Friday, July 8, 2011

Dear Daughter

A breath of fresh air;
So lovely and fair,
Bringing excitement and cheer,
for people near and dear,
Talking to others with care,
Playing games always with dare,
Likes drawing cats and girls,
Jumping in air with swirls,
Helping people in need;
Old people or kid,
Listening to elders and their advice;
Making goodies of their choice,
Giving company to mother - Ah! so divine,
I love you so much - O! daughter of mine.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Artistic Sense and Sensibility

Summer vacations arrive with a bang ! They bring with them - the right to sleep late, to wake up late, to play the whole day, to demand ice cream and cold drinks as if it was every child's right and to always ask one question - "Mom, what should I do now ?" I never had any problems answering this question during the school days for my daughter is always busy with her routine, but in the vacations, this questions foxes me.

My Father in law promptly thought of putting his 'busy' grand daughter in a Drawing Class. My daughter shows keen interest in drawing and colouring and we feel very happy when she gets an award or certificate for her abilities. So grandpa took all the trouble of assembling all her drawings and taking the file to the drawing class teacher; who lives a short distance away. The teacher, Mr Kate, was pleased with the drawings and so next day onwards, the class started.

The first day was a formality in checking the usage of pencil and shading with the crayons. The second day progressed to what my daughter likes most that of putting her world on paper. The world specifically includes all doll like girls, depicting various actions; at times animals or sometimes nature. The third day impressed us all - her teacher had made her do a scenery and taught her how to bring it to life !!

Deeply impressed, I went to bring back my daughter from her drawing class on the fourth day at about 6:15 pm. I found the building and the flat and on entering the house; I was surprised - there was no furniture but only huge painting boards put here and there. The kids were seated on the airy terrace and I saw my daughter immersed in her work. This gave me time to observe the paintings on the wall, on the floor; practically everywhere. I could not make out her teacher but I noticed a young man with jeans and shirt and glasses and long hair. I guess this must be Mr Kate; all artistic people do really make themselves be seen. His wife is a beautiful and pleasing personality; trying to help out with the kids and classes.

Again my attention shifted to the room where I was and I found myself with ample amount of time to study the paintings as a layman. A dark red background with some whites and greys like a Stone Age man painting, a half finished painting with a young maiden turning her head away and exposing her neatly plaited hair; and some such other paintings. Frankly, I understood nothing ! Though one painting caught my eye - it was a grey blue coloured one probably depicting a snow mountain range and in the middle as a small man shown as a red dot and two dangling unequal black lines. I focussed my attention to this one and my thoughts drifted to the man who is all alone in a hostile cold environment.

But hey ! the legs were moving !!! Surprised, I stared at it again and Oh ! it dawned on me that this was a CLOCK; the legs of the man were the hands of the' clock and the red dot was the centre !! I could barely control my laughter and wonder at what high level thinking' i was doing without making use of my common sense.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I cried just for you, mother !

Watching a new born baby is a real treat for all 8 year olds. My daughter is no exception to this for she can talk to the baby nineteen to the dozen along with cooing and caa-ing showing her antics and gestures; no matter whether the baby understands or not. It was on one such occasion that Manasi; my daughter asked me curiously upon returning home, about how she was as a baby. My one line answers did not seem to satisfy her, so I had to elaborate them and tell her about nature, habits, size, her likes and dislikes, and so many things that only a child will be interested in.

“Who saw me for the first time?” quipped Manasi. “Were you happy upon seeing me” asked Manasi with a mischievous look. “I was rather worried, beta” was my frank answer which took her by surprise and her naughty smile away. “Why?” she asked me inquisitively. “Actually you were not crying. I only heard a sigh from you but no musical cry as I had expected to” I told her recalling my most happy moment of giving birth and at the same time that of apprehension upon sensing something amiss. “The doctor held you by your feet and patted your back, cleaned your mouth and then finally he used some thing to clear your blocked windpipe. And after that you gave me the best music that my parched ears were dying to drink. You cried most beautifully, beta, you were heard all over the room and outside. Even your grand parents and aunt heard you; waiting outside.” I heard myself explaining most joyfully and feeling a tear roll down my cheek recalling my experience and the sigh of relief upon hearing my baby's cry.

Looking at me with a matured look, Manasi took my face into her hands and said, “I had decided not to cry but I cried just for you, mother”. Hearing her answer, I could only wonder at the irony of the situation; how crying suddenly became the love of a child towards her mother.

Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars ..... I can't see you, you are so far !!

Busy correcting answer papers, I glimpsed at my daughter through my glasses; trying to understand what she was saying. “Oh Mom, would you please buy me a 'speckles'? Before I could even understand, my daughter showed me her eyes – fluttering her eye lashes vigorously. “Oh, you mean 'spectacles'?”, I tried to rectify her mistake. “Obviously ! Don't you think I will look smart?” was her enthusiastic reply. Hearing her verbal and non verbal communication, I could only agree with her, though I 'smartly' tried to evade any promises.

