Dear diary,

Anika turns one today. In the last few weeks, she gave us one jolt after another. First, teeth started sprouting all over inside her mouth. I know that is normal but it was strange to see her with teeth. She looks like a bunny when she laughs which she does a lot nowadays. She farts and laughs. A lot.

She has started walking too. She did a drunk dance for a few days and then one day, got up and crossed a room. Everyone fell silent and looked at each other, as if we have realized that there was a green alien from Mars sitting in the room with us. Then everyone fell upon each other to grab their mobiles. She clapped and laughed and walked. She is still getting the hang of it. Her gait is funny.

She has started eating all kind of food – eggs, yogurt, butter, panner, khichdi – you name it, she eats it. We usually have to put up a song when she eats. Thank God her relationship is over with Justin Beiber’s Baby. The affinity was driving me crazy. Nowadays, it is plain, old Lakdi ki kathi. Bless the Lord.

Diary,

A few days back she made the first connection between a word and what that word means. It was a bit surreal. I don’t know how to explain it. It is like that moment when you understand the first word in a French movie because you have started learning the language. That happiness. That first click. I felt that for her.

And that was the first time I felt how far away she has come from being an unknown face floating in liquids that she was a year back.

Last year, we were worried about everything going right, worried about her grand entry in the world. And when the doctors brought her out – a pink mass of flesh, completely dissatisfied with the change in her quiet existence, hungry, crying – I felt a surge of blood to my face. Something changed inside me. I went to the nursery, saw the nurses put some identification on her as she tried to open her eyes and look at me. I stood there a long time trying to comprehend what had just happened. I became a father. Holy crap!

Dear Diary,

It had been a crazy one year journey. Geet and I went through myriad collection of emotions. Our limits were tested. Sometimes, there were cloudbursts of happiness. Sometimes we went through volcanic eruption of frustrations. But we clung to each other. We watched her face change every day. We saw her pick up new habits and discard the old ones within weeks. We saw her smile one fine day and smiled with her. I won’t lie if I say that there weren’t times when we wanted to break free, when we wanted our own personal space, when all this got too overwhelming for both of us. And that is when our families came to our support. I don’t know what we would have done without them.

But you know what, Diary? We always felt guilty about leaving her behind whenever we went for a movie or a dinner date. We kept talking about her. I remember both of us getting restless when we went to watch a movie leaving Anika with her grandparents for the first time. We could not sit through the second half. And that is when we realized how much our lives have changed. How much this girl has crept up in our thought process. How much she means to us.

In January ’14, Geet and I went on a holiday with Anika to Kasauli. She was seven months old and everyone scared us to bits about taking such a small child to the hills. We still went ahead and immensely enjoyed the trip except for that one time when we had to go to a temple on the top of a hill and taking her there in the pram was not an option. I picked her in my arms and climbed the hill and then scared a monkey away who tried to kidnap her. I was Superman in Geet’s eyes that day. Her jaw scraped the ground and she had no idea how I did that. Neither did I.

Diary,

 I wonder what is in store for us in the future. I am scared that she might not pick up my habit of reading or watching movies. I want to discuss books with her. I want to discuss old Hollywood classics with her. I know, I should not be imposing any sort of career choices on her but I want her to an artist – a singer or a painter or a writer or a dancer. I want her to love her profession. I want her to choose a career that fulfils her, not something that just pays the EMI of  her apartment. But, well, I think I am thinking far ahead. We will cross the bridge when we come to it. All that makes her happy right now is her plastic fruit basket that she loads and unloads relentlessly with plastic mango, papaya and bananas.

So, one year has gone by Dear Diary. Who knows what the future holds. But I do pray that the fun continues.

Happy Birthday Anika.

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About the Author:

Amit Sharma is the Author of fiction novel False Ceilings published by Lifi Publications in January 2016.
Amit always keeps a book and a portable reading light in his bag (much to the amusement of his fellow travellers). His other hobbies include watching world cinema, travelling, staring at hills, digging into various cuisines, cooking, listening to music, painting, blogging, making his daughter laugh and helping his wife with her unnecessary and prolonged shopping.
He is currently working on his Second novel which is a thriller.

60 Comments

  1. Rachna May 21, 2014 at 8:28 am - Reply

    Dear Anika, Here’s wishing you a very happy birthday. Wow, you are one year old today. Your papa has been regaling us with your tales. Many blessings and love to you. Hope you continue to be the apple of your parents’ eyes forever. Wish you Amit and Anuja, a successful first year of parenting. Yes, your life has changed forever and for the better. Continue to support each other through the frustrations coz there are si many. And it is a real blessing that both your families are firmly behind you. Good luck for the future.

    • Amit May 24, 2014 at 12:56 pm - Reply

      Thank you for all your wishes Rachna. 🙂

  2. R's Mom May 21, 2014 at 9:00 am - Reply

    Sigh..you made me all mushy Amit 🙂 What a sweet sweet sweet letter for her to read when she grows older…Happy Birthday Anika…hope you have loads of fun troubling your parents now that you reach the toddler stage 🙂

    • Amit May 24, 2014 at 12:57 pm - Reply

      Thanks R’s Mom. 🙂 She has started walking. The troubles are just beginning.

