Letter to Anirud

Dear Anirud

First things first. Let me wish you a very happy birthday on behalf of everyone who loves you.

I could not believe that we are celebrating your ninth birthday this week, as I still remember the first time I saw you as a 30-day old baby, little more than the size of my palm.

Looking back at the year that went past, I should say you had one of the great years. You started Class 3 at a new school. Although you have always loved every school that you have been to, this one seemed to be more to your liking than Gopalan National School, where you studied Class 1 and 2. This school not only got you some new friends of your wavelength, but also gave you lot of options for the co-curricular activities that you were interested in. To add to that, isn’t it true that the huge library of books always excited you? Academically too, you did really well, as always grasped the concepts pretty quickly and scored nicely even though we never focussed on the ‘marks’ aspect of your learning. You started learning a new language (French) and seemed to love it too, although hand writing continues to be your only nemesis.

Flute is a beautiful instrument to play. At the same time, it is a bit tough for someone of your age to master. With the focus on fingering, blowing and speed, it is quite a task for one to play with aplomb. You have been learning flute for almost a year and a half and have come a long way from where you have started. Your mom and I understand that you have passion towards mastering flute. All you need is a little bit of dedication and consistency to bridge the gap between where you are and where you aspire to be. Knowing you, I am sure you will achieve roaring success on this front pretty soon.

Anirud, do you remember the boy who during the Christmas holidays in 2013 said that he is not interested in learning to cycle and questioned his dad as why he is being forced into something that he doesn’t like?  Do you also remember, how the same boy in a matter of 15 minutes after the above argument learnt to balance and pedal on his own? The boy never stopped cycling afterwards until the cycle begged for a break. Yes dear brat, it was you. I am quoting this just to tell you how the seemingly insurmountable tasks become easy when you put your heart and mind into it.

At the home front, I always admire the way you have taken care of your younger sibling Srivaths. No wonder he adores you like anything and looks for you the moment he wakes up. The way he calls you ‘anna’ with a smile, by your name when he apparently tries to issue you a command and the way you respond would remain in our heart forever.

Isn’t this the year you started wearing spectacles? Someone said that you looked geeky in those and I think I would agree with that view. It is a bit unfortunate that your naughty lil’ brother broke the frame about 10 days ago.

While you have been so good for most part of the time and on most of the things, don’t you think it would do a world of good for you and for those who love you if you can take care of the minor irritants? I know that you know them too well, but will mention it here as a reminder.

a) Being Responsible for your things.

More than anyone else, you know it better on this. The number of pencils, erasers and other stationery items that you have left behind at the class is worth a story on its own. With a little bit of care, you can easily overcome this. Isn’t it? You do remember to bring back all the stuff when reminded. So, it is a matter of trying to bring back things yourself without being reminded.

b) Whining.

Imagine me or your mom talking to you all the time in the same whining tone that you use very often. Is it pleasing to your ears? Doesn’t it get irritating very soon? The tone in which you talk not only gives an impression that you are crying for no reason, but also shoots up our Blood Pressure levels. I have a feeling that you are planning to shed this habit the moment you turn nine. Guess, how I know this? Because, I know everything. :))

c) Talking back.

Very often we tell you to articulate your thoughts clearly when you have a concern. Sometimes, what you do is to take things too far on that front by talking back on every thing. I am not going to embarrass you by giving examples.

All the three things that I have mentioned are only minor irritants on a near perfect nine year old. I am sure it will be easier for you to get rid off these annoying stuff and have a super duper year than what you just had.

Once again, wishing you a very happy birthday my dear boy. Have a superb day and year ahead.



Silver Medal at NSO

Attended the Annual Day event at Anirud’s school. To organise an event of such big proportions, with parents of 2500 kids attending is quite a task. Was very much impressed with their event management skills, as I have witnessed several events at this school in the last one year.

