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"Time flies over us, but leaves its shadows behind"
Nathaniel Hawthorne

It seems my posts on this blog are an annual event now, but I am still glad I have been able to write these birthday notes to Shaurya. Maybe one day he will cherish reading these with as much love as I feel in my heart, when writing them.

This year my baby turned full ten years and it seems like time grew wings and just flew by and I have been left wondering standing by the shore and watching the waves in a trance. It seems just like yesterday when I had him in my arms and now he doesn't even fit into my lap. At times I crave to have more of him and wonder at these strange ways of life as it changes everything around us before we can even blink.

Before I get any more emotional, let me share details about his special day. We hosted Shaurya’s tenth birthday party on the terrace with his close friends, cousins and family. January 8 fell on a Sunday this year and the flip side to this day was that we couldn’t manage to get hold of his school friends. His spirits were further dampened by the fact that there weren’t any boys of his age group in our family and friend circle either and eventually there were more girls in the party and they all wanted to play house and other girly games that he didn’t quite wish to participate in. Let me admit here, that it was indeed funny to see him wanting to do different things and it dawned upon me that it is only a matter of time that he will have more mature tastes and choice of sports and adventure activities. It is a very complicated feeling to describe personally as it wells me up as a mother and makes me kind of proud and anxious at the same time.

Coming back to the party, the kids were all excited as soon as they got in. Shaurya loved his batman birthday cake and we got his favorite south Indian food from a caterer who setup his small open kitchen on the terrace and served it hot. The elders relished it alike and it surprisingly went well with the drinks and other snacks. Thankfully, the weather gods were kind and even though light showers were predicted, it stayed bright and sunny and a joyous winter afternoon to be out sitting under the Sun.

Shaurya's Birthday 2017

The party continued till the evening and once everyone went back and I settled down after the necessary winding up and cleaning, I decided to make a few resolutions on this day. I guess I will include those in my little note to you my son.

Dear Shaurya,

Let me wish you a very Happy Birthday once again and happy pre-adoloscence to you. This year marks your beginning into a different realm. There will be new challenges to accept and new goals to achieve with every passing day. As your parents, your dad and I have been doing all we can to shield you from certain hardships and provide for you the best of comforts and convenience.

With this year, I want you to start feeling a little more responsible and accountable for your life and the time you spend. I need you to know that this life that you have been accustomed to is a previlege and there are millions of children in this world who do not have the luxury of a full meal during the day and live in fear under dangerous conditions. I want you to become cognizant of the world as it stands and start working towards setting up your own benchmarks on how you wish to contribute back to this life and world.

On your birthday, I resolve that I will try and spend more time with you over this year (even if we are together for most part of the day) and will try and make you do a little more with the time you have.

I will allow you to have your own say and will try and respect your decisions (with due safeguards as a parent, of course) and will encourage you to voice your opinion and will seek your point of view on matters that affect family as a whole. I resolve that I will ensure that you cultivate the confidence to be able to share your opinion when asked for and will check that while doing so, you do not disrespect or hurt someone’s feelings.

I resolve to respect your privacy but at the same time, I will expect you to not be self absorbed and neglect your parents. I look forward to the time you come and sit with me and share your experiences at school and bring your problems for me to look at. While I understand that you will get busy with your own life, I hope that you do not overlook my need of your attention and time.

And last but not the least, this year I wish to get your hand and feet imprints on clay. Don’t ask me why? I guess I just like the idea of being able to hold onto this still tender age of yours (even though your foot size is as big as mine and your hands are as big as Geeta masi)

As I said before dear, time has wings. No one knows what the next day will bring and no matter what our life allows us, I want you to know as your parents, we will always try and be there as much as we can and will support you no matter in which direction you decide to fly and soar.

I wish you all the strength in your journey this point forward. Rise and shine my son, I will always love you the way I always have.

God Bless.

You may have outgrown my lap already but not my heart..

I will begin by wishing you a very Happy Birthday once again.
Between the last year and this, I may have never made another post, but maybe your birthday is a secret promise that I made to myself and I will never stop saving the memories of this special day as long as I live.

Dear Shaurya,

You turned 9 on January 8th this year and as much as I want you to turn out to be a handsome, young, responsible man, a part of me will always want you to be the little baby, I could so lovingly hold in my little lap. But then time and tide wait for none and so looking back at the year that just went by and flipping through the various Sports Days, Annual Days, Assemblies, Get-togethers and your 'being - naughty' days my heart swells with joy and pride looking at how you have progressed in the last 365 days.

