Jan 152021
A Tender Mission
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Sharing something I wrote for my kids. Hope you enjoy the read.

It’s 8.00 am at the base camp.
A routine, sunny lazy morning.
I am sipping coffee, brushing through the newspaper headlines to be in time for the task at hand.

Captain Shruti (my wife) – “It’s time!”

The confident look on her face leaves no questions or doubts that the mission is a go!

I wonder why I never hear her approaching at this time of the day? Well all the timing and movements are weaved into perfection over her 2 years of rigorous training I guess. Silence must be maintained in these hours.

I gulp my coffee, get up and straighten my back. What had started as a lazy morning was now a morning with a mission.

There is a typical silence at this hour of the day, all you can hear is leaves rustling, birds chirping and some distant sound of utensils being washed.

I move silently, bet would have beaten a cat if you put me against one! I start to walk up the stairs expertly climbing over two waist level gates built and latched strategically on both the ends of staircase.

No sound.

I walk upto the bedroom, gently open the gate a little and with one eye closed, peak into the bedroom. It’s dark and no movement inside. The bed has been converted to a barrack with huge pillows guarding the frontiers, no movement noticed in the barracks. Good. I push the door further.

Screech… it makes a sound and I stop!

No movement, no breathing. Even the clank of utensils stop at this very moment as if the Gods are by my side today.

l notice a little movement in the barrack on the bed. Located!

After staying still for two full minutes and ascertaining all movements have subsided, I move into the room. Gently walking upto the barrack I take a good look.

There she is! My two year old daughter asleep peacefully, guarded by huge pillows barricading the bed. She shouldn’t startle and wake up. She has to be pampered and woken up gently.

That is the tender mission.

I pull out a pillow and lay down next to her. Her back is towards me. I put my right hand on her side and comb her hair with the fingertips of my left hand tenderly. She turns in her sleep and digs her face between my left arm and chest. I now comb her hair with the fingertips of my right hand and kiss her gently.

“Wakey wakey baby”, I whisper to her.

She takes a turn again, her back towards me.

“Goodmorning Ira”, I say in a soothing tune. She turns again, this time her eyes open.

“Ila uth gayi (Ira’s got up)” she lisps. Just when I think she’s up, she gets up and lays down on the pillow near my legs.. “Aalas kal li ha” (aalas kar rahi hai), she says.

I then sit up and comb her hair with my fingertips again. She lays still, liking me besides her as I kiss her forehead. I let her be; aalas (laziness) is a good thing after all, no hurry!

“Ila blush kalegi” (Ira will brush her teeth) she says. Well I guess she’s ready now.

I pick her up in my arms get down the bed (read barrack) and walk towards our gallery. The gallery is full of flowered plants of different colours and a tree opposite to our house with overlooking branches onto our gallery.

As I open the door she shouts out excitedly – “Good morning Sun Mama, good morning flowers, good morning tree”…

Priyank to Shruti Chhajed- “The tender mission is a success”…

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