By Mihir Joshi
One year! When people say that a year just flew by, I used to always think that sounded stupid. How can a year fly by? A year takes time – 5,25,600 minutes to be precise. That is a lot of time. But then I had my son.
I started writing this column in December when my son Neil was about four months old and now he’s already a year old! Yes, I get it. It took the same five hundred thousand minutes like every other year but this one did seem significantly faster. I still remember sitting in the delivery room, holding my wife Neha’s hand as they pulled him out of her. She had to have a c-section and seeing my son emerge out of my wife the way he did was frankly a sight I won’t ever forget and will be something I’ll torment him with forever. Jokes apart though, it was incredible. When I first saw him and the doctor informed us that it was a boy, it was love at first sight. Yes, he was all wrinkly and covered with icky stuff but it was still instant love. Intense, insane, I’ll fight the world for you love.
And in that very moment I think I fell in love with my wife all over again. It is incredible what a woman has to go through to give birth. I have nothing but respect and admiration for women everywhere for this. It felt like I had got the greatest gift ever. And my love for Neha has just grown 10-fold in this last year. It is never easy but I’ve seen her master her role as a mother. The amount of research and study that she’s done to ensure that we raise Neil in the best possible way has been staggering. And today, 12 months later, our boy can do so many cool things and is constantly winning the world over with his spectacular smile (that he got from his momma) and his cute little “tata” hand motion. He moves the hand up and down, rather than side to side. It is ridiculously cute and thanks to him, I think even I have forgotten how to normally wave goodbye to people. It is crazy but I love it.
So many small things. From the way he pouts, to how he melts my heart when he wants to be held by me and me alone – he actually shakes his head and indicates no when someone else wants to take him from me. I love how he looks when he sleeps, and I love how he bobs his head to the music we play for him. I love how he loves to read his books – no, he can’t actually read but he can turn the pages and he enjoys the colourful pictures and our voices when we read to him.
I love how he eats. His momma ensured that post six months we get him started with baby-led weaning and she taught him to eat by himself. It took a few days for him to master this but now, our one-year-old eats everything with his own hands! He loves his pomegranates, corn, roti, mangoes, litchis and many other fruits and veggies. It is his birthday today as I write this and in the evening he’ll get to taste sugar for the first time when we give him cake. I can’t wait to see how he handles that. We want to limit the amount of sugar he eats but we figured today, on his birthday, we can spoil him a bit.
He seems to understand so much. And I love looking at him when he’s trying to figure something out. I love how curious he is. I love his hair and his cute little nose. And holding him to my chest in my carrier, going out for walks with him and how excited he gets when he sees someone he loves.
I like listening to Will Smith’s Just The Two Of Us and George Strait’s Forever And Ever Amen even more now. Certain songs make so much more sense now and certain shows and movies make me randomly emotional. I love thinking about all the fun stuff I’ll do with him as he grows up. All the movies, comic books, toys and trouble we’ll get into.
I’m enjoying the person I’ve become since he came into my life. I am grateful to God that he is healthy and doing so very well. I look at him and think “Holy s**t! Look at that tiny human! We made him!”
I absolutely love that little boy. Thank you for having us as your parents. Happy birthday, Neil! Baba loves you.
(The writer is a singer – his debut album Mumbai Blues won the GIMA Award for Best Rock Album in 2015 – hosts his own talk show-The MJ Show and does live Hindi commentary for WWE. Follow him on twitter @mihirjoshimusic. Views are personal.)