Monday, April 18, 2016

Everyday ... a celebration

Kannan was not sure whether it was late night or early morning... but he felt something touching him ... a small soft hand on his face, on his beard, trying to pluck his beard. The hand smelt of baby lotion and powder, more it smelt of love. The soft skins on the palms were like feathers of silk. The curly long hairs on the forehead were like overflowing honey from a jar of sweetness, or that’s how Kannan felt when he saw it. He heard the giggles of love and his eyes saw his son trying to wake him up. Those giggles were more than any sweet music of the world to Kannan's ears. Narayan ... The bright big eyes, sweet smiles, big nose and drool sweet lips calling out to him. He was the reason for Kannan's smiles day or night. He lifted him with both his hands and placed the small Narayan on his chest and asked

"Are you not tired of playing with me.... now what does my Narayan want...?”
"Gaaa... gurr...he..."

Hardly did Kannan understand anything but that was what Narayan told him sitting on his chest as if he had mounted the biggest tusker on the earth. His hands were still reaching out to his salt and pepper beard... Kannan moved his head and held him with one hand and reached out to the spectacles on the side table. The night lamp was switched on and the spread smelt of baby powder alone. The sun was rising in a while and the sky was slowly turning its shade. The mild orange light was peeping through the window and the glow on Narayan's face made him look divine. His curly hair and the smile made Kannan call out to him

"Narayana ... gopala... kanna..."

and for every name called out the small Narayan nodded his head as if he understood everything. Kannan lifted him up as he got up, put him on the bed and started playing with him. Kannan with his warm hands rubbed Narayan belly and he would start laughing... he would softly hit the tummy with his head and he would laugh more. Kannan rubbed his nose on the stomach and the baby laughs would fill the room, slowly getting lit by the sun, who was smiling outside seeing the father and son play early in the morning. 

Kannan lifted Narayan and placed him close to his heart in a warm hug and walked towards the kitchen. Kannan boiled the milk while singing and adoring the little Narayan. 

"Krishna Krishna Mukunda Janardana ... Krishna Govinda... Narayana..." he would pause and sing again "Narayana..." as the little Narayan would look surprised at his Appa singing songs for him. His eyes would sparkle as Kannan called out "Narayana 
" in between. The sparkle said it all. Kannan would smile as soon as he sees the sparkle in the big eyes. Every blink of the eye was magnetic and so captive. Kannan softly kissed the soft ball of wool cheeks and continued singing...

"Krishna Krishna Mukunda Janardana ... Krishna Govinda... Narayana..."

Narayan would giggle to the song as if he was trying to sing along with his Appa. Kannan carefully managed to hold Narayan in one arm and cool the hot milk carefully with the other. He poured the slightly warm milk in the bottle, sweetened it with sugar and poured a drop on to his skin to check the warmth and a drop on to his tongue to check the sweetness.

"Yes... it’s warm and sweet" Kannan thought to himself

"Come one come one my sweet one ... time for your morning milk" said Kannan as softly as he could. The whispers reached the sweet big ears of Narayan and he blinked in affirmation. The lips were still drooling and Kannan pulled out a soft napkin from the box and wiped Narayan's lips. Narayan would not stop looking at Kannan while he happily drank the sweet milk from the bottle. His hands were still on Kannan's beard and pulling them with all the strength those little hands had. The nipple of the bottle was trying to hide the smiles of Narayan as he did smile with every attempt of his to pull the beard out failed. 

Kannan carefully put Narayan to bed and lay down next to him on his side. The warmth of Kannan's body brought Narayan more closer to him as he was slowly dozing off with smiles on his lips. Kannan kept gazing at the sleepy eyes as Narayan gently closed them. The eyes seem to slow down the world, gently with all the love in the world. To put him to a sleep... Kannan softy sang a lullaby that always put Narayan to sleep ...

"Omana thinkal kidavo ... nalla ... komala thaamara poovo...."

Is it the lines of Irayimman Thampi for Swathi Thirunaal or the raag neelaambari or the love Kannan had for Narayan was debatable. But the lines put Narayan to a sound sleep. Kannan unknowingly slept with Narayan alongside like a baby. 

Kannan was woken up by a touch on his shoulder... firm hands, warm and Kannan woke up from the sleep to see a tall man, fair skinned, with the same bright big eyes, long hair, sweet smile and the long nose...

"Happy Birthday Appa"

It was Narayan and old Kannan with long white beard and skin aged with wrinkles, still having the sweet smile as ever woke up to a morning hug from his 20 year old son. Kannan rubbed his eyes and looked at the most auspicious gift God had given him 20 years back .... Narayan. The father and son exchanged hugs and Kannan said, in the bassy old voice

"Even my dreams are full of you ... there was a time when my dreams were of the future... but now my memories have turned to be my dreams"

Narayan held Kannan's hand and the tall old man with the slight hunch of age took the shoulder of his young son, who looked exactly like the 20 year old Kannan. As they walked from the bedroom to the kitchen for their regular morning coffee, which Narayan made for Kannan, Kannan said

"God sometimes gives you rare gifts and you are mine ... Every day is a celebration with you"

And it was another birthday celebration at Kannan's home over a cup of coffee, the son made for his father.

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