Random Recollection

We All Got Promoted

Yatindra Bhatnagar

Wow! It’s a promotion.

Yes, I have got a promotion. Actually all of us got promoted. That’s the miracle my great granddaughter got for us last month when she arrived with a big basketful of love and massive messages of promotion for all the members of our big, extended family all over the world.

Yes, for the first time in my life, I got promoted to the exalted post of Great Grandfather – Bade Nana. What my granddaughter Tamanna Roashan did was to take us all one step upward. Daughter Sujata became Grandma – Nani – and her husband, my son-in-law (more than a son), Mujtaba, became Grandpa – Nana; in Pashto, Dada.  

In that ‘chain of command’ everyone got his or her reward. My other daughter, Seema, became Masee-Nani, as she was Masee for Tamanna.

Even my nine-year-old twin Granddaughters, Nisha and Shivani, were delighted to get a promotion as now each one is a Masee. We settled for Nisha Masee and Shivani Masee - or rather Nishu Masee and Shanu Masee. My only Grandson (Seema’s son Arjun) is now a proud Mama (uncle) to Baby Aliya. Till the other day he was just a cousin brother to big sister (10 years older) Tamanna.

We don’t yet know what Aliya should, or would, call my other son-in-law (Seema’s husband), Randeep. But Masse’s husband (Mausa) has also been promoted to the rank of what is Uncle-Nana or Nana-Uncle. In English language there are no words for Masee-Mausa, Nana-Nani, Mama-Mami, Chacha-Chachee, Devar-Bhabhi, Jaithani-Devarani, Tau-Tai, Sali-Sala-Salhaj-Jeeja-Sadhoo, Samdhi-Samdhan and so on. But forget that linguistic deficiency, everyone in our big family is now enjoying the arrival of a Star and the assured promotion.

And yes, all others on Aliya’s dad’s side also got rewarded. Aliya’s Dad, Khushal is their youngest. Their Father-Mother, Sabir Jan and Hashima Jan, are already on the ‘upper level’ being the proud Grand-parents of half a dozen kids from the other children. All their kids have given them grand-kids – one is on the way. Now the youngest has a baby. That’s an additional reward for their entire family. 

Aliya Roashan Aqmal! Sounds impressive! Brings two great families together. Khushal, a doting father, shares almost all the chores of a new-found dad, and is more protective. Sometimes he claims ‘more ownership’ of Aliya, but that’s okay. He is the loving father and has all the rights of a dear Dad who wants to claim his right to spoil his daughter all the way. We, Dads, and Granddads have been doing that all along with our daughters – and granddaughters.

Aliya is already a celebrity, right in the footsteps of her mother, Tamanna. She is a Star getting messages and gifts from the wide world. A lovely baby surrounded with loved ones who are going out of their way to keep her happy, healthy, comfortable, pampered - and growing.

Girls, normally, tend to grow faster – we might not want her to grow that fast. But seeing her grow - and daily adding a wide variety of new smiles to her lovely face - makes us happy and proud. It also gives us a sense of fulfillment. Her photos and videos are put out several times daily for all of us, and the wide world to see, admire, love - and bless her and her big family as well as to share her growing up.  

Aliya is more than a regular baby. She already has a huge collection of dresses, shoes, toys and other paraphernalia fit for a Royal Princess. It keeps on growing. In some ways she, even before her birth, has been following – and also surpassing – her Badi Nani. My wife, Sadhana, also had a big collection of dresses, shoes, shawls, sweaters, handbags – and also jewelry and other accessories. Aliya, surely, will be the new record- holder very soon. Her fan-following has been phenomenal and is fast inching towards Mom Tamanna Roashan’s DressYourFace mountain of worldwide fans.     

Sujata Nani has taken upon herself some additional duties – an excuse to be with Aliya and her delicate mother, just post–birth. The proximity of the two homes is an added incentive. So be it.

With baby Aliya’s arrival a new chapter in our lives has been opened. The one regret is that her Great Grandma, Sadhana, left us before Aliya was born. We moved to Southern California from the North only because Tamanna was persistently blackmailing her Nani with a promise to give her first Great Grand-daughter.

Sadhana could not see and fondle the child she was eagerly looking forward to. However, the positive in this somewhat sighing scenario is the faith and belief that Badi Nani herself has come back in our lives as Aliya. Tamanna loved her Nani very much – it was mutual. The fact is –the uprooting and the transplanting were not much apart.

That’s what our Star Aliya’s birth means to Tamanna, and to all of us.