Category: growing up

The flute Story

Children often teach us a lesson or two and my son has surprised me no end. I took it upon me to teach my son all good values to make him a sensible individual. In my earlier post I had mentioned he had sack full of toys and he would keep everything in good condition and after playing I made him to put back the toys in a big bag. To encourage him to do so I would hold the bag and would start counting and he would bring toys one by one. This enabled him to understand that what ever articles he takes out to play/use will have to be put back to its storage position when he has done away with it.

I also told him not to play with others toys with out their permission and if at all he played he should return the same after the play was over. I recollect two situations, how my son surprised me when we went to visit our friends in Calcutta.

Scene 1

We reached the friend’s house. We started chatting. My son was bored as there were only grown ups in that house. Our host brought an old flute made of steel at least two decades old and gave to my son to play. My son was happy. As we were bidding good bye my son reluctantly kept the flute down. Seeing his glum face the host told. ‘Take it home if you want”. My son looked at him and then at me.

I kept quiet. Then my son asked me ‘can we take this home, even before I answered, the host repeated “take it with you’. Then my son looked at him and declared “I am asking my mother if she says ‘Yes’ I will take other wise I won’t”. We all laughed. I told him that as the uncle has given permission, if he wants he can take it with him and he happily carried it home. My heart swelled with pride. My son has remembered the rule I taught.

Scene 2

We visit another friend’s house; they too had a son ,but a little older than mine. When elders chatted both children were playing. After an hour or so we returned. As we were nearing our house I felt my bag was slightly heavy and put my hand inside and felt some toy. I was shocked. What happened to the lessons I taught! We reached home & I opened my bag and found a toy car with one or two wheels missing. I was upset, I questioned him. Pat came the reply. “See the condition of the car. I thought I would repair it and return it to him in good condition”. Should I get angry or understand his innocence. I was confused. I rang up our friend and informed that one of their toys had come to our house for repairs.

But I learnt a good lesson that day, children are children. They are innocent .We should understand them and try to explain things patiently instead of venting our anger on them. I never remember beating my child even once. I thought beating would be painful and it would hurt them mentally also .When god has given us better faculties of reasoning and patience we must use it well. I always felt, when we beat a child we are failing in tackling the problem. In a way we are showing our strength to a weakling. When I come across mothers whacking the innocents with stick or with their tongue my heart bleeds. Are we not teaching violence to our children? We also do many mistakes which are conveniently swept under the carpet. My opinion is mothers play a great role in the formative years of a child and she can make a big difference in the life of her child. When we practise good qualities the kids imitate the same when they are young and when they grow they make that a habit. Good qualities just simply don’t fall out of the sky. It needs to be cultivated.



My son has a good sense of humour; I think that he got from his dad. My hubby used to tell him lot of stories, fun packed and they had gala of time whenever they were together. My husband was on tour most of the days hence it was my turn to be the story teller when he was away. It was really challenging for me as my son wanted to listen to stories every day. So every afternoon after lunch I used to pack him off to bed and told him the story of ‘Elephant and the tailor’ which is very popular among children. He loved elephant stories but soon got fed up of the same story. So everyday I told him the same story spicing up here and there and it would appear as if it was a new story and last few lines would end like the same elephant-tailor story. When I would start the sentence ‘then the tailor pricked it with the needle’ he would laugh and push me aside telling. “Cheating, cheating”. But he really loved those stories even though they were repetitions.

Later we made a slight change in the story .We made it like how the elephant came to visit our cousin’s house which had a narrow gate. I narrated as if it was really taking place through actions which my son enjoyed well. I would tell. “The elephant cannot come in so we push & push from behind and when the elephant is finally inside it falls with a thud …” and he wanted to hear it again and again. An elephant inside the house might have amused the little one’s mind a lot. Recently I saw an advertisement, an animated cartoon in those lines and it transported me to those fun filled days.

This one really had him in splits when my hubby added a little masala to it. He continued the story. The elephant felt like visiting the toilet. Then it was pushed inside again and it sits on the water closet and dhumm… there is a big sound. A small crack appears in the toilet. Then the closet is full of big balls’. It took a while for all of us to stop laughing.

Once we were visiting the museum in Calcutta. . We saw a skeleton of an elephant and my son was watching it carefully. Then my hubby started explaining that to him and finally pointing to the bottom part of the skeleton he said “laddu making machine”. we found it difficult to suppress our laugh. This happened years back. But it still brings smile to my lips.

