Baby’s Day Out
I was barely ten months old. My mother was a working woman and my grandmother looked after me. My family comprised of my parents, grandmother and my teenage college going aunt. One day there was some function of a relative in a nearby town.
My mother had no leave and had to go to work. My grandmother was in a quandary. Neither could she take the baby with her nor could she leave the baby alone. My aunt came to the rescue of my grandmother and happily offered to babysit the baby until the evening when my grandmother would be back. She convinced by grandmother that as she had vacations for her college, she would look after the baby and that too very well.
After giving a hundred and one instructions to my young aunt, my grandmother left for the function with a heavy heart. No sooner had my grandmother left than my aunt’s friend arrived. “Coolie, Amitabh Bachan’s latest film is releasing today. Let us catch the matinee show.” Those days, my aunt and her friends preferred watching matinee shows, which were priced less than other shows, to accommodate luxuries like hotel and movies in their paltry pocket money.
My aunt was equally excited to catch the latest flick of the angry young man, but expressed her inability to come because of the young cherubic baby merrily sleeping in the cradle. “So what? Let us take him along.” Said my aunt’s friend determined to watch the movie first day first show. After a lot of persuasion my aunt agreed to go for the movie. She brought a basket. Placed a small blanket in it. She filled two bottles – one of milk and another of water’ and kept in the basket along with some sugar candies. She covered my head with a scarf and all of us ventured out in the scorching sun of May to watch the movie.
Being the first day and first show there a lot of rush for the movie. “Getting tickets seems difficult” muttered my aunt. Seeing a small baby in her arms, one fellow who sold the tickets in black, offered her tickets at the counter price, without any extra charge. “We should bring him along for every movie” chuckled my aunt’s friend as they entered the cinema hall.
Initially they were apprehensive that I would get afraid in the dark and start crying. But they had enough weapons in their armor. When I cried for the first time, the bottle of milk was pushed in my mouth. The second time it was a sugar candy. And my aunt swears that after that neither did I cry nor did I sleep, but watched the entire movie with eyes wide open.
My aunt returned home after the movie and so did my grandmother after the function. My aunt was severely reprimanded for her adventure. She tried unsuccessfully to tell them how much the baby had enjoyed the outing. I do not know whether I had enjoyed the movie or not, but this story of baby’s day out runs successfully at all family gatherings till date and is enjoyed by everyone.