GROWING INTO MOTHERHOOD
“If I’m being honest, I still don’t quite feel like a mother. At least, not in the sense my mother would describe. I feel like you need to earn this honour, and I have a long way to go. Of course, in the mean time, Rajat and I try to do our very best. In fact, we’ve chosen to bring up our daughter quite the way we were brought up ourselves—by going back to the basics,” Priya admits. “I had employed a jhapa or maid to help me care for the baby. Yes, I did live with a large family but my mum and mum-inlaw had had their babies over 30 years ago, and were a little out of touch. The maid taught me all I needed to know. I learnt how to bathe the baby, give her a massage, dress her up, clean her, rock and sing her to sleep, all from the
jhapa,” she says.
Of course, she had Rajat by her side, and eager to help. “I have never seen Rajat happier! He had fallen in love all over again. He would hold her close to his chest, and let her fall asleep. She loved that—being on his chest. That would calm her down instantly. I think she loved hearing his heart beat. He didn’t go to work for about ten days and never left the baby’s side. He practiced holding a baby in front of the mirror several times a day before actually holding her. He would sing and hum to her and we could see her always reacting to his voice and touch,” Priya recalls with a smile. “I have to admit that I’m so glad I gave birth to a girl. I feel like she’s opened him up, and having a daughter has made him a more kind and sensitive person. She made him take to fatherhood effortlessly.”
ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME
Taarini has managed to keep the entire family on their toes. From her individual personality and mannerisms, she’s the apple of everyone’s eye at the Kochhar household. “The whole family is taken by the way she quickly grasps things. She can keep herself occupied for hours by trying to put things in and out of a box. It could be anything and any kind of box. She does it with full focus and keeps repeating it over and over. She’s graduated from this to opening and closing the lids of bottles to capping and uncapping pens and the likes. She loves to be amused. Even the slightest of things amuse her. A funny face, a cough, an unusual sound—it could be anything and she would look so happy having discovered it. She loves to copy people coughing around the house. Every time someone coughs, she has to cough back. She will never miss it.”
It’s evident that she’s a quick learner. “I introduced her to solid foods after she turned six months. She grasped the concept so well and was self-feeding by the time she was nine months old. Her diet at nine months was the family food that we all ate, minus salt and sugar. It was fantastic to watch the way she was eating by herself so early and so well. And she ate all kinds of vegetables, lentils, carbs and fruit.’’
MY BABY & ME
While taking to the role of mommy with ease, for Priya, motherhood was kind of an undoing. “In a way, becoming a mum has ‘incompleted’ me, if there is such a thing. I have given a part of myself to my baby— willingly and intentionally of course. But it also means that it has taken something out of me. But I wouldn’t have it any other way and maybe a few years down the line, I’ll feel complete and not the other way around, but right now its too soon to say,” she admits.
But, like every parent, Priya and Rajat wish to watch their child grow and excel in every sphere of life, but more importantly, they want her to grow into a kind and caring individual. “I want my baby to be a humble human being, honest, respectful, empathetic and helpful. I hope she has great inner peace and grows to love nature, respect and protect it. I hope she is a genuinely goodhearted person. These are the inherent traits I really do wish to see in her. I want to try and imbibe a great value system in her. Besides these, I hope she is a confident and fine young woman whose taste and class is exemplary,” she says. As for her future plans, she’s still uncertain. “Yes, I do miss that glamorous life of fashion and wish to go back to work one day. But I am in no rush. I will definitely get back to working, but only when my baby and I are absolutely ready. I’m not ready to leave her side yet. Watching her grow into this beautiful, intelligent little lady are moments I’ll never get back. I will make the most of them while I still can.”♦