New Days of the Week

Me: Do you know what day is today? It is Pongal day.
(I stressed on the word ‘day’ to mean the festival and not the food item)

Anirud: How about yesterday?

Me: Yesterday was Bhogi

Anirud: Tomorrow?

Me: Tomorrow is Maatu Pongal.

He quickly ran to his mom and said, ‘Amma, some body has changed the names of the days. There is no more Sunday, Monday, Tuesday. We should only use the new names – Bhogi, Pongal…’


Ever since Anirud visited his school before we applied for a place there, he had his eyes set on the enviable collection of books the school library has. When I went to pick him up from school on only his second day there, he asked me when he will be allowed to borrow a book, for which his teacher said that they will be given a book from the next week onwards. Hearing this Anirud’s eyes welled up and he protested in no uncertain terms that he was not ready to wait till next week. Had I done something of that sort when I was five, I would have been reprimanded with a slap or even something worse. But then, this is not India and the year is not 1981. Seeing his love for books, his teacher asked him to select one himself, which he did with all smiles.

Talking about books, we bought few books from the Oxford Reading Tree series, which are very good. They start with a series of story books with pictures and gradually extend it to the next series where each page of the book will have a word or two and so on. We have also ordered some from Prodigy imprint of New Horizon Media in Chennai, India. Hopefully those will keep him happy for a while.

God Theory

‘Appa, I want to discuss something with you’, began Anirud very formally when he was being put to bed. I thought that it must be something to do with one of the airline destinations, the latest area of his focus. But it was something totally different.

‘உம்மாச்சி எல்லாம் ரியலா இருக்காரா?’ (‘Are Gods real?’).
I normally hate when Anirud answers a question with another question and try to set an example. But this time I had to ask him why.

When he was in India few months back, my dad had taken him to the nearby temple.
There were so many gods, but all of them were only made of stone.
Contrary to what he has heard about Lord Rama and Lord Anjaneya in stories, they were standing still. Even at our home, God is there only in pictures and that seemed to have been bothering him.

Probably he has been churning it in his mind all along, it came out today as he narrated the above. Sounding very disappointed, he was like ‘அப்போ உம்மாச்சி எல்லாம் ரியல் இல்லையா? வெறும் ஸ்டோன் தானா? I am very confused.’ (So, Gods are just stones. They aren’t real. Are they?)

Anirud had in his mind that God is a powerful guy sitting somewhere, capable of doing some big and mighty stuff. But the main issue is that he couldn’t be spotted walking or talking or being one with life. Even a powerful guy had to have some sort of life, right? That bothers him. It was tempting to say that he will get the answers when he grows up. But I thought I would confront it now, rather than pushing it back to a later date. In fact, he has made it slightly easier by accepting about God’s power etc.

I explained him as simply as possible that God is present everywhere (‘That was very funny’ is all he said). The main thing about God is that he is invisible (that made him sit up and listen). While God can see and hear what we are doing, we can’t see or hear God. Then, how do we speak to God? That is the reason why we have pictures of god at home and statues of god in temples.

Either Anirud bought this theory or he was bored, he was like ‘Now, it is very clear pa’. Well, that was a relief. Does anyone publish answers for these kind of questions?

First Day @ Primary School

Today is Anirud’s first day at his new school. Although he has attended two intro sessions at this school, this is his first official day. In order to make to the school on time, we need him off the bed by 6:30 am, which is a tall order. So, we made sure that he went to bed last night at 7:30 pm and that worked well. More than him, as parents we were excited about the new routine and were anxious that he should have a cool and stress-free start.

Wearing a full sleeved shirt, tie etc our little brat looked very different and made us realise that he will be five in a few month’s time. As it is the first day, the only thing he carried was the lunch bag. I left him at his warm, new class room which smelled of fresh paint. Although he was very silent when we entered the school premises, he appeared at ease when he got into the class room.

While walking away from his class room, I had questions running in my mind – ‘will he be fine at the new place?’, ‘Does he know how to open the lunch box and eat without any assistance’, ‘Will he be able to loosen / tighten his belt and trousers when required’.. the list is simply endless. The truth is he has been good and he has been very adaptive. He never hesitates to ask for assistance and at the same time he doesn’t give up something very easily. He hasn’t been that very fussy with food – especially, when we are away from home. As for the other things, one day he has to learn and perhaps that day is today.

Going past the door, I turned around to see what he was up to. He was scanning the book pile and busy searching for something. By instinct, he turned around in the direction where I was standing. He smiled and gave a thumbs up before waving me bye.