Talking about your birthday now, this year it was a quiet affair. We went out for a dinner and were joined by your friend Parshvi. I thought it would be a nice change for you if I take you to fine dining instead of your much loved pizza places in town and that you may enjoy the experience. But, I think I should have known better as just fifteen minutes into placing the order, we realized that there is only a limited time that little monkeys can be contained.

Shaurya Birthday 2015

You and Parshvi decided to be your cutest, naughtiest best and started giggling for no apparent reason. Parshvi, I am sure will grow up to be a comic queen as she decided to make you laugh and started making funny sounds. Your giggles turned into guffaws and they were finally uncontrollable. It was amazing to see you two little kids create so much mayhem at a quiet restaurant, where people were having closed dinners and were forced to turn around to see you two kids having their share of fun oblivious of anyone and everyone around. I wouldn't say that we were embarassed by it all but definitely wanted to bring some silence back to the table but then we allowed you to be absorbed in your little game. It was your special day and you were entitled to enjoy it any way you wanted.

It was good to see you laughing freely and I learnt how important it was to not curb it. The otherwise monotonous birthday celebration was suddenly full of mirth and joy all around. The jocund company of you two kids finally touched us elders too and we also got involved in your games and antics.

The innocence that reflected in your merriment touched everyone alike and I think it is only apt that I end this post by making this little wish… "May you retain this innocence my angel, as there is nothing greater than holding the little joys in life. May you  enjoy the company of friends and may Lord help you pick your friends wisely and together you may conquer this big, bad world"

A very HAPPY BIRTHDAY once again, son.

It’s been nearly eighteen months since I last made a post. Seems I took longer than a sabbatical and Shaurya has changed and matured over the course of this hiatus. I think I owe a few quick posts to make up for this lost time and document all changes that Shaurya underwent and his journey and experiences over this period. 

I guess the best post to start this year and resume the blog would be a post about his birthday. This year we decided to have a proper celebration and organized a small party for him at the India Habitat Center, Delhi.

IMG_20150108_124704

Unlike other kids I have come across, Shaurya prefers playing Football over Cricket and it has become his favorite sport over the years. With time, he has started voicing his demands and likes more assertively and wanted a Football themed birthday party for his special day and we gave in to his wishes.

IMG-20150110-WA0018 Invitations were sent out and there was a nice small gathering of little brats, playing and jumping around. The cake too, was in the shape of a football and Shaurya, in particular was very excited and happy to see it.

We hired a game organizer and host for his party, who managed the little gathering well, inviting and motivating the kids for little props and games that he had setup. Shaurya perhaps thought since it was his special day, he was entitled to win all games and was upset and started crying and refused to participate when he lost a game.

Though as a mother, I didn’t wish Shaurya to be upset on his birthday but then I couldn’t just be partial and give Shaurya an undue advantage in a game. I had to step in and let Shaurya know that one needs to earn a prize in a game and he should be fair and accept his defeat gracefully if he lost. I guess, he understood what I wanted to convey and was fine soon after.

IMG-20150110-WA0025 When the cake was brought to the table, it made the kids forget their games and they all got around the table to sing the birthday song. The cake was truly delectable and I was glad that my little prince was floored by it. The food was followed by more games and finally the party got over.

Shaurya undoubtedly enjoyed his party and was excited about the gifts he received. He opened the packets one by one and kept on talking about how he would want to use the stuff he got. The books, toys and games that he got were immaterial, but the sparkle in his eyes was priceless and as a mother I would always want him to smile and remain happy.

Dear Shaurya,

Material things will fade away with time but moments are precious and leave an indelible mark on our memories.. I am sure this birthday will be cherished like all the other ones in the past. I hope when you grow up and look back at all these memories that I have been compiling for you, they bring you the same joy and help you relive all these moments all over again.

Till then, as I promised, I will keep making these posts and even try and fill in the gaps between this post and last.

Love,
Mom

Shaurya and I travelled to Udaipur by ourselves in the last week of May to visit my sister and her family. My eldest ‘Jija ji’ and Shaurya’s ‘Maasad Ji’ is an army man and currently posted there and Shaurya is apparently quite fond of him. The way he follows him around in the house is a sight worth watching. Being in the Indian Army, my sister and brother in law have a different lifestyle, they have lots of helpers to run errands and look after all kinds of things. Shaurya, who is normally not used to such things, loved being pampered and was the center of attraction for not just my brother in law, but even the helpers.