My son has grown up but when we are together we still spent some time recalling those days and having hearty laugh which binds us together.


My Son Wears the Chef’s Cap

Our family was and is very small, a closely knit one with my son, hubby and me. My husband used to help me in the kitchen and on weekends he would prepare mouth watering pav baji or pizza and we relished his cooking. Seeing him in the kitchen my son would have also thought that he can also try his hands at cooking .

My son wears the chef’s cap.He makes his first dish:

I think my son was in 2nd or 3rd standard. One day he told me he is going to make some thing interesting and told me to stay out of the kitchen. As it didn’t require any cooking I made way for him. After a few minutes he came out with an attractive pudding . It was pink in color and he kept that in the fridge for a while. I appreciated him a lot as it was his first recipe.

He had soaked bread in little milk and sugar and added a few drops of rose essence to it. Then he put that into a jelly mold and gave a round shape to it. It looked very attractive.

when it was chilled & ready to eat we had a big surprise waiting for us. I had put a small spoon of that into my mouth and along with sweetness it tasted salty . I swallowed it lest my son would get disappointed. But he was happy with his creation. Even now I tease him sometimes for adding salt in the sweet dish.

As he was growing up his visits to kitchen were only to find snacks & to make some juice. I thought his interest waned but to my surprise he is back with a bang. He has become independent, cooks well and has become a real Taste master.


Indus Ladies Mother's day contest

Indus Ladies Mother's day contest

My son loved to play with toys as every child does. He was more interested in vehicles and we tried to get him all kinds of vehicles available in the toy shop. He had cars, cycle, auto rickshaw, crane, scooter, dumper truck, bus, milk tanker, aero plane, helicopter etc. Every morning he would bring his toy bag and would spread his toys on the floor. He used to play traffic snarls putting the vehicles one behind the other in a row. He missed a road- roller in his collection and would ask any visitor home to get one for him. We could not find that in any shop at Pune. I still remember my brother-in-law going around many shops in Mumbai to get him one. For that matter, even today we are yet to see one toy road roller after 20years.

Another liking he developed was for jig saw puzzles. Before I speak about his passion for jig saw puzzle I want to tell about my wonderful neighbours and their daughters who have played a significant role in his formative years. They were Punjabis and we were Konkanis. They started talking to him in English which was a common language and with in no time my son became fluent in English. At that time he was about 2 and a half years old. It amazed me how fast kids learn things when it takes longer time for adults. Young children have no fear and are confident to attempt any new things and invariably learn to do it well if they get adequate guidance and conducive environment.

One day my neighbour handed over a bag to me which had lot of jigsaw puzzle pieces for my son to play. I was not sure whether he would be able to do it. As there were no pictures of the puzzle, they showed him how to do it and Lo! He did it well to every body’s amazement. Seeing his interest we went to buy more puzzles for him. The shop keeper looked at my child and said “we don’t have any thing for his age”. What was available in the shop was for a 4-5 year category and we bought it for him. He could do it within minutes. Then we went in for more complicated ones with more pieces and he solved all those easily as well. At the age of 5 he could do jigsaw puzzles meant for a 10 year old. I think my son had a score of such puzzles which kept him engaged when his father was on tour. It became so routine he started getting bored and to get challenge he used to do that inverted with only the shapes of pieces to fit.

What I understood from this was we elders are putting boundaries to ourselves and to our children as to what we can do or cannot do. I think kids absorb things very fast and their little brains are able to take in as much as possible if right exposure is given to them. In my earlier post I had mentioned about buying expensive toys for the kids. There is no harm in that if one can afford. It would be good if some money is spent to buy things for them which will help them to think, and be creative. I have found Jig saw puzzles improve concentration and help kids to stay focused. It also keeps hyper active children remain in one place and control their hyper activity if suitable environ is created around the child.

Parents believe that they being elders and knowledgeable can only, give. I want to narrate here what I learnt from my young son, which I use even today in my motivation programmes for youngsters and not so young as well.

