“She never says ‘bye’ or ‘ta ta’ to them, it’s always ‘adios amigos!’ “

“My husband and I were big time-travel junkies; every alternate week, we’d be out on a trip. So after I discovered that I was pregnant, my mom and in-laws kept telling me that my life wouldn’t be the same after childbirth– ‘Bachcha hone ke baad sab badal jayega….you can’t go anywhere’, ‘If it’s a daughter, you’ll have to save up for her wedding first’... I was anxious. I wanted to find a way to balance our passion and baby– so after Khwaish, our daughter was born, I spoke to my husband about it. I told him– ‘Don’t you think my job as a mother is to invest in her experiences rather than saving up for her marriage?’ He liked my idea of parenting; we both wanted her to be self-reliant.

So, when Khwaish was 2-months old, I packed my bags and traveled with her to Dubai– I didn’t want to waste what was left of my maternity leave. I was worried about a million things– will the weather suit her? What if she’s cranky? Will I be able to manage alone? My in-laws were completely against it– they called a hundred times to check whether we were okay.

But Khwaish loved it– I’d put her in a stroller and we'd go around for over 10-hours a day via public transport; I’d breast feed on the go. She was so happy throughout, she’d observe me keenly as I clicked photos– not once was she cranky.

After coming back home, my husband and I made up our minds– instead of spending money on her birthday parties, we’d take her to a new destination every year. I resumed work after my 3 month maternity leave and my husband and I started saving up for our trips. On her first birthday, we went to Kerala. A few months later, we took her on a trek to Himachal– the temperatures would drop to 0 degrees. We were staying in a tent throughout and the experiences she’s had, no text book can teach her.

Khwaish is 4 now; she's been to 6 countries so far. She can point out all the important monuments on a map and speak confidently with strangers. On her birthday dinner last year, she announced to everyone– ‘It’s my birthday today, please wish me properly’– we all burst out laughing.

She’s always up for participating in debates and extempores– her vocabulary is amazing; sometimes, I don’t even understand the meaning of some of the words she says. She also speaks a little bit of Spanish and keeps showing off in front of her friends– she never says ‘bye’ or ‘ta ta’ to them... it’s always ‘adios amigos!’”

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