Sunday, September 6, 2009

The year that was...

The fourth year didn't start off quite well for Ayaan as he suffered severely from the seasonal allergy. By the time a doctor told us that this prolonged cold and cough that he was suffering from would subside by October-November, Ayaan had already gone through 2 month of medication. The effect of antibiotics was showing up on his health. We were worried but felt better as he got better. The next good thing that happened to him was a trip to Mumbai and Vapi. He has great fun there with his cousin - Aafiya and other relatives who showered him will all the attention he needed.

Then, towards the last part of year 2008, we went to Lucknow and Kanpur which was again a wonderful vacation for Ayaan. Finally, in December, my parents visited us while my brother also moved to Pune. Ayaan was very happy for now he could visit his cousin's place, frequently. Year 2009 started off nicely for us, as my parents were here and we were busy helping Ayaan's cousin Aafiya settle down at Pune.

At school, Ayaan completed his first year and was promoted to LKG from Nursery. We got to attend the Annual Day celebration where Ayaan participated in a Dance sequence. He looked jazzy and funky with gelled hair and fluorescent orange T-shirt. ;-)

Another event at his school that I attended recently was "Breakfast with Fathers". Sounds unfamiliar? Yes, it did give me a similar thought but it proved to be a good idea. Coincidentally, I had a team picnic planned for the same day but I skipped it in favour of this new but important event. So, I was there with Ayaan at his school to figure out what this event was...

At the school, most other children were accompanied by their respective fathers. The teachers had arranged some activities for us (fathers) and they were - Sing-a-song, dress up your child using newspaper, musical chairs, My Daddy strongest and Best looking Dad. Fortunately for me, the last two events didn't happen, especially the "Muscular Dad" event. Besides all this, we got to eat pizzas that were prepared by all those little hands with tiny fingers garnishing the pizza base with a variety of toppings. I would say: it was a good event targeted at enhancing Father-Kid bonding. If I missed a team bonding activity at work, this was a fair compensation for me when the Father-Son duo had a field day.

By the way, if you're curious about the song that I could sing at the event, let me tell you it was difficult to remember a song for the occasion. Since the Indian Independence day was round the corner, so "Nanha Munna raahi hun...” saved me from the embarrassment.

The Special Day
This birthday was the first one when Ayaan really knew what it meant. He was looking forward to it. We got the first birthday wish on SMS from Aftab. In the morning, Ayaan's mom had to leave for work and he had to stay at home with me. As it was a Saturday, so I was supposed to be at home. We had a good time at home and then we went out to order his cake and make arrangements for a small party, too. He already knew who he was going to invite for the party. His list happened to be very small and it included Aafiya and her parents, Vishy and Vardaan. Of course, we took the liberty of inviting our neighbours and some family friends, too.

Ayaan was too happy to receive the gifts and have his choicest people at his birthday party. And the excitement was such that he didn't want to sleep early, like every birthday kid does :-)

That's was a short write-up that I could put together quickly. And this is just another birthday present for Ayaan. May God bless him with the best in life!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Ayaan turns four, today

Masha Allah! Ayaan turns four, today

On his birthday, I wish him all that a father could wish for his son.
Recently, I found a poem which describes the best what any father would like his son to learn in life. This poem is actually a letter from a great leader of his time to his son's teacher. Let me share this lovely poem here...

He will have to learn, I know, that all men are not just, all men are not true.
But teach him also that for every scoundrel there is a hero;
that for every selfish Politician, there is a dedicated leader...

Teach him for every enemy there is a friend,
It will take time, I know; but teach him if you can,
that a dollar earned is of far more value than five found...

Teach him to learn to lose...and also to enjoy winning.
Steer him away from envy, if you can, teach him the secret of quiet laughter.
Let him learn early that the bullies are the easiest to lick...

Teach him, if you can, the wonder of books...
But also give him quiet time to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun, and the flowers on a green hillside.
In the school, teach him: it is far honourable to fail than to cheat...

Teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even if everyone tells him they are wrong...
Teach him to be gentle with gentle people, and tough with the tough.
Try to give my son - strength not to follow the crowd when everyone is getting on the band wagon...

Teach him to listen to all men...
but teach him also to filter all he hears on a screen of truth,
and take only the good that comes through.

Teach him if u can, how to laugh when he is sad...
Teach him there is no shame in tears,
Teach him to scoff at cynics and to beware of too much sweetness...
Teach him to sell his brawn and brain to the highest bidders
but never to put a price-tag on his heart and soul.

Teach him to close his ears to a howling mob
and to stand and fight if he thinks he's right.
Treat him gently, but do not cuddle him,
because only the test of fire makes fine steel.
Let him have the courage to be impatient...
let him have the patience to be brave.

Teach him always to have sublime faith in himself,
because then he will have sublime faith in mankind.
This is a big order, but see what you can do...
He is such a fine fellow, my son!

~ Abraham Lincoln


Sunday, February 1, 2009

The entire world’s a playground; all the walls are my canvas

At three years, Ayaan can be best described by the title of this post. Wherever he goes, he makes friends. Sometimes, we see strangers smiling at us. Later, we realize it’s because of Ayaan. Whether we go to a multiplex or a shopping mall, whether we are on a railway station or we just happen to stop by somewhere on our way, we realize that our little one gets all the attention he wants.

At home, we had put up a canvas for him to paint and scribble which he loves to. He started from that canvas and didn’t stop anywhere. The moment he gets a pen, pencil, marker or a crayon, he uses it on the nearest wall available. Well, in the beginning, I used to get irritated with this but now I have got used to it. Just that I keep trying to stop him and redirect his efforts to drawing sheets and scribbling pads.

Ayaan’s first Bicycle
On his second Birthday, Ayaan got his favorite gift from his “Daddy”. That’s not me… but my elder brother. We got him a bicycle but it seems big for him at the moment. He likes to ride it only when there’s someone to give him a push all along. Another interesting observation is that he likes to research on the bike more than riding it. Most of the time, he is busy playing with the wheels and spokes. All his cars and other toys have also met the same fate. After a day or two, he is only interested in knowing about what’s inside the toy and how does it run.

Left or Right
Ayaan hasn’t decided whether he’s going to be southpaw or a right hander. The day when his mom or I claim that he’s going to be this, he proves us wrong by adopting the other hand, next time. At the moment, he is ambidextrous.

Playing it safe
Looking at Ayaan I keep wondering if it is only about him or all the children of this century. They love to play it safe. Ayaan doesn’t take any chances while jumping or climbing the bed. He holds on tight if someone carries him over or when he goes for a motorbike ride.

First day at School
It was June 17, 2008 when we took Ayaan to his school for the first time. He was happy until we reached the school because he loves to go out with us. When I dropped him and his mom at the school, he wasn’t very happy but he managed to stay calm as he was accompanied by his mom. Like most other kids, he made a lot of fuss when he saw his mom disappearing from the scene. This reminded me of my first day at school which I still remember. somehow... :)

Later, when his mom went to pick him up, she found him crying at the gate with the school principal waiting for his mom to come. He calmed down for a moment but when his mom asked him why he was crying, he broke down again and this time, it was too loud and he was really complaining about being betrayed. His mom treated him with his favorite mango drink and dairy milk chocolate as a reward or compensation.