs, jump around, twirl that spoon-fork-knife set (that looks like a merry-go-round) in his face, and when he’s watching open-mouthed at his two mad elder sisters, Amma would shove a spoon of Cerelac into his mouth.
He called my dad Chandran Papa, my mom Viji mummy, and of course, we were Lachu Didi and Ammu didi. Chech and I used to play with all his brand new toys first and only then give it to him. He would say “Didi, please, abhi mujhe khelne do na.” He was more fond of my mom’s mallu cooking than his mom’s Punjabi style, and he had no qualms about accepting it. We would make fun of him saying that if his Viji Mummy gave him even uncooked dough to eat, he would polish it off happily. Didi used to cook something and stealthily give it to my mom, telling her to feed it to him passing it off as her cooking.
He would take serious offense if we introduced him as our ‘neighbour’. Once I had gone to pick him up from the bus stop when he returned from school, and a girl from his school who got down at the same stop, who had only seen his mom coming to pick him up, asked me who I am. I told her that I’m his neighbor. I could feel a small face staring up at me. Once we got home, he complained to his mom that I had called him my neighbor. “Why did you call me your neighbour?? Why didn’t you say I’m your brother??!!” And he threw his socks at me. Well, that was the last time I made that mistake!
He grew up with us. And in that process, we became kids once again. Amma made him eat, Acha taught him Malayalam (his first Malayalam words- the song Kandu kandu kandilla- and he speaks flawless Malayalam. He can even read and write), Chechi and I made him a bakra for all experiments. He had long curly hair till he was about 3, because they have this custom of shaving the head for the first time at a religious ceremony (it’s called Mundan, I believe). So till then, he had soft curly hair lovelier than that of a girl’s. Chechi and I used to drape a shawl around him like a saree, tie his hair into a ponytail, put bindi, chain, bangles etc, and dress him up like a girl. And then we would click his photos and laugh at him. We were such bullies. Paavom… he just loved his didis too much to protest. Whatever we did, he would play along with it. We made him dance, we made him sing. Our world revolved around him. His first b’day celebration was no less a celebration for us too. Exactly five years later, his brother was born. Yup, on the same day. They share the same birthday. :) Aditya Sharma, Vibhu at home. I lovingly call him Toofan, because he’s nothing less than one. He too followed in his brother’s footsteps and spent most of his time at our house.
But Abu was special. He was OUR baby. Our brother. Our son. They shifted from the apartment a few years ago, but even now, Abu spends most of his time at our place. He’ll come home and say “Viji mummy, I want your rice and sambar ok.” And Amma, just to pull his leg, will say “No no, you go home. I don’t have any food for you. Go tell your mom to cook for you.” He’ll go give her a hug, say “You’re also my mom only no”, go out to play with the apartment kids, and will be back promptly by lunch time.
Ya, Abu is special. It’s hard to believe that he’s grown up. He’s as tall as me now. Every time I go home, he’ll first give me a crushing hug and then come stand next to me and say “I’m as tall as you Didi. Next time I’ll be taller.”
And now, when I see my little Abu jaan on Facebook, uploading pics of himself in his new spectacles, commenting on his friends' pics and updates and posting links of songs from “I Hate Luv Storys”, ennala thangamudiyaathu kadavule, thaangamudiyaathu! :/
Ennala thaangamudiyaathu kadavule- I can't bear it, god!
One of those posts which puts a Smile on ur Face. Felt so good reading it..:-)ReplyDelete
That's an 'aww' post if I ever saw one! It's amazing how someone you knew as a kid grows up...I still remember playing cricket with these kids who were 8-10 years younger than me who would call me 'didi' and the number of times I'd tell them off for calling me that. Now they are doing their undergraduate studies and I see them on facebook and I'm still amazed at how grown up they are!ReplyDelete
My God, woman, the way you were going on about how sweet he is, I thought something happened to him-_- God forbid.ReplyDelete
Oh and this comes at a time, when my erstwhile tiny little cousin bro (now taller, stronger and sharper than me)showed me one of the videos he made with his friends in school.
I cringed every time he said 'fuck', glared at him at all the 'rack' jokes they made and looked at him open mouthed for he doesn't sound like the cuddly fluff he was.
He sounds like an out-and-out Canadian teenager that he is and I'm left wondering when the FUCK he grew up:|
Aw! sweetness practically was dripping from every word u wrote in this post! :)ReplyDelete
I had a baby brotherish too. So, my name is shatabdi right? He used 2 call me shatab-didi without even realizing why people found it so funny. We used 2 go by school bus together, it was damn cute!
and now? He looks like a stud! You know the worst thing? he still calls me 'didi' :(
Such a sweet post! I am all emotional now. I love babies but life as it goes never gave me a chance as yours since our neighborhood was changing rapidly as I grew up and hence families never had the time to bond enough.ReplyDelete
Awesome post, reminds me of the time when I used to be that kid running into my neighbors'(strike that)my sisters' house. They still send me rakhi's every year and wish me on my birthday without fail.ReplyDelete
I could write a post about it someday but probably would not match up to this one.
Brilliant read, thanks for posting this one; brought back memories of the early part of my childhood.
Aww, that is one sweet post. You're lucky to have had this kind of a relationship in your life.ReplyDelete
When I see my baby cousin bro's pics on fb, I feel the same way. He's all grown up now, a college boy, handsome, probably with girls swooning over him. But for me he'll always be the chubby little kid who held my finger while crossing the road.
