Experiences, Little Moments, Ram Leela

Art Show

The preschool that Ram goes to is a literacy and arts based program, so the curriculum is heavily geared towards arts and crafts. This morning his class had an art show, which showcased all the art projects that they have done as individuals and as a class since the beginning of the school year. There were drawings and paintings made out of rubber bands, crayons, glitters, and what not. His teacher had done a fabulous job of not only enrolling the kids in these activities but also turning them into an exhibition. Truly well done!

Of the several themes, one was on self portrait. Each kid had two drawings. One was done in the beginning of the school year and the other more recently. The two drawings clearly demonstrated the progress the kids have made over time. Ram’s self portrait in the beginning of the year was a circle with one eye and one stick for a nose and no body. He described it as, “Mama that is me with one eye going to a swim class”. The recent one looked more like a snowman, with a face that had two eyes, one nose, and a body, and two sticks for hands. He described it as, “And this is me flying like a bird mama.”

Every evening when I pick Ram, he has reams of papers with drawings on them. They all look the same to me. Not for Ram though, not in his mind’s eye. Each one has a story to tell. One day it’s about a trip to the beach. The other day, it’s about playing in the center park. And yet in another drawing, it’s story of the animals in the jungle. His eyes would light up, his thoughts racing, his words tumbling out and all about as he vocalises his vivid imagination. Talking a walk with him in his world of imagination is one of the things that I so look forward to at pick up time.

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Sunday night ritual

When Hari was born, my sister-in-law suggested that we follow the practice of dhrishti suthu podaradhu. We started on a whim and have stuck to it for the past nine years. Every Sunday night, just before bedtime, Da lights the camphor, swirls it around the three of us as we recite the slokam with the altar behind us – Kaarar mennikku kannu ondrum varamal, serar thirumenikku thiruvanthi kappu.

I don’t think we believe in the idea of someone casting an evil eye, but the practice has served other purposes. It gives us closure to the weekend and gets us mentally ready for the work week. It reminds us that we do not and cannot control everything. It strengthens our faith that there is a higher power watching over us. It reminds us to be thankful and to not take the two precious little persons in our lives for granted.

Hopefully, one day when the kids reminisce about this childhood routine, it will warm their hearts as they recall how they would giggle, and compete to complete the slokam.

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Hari Katha, Kids, Little Moments, Ram Leela

Sunday night

I am settled in my happy place, the bottom bunk bed, with laptop perched on my bent knees, clearing my work inbox in preparation for the work week. From time to time, Hari is passing me Calvin and Hobbes, the book he has chosen for bed time reading, from his top bunk bed. “Mama read the page where they are playing checkers”, “Mama did you get the joke on the other page”. I am not sure if I enjoy the comic strip or the shared interest in the comic strip more. Ram has gone to bed with his right hand covering his right cheek. The child attended a b’day party this afternoon, the first one that he got invited to from his buddy at school. The theme was The Frozen, and he had his right cheek painted with reindeer. He refused to rub it off, and he was placing his right hand in an act of protecting his cheek from any possible wiping against his will. “Not just today mommy, I don’t want you to wipe it forever.” I will pick that battle tomorrow, but today I let it go soaking in the innocence of it all.

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Phew…! (LMT Post)

Life sure has kept us on our toes these past few weeks. Happy to report that all of us have been working hard and have stayed focused, tackling one deadline after the other and resisting the temptation to multitask commitments. Some simple joys and small wins savored along the way include:

– Stepping beyond comfort zone. Nothing pushes me outside my comfort zone like my work does. Time and again, it has challenged me to throw my hat over the fence and go get it. There is a lot of reluctance, discomfort and restlessness along the away, but how else does one grow?

– Hari had a great hockey season. His team languished but as an individual player, he had his moments of glory. He got selected as the player of the game three times this season. Makes me happy because the child eats, sleeps and breathes sports. It’s a nice bonus when that passion is paired with potential.

– Bonding with Hari over science project, culture poster and math quizzes. Brainstorming ideas, steering efforts, and getting him enthused. The child loved it. We reveled in it. There were moments of frustration and occasions of wars being waged, but with practice we are learning to maneuver around these barricades.

– “I will be so happy when my mommy comes back”, “I love my mamma a lot”, Ram kept chanting that mantra before I left on business travel. Honestly, both their cheek rubs, their wet kisses, and their clinginess are the best homecoming presents I can ever get. And it’s the countdown towards that tenderness that motivates me to pick up the luggage and wave goodbye with a smile on my face and butterflies in my stomach.

– I am very proud of my kids at culture class. We celebrated our culture day by having kids present on national leaders. The kids were enthusiastic, wanted to impress and took the initiative to practice. It was such a joy to see them shine in class.

– Contributing to the PTA at Hari’s school by editing the monthly newsletter. I have the highest respect for this association, so much of learning for the kids comes from activities that the PTA organizes and I am beginning to realize that it’s one of the biggest variables in determining how good a school is. I have always wanted to contribute in some form or manner and have been guilty of hiding behind my work excuses, but an opportunity cropped up and I hope to be able to contribute in my own small ways.

That’s it for now. Hope all is dandy in your part of the world. Let me know what you have been upto!

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