My first memory. My first memory is of a hall in a small one bedroom apartment. It belonged to my paternal grandparents. It was 7 in the evening and it was raining heavily. My grandparents were pacing up and down the hallway. The telephone which was sparsely used kept ringing on and off.
I had a vague notion of what was happening. I hadn’t seen my mother in a few days and my father was in another city. He’ll be here in the morning, my grandma said.
A tall man with a large beard walked in. He was their tenant. He was also their friend. More calls were made. “He’s here!” said an adult. “Krishna is here”, said one of the grandparents. Because who else could be born in torrential rain?
The beard uncle called for an auto and the three of us were taken to the hospital my mother was in. If the last hour had seemed chaotic. This was worse.
I heard a wail. A cry. A cry that I would hear for many years after. Often in anger. Often after a fall (many falls). I don’t remember much else. Except that there were too many people. And I wasn’t tall enough to see above their backsides.
I don’t recollect engaging with any adult. I have a vague memory of a woman in white shooting a giant injection in brother’s butt. And more cries from the baby. ( I suppose that is why I don’t particularly like needles).
I don’t remember much about the rest of the night. I don’t remember coming back home. I don’t remember when my dad came home either. My next memory is of the next morning. My dad and I took an auto to the hospital. And the nurse placed this tiny baby on my dad’s lap while I sat next to him. This day old baby stared unblinkingly into my father’s eyes. For what seemed like eternity. A sign perhaps of the determination that would guide him in his life.
I don’t remember what my mother looked like that day nor my father. But I distinctly remember a tiny baby wrapped in white cloth staring at my father and feeling an intensity of love and protectiveness that was overwhelming.
That is my first significant memory. A memory of intense love for a tiny helpless baby who would go on to make me dance around his little finger. Much like Krishna did.