I am Irya. I am a tiny seed of consciousness, floating in the ether. This is something I will forget very soon, as I have already forgotten my past life, from whence I came here. I will soon be sent to my next destination, into the body of a foetus, at a particular stage of pregnancy. Irya swims within her mother’s womb, joyful and peaceful, at times exuberantly kicking away. She is especially happy when the Person With The Deep Voice strokes her mother’s belly. Her mother’s body is more relaxed, more indulgent of her. Less likely to groan about having to lug this watermelon around all the time, when Deep Voice is there. Her mother gets nervous, sometimes, when the Person With The High Pitched Voice jumps too close to her. Her mother puts a small hand on her belly, strokes it, and tells Irya that this is your Big Sister. Soon there is another voice around, a voice who announces herself to the belly as Nani. Nani also helps her mother relax. She oils Irya’s mother’s hair and feeds her good food. This Nani person also sings to Irya, nonsense songs, rhythmic nonsense which Irya enjoys, kicking away to the beat. One fine day the Nani person declares that the baby will come on the fifth of the month. (The due date is the twelfth). Irya is bored. She has had enough of being inside the belly. On the morning of the fifth, she gets into action. Her mother and Deep Voice rush off to the hospital. Nani stays at home with Big Sister, Nani very pleased that the baby has listened to her. During the rather painful process of being born, Irya forgets her name, her past, everything. She emerges from her mother’s body ready to sleep away her fatigue. Irya is named Roshni by her parents. She is happiest when she is with them. Big Sister is fascinated by her, but also has a tendency to poke and prod the baby, willing her to grow up faster so that she can play with her. Roshni knows she belongs to Big Sister as well. Nani is there for a couple of months, she leaves when Roshni is two months old. Roshni misses the particular feel and smell of her plump, cuddly Nani, and especially her endless songs. Roshni is growing steadily, into a new world. She has a playgroup, where there are many small people of her size, whom her parents insist are her friends. The teacher cuddles all the babies in her playgroup, and Roshni feels that this is one more place where she belongs. Nursery school, kindergarten, school, college, all different places where she belongs at different stages in her journey through this world. She sometimes feels, though, that she doesn’t belong, when she dreams that she is Irya, from a place far far away. She dismisses these thoughts as crazy dreams, and decides that, as of now, the whole world belongs to her.