Like most pregnant women, I would spend a few seconds more than usual, stopping and staring at pictures of cherubic babies and toddlers, picking qualities that I would want to see in my own. Then, one day, driven by the nesting instinct, I was clearing up and generally de-cluttering in order to make space for the impending arrival when I happened to find a gemstone painting of a baby Krishna. I’m not the kind of person that likes to put up religious art, so this painting (must have been a gift from someone at our wedding) was pushed back in the deep recesses of a cupboard that we never open.
When I opened the unfamiliar box and pulled out the painting, my body was shocked into a feeling it had never felt before. Like a newly turned teenager suddenly finding a nude photograph in a seemingly neutral magazine. It stopped me in my tracks. And although I am usually unaffected by figurines and depictions of gods and goddesses, I found myself looking at this angelic face of a blue-skinned cherub with curly hair and excessively red lips with a yearning that I cannot explain. The painting had the usual suspects—a pot of toppled over buttermilk, messy hands, a naughty smile, and a visually annoyed Yashoda. Instantly, I knew I wanted a kid like that. Lateral, adorable, and slightly mad.
This morning, as I slid a knob of freshly made butter in Avanee’s mouth (go ahead, judge me; I still think home-made butter and ghee is good for growing children), I realized that the powers that be have granted me my wish. Sometimes I wonder if she’s too far ahead (or too far behind) children her age. But then, all mothers do. There are days when her unending energy and strange new ideas leave me zapped of any urge to move or react in any way. And there are days when she surprises me with her tenderness and quick thinking. (Remember this?)
I guess every mother yearns for a Krishna of her own, and every mother gets a Krishna of her own.