During the event, the Principal was presenting the Annual Report, wherein he was talking about various achievements of the kids over the course of the academic year. While I was awe struck at the sheer variety of the skills that the kids possessed and the way this school was encouraging and recognizing them, I was pleasantly surprised when he mentioned Anirud’s name for the Silver Medal he bagged at the National Science Olympiad earlier this year. Yeah, it was that proverbial “தான் பெற்ற மகனை சான்றோன் என பிறர் கூறக் கேட்ட தந்தை” moment. 🙂

In the larger scheme of things, it is less than 5-seconds of fame. In fact, Anirud or any of his friends didn’t even hear him being mentioned by the Principal as they were at the back of the stage getting ready for their event (Indian Musical Choir). But as a parent, I swelled with joy and pride. Irrespective of the above, we are proud of you Anirud. We really are. Congratulations.IMG-20140131-00107

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Maritime Boundaries

Do you know to plot the exact maritime boundaries of various countries on the map? Anirud knows it well.
Do you know which drop of water belongs to Arabian Sea and which one belongs to Indian Ocean? Anirud knows it authoritatively.

On the other day, Anirud was being helped by his mom on his homework that involved labelling the oceans of the world and this brat was passionately pointing to a certain location in the map saying that this is where Indian Ocean begins. He wouldn’t settle for a millimetre above or below the point he had in mind. As my wfie was not in any mood for a pointless argument, she obliged. If only, we have more experts like Anirud, we won’t have any maritime boundary issues and the world would be lot more peaceful.

Annoying Phrases

These are some of the oft-used phrases of Anirud. I think it is more due to the age rather than the attitude. But let me tell you, when he says these things – it is HIGHLY ANNOYING!

“How on earth do I know?”
“When did I say that I won’t do it?”
“Can’t I atleast have 1 minute?”
“Why don’t you leave me alone?”

Words of Wisdom

One of the irritable problem with Anirud of late is his lack of responsiveness. One will not have any clue on whether or not he is listening or about his intentions. Sometimes, a bit of yelling works. Sometimes, nothing works at all.

One day last week, he was being asked to do some errands by his mom. As expected, there was no word from him. I was in the other room and I could see Anirud getting up to help her out, but my wife didn’t have an idea about what he is up to. This flared me up and I said, “Why don’t you tell her that you are on the way? Not responding is rude and this is not on……”.

Whenever such conversations happen, he will go on a defensive mode cooking up some reason or other as to why he couldn’t respond or perhaps, why we were unable to hear. However, this time was different. With a sage like look, he said “Appa, it is not possible to make everyone happy! We have to do what we like!!”.

Thankfully, I didn’t have a mirror to see my face when I heard that.

Cry Baby Cry!

One thing that Anirud can’t bear when it comes to his lil’ brother is to see Srivaths cry. Whenever he hears him cry, Anirud will drop whatever he is doing and try to calm him down either by talking to him or by making some sound with the rattle etc. Interestingly, Srivaths will oblige his Big Bro most of the time, looking at Anirud in awe (or whatever. Who knows what he is thinking?). However, nothing would work if the younger one is hungry.

Looks like Anirud had thought about this issue (of Srivaths crying for feed) long and hard. He had enquired many times about the frequency and the duration of Srivaths’ feed etc. Much like Archimedes, Anirud gets his ideas while taking bath. One day last week, he screamed from the bathroom like it was an emergency.

“Appa, if Srivaths is having milk every 2 hours, why can’t you set an alarm every 1 hour 50 mins and prepare the bottle, so that we can be ready when he is hungry. How is the idea?”.

“The idea is good, but if you don’t get out of the shower now, you will have to walk to the school, as you will miss the bus”.

In the evening, he started the same topic. I told him that it is not possible to implement his idea, as the baby’s hunger pattern is unpredictable. “Then, how about having the milk ready all the time? That way, my brother won’t cry at all”.

If you look at it, he was clearly focused on one particular thing: Not to let his brother cry. 🙂

Sometimes, we do wonder when the role change happened between us – as he doles out advice on how to handle the baby. While feeding Srivaths with a bottle, sometimes he would fall asleep. Whenever he does that, we would tap on the bottle which would awaken him. If ever Anirud notices that he will pull us up with a piece of advice, “Don’t force the baby to have his milk. Let him be on his own and he will be fine. I mean – don’t tap the bottle. Srivaths won’t like it”.

Didn’t I say right at the beginning that Anirud will make a wonderful bro? 🙂

Cross posted in Srivaths’ blog.