One week passed, again I was asked to fix an appointment with the doctor for getting 'speckles'. I corrected her and again and my daughter went on about smartness. So I tried to act doctor myself and asked her to count the electric wires or cable wires hanging from building to building. My daughter counted them perfectly and I counted them twice as much for I was not using glasses for my imperfect eyesight. “See, you have perfect vision ! You can count them correctly ! There is no need for spectacles.” was my decision.

Another week passed and while we were about to get ready for her rope gymnastics class, I found myself staring at my smiling daughter's mischievous face. “I want a speckles with just a frame”, said my daughter decidedly. I was left with no option but smile back at her and take her to the shop. The walk to the shop brought memories of me going to the doctor for an eye check up and my first day of adjusting to the glass; not to mention my unsuccessful attempts at using the contact lens. By the time, we noticed the shop, both of us were brimming with excitement and with light steps we opened the heavy door.

A quick discussion with the shop keeper and with some gadgets, he gave me his reading saying “your daughter has a minor power – 0.25”. My daughter's excitement knew no bounds. “See I told you, I must have spectacles.” The correct usage of the word had not escaped me. We immediately went to an 'eye' doctor who left the decision to us of either using the glasses or not. So finally we confirmed with the shopkeeper and placed an order for the glasses. The frame selection process was not very time consuming. My daughter was very clear about the frame and selected one perfectly smart one. I even suggested my husband to consult her for such matters.

“Come tomorrow at 7:30 pm to collect them”, said the shopkeeper. “Oh, I am not in a hurry, take your time; for if you don't give them tomorrow then I will have to answer so many of my daughter's questions”, I said, worried that any delay will add to me and my child's patience. “Don't worry, I will give you call to confirm the completion”, said the shopkeeper looking at my daughter's questioning face.

Next day, the shopkeeper indeed gave us a call and off we both went all excited about the new 'look' my young lady is to have. Putting on the glasses, my daughter gave me the biggest smile that showed all her non aligned teeth and her twinkling eyes that indeed showed me the stars which were after all not so far.

Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars ..... I can see you, though you are so far !!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

My First International Flight

"Hey Mom ! Pack my favourite toy !" called my daughter at the top of her voice. "You know, I cannot go to South Africa without 'Patch' !", was her soft explanation. I had no choice but to pack a small soft toy dog. I had strict instructions from my husband on what things he wanted after a gap of couple of months of enjoying the tastiest home cooked Indian dishes. My parents had their say of having me pack medicines, snacks to add to the heavy luggage. I had my views of packing some trendy clothes. And so it went, till the two bags were full and a third got added ! So many things to take care of, things had to be sorted as per hand bags and bags that would be handed to the airline.

All this packing and handling was onto me; my daughter being just a eight year old. But brave that she is, she told me "Hey mom, don't worry, I will carry one of the bags !". With her reassurance, we started off in our already booked airport pick up vehicle from Pune to Mumbai. Both of us were going abroad for the first time and it made us excited, nervous, apprehensive and a bundle of energy. We reached the airport and were directed to the luggage cart. "It doesn't move !". I applied all my strength. By that time, my daughter got curious and put her hand on the handle and the cart moved. Oh ! so this was the mechanism, off we went inside the airport through numerous gates and security checks, till we had nothing to do but wait for our flight and that too for three hours. In our excitement and over eagerness, we had reached early, had completed our formalities early and exhausted our energy early !

After a long wait, we found ourselves on the bus to the air plane. A short welcome and greetings, and both of us were comfortably seated with the window seat as a bonus. But then everything was dark due to the early morning flight. We enjoyed our one hour looking at people, the air hostesses, the food, the chairs, the instructions. And then, we watched a movie. People around us were sleeping soundly, but the two of us, try as we might, we could catch only the proverbial forty winks. The time difference added just the right ingredient to make us even more confused when we finally landed at Johannesburg. The fetching of our baggage which includes going to the particular 'carousel' and picking up our heavy bags was an activity where my daughter took full responsibility of spotting our bags and running with them !

The usual 'Hello', 'How are you ?'; sounded distant to me. Indians are used to not being greeted and here the two of were acknowledging some of the 'Hellos'. At the security check, I took time to adjust to the new accent and for once both of us wanted some hot 'upama' or 'poha'. Finally, after some quick steps we were there waiting for my husband at the circle. He was very happy to see the two of us all fit and fine and grinning from ear to ear. "Mom, now you need not worry. We are with Baba" said my daughter and I knew how right she was.

My first flight to South Africa was over and so were my apprehensions. We enjoyed our stay and the different food and the small garden in our courtyard added the colour to our trip.