Sometime last month, I had to be away from home for few days on business. Quite expectedly, Anirud was not very pleased with the idea. As I had to leave on an early morning, I left him a note beside his bed. I didn’t expect a reply on return, but was very pleased to find one. Nothing of literary significance out here, but a lot on emotional value.
Anirud has been going to a Drama School (Perform) since the beginning of 2011. The idea was not to get him trained as an artiste, but to help him get over his shyness and build up the confidence. We were not sure if Anirud would really like the place and had our own concerns on how he would gel in with other children, who might be at various different stages at the drama school. Contrary to our fears and concerns, he appeared very relaxed and every week when we went to pick him up, he appeared very very happy.
Over a thirteen week period, they rehearsed songs, dance etc over a theme to enact a 45 minute play on the final day of the term. Although he used to tell us about the dance movements, songs and dialogues, we were not sure about his exact nature of the role and what he was supposed to do. On the D-day, we were pleasantly surprised to see that this brat had a lead role in the drama and he was one among the two kids to have lots of dialogues. He had a great time being in the middle and delivering the dialogues in a clear, audible way. His dancing was not that great, but he seemed to enjoy every bit of what was happening there.
It is with heavy heart that we discontinued his enrolment at Perform for the following term.
On the other day, we were watching the IPL match between Chennai Super Kings and Kochi Tuskers Kerala. Normally he roots for CSK but on that particular day, Anirud told me right at the beginning that he liked both the teams and he will be happy irrespective of the team that wins. Eventually, when KTK triumphed he appeared pleased. I pulled him up for supporting Kochi Tuskers while he has nothing to do with Kerala and also that he was a CSK fan until few hours back. He gave a matter of fact reply – ‘Appa, this is something I like. I will like or hate something as I wish. If I behave badly, you can correct me. But you should not tell me which team to like’. Ofcourse, he said that in a very polite tone than it appears when you read this, but the statement startled me.
I was quite shocked that he knew to think and speak to this way. On one hand, I am glad that he has an opinion, understands that it is his opinion and stands by it when countered without blindly following the crowd. I was also pleased that he conveyed the above in the most politest of the tone possible that it didn’t give any room for thinking that he was being arrogant. On the other hand, I was shocked – which is massive understatement by the way. A six year old demanding that his views be respected for is something that I wasn’t prepared to hear.
P.S: It is a different matter that Anirud has come back to CSK fold after seeing Tuskers out of the tournament.