Chapter 15: Enter the Dragon



My son was born in 2012, which was the Chinese year of the dragon. My mom was always furious when I referred to the hyperactive baby in my belly as ‘little dragon’. You see, dragons aren’t good things in Indian culture. They’re monsters to be feared. (Though I don’t understand all the fuss… I mean, tigers are ferocious too, and people here love to be called a tiger.) Under Chinese tradition, though, the Dragon is majestic, powerful, successful and fearless—with a noble heart.

I know I’ve said I didn’t fall in love with my baby when I saw him, but I really truly loved him and his activities when he was within me… my fearless little dragon.

Sept 3, 2012

I bring the tiny creature home.

He doesn’t resemble me at all. That’s disappointing. He doesn’t seem to resemble his father either… though everyone else says he does…but he’s a little creature with a face all his own…

He was born with a pretty good weight of 3.35 kgs, but he never looked like the chubby little babies you see on TV. He had long wiry limbs… fingers that weren’t clenched shut like you’d expect, but spread apart in a perpetual gesture of surprise…. And thoughtful, pensive eyes that seemed to be contemplating the deepest philosophies of life… like he was deep in thought from the moment he entered this world…like some probing existential question had followed him here from his home inside his mother…

And he’d often put one of those tiny little outstretched fingers awkwardly on his cheek, which gave him exactly the look of the contemplating philosopher!

Hasan gets his daily massage

Little Tidda !

My scatter-brained, always kiddish mother takes to calling him ‘Tidda’— grasshopper—for his long, thin body—much to the chagrin of his doting father. It made me laugh to see how possessive and protective Sajjad felt towards this little one… he was more the mother in that sense than I was!

Sajjad in fact, was the perfect father—taking a week off from work (that’s all he was allowed) changing nappies, taking turns with the baby to let me sleep, and bathing the baby during that first week. And the burping, of course, was his sole domain. I suppose I do understand now why women find baby-loving men attractive!

We would both talk with little Hasan and he would listen with the same intent and thoughtful gaze….he has his father’s eyes, I can see now…the loveliest eyes ever.

I think I do love this little philosopher, the one of the shiny thoughtful eyes. Happy little grasshopper. Little wise, noble dragon.

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