I first met my niece when she was going through the phase of terrible two. Stubborn, queen of tantrums, a slave to spices yet dynamic and intelligent to acknowledge the power hierarchies. Her father, my brother, was no longer the hero in her life. She could feel the power exuding from me so much so that she refused to attach any significance to the paternal authority that her father wielded. I could see the worship in her eyes for an aunt whom she never had the opportunity to meet. An aunt who was her own master, who ran her own household, who drove her own vehicle, who took her own decisions, who understood her individuality, who was always by her side when her parents were negligent and caught up in their own vested interests and who never hesitated to defend her when her parents appeared helpless against her rebellious attitude. She preferred my company to any one else’s during the short period of stay at my humble abode in Sydney and a few words of solace from me was suffice to make her obliging, compliant and obedient.
That was in 2012. Now mum and dad, who sacrifice so much for her expensive education at Devamatha CMI Public School,Patturaickal, Thrissur would have won her admiration. Facebook posts made by her mother and father kept me updated with her progress in her personal and student lives. My joy knew no bounds when I learned that my niece was not only doing remarkably well in school but was also one among the many who participated in the longest speech given by tiny tots and who had made it to the Guiness Book of records from the institution she represented.
Teachers and students of Devamatha CMI School with the certificate of India Book of Records. (Photo: DC)
On the eve of my niece’s birthday, I am confused about what befitting birthday present I could give her. Her father is prosperous enough to gift her clothes, toys and other things she fancies, even international stuff as custom duty paid shops is not a rarity in India. If I send her gift certificates, the chances are that her parents would use it to buy her gifts or use it for their own immediate purposes. Nothing would be exceptional, exclusive and appreciative than an eulogy. Nothing else would prove to her that I value her and cherish the memories of her time spent with me as a priceless treasure than an eulogy.
I wish her blessings in abundance. Not just the blessings from all the fairies mentioned in the fairy tale ‘Sleeping Beauty’ but from all celestial beings including gods from all religions. I wish that from this birthday onward she becomes individualistic, excel in all walks of life, be blessed to differentiate the good from the evil, the friends from foes and the hypocrites from the true. I wish her not only material prosperity but success in all her future endeavours. I wish her all the best in all her future relationships and enterprises. I wish that no concern develops into a worry and causes a frown on my princess’s visage. I wish her liberty, equality and justice in all her aspirations. On this eve, I wish I could be her fairy God mother who could make all her dreams come true. Happy Birthday my special neice, Anina. May God Bless you!