Hi really a sweet post :) :) I myself see as Abu as i was brought up in my neighbour's home and they will always see me as a child till now :) :) Even i had the same relation with akka in their home :) now they are really surprised to see me working and this much big :P :) Really saw the care which you guys had :) beautiful :) Even during my mom's demise they were like pillars and helped me a lot :) Nicely written :)ReplyDelete
Awwww. Mujhe rulaaoge, kya? :'-)ReplyDelete
Heart warming. I feel the same way about my younger cousins - to imagine that I used to bathe, dress and put my li'l cousins to sleep as tiny tots; and now they're going onto their 10th std! Time does seriously fly.ReplyDelete
And that's when it'll dawn on you -
a) They've grown up
b) You've grown old (!)
this was such a cute post.. brought a smile to my face.. Abu sounds like such a sweet guy.. and kids they grow so quick (even we do) that we don't even realise it man!ReplyDelete
For a split second I had a strange feeling that something happened to him *touch wood* .. pray he be safe.. but thank god it ended on a nice note :) .. Lovely !!
i second PeeVee..ReplyDelete
i was keeping my fingers crossed something negative will come up..
this be a refreshing waala post..
fet like a breath of fresh air when i read your experience raising him..
nice work ladaayyy
i second PeeVee..ReplyDelete
i was keeping my fingers crossed..
i thought something negative will come up soon..
owwwwwwww..this be masstt..
a refreshing read u know..
felt a breeze like ease..when i read your experience of raising im up..:):)
best wishes to him..:)
naaaaaaiceeeeeee post ladaayyy..^_^
wat more can i say??i wanted to say 'it's one of the sweetest posts i read so far'...but so many others beat me to it....:-)ReplyDelete
Ahh I would probably feel the exact same way once my baby nephew grows up!! Actually I am damn sure I would feel the same way!!!ReplyDelete
Suchaaaaaaaay cute post Divs...I am the Abu of my neighbours and my sis is one for another set. My mum hates us for abandoning her cooking and promptly gupling down the bagal waala ghar ka khana. Auntu calls me putti, till date and I looove it, till date :D. The thangamudiyadu is becuase he is on FB or the choice of music?ReplyDelete
I cant stop saying awwww.... such a cute post. At the risk of sounding old, I'll say this that those days bonds with neighbors were so much more easier to form.. my bro almost grew up in our neighbor's place.. everybody is so busy now that they don't even know who their neighbours are ! and i totally relate to the thangamudiyala comment cos my lil bro(not so lil anymore:-)) is 9 years my junior and now when i see his FB profile with drunken party pics,it makes me wonder about how so much has changed !ReplyDelete
stupeeeeeee internet..comment got submitted typic :/
Oh God you had me scared here Spiff, just like PeeVee and Meoww. *Touchwood* he's fine.ReplyDelete
I am the youngest in the family and have been through this phase like loadsa times. But now as I see my niece and nephew on FB, talking about love, I go like AAaaaarggghh. When I was their age, I probably dint know what internet was!!
God bless your Abu Jaan :)
Yup kids - they grow up really fast, dont they? :)ReplyDelete
Sweet, sweet one Spiff.. really liked tht he basically grew up right in front of ur eyes :)
I'm actually kinda jealous of my neighbors son.. ya he did grow up at my place n stuff but his fb pics today show tht he's gt far better life thn i do... n he doesn't invite me fr any of his wild parties... ungrateful &^%#$&^%^... grrrr.. just kiddin :D
nice on D :)
@Kanthu: Thank oyu. :)ReplyDelete
@PB: Seriously. I just cannot accept that he's grown up. :(
@PeeVee: There was a time when Abu had met with an accident, and one side of his beautiful face was completely scarred. I don't remember feeling that helpless and sad any other time. But thankfully, he recovered.. :)
@Express: Hehe. :) Shatab-didi! :D
@Keirthana: Oh I'm sure you'll find someone like this some time. :) If not a brother, then a son. :)
@AS: I still call them up and wish them on rakhi too. :)
@sumitra: Awww.. That was so cute. :)
@Ravishankar. Thanks.. :)
@Vinitha: I guess it's easirt to accept that they've grown up than the fact that we're getting old. :/
@meoww: Post itna accha laga ki comment pe comment post kar diya? :PReplyDelete
Thanks my dear. :)
@Rahul: :D Thanks, nevertheless. :)
@Writing Bee: You bet this is exactly how you're gonna feel. :)
@Pinx: The 'thaangamudiyaathu' is because he's on FB. :/
@Bhargavi: So true. If I had to talk about my bond with my neighbours from back home, that would be another post. We lived like one big happy family. I don't even know, and frankly don't care, hwo my neighbours are right now/ :/
@Soumya: Abu asks me whether I want this and that software loaded into my system, and I stare at him blankly, because I have no freaking clue what those softwares are. Like you said, when I was his age, all I knew was MS Paint. :/
@R-A-J: :D Thanks!
that was totally an 'awww....' post. it was imagery at its best!! loved it! 'Awwwwww' again! God bless!ReplyDelete
was smiling as I read this post..so sweet. especially the ending.. its so true. watching them grow up, once in diapers, next thing u know, they've finished 12th standard.. sigh.ReplyDelete
Abu sounds a lot of fun...Reminded me of the time we used to dress up our little male cousin with a dupatta fashioned to be a sari.Yeah and when he grew up his antics had me screaming silently "ennala thangamudiyaathu kadavule, thaangamudiyaathu!"ReplyDelete