If there is one thing I regret in earnest since laddu was born, it is that I cannot sing to save my life. As I hold and rock her back and forth as she expresses her frustration the only way she knows, I wish from deep within that I could croon to her. That the notes from my throat will communicate with her in a way that words do not. I sigh instead and use endearments in a sing song voice.
So, yesterday evening as I walked around the room shushing her, I murmured a song I remember from my childhood. A lullaby from a movie. I felt her crying lessen in intensity. I could not repress a smile. Emboldened I sang a little louder, the off-key notes sounding painfully awkward. Saathi, Ammu and Pattu did not seem to mind. So I carried on, humming and singing aloud alternatively. Mixing words and random syllables. Her lashes fluttered and came to rest. Her breathing evened out and before I knew it, her weight and warmth felt reassuring to me.
I laid her gently on the bed and sat in the darkness by her side. From the other side of the door, a childish voice hummed a tune that I had sung not long ago. I smiled and walked outside.