Sunday, May 11, 2014

My First letter to my daughter

My dearest daughter Joanna

Welcome to this world and to our family. Through this letter I just want to tell you how much me and your mummy wished for you. I want to tell you how eagerly we all were waiting for you. I know you are too young to understand all these. But I am sure, one day you will read this and understand.
one of your early ultra sound image
When I first got the news that your mummy is carrying, I was far away from her. I was studying rocks and mountains in Ireland, as a part of my job. That’s when your mummy called me and said, we are going to have a baby in nine months time. You know Joanna, that was a news I wished to hear for so long. When I came back and took your mummy to the hospital, the doctor congratulated me and your mummy for the good news and showed your first ultrasound scan image. You were so small like a bead. Can you imagine the
happiness we had on seeing that vague ultrasound image with some tiny bead like structure in it? We started weaving so many colourful dreams about you since then.
I used to get impatient at times. I felt the time was  moving very slow. I wanted to see you and hold you in my hands at the earliest. But then I also realised that god’s plans for a nine month period in your mother’s womb is very much needed for your growth. Then I would control my impatience and go back to my dreams.
The experiences me and your mummy had during that nine months period, were beautiful and we consider them as blessings from the almighty. Like, the joy in counting the days for your arrival, watching your mummy’s tummy grow, touching her belly, feeling your tiny movements inside your mummy’s belly and wondering whether it is your head or hands or legs. I know every parent would be doing this while waiting for their baby. We too had our share of joy from god. Week by week we used to look at books and journals to see what they tell about baby’s development inside the belly.
After 5 or 6th month when your mummy’s tummy was larger and we could see your movements very often, I used to touch the belly and feel you move many times a day. Then also I used to get impatient. Just a  few muscular layers of flesh were separating me from touching you. When will you come out? Then immediately your mummy will tell me. “Let our baby complete the full time required to be inside. We should not be in a hurry. Just pray that our baby’s all organs are developed, he or she is a healthy baby and the baby come out only when it is the right time”
I don’t have a habit of praying for something to happen. I believe in being good and doing good things. Then I feel, god’s blessings will automatically come our way. I consider God as a friend and make friendly conversations with him when I am alone. But for you, I did pray to him several days, along with your mummy, to give us you as a healthy sweet baby.
From our bookish knowledge we knew that baby’s can understand voices after some month’s of development while they are inside the womb. So I used to sing songs for you . I used to call you with so many pet names thinking that you might be listening to me. At that time since we didn’t
know whether you are a boy or a girl, I used to call you with boy names as well as girl names.
The doctor here in Malaysia asked us whether we want to know about your gender before you arrive. To some people knowing the gender might be  a perfectly right option. But for us, we decided not to know. We wanted to live though the excitement of not knowing that till you come out of your mummy’s tummy. Whether boy or girl, we knew that you are a gift from God. We were more than happy to accept the gift irrespective of the gender.  
In our culture, it is believed that one should not buy anything for the baby before the baby arrives. For that reason I resisted myself from buying cloths for you. But few days before my travel to India as the delivery date was approaching, I could not fight that temptation and I went to a baby store to buy some cloths for you. The lady in the store asked me, is it a boy or a girl? I said..’I do not know’. But, still I bought some cloths for you. The joy of not knowing certain things before we are supposed to know it,  is something great to experience Joanna.
But, personally I had a slight inclination towards a baby girl. Do you know why? I love to dress her up, bath her, comb her hair, buy nice little dresses (of course pink), play with her and above all, baby girls are less naughty than baby boys. My only worry of baby girls is the unfortunate state of the world they will be living in. They have to face a man’s world with ever increasing atrocities and harassment towards women. Gender inequalities and crimes happen even to baby girls. This is not only my worry. I know every parent with a girl child would have this thought somewhere deep in their heart. But that is not going to bring down the joy of having you even by atomic levels. I am not much worried about that. You know why? If the almighty can give you to us, he can protect you too from all the evils.
Do you know Joanna, how your arrival has changed our lives. There is a different meaning to life for me and your mummy. Our lives are filled with joy and hope. Few years back I used to worry that I am getting older and I would ask myself....will there be someone whom I can call my own? Who will inherit all that I have earned. Bhagavat Gita says that “all that you have today, will be someone else’s tomorrow”. I used to wonder, will that someone be someone of my own? When I used to see kids playing around, I used to silently ask my friend , God, hasn’t my time come?.
The answer to our prayers is you.. Joanna. So many days we waited in patience to have you into our lives. I just want to let you know how much you were desired, how much you mean to us and how much we love you.
Every time me and your mummy discussed about you, poured our love and affection even before you could arrive, I used to think of the many unfortunate babies in this world. Some are denied the right to live just after they are born into their mother’s womb, just because the parents did not want a baby girl. Some unfortunate babies are killed after they are born. Some are thrown to the wilderness because someone wants to escape from their sins or cover up the shame they may have to face. And the saddest of all, some innocent babies are harassed and abused as they live through their early lives.
I sometime fail to imagine the attitude of those people who do these atrocities. Me and your mummy were living each and every second with the desire to get you into our lives. Won’t such feelings be there in the minds of those people who do the atrocities. How can they do such heinous things looking at the innocent face of those babies. Except for few species, even animals would not do such things. But that’s reality. Whenever I used to read about such things, I would silently pray for those innocent babies who are denied a chance to live. We are lucky to have you Joanna and you are lucky to have us too, who wanted you in each and every second and who would do anything for you.