My son though very fast in solving puzzles was not so fast when it came to running races. I knew that, but would encourage him to participate in all the things he wanted to take part. Once during the sports meet in his school he participated in 4 events. Lime and spoon race, sack race, relay and 100 meters dash. In the evening when he came home he was very much excited and told us he came first in all the events. It was a pleasant surprise for me but something at the back of my mind was holding me back. My mother- in- law and my husband’s aunt who were at home for a short stay, were thrilled about it. During prize distribution ceremony my doubts were cleared as his name was called only for relay race. He got a silver medal. Knowing my son I was wondering how he could win all the events. But the lesson for me was he considered himself a winner. He was so focused on reaching his goal he never realized who went past him. May be he didn’t win all the trophies but did feel like a winner. I feel that is all life is about. It is all in the mind. It also reminds me of a poem-“Race” by D.H.Groberg. It is about how a father encourages his son to rise and run every time he falls during a race. The son does not come first but every time he falls he gets up and completes the race. We have a lot of lessons to learn from it.
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Apple of My Eye

It was fun watching my baby grow and I spent lot of time talking and singing for my baby which he seemed to enjoy as he was getting lot of attention. Cannot say whether he really enjoyed my singing or not. If he could speak, I would have known. I will be narrating many instances where I have learnt lot of things from my child. Sometimes kids seem to be wiser than us. As this not a diary of events, I have decided to write what comes first to my mind.

On his first birthday we got him a cricket ball and a bat and he loved it. Husband being cricket crazy taught him how to bat and bowl. He took a fancy for the Pakistani cricketer Quadir and he use to imitate the body movements of that player. Diving, declaring out, batting, everything caught his fancy. We had a beautiful strip of land in front of our verandah and that was his pitch.

I introduced books to him when he was 11 months old. Many parents spend lot of money in buying expensive toys but not on books. I have heard many parents complaining their children do not read books. My poser to them is, what role have you played to create the interest? Many feel that children will tear the books. To listen to the rustling sound of paper, kids do tear it, but if we are patient and sit with them and show them colorful books they really get hooked. Some damage will be there, but that is part of the child’s learning process.

The first book I bought for him was a pop-up book of animals and everyday he would sit in my lap to listen to my narration. Then we slowly started buying story books of various shapes. He had his own library. For this I want thank his paediatrician as he only told me to introduce books as early as possible to inculcate the reading habit. Today my son is a voracious reader and it has helped him develop his language skills.

Don’t ever feel that my son was only playing cricket and listening to stories .He had another passion – spending time in the kitchen. He was interested in playing with my pressure cooker, spoons and ladles. Most of the time my husband was away on tours which left both of us to spend more and more time together. He also fancied laying out the table like they do in hotels. He would help me in spreading the table mat, arranging spoons and fork on either side of the plate when we expected guests for dinner. I never knew he was so fascinated by the hotel custom until we had a colleague of my husband dropping in for dinner. My son was really a chatter box and he would entertain everybody. He was in U.K.G at that time. I had made variety rice like lemon, coconut and curd. Dinner had just finished and I had gone to clear the plates and the men started chatting. Dessert was served and I saw my son coming out with an old diary cover and handing it over to the guest. I saw him opening it and his face was ashen. Immediately I smelt something was wrong and asked for that diary cover. In that my son had coolly kept a bill for the dinner we served. How innocent kids are. After that I explained everything to my son.

I also want to add that now my son is very much interested in cooking and experiments a lot.

He was very active and used to participate in every competition that was conducted for his class. His favourite was the quiz and he has won many prizes for that. Once for the Republic day celebration his teacher selected him for a small stage programme in which he had to represent a South Indian couple. He was taught a few dance steps to perform while making an entry on the stage which my son could not digest. He had a long face when he came home and told me. ‘Mom you must tell the teacher dance is not for me’. Other competitions are ok. He was very sure of what he wanted and I never forced him to do things which he never liked. So I told him to cooperate with the teachers for that programme.I could not believe my eyes when he came on stage with wonderful steps and made everyone wonder if he was attending any dance classes.

This one really surprised me. My son gave me some advice when he was only in 5th. There was a problem in our family. I felt I was alienated and I was very much depressed. I worked like an automaton and as my husband was away I felt totally helpless. My son was observing me. When he talked to me nothing was getting registered in my mind and I was not replying to his questions. Seeing my condition he told me “Mom, you are not listening to me at all. Why are you worrying? What ever others say, don’t take it in. Take it through one ear and let it go out through the other”. It still rings in my ear. My son was putting some sense into me which I never learnt in any of my books. Children are individuals. Mischief is part of their life .if there is no mischief there will be only dullness in life. It is parents duty to understand them respect them as individuals.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my son’s childhood and I have given my best. My son has grown but he knows there is a shoulder waiting for him in case he needs.