  3. Sakshi Nanda May 21, 2014 at 9:11 am - Reply

    Love all the analogies you use to describe your emotions milestone-after-milestone-achieved. You are quiet a dad, Amit and you are doing a great job with Anika. I wish I meet her soon. Here’s wishing her a wonderful day and blessings for all times to come. I really liked – “How much this girl has crept up in our thought process.”

    • Amit May 24, 2014 at 12:59 pm - Reply

      Thank you for all your wishes Sakshi.
      I hope all of us will be meeting in the next book club meet soon.

  4. sanityvows May 21, 2014 at 9:28 am - Reply

    Happy Birrhday Anika !! 🙂

  5. Anonymous May 21, 2014 at 9:52 am - Reply

    Happy Birthday Anika

  6. shail May 21, 2014 at 10:08 am - Reply

    That was so wonderful to read. Happy Birthday little Anika!

  7. Jas May 21, 2014 at 10:42 am - Reply

    Many many happy returns of the day to your little bugs bunny 🙂 She will treasure this entry in the diary for her lifetime because that’s when she didn’t know what she meant to you and Geet and was busy with her fruit basket. Lots of love to the little one.

  8. afshan18 May 21, 2014 at 10:49 am - Reply

    Many happy returns of the day Anika ! Indirectly we also are a part of ur life via Amit – Your dad 😀
    God bless ……..

  9. sahasra May 21, 2014 at 10:51 am - Reply

    Happy Birthday Anika.

  10. Ruchira Shukla May 21, 2014 at 10:59 am - Reply

    I love the way you have documented the journey of her first year ! Happy Birthday Anika. God Bless !

  11. chipmunk May 21, 2014 at 11:10 am - Reply

    all the happy days back to lil miss world 🙂 🙂 stay blessed do lot of tantrum, make all to run to your tiny feet and wish to see u growing stronger, sharper and happy person 🙂 🙂 u got the best papa and momma in the world enjoy your time and brag the home upside down:) dream a lot and the entire world is waiting for you 🙂 wishing for the small but big leap!!!

    • Amit May 25, 2014 at 9:28 am - Reply

      Thanks Chipmunk for all your wishes and tips. 🙂

  12. Deeps May 21, 2014 at 11:42 am - Reply

    Awww that was such a beautiful beautiful letter, Amit! With your signature style of humour thrown in…Drunk dance..LOL!!

    I can see what a roller-coaster ride it has been for you all!
    Here’s wishing Anika a very happy bday! Wishing her the very best in life 🙂

    And Amit, thank you for sharing your diary with us readers. Its been wonderful to be a virtual part of your journey of parenthood 🙂

    Take care! Loads of love and hugs to Anika 🙂

    • Amit May 25, 2014 at 9:29 am - Reply

      Thanks Deeps. Yes, it has been a crazy one year but it was fun.
      Thank you very much for your wishes. 🙂

  13. sujani May 21, 2014 at 11:45 am - Reply

    Aww..lots of kisses to the little one..I especially love her pouty lips and her expression as if she knows what its all about.You have reflected every parents wish I would go crazy if my Lil one did not show any interest in painting or books..same as u said.we try it in a subtle way.:-)

    • Amit May 25, 2014 at 9:31 am - Reply

      Thanks Sujani.
      Yes, we have to keep trying. I hope she picks up some form of art. Anything will do, really. 🙂

  14. Jas A. May 21, 2014 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    Isn’t love weird? 😛 sometimes I feel it’s just a socially acceptable form of insanity (yes, i thought about this before seeing ‘her’).
    Anyway.. Happy birthday to Anika.. and in defense of the more conventional careers, you can become a doctor or engineer too if u like.. as long as the discussions keep flowing, I’m sure your father would love to discuss quantum physics and the working of the human heart as well.. 😛

    • Amit May 25, 2014 at 9:32 am - Reply

      Haha! I quoted that a few days back on FB. 🙂
      Thanks for your wishes. She can be whatever she likes as long as she loves doing it.

  15. ashreyamom May 21, 2014 at 12:28 pm - Reply

    happy happy b’day Anika.. think of carrying a 3 years old up the temple? yes, we have done that too.. guiltiness comes along with the parent tag i think..

    • Amit May 25, 2014 at 9:33 am - Reply

      Haha! You people are crazy! I would not dare. 🙂
      Thank you for your wishes.

  16. Sreetama May 21, 2014 at 12:47 pm - Reply

    Happy birthday Anika! Wishing you all the happiness in the world! 🙂

    • Amit May 25, 2014 at 9:33 am - Reply

      Thank you Sreetama. 🙂

  17. Malyaj May 21, 2014 at 1:44 pm - Reply

    You sure are a very observant parent. I wish you soon get to discuss all sorts of movies with your little girl. Happy b’day to her 🙂

    • Amit May 25, 2014 at 9:34 am - Reply

      Thank you Malyaj. 🙂

  18. mahabore May 21, 2014 at 8:07 pm - Reply

    Now that was quite a post, from the father of one princess to the father of another, trust me when I say this, she’s going to dote on you, love you and adore you like no one else for the next three or four years. I know this for a fact coz my lil one who is almost three stifles me to death with her love and affection 😀

    Lovely post, and here’s wishing your lil one a happy first birthday !!!