Ultra sound scan showing your face
After 7th month into the pregnancy, your mummy had gone back to India and I had to be here for work. Even that was a difficult decision, as the only other choice was to have the delivery here, so that I am there with your mummy. But considering the better support system and better medical facilities near home, I decided to send your mummy back home. Then my plan was to be with your mummy two weeks before the expected date of your arrival. I wanted to ensure that I am with your mummy when she needs me the most and I wished to receive you in my hands from the nurse. You know, whenever I did daydreaming, I imagined about those wonderful moments of receiving you in my hands from the labor room. Often I wondered, what would be my feeling on seeing you for the first time. Just before your mummy left for India, we went to see the doctor here and she showed us an ultrasound scan image of your face. That time the doctor said that the baby was looking like me with chubby cheeks. My limited vocabulary does not allow me to express the happiness I had on seeing that image of you. Later, I looked at that picture and tried to make up a full picture of your face for countless days. 

But you decided or may be my friend God decided on your behalf to send you a day before my  arrival in India.

This was your first photograph..

 Even though I planned my travel dates two weeks in advance from the expected date of your arrival, (as told by the doctors) you were born on the day I was traveling. I was preparing to go to the airport when I got a call from your aunty, saying that your mummy is being taken to the operation theater. As I was taking my bags to be put into the taxi, I came to know that you, Joanna Jose, has finally arrived. That was the greatest news I ever heard in my life. At the same time, I was bit disappointed and  felt guilty, that I could not be by your mummy’s side when she badly need me . She wanted my presence when she went through the pain of normal delivery till last moment and then the pain of C-section too. As I wished, I could not be there to receive you in my hands. But those disappointments are nothing when compared to the enormous joy I had, hearing about your arrival. I looked at the positive side of that. Since you came earlier than expected, I was able to spend all the days of my vacation with you.

When I bordered the plane to India, I was filled with excitement to see you my baby. The hours in the plane and the time spent at the airport during transit appeared like days and years. I was impatient to reach home and take you into my hands. But you know, I was gripped by some unknown fear as well. It was only two weeks prior to that the Malaysian airlines flight MH 370 disappeared without trace. Normally I am a positive thinking person. But for some reason I had a fear in my mind. What if I don’t’ get a chance to see you? Then I held on to my positive outlook and looked at my friend God. When he plans everything for me, why should I worry. Even then, throughout that flight to India, I was constantly struggling between these positive and negative thoughts.
When I landed in Cochin in the midnight, even the  forty five minutes car journey seemed to me like too long. I was desperate to see you. Finally I arrived at the hospital and came to the room where you were sleeping beside your mummy. My dear Joanna, I do not know how to express the happiness I had on seeing you…wrapped in white cloths, and looking like the sweetest baby in the world, were you…the bundle of joy and a gift of god to us.

You are my bundle of joy
Though I had not completely recovered from the cough and cold I had then, I could not resist the temptation of touching you and kissing your soft hands and legs. Since I knew your tiny body is not fully prepared to resist any infection, I tried my best to stay away from you. I even wore a face mask to avoid transmitting the infection. You know how much I missed holding you in my hands during those moments. Had I been all right, I would have immediately taken you in my arms and kissed your chubby cheeks. More than anything that’s my right…isn’t it? But as a responsible father I had to make myself patient and keep my temptations under control.
When I touched you for the first time, I was on cloud nine. The softness of your chubby cheeks, your hands, your tiny fingers, the glitter in your eyes when you looked around, all these were extraordinary feelings which I cannot describe better. Only a person who had gone though that experience can understand what I felt.  I could not believe myself that, lying in front of me is my sweet angel, whom I can call my own. I could not believe that my dream of so many years have come true. I silently thanked my friend for giving you to me. Also I also thanked your mummy, who was lying beside you, looking pale and fragile, having gone though all the pains to bring you to this world. In my mind I apologized to her a thousand times for not being with her when she needed me the most. Knowing how much I love and care for her, I am sure your mummy will forgive me for that.

You completed our family
Since you arrived, I have been talking to you about so many things. I have been singing songs for you. I have learned changing nappies for you (though mummy does it most of the time for you). I enjoyed every second seeing you and talking to you, though you don’t understand anything I say. The feeling of becoming a father has not yet fully sunk in me. But I am reaching there…a bit slowly.
 Once again, I would thank my friend, God for sending you to us. Thank you for coming to our family. You completed our family. As sung by Donald peers in his old song ‘papa loves mamma’, you are a gift form god and a bundle of joy.
my hope in
The world you have come to, is a great place, though it has its share of evils and negativeness. But I am sure you will grow and learn to realize the positive side of it and appreciate the good things in it. I will not make any promise to make you a doctor or engineer or anyone of my choice. But along with your mummy, I would help you to stand on your feet. We would help you to become a good human being. We would do our best to assist you in becoming what you want to be. That’s our promise to you Joanna.
None of us know what lies ahead of us. From experience I have learnt that certain things we want to tell our beloved ones, have to be told without waiting, before the opportunity to tell that is lost. Hence I am writing  this and I am sure you will read this, some day in the future. We just want to tell you again…you were so much desired to be into our lives. You were wanted so much my baby.
Long live my child. May god bless you. 

With thousand kisses..

Your loving papa and mummy.

Jose Varghese
Miri, Malaysia
12 May 2014

Clipart images : courtesy Google


  1. Nice thoughts. We have a moral responsibility to make this a better world for our next generation.

  2. Heart touching one and I am sure Joanna would luvvvvv this....Very much happy for you and may god bless this sweet family with all his wonders....gr8 to see you writing again... :)