My darling S,
You are only a few months older than a year today. I decided to write you a note in my blog as you are a continuation of my Kenya India experience. I want you to know that you have expanded my life in more ways than I could have ever imagined. You came into this world so quickly! One moment I was watching a Youtube video with bappa and in the next 4 hours you were here!
I have grown so much since I met you. I am more patient, I care even more deeply about the things and issues affecting our planet, and I have grown massively both emotionally and mentally. You have made me a much nicer person (and they will tell you, I was still super nice before you came along! 🙂 ). Interestingly I am also more fierce, less scared of taking risks. I am now more than ever super aware of what is important for me in this life. You didn’t do this to me darling, you brought it OUT 🙂
You kept me up most nights last year and for that, I can now say am less attached to my sleep hours like I was before 🙂 I also got to see other bits and pieces of your dad that I did not know about. For instance who knew he had so many unsung songs in him that took you to come out!
We are obviously overdoing things as you are our first little love. No one should own more than five balls, which you do. Oh, and how we must capture your every new stage. Forgive us, for we just couldn’t help ourselves.
I sometimes wonder about what you will call your identity. Will it be Kenyan, Indian or both? I hope this does not cause any anguish or stress. I like to think you will be both, or neither. Just a citizen of the world. What you hold in your heart and the kind of person you are is what matters ultimately.
Your Kikuyu name will be mispronounced in India and your Indian name will be mispronounced in Kenya- as is happening already. I hope you will be able to laugh about this and in fact, it may be a really good conversation starter, when people will ask about your names.
People in Kenya think you look like your dad. People in India think you look like mummy. I think you look like a fairer skinned, straighter haired version of mummy. I know for sure it will be easier growing up in Kenya than it will be in India. Less complicated about race and complexion matters. Besides, there are so many others like you in Kenya. I personally know 5 grown up Kenyan Indians. Incidentally they are all African mum and Indian dad. Don’t know why vice versa is rarer.
There is also less pressure in Kenya to BECOME something like it is in India. Specifically to become a doctor or engineer. I have seen the sad effects of this conditioning on many adults.
With regard to your religion, mummy is currently battling with Kenyan grandma because we have very different ideas on this subject and I am resisting your getting baptised. Somewhere along the way I lost my religion and found spirituality. I have found great teachers in India and the world over and I hope you will find your way as well whatever it may be. I will avail to you the works of Ramana Maharishi, Osho, Jiddu Krishnamurthy, Yogananda and so many others who teach a message that resonates with me. I will also make sure you read bible stories and also the teachings of Jesus. In Kenya what you will find, is a lot of religious fanaticism and if anyone asks you, say you are Hindu. I have found Hinduism to be more open and diverse than the Christianity I was brought up with. Besides, your mummy had to sign `reconversion’ documents to get married to daddy. Yes, reconversion to Hinduism (the assumption being that we are all born Hindu- in a different lifetime or such).It is a complicated world when two people brought up in two different religions decide to get married.
You are currently speaking bits of Swahili and English and haven’t picked your dads Konkani yet or my Kikuyu. Mummy and daddy talk so much in English and so I guess that will be your mother-tongue. We really could not be here without those Brits now would we ?(Brexit joke? No? Ok 🙂 ).
I want to say so much more. But, I know we will create more India Kenya tales together. And tell them to those who will want to hear. Or like mummy, you’ll just tell them anyway 🙂