So you all know about Cousin K, right? He’s my little baby cousin. The first baby I ever held in my arms. The one I fell in love with at 13. The gorgeous baby who made me realise that I wanted babies the moment I could have them. We grew up together as a joint family and I didn’t think of him any differently from Tambi. This year his sister, Cousin J, has also joined Delhi University and I am now local guardian to both of them.
It’s funny. I am their elder sister and yet I end up mothering them. They treat me with a mixture of respect and irreverence that is funny. They turn to me when they are in trouble with their parents. They confide in me when they have secrets. And I walk the fine balance of keeping their secrets and telling them off when I know they are doing something dangerous.
Anyhow, the point of this post is that my little baby, my cousin K, is ill. He was suspected of dengue and has been with me for three days now. He called me three days ago from college and could barely speak. He’d been ill for a whole night before he saw fit to call me. By the time I got my hands on him, he was like a skeleton. Unable to stand or speak. I had to prop him up in bed and feed him like a baby because he was too weak to move his hands. Apart from weakness from jaundice he has a host of other immunity issues and we’re all praying and hoping that he will turn around tomorrow. The tests show clear but his platelet count is steadily dropping.
I called home and his father has rushed to take him back. I was just too scared to take the responsibility of taking decisions for someone else’s seriously sick child and they were naturally worried sick too. He’s on his way home as I write this and we await tomorrow’s blood tests to see if he has stabilised or not. My own two babies were down with a cough, cold and fever too. They are barely recovering and I caught it from them. Added to an increasingly painful knee, I was just exhausted.
Tonight as you say your prayers, I request you to say one for my first baby. Yes, that is me holding both of them in my lap and swinging.