Happy Birthday Rauank!! 5 years old today!

(Picture: Cycling in 'Songs of Earth', a beautiful resort in the outskirts of Hyderabad)

Happy birthday baby! It is 12.30 in the night and you are sleeping tight. This time, 5 years ago, you killed me with your crying when I all I wanted to do was just sleep (just being honest. Not representative of how much I love you)

I have been thinking a lot about your birthday post for a few weeks and finally decided to post about 5 things that only I know about you.

1. Your complete name is Raunak Ruhel Behara.

I know it sounds strange that only I know your full name in the entire world but read on.

Papa and I decided to name you Raunak after looking at a Maruti car ad in a news paper that said “Papa, Mummy and little Raunak”. We chose it as the name starts with ‘R’ (Ranjit) and ends with ‘K’ (Kalpana) and it has a lovely meaning – radiance/glow. When you were being dedicated, we told the pastor a million times that we already named you but he decided to give you a name on the alter and called you Raunak ‘Ruhel’ Behara. Ruhel is the uncle of Moses and is a pretty rare biblical name. Not many people heard of 'Ruhel' before and everyone at home forgot that name by the time we drove back home. I have not opened my mouth until today as I did not want you to have a long name. All your documents say ‘Rauank Behara’ :)

2. You have a dimple on one cheek because I prayed for it! (At least that’s what I like to believe)

There were 2 things I wanted when I was expecting you. 1) I wanted the baby to be a girl 2) I wanted the girl to have dimples on her cheeks when she smiled.

I was 100% sure that the baby was going to be a girl. Never ever doubted it and so never even thought it was necessary to pray for it, but when it came to dimples, I wasn’t too sure. So I prayed for it but then after a few days, I added a little twist to my prayer just for the heck of it. I prayed that the baby should have one dimple and not two (as a sign that the dimples were there in the first place due to my prayers)

I forgot all about my prayers after you were born, but when you smiled at me for the first time when you were about 5 months old, my heart skipped a beat when I saw a tiny dimple dance on your right check (only one. Not two) . My heart stills skips a beat when the dimple teases me when you smile even today. It is deepening as you grow as if the Universe is telling me that this is our little secret.

3. The first time I saw you as a full grown baby in my CT Scan (I was 8 months pregnant then), you turned your head and stuck your tongue out at me (I am not kidding! Ask Dr. Naina Singh)

4. You are a left hander because when you picked up a pencil to scribble for the first time, I intensionally passed the pencil for you to hold in your left hand and thought “I wish he becomes a left hander”. No major reason. I just have a thing for lefties. They are different.

I never forced you to write with your left mind you. You had a natural inclination towards using your left hand more than your right and I happily played along. Did not let anyone force you to write with your right hand like it usually happens. You threw a ball with your left hand and ate food with left. I just happened to wish (probably at the right time) that you become a lefty because no one in the family is one, and now, you are the only left hander both in my family as well as papas.

5. You are not a vegetarian because I decided not to flex my muscles and fight for making you join my club. I feel enjoying food is one of the most important things in life, and what kind of food you decide to eat (or avoid) and for what reason is purely personal choice. There is no meaning of choice if I don’t let you try everything and then take a decision when you are intelligent enough. So I did my duty of introducing you to all kinds of food. Its up to you to choose what you want to be when you grow up. If you want to take my advice, be a vegetarian. It is barbaric to kill a living being and eat it.