Early in the August of 2022, I received news about the birth of Rayden (unnamed, of course, on the day of his birth), my first grandchild and the continuation of the bloodline.

I usually write when I feel strongly about something, however, to express in words, the instantaneous, intense and overwhelming emotions that I felt on the day I received the news, seemed like an act of futility.

It has now been over a month since Rayden was born and the feelings just grow more intense as each day passes. Therefore it has been difficult to write with clarity. I can’t even remember how many times I’ve sat to write or how many edits I’ve done. And that’s unusual, because I usually write at one stretch.

I thought I’ve seen it all, done it all, however this has been a period of deep reflection, realization and just a simple experiencing of emotions, that did not quite exist before.

As I try to deal on this overwhelming flood of emotions, I am compelled to wonder, why is it as such? 

Perhaps it has to do with the fact that I was not there for his birth. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that I was not there with my firstborn, when his firstborn was born. Maybe it was to do with the fact that hit me, that the bloodline continues. Could it be that I am August born too. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that I hit sixty in the same month and year. Was it a sudden realization? God! Sumir! You are a grandfather!

I am pretty damn sure that it most certainly has to do with a handwritten note that my son sent me a few weeks before the birth, in which he shared what he wrote in his journal. This journal entry was deep. It was deeply reflective about his emotions about what he felt of me as a father. I’ve not been the best as far as father’s go, but my son and I have a very special bond. I have three kids and the other two are younger and the bond I share with the younger kids is also so very special, but there is something about the firstborn that is different.

This is the photograph of us when he was born and his journal entry was based on it.
What is so special about the firstborn? Is it a sense of achievement? Is it a sudden dawning of this sense of responsibility? Is it a sense that you have brought a new life into this world? It is fear? Is it a feeling that maybe you aren't quite ready to be a father? I know that my son expressed similar sentiments in the weeks and months running up to the birth of his son.
Despite my hard exterior, I'm quite the softie deep inside, a side that not many are privy to. My emotions gave way to tears of joy for becoming a grandfather, but even more so because I sensed what my son surely was feeling. He's not an expressive child, not with the spoken word anyway. But his journal and his photographs are what he uses are his forms of expression.

I called his mother and we both cried as we spoke.

I called his mother in law and she says, “We did it!!!” Yes, heck, we did.

My youngest son and my daughter are now uncle and aunt.

My sister is now a grand aunt.

My mother is now a grand parent as are Malini’s parents.

Just one child being born and so many new relationships develop. My thoughts are all over the place, nostalgic, deep and I am wondering how can I feel so much love for someone I've not yet met, not yet held, not yet petted, not yet kissed? 

How can I feel this flood of love for something that has just been born? I have no previous relationship to fall back on or to go by, no previous track record. 

And then it hit me. This is not something new. This is DNA, it is genetics, this is a relationship from a previous life or indeed from several previous lives.

Rayden-Sama (as I’m calling him) seemed intent to only to confirm this foreboding feeling I had. This is exactly what happened when later in the afternoon on the day of his birth, I was informed that he’s admitted into the ICU due to some brith related complications.

Premonition:

Just a few minutes after I spoke to my son, something told me that all is not well. I have these premonitions about the people close to my heart frequently and on occasion I have premonitions about stuff in general. As far as possible I don’t dwell on them, simply because my thoughts are then colored based on the premonition.

By no stretch of the imagination am I weak, physically or emotionally, however this premonition and the confirmation that followed devastated me. I experienced a level of anxiety that I haven’t ever seen before.

Physical Manifestations:

My hands are shaking, my breath is taken away, I am breathing hard, my heart rate is spiking, my palms are clammy from perspiration and I just know that my grandson is not all right. Something is wrong! And I just sit before my deities and start praying.

Only I know how much self-restraint I exercised not to call repeatedly, as I knew what my son must surely be going through. Therefore, with calm voice I just called and said, all will be well, that many kids have complications at childbirth. I’m told that my mother was in labor at least eight to ten hours before I arrived and when I did, it was with her innards wrapped around my neck three times.

Rayden was in the ICU for days, he was on drips and what not! The pain I experienced seeing those photographs are far worse than any pain I’ve ever experienced! It was heart rending! I can only begin to imagine what mother and father went through.

He has the blessings of his forebears and his ishta-deva, Shiva. And in a couple of weeks he bounced right back and we were all so relieved that he finally was discharged and went home. What a dramatic entry!

A few days later I called Mayapur, my Godbrother and since he’s studied astrology deeply, I asked if he would do a horoscope for my grandson. He wasn’t doing it anymore and therefore he referred me to a close friend. I set up a session, provided exact time, place and date of birth and a few days later we set up a call. In that call, she reconfirmed that intense innermost feeling, that my grandson and I had a connection from before.

Alexandra, the astrologer made many predictions and had loads of advise to give, right from his nature, his health, his future prospects, his marriage and so on, but I was most enthused with the predictions that Rayden Sama and I would be very close.

Many don’t believe in horoscopes or any kind of predictions. Many don’t believe in purva-karma and in general many don’t believe in anything in particular. Me? I do believe and whereas I won’t dive off at the deep end, I will most certainly take the horoscope and the predictions as a guidance.

I recorded this conversation and listened to it again and again. Whereas I'm sure that some of what I was thinking and feeling on hearing what Alex has to say, was based on what I wanted to hear, a lot also had to do with this deep down feeling that my grandson and I had a karmic connection. Alex said repeatedly and in many different ways that Rayden and I will be very close and that he would be extremely fond of me. 

Yes, so what if it’s just this old fool who is smiling ear to ear upon hearing that his grandson and he will be very attached to each other.

Rayden, the name is derived from Raijin, also called Raiden or Raiden-sama, the god of thunder and lightning in Japanese mythology.

I am immensely proud of the man my son has grown into and whereas that’s but natural, it is especially proud for a parent to hear from other elders that they find him a most beautiful soul.

Malini and Krishanu, you are both beautiful people and I am sure that you will bring up Rayden to be a wonderful human being.

To Rayden-Sama: May my sweet, ferocious, kind and protective Lord Nrsimna always be by your side. May He give you strength and spiritual awakening. Keep Him in your heart, as i have in mine, for He is “bhakta-vatsala”, very fond and protective of His devotees.

I haven’t met you yet, but you know I’m coming. You know that we are soulmates. You know that your grandfather will be your best friend, your guiding light and will indulge you. And just like I did when your father was born, we will take a picture together with the very same wordings on the poster, “Do NOT Touch This Baby”.

To my other two kids, this grandfather business feels nice, when are you giving me grandkids? You do recall how I ended my last blog, written when Krishanu got married?

One down – two to go.