• Walter Salvadore Pereira


Updated: May 7, 2019

I have been a father twice over, but nothing on earth prepared me for the wonder of becoming a grandfather.

When I held my newborn granddaughter Riya, weighing around 3.050 kilos, the first feeling that struck me was that of overwhelming awe. This tiny life was my own blood and flesh! True, I had held my own son and daughter, but this however, was a totally different feeling. She looked at me steadfastly through semi closed eyes, with an expression that seemed to say, “Where am I? Why am I not in the comfortable place I was in all these months? And who are you? Why are you looking at me as if you want to cry and laugh at the same time?”

My daughter and son-in-law were both working and it was such a pleasure for my wife and me to have an opportunity to play the role of ‘substitute’ parents to the hilt during the first five to six years of Riya’s life. At times when she wailed - obviously missing her mother - it was gratifying to see that she was easily pacified by my presence and this led to my daughter jokingly commenting that little Riya thought I was her ‘mother’!

It was truly exhilarating watching as Riya took baby steps despite the fact that we had gone through the experience with our own two kids. I was wonder-struck when she began uttering first a single word encompassing everybody and everything around, followed by monosyllables and then gradually in disjointed words, with ‘r’, ‘g’, etc. silent and at long last properly discernible expressions.

Now, my granddaughter is 11 years old and studying in the 5th grade. Looking at her - a lanky fast-growing girl, with an amazing vocabulary - it is really hard to believe that all those fun-filled years have passed so quickly.

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Copyright Walter Salvador Pereira 2019