Let me start by wishing you a very happy birthday. My boy, you turn eleven today.
You are no longer the same little boy who used to hold my hands and walk in the streets of Chesham pointing to every shop and say “soo (shoe) shop”, “bank shop”, “rain rain go away shop” etc. You are no longer the innocent boy who would believe me and get scared when I say that I am going to meet your school’s head teacher and get your name changed to something funny in the school records. You are now a smart young boy, just a year away from being called a teenager giving us pride and agony in equal measure. Well, I was kidding. More of pride and less of agony. :))
How has the past year been for you Anirud? Perhaps, this is the first time in the last eleven years I have been out of station for most part of the year. As it turns out, unfortunately I wouldn’t be lucky enough to wish you in person.
On the school front, the past year saw you move from the ICSE syllabus to the International curriculum, which you seemed to like. You know well that your mom and I thought a lot about before making the move. We did think that you would be able to fit in well and you did. One of the things we observed in you during the course of the year was the way you stepped up as needed by taking more interest in your school activities without being prompted – very often stretching beyond your usual hours and seeking additional support when mattered. I should really appreciate you for trying hard – be it on academics or flute or violin.
As much as you enjoyed our Delhi – Agra – Jaipur trip in 2014, I hope you loved travelling to Abu Dhabi last December and undertaking the desert safari. Didn’t you also get an opportunity to meet with the legendary Rafael Nadal and Kevin Anderson. When you travel around the world, you just don’t get to see places, but also come across such awesome moments. We do wish that you get to travel a lot more around the world and gain lot of exposure in the years to come. While talking about Nadal, it is rather unfortunate that we couldn’t continue your tennis lessons as it proved to be a logistical nightmare.
Your love for books can never be overstated. If I remember right, it was this year you started and finished reading the entire Harry Potter series. Yet, I believe Rick Riordan continues to rule over you on books, isn’t it? Although we take pride in your love for books, we do want you to keep aside your Kindle, get out of the house and play in the fresh air. I know you do that. But we would like you to do that without being told. Would you? 🙂
The last one year has been a roller coaster ride for all of us. I moved to Abu Dhabi and you folks remained rooted at Bangalore. Talking over the phone and Skype are definitely not the best of the means to interact, but in a matter of few months, we all will be together and I really look forward to that.
When it was time for you to prove your mettle at the entrance tests at your new school in Abu Dhabi, you cracked it with aplomb by being the topper among the other students. That was a job very well done.
I am aware that you have made new friends at school and also at the apartment, which is good. I liked the way when you described Abhay as “he is the typical friend in need is a friend indeed” kind of friend. If I recall correctly, there was an instance or two when you were hurt by your friends, which is very much a part of life. Accept it and just move on.
As I have articulated in person many a times in the past, there are few niggles – only very few of them, if sorted out would make you an even more lovable boy than what you are now. Although on many occasions, you have stepped up in my absence and helped Amma, there have been instances where you have driven her insane – especially considering the fact that she is taking care of you both without any help.
Apart from the above, I would say things have been great with you. You continue to be an inspiration to Srivaths and we do find it funny when he drives you nuts with his demands.
Continue being yourself and have a fantastic year ahead. Stay blessed.