I witnessed one of those glorious sunrises from an aeroplane in February 2001, when I was travelling to Cochin for a meeting with my favourite client. For a long time, I was filled with wonder, and finally, the physical words tumbled out of my mouth, "How wonderful this is. I am sure I am the luckiest person alive."
The statement was inspired by the glorious sight I had just witnessed, but that was a period when I was feeling truly blessed. I had a job that gave me immense pleasure- one couldn't have asked for a better boss, or better colleagues, my clients all loved me, and I was making a name for myself in the industry and people asked for me by name to be on an engagement. My husband and I had been married three years, and were blissfully content with leading out separate lives together. Most of my friends were pregnant or lactating, but the peer-pressure never got to me- I was too happy with my life to want kids in the picture complicating things. A few months short of my 30th birthday, I did not want anything in life that I did not already have.
Things could not have been better, and the sunrise I had just witnessed only made me articulate what I truly believed.
Three years later, I was on another flight out of Mumbai. A lot had happened in the meantime. I had changed jobs two times, lost my mother-in-law, saw my father's health start going down rapidly after an operation. My husband and I had re-evaluated our priorities in life, and I had got pregnant and given birth to a lovely baby. I was travelling to Bangalore to introduce my twelve week old to his grandparents.
Motherhood had been a challenge. A Type A person, I found it almost impossible to deal with the unpredictability of having a colicky baby in the house. I wished I had been made to pass an exam before being presented with a baby, so I would not make such a hash of motherhood. But overshadowing the Agony of Motherhood had been the Estacy.
Those unexpected smiles, the tiny fingers tightening their grip on your much larger one, the feeling of satisfaction when his curves neatly fitted into your own. Sleep deprived though I was, there were still nights when I used to wake-up and just stare at the Perfection that was my baby. I was looking forward to three weeks with my parents where they could bond with the grandchild they had waited so many years for.
The air-hostess was making the inflight announcements, I put my baby to breast, gave a contented sigh and looked out of the window. The sun was making a gradual descent into the Arabian sea, after painting a Masterpiece on the sky.
Memories stirred. I recalled the last time I had seen a similar display mounted outside my aeroplane window. Unbidden, the words came to my lips, "How wonderful this is. I am sure I am the luckiest person alive."
I had the most beautiful baby in the world. What more could anyone want?
I had journeyed far in those three years. But at the end of the journey, I found I was in the same place as I had been when I had started - at Peace with myself, and wanting nothing more than what I already had. I am still on that journey, and want nothing more than that it continue forever.
Photograph of the sunrise taken without permission from my Mother.