    • Amit May 25, 2014 at 9:36 am - Reply

      Just three to four years? Haha! I hope it lasts much longer. 🙂
      Thank you for your wishes.

  19. Found In Folsom May 21, 2014 at 10:36 pm - Reply

    Many many happy returns of the day, lil princess! Hope you had a fun filled bday where everyone crowded and you had no clue of what was going on 🙂 May you celebrate many more wonderful birthdays! Amit, totally enjoyed reading your daddy dairy series for the past year. You took me back to those years of parenting that I started to forget slowly. And about reading books, I too hope she would. 🙂

    • Amit May 25, 2014 at 9:37 am - Reply

      Thank you for your wishes! 🙂 And thanks for reading.

  20. Bhavana Rao May 22, 2014 at 10:51 am - Reply

    Beautiful piece Amit and once again many happy returns of the day to Anika 🙂
    I am glad to be to see her grow virtually at least as we cannot be the buddies next door. Best wishes.

    • Amit May 25, 2014 at 9:37 am - Reply

      Thanks for your wishes Bhavana. 🙂

  21. Ms May 24, 2014 at 8:58 am - Reply

    Happy Birthday, dear Anika! Unknown to you, we are the many lives that are following you on your journey of discovery. Every time you experience something for the first time, you make it wonderful for us again. Your baby anecdotes remind us of our little ones who are “I know what I am doing” adults. For bringing joy to us via your dad’s diaries, thank you!

    • Amit May 25, 2014 at 9:38 am - Reply

      Thanks for reading Ms and for all your wishes. 🙂

  22. Rahul May 26, 2014 at 9:30 am - Reply

    Belated many happy returns to the little one and may she bring more happiness in your lives!

    • Amit November 29, 2014 at 8:40 am - Reply

      Thank you Rahul. 🙂

  23. Pinku May 26, 2014 at 3:05 pm - Reply

    Such a lovely letter. Anika you are one precious darling wonderful baby. Here’s wishing you amazing moments.

    Amit: parenthood is an unending adventure ride….enjoy every emotion it brings. It truly is like nothing else. Good luck to you and Geet!!

    • Amit November 29, 2014 at 8:41 am - Reply

      Thank you Pinku. Yes, we are enjoying the ride. It is tiring but it has its moments.

  24. simple girl May 28, 2014 at 10:16 am - Reply

    wow!!.. that was a mushy post .. Loved how you expressed your emotions ..
    Belated Happy birthday little girl ..

    • Amit November 29, 2014 at 8:42 am - Reply

      Thank you for your wishes Simple Girl.

  25. Little Fingers May 30, 2014 at 5:01 am - Reply

    Aww that was one sweet and mushy post Amit. Lived reading about her and the changes she brought in.

    Happy first birthday dear Anika!!

    • Amit November 29, 2014 at 8:42 am - Reply

      Thank you Little Fingers. 🙂

  26. Aturma June 3, 2014 at 11:57 am - Reply

    Happy Birthday Anika!

    She is one already? How time flies.. makes me realise that its been a year since i stumbled upon your blog. Since then I have read most of the old posts too. Never commented before, but had to delurk to wish her 🙂

    • Amit November 29, 2014 at 8:43 am - Reply

      Thank you Aturma. 🙂 And it is great to know another silent reader!

  27. madhmama June 26, 2014 at 4:28 am - Reply

    Awwwwwww so sweet. A huge milestone. My daughter just turned 2, every birthday she has I get so freakin emotional LOL

    • Amit November 29, 2014 at 8:43 am - Reply

      Haha. That is bound to happen. 🙂

  28. Rekha June 30, 2014 at 12:25 pm - Reply

    Don’t know how I missed this one for such a long time. Belated but heartfelt birthday wishes to the little girl who leaves me smiling every time she appears on my TL. 🙂 God bless you and the little angel with much much more fun and happy moments to cherish lifelong. 🙂

    • Amit November 29, 2014 at 8:44 am - Reply

      Thank you Rekha for all your wishes. 🙂

  29. Deboshree August 5, 2014 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    Such a warm, lovely post. May you be blessed with happiness and continue delighting us (and the diary) with such heartwarming writing. 🙂

    • Amit November 29, 2014 at 8:44 am - Reply

      Thanks Deboshree. 🙂

  30. umashankar September 28, 2014 at 11:22 am - Reply

    May gods bless your little fairy! I am surprised at the depths I could deeply relate to the post, the first drunken walk and words for the world. Fear not, she will grow up to be a reader and writer, assuming humans continue with reading and writing.

    • Amit November 29, 2014 at 8:45 am - Reply

      Uma, I really hope so. Thank you for your wishes. 🙂

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