Tiny, pink and sleepy. That is how you were for the first few months that I knew you. No matter what dreadful shift I returned from, I heard you crying and saw your sleep deprived mother trying hard to just put you to sleep. And then as if my magic you became the nicest baby boy that I ever knew. You cried only when you needed to be fed and the rest of the time you preferred to simply sit and stare. Oh you did flash that cute chubby smile of yours but that was once in a while.

Every time I saw you, I had the distinct feeling that you were growing bigger and looking different. I hated that my job gave me so little time to see you despite all my initial excitement about having a baby right next door. In the past month or so you were a permanent fixture in my house. With my mother’s summer vacations on I saw her hold you in the morning and evening and night! I remember the day you wet my jeans thrice in 20 minutes but I also remember that I still wanted to sit there holding you as you looked all quite and chubby.

You looked the cutest in the past few weeks as you learned to roll over and made faces when your gums itched. It was time for the first of your milk teeth to come and by now you had learnt to laugh. It was not a quite smile of a baby, it was a loud and happy laughter that made all of us want to hold you tighter. Every time I held you, your cherubic fingers made a dash to pull my hair. As if my hair falling out on a regular basis was not enough, you were there to make sure you pulled out a few more strands with those chubby fingers of yours. If my hair was tied, my specs would be the second target. All you wanted was to be held and carried around. You made sure you always had the attention of someone or the other and you were the apple of so many eyes. You just had to smile and a room full of people smiled along.

But baby the way you went was just bizarre. The last time I saw you it was the rain outside that had your interested. I tried to get your attention but all you wanted to do was look out of the window. I went to work in the morning on a regular week day and when I returned post mid night my mother told me you were gone. Just like that.
It’s not like I have not seen death before but how can a baby just choke on its own food? How can you go away in a matter of minutes? How can you go away after having lived just 8 months lil one? We were already talking about your first birthday and that you would soon start walking. We looked forward to you knocking at our door just like your 3 year old sister did.

All I can say is that life and death seem extremely irrational to me. You not being here just feels senseless. As your parents cry their eyes out in their grief I still find it hard to believe that you are not around. Maybe it is because I wasn’t around during the hours right after your death. But that is how life is, isn’t it? It just changes in minutes, sometimes seconds. The seconds you wished never occurred.
And for your sake I find myself wishing that the talk about life after death is true. I imagine a happy place for you where the angels watch over you lil one. You’ll be missed and will never be forgotten.

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