Flying 9000 Kilometres Home (Diary of a Six Month Old)

By Piyushi Dhir

Hi guys! I’m back. And I’m psyched with the response you all gave my first post! Makes me excited to write more.

Last week I was telling you about how I left India to get to my home in Ivory Coast when I was just short of a month old.

For whatever reason my parents deemed fit, they decided to dress me in a pink coloured outfit for the journey. Throughout the trip, from air hostesses to fellow passengers, people would look at me and say things like, “She’s so cute!” or “How old is she?” Now, I know that I’m not supposed to associate blue with boys and pink with girls, but hey, if all of you are going to do that, where does that leave me?

Most of the journey was quite uneventful, except this one part when I got really cold in the flight. Up until then I had been quite comfortably cuddled against Mum or Papa and had shared their body heat. When they needed to eat, they put me in the bassinet with the seat and wrapped me in a blanket, which I happily kicked off. Soon after, I was so cold, the hairs on my head were standing up straight. My Mum shrieked with fright when she saw me and snuggled me up again.

We reached Abidjan almost twenty hours after we’d left Delhi and I was quite well-rested, having slept through most of the journey. Adults don’t seem to take such expeditions well, for my parents looked quite down and out. But then they’d been complaining about exhaustion ever since I was born. Dunno why.

Anyway, talking of exhaustion, my Papa fell sick within a day of arriving in Abidjan. And boy, did he fall ill? He was running some crazy temperatures (I could tell from the look on my Mum’s face) and had to be admitted to a hospital. I thought I’d get to visit Papa, but they didn’t even let me see him for a week! It was like he’d infect me or something. Mum and I moved in with this cute little family, with a Priya Aunty and an Abhishek Uncle and this curious toddler, Rayansh.

Priya Aunty would rock me and sing to me when Mum was tired and I grew very fond of her. Rayansh was an interesting fellow too. He’d keep going around the house asking, “Where’s the baby?” to which Mum or Aunty would reply, “Bebe dor” (that’s ‘baby is sleeping’ in French). It was quite hilarious, because they’d often tell him that even when he was inches away from my wide-open eyes! When they’d look away, Rayansh and I would roll our eyes.

Rayansh checking on me while I pretend to sleep

Rayansh checking on me while I pretend to sleep

Papa took quite long to recover from his illness and had to join my one-month birthday celebration at Priya Aunty’s place over Skype (even though he was in another apartment in the same building!) Even when he did meet me, almost  a week later, he’d get awfully tired picking me up. We finally moved on from Abidjan to San Pedro, which was where our home actually was, about ten days after our arrival in the country.

It was in San Pedro that my life finally settled into a routine and rhythm. Now my Mum’s ranting for me to return her laptop. So all about life for a baby in Africa next week!

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About the Author

Piyushi Dhir is the author of 'In Search of Love', 'I'm Yours, The Next Time', 'Silent Promises' and 'Enmeshed Evermore'. She is a contributor in 'Nineteen Tales of COVID-19', a collection of short stories. A voracious reader, a keen traveler, a businesswoman and a mom, Piyushi currently resides in Canada. A nomad at heart, she loves to discover new places and capture the hues of life with her pen.