Shaurya Udaipur Shaurya had a freezer full of ice creams and chocolates waiting for him and he did not take long to clean them up but then, Jija ji would quickly replenish it indulging him all he could. Being the eldest in the family we have always looked up to Jija Ji as a father figure but Shaurya’s attachment to him could only be seen to believed. Shaurya would sit up and wait for him to come back home for lunch, would accompany him on his smoking breaks and even stay up till late at night to listen to his talks and stories.

The funny thing was that Shaurya somehow always felt that we called him Jiya ji and not Jija ji and could not be convinced that it was not so. In fact, despite being coaxed by Jija ji himself to call him as ‘Maasad ji’,he could not be shaken and still chooses to call him Jija ji.

It is strange how children can connect to grown ups in the most uncanny ways and develop new bonds on their own and grown ups who are often feared, respected and admired by their peers and family succumb easily to a child’s innocence and reveal an unseen part of their personality.

Dear Shaurya,

With time perhaps this little bond that you developed will age and change into more formal respect. I hope this little post will forever account for what you shared during the summers of 2013 and will forever remind you that kindness is a virtue that leaves a lasting impression.

So here I am today, praying that God fills your heart with kindness and compassion and allows you to share it with everyone alike. Grow up to be responsible and sensitive and be a joy to the world.

I read it somewhere: How to ride a horse:

Step One – Mount the horse.
Step Two – Stay mounted.

It was the much awaited occasion of Shaurya’s chaachu’s wedding and everyone in the house particularly Shaurya was very excited about it. He is extremely close to his uncle and couldn’t hold all his excitement.

Shaurya Henna Now, according to Hindu rituals the bridegroom goes to the wedding venue, mounted on a horse and the youngest boy in the house has to accompany him as a ‘sarbaala’ on it. Being the youngest in the family, Shaurya got the chance to be the ‘sarbaala’.  I am sure he didn’t understand much about the significance of the custom but just knowing that he would be wearing a similar attire like his uncle for the special day, his joy knew no bounds. In fact he even got  a little henna pattern done on his palm like the groom.

Finally, when it was time to mount the mare, Shaurya refused to do so, as it was a full grown mare and really tall. He was scared out of his wits and thus, instead of being by his uncle’s side, he chose to remain with the others and did not venture near the horse at all. Every time we pulled him to come near it, he ran away howling. I am sure he heaved a huge sigh of relief when we reached the venue and he was spared of the ordeal.

As a mother, I was a little disheartened seeing him scared like this and at the fact that we could not infuse enough confidence in him to take a little ride but I also feel that it was our mistake as well, to not apprise him and mentally prepare him before the ceremony.  

sarbaalaHowever, it so happened that within a month after his uncle’s wedding, there was another wedding in the family and we all went to Chandigarh to attend it. Well, the horse again came into the picture and Shaurya was troubled at the sight of it. Having known from our past experience, we knew better this time around and did not urge him to ride it.

During the course of the wedding that evening, we returned to our hotel to change for another function later in the night. Incidentally in the middle of our hotel’s lobby stood a life like statue of a horse.

We were passing by it when suddenly Shaurya decided to overcome his fear and had the urge to mount that statue perhaps just to get a feel of it. I as a mother and a teacher normally would not have conceded to his demand, but having known how he was scared initially and seeing him make an attempt to go past his initial fears, I gave in and we let him sit on that statue for a brief while (of course, with the consent of the hotel staff).

I can’t say if anything really changed for him that moment, but there was a sudden spring in his feet when he finally got down from the statue. He was much more relaxed and kept looking at me for approving his little feat…needless to add, I gave him a little hug and encouraged him on.

My child,

I want you to remember this little incident and read this post when you are a little unsure of the obstacles in your way. It was a trivial situation but then you overcame it, on your own by making an effort and succeeded as well.

I wish that you take heart from this little post and remember before you say I can’t to something, you give it a try. As again, I promise to stand by you as a mother and a guide through all what you attempt to achieve and all your ups and downs.

All the best, my little knight :)

 

I remember having written about Shaurya starting the play school (Read HERE) and then his first day at a formal school (Read HERE), I guess it is just right that I include a little note and a picture about his first graduation ceremony.

Shaurya - Graduate The graduation ceremony is basically held by schools as a milestone to show that the child is now entering a numbered class. For Shaurya, this happened when he moved from Prep to Class I. The school held a small function which Shaurya attended wearing a gown and a mortarboard – all dressed for the occasion.

We as a family attended the function and were really happy to see him graduating. I couldn’t hold back my tears seeing my little baby looking bright and all grown up.

Dear Shaurya,

Though this ceremony was a little mock drill to the next class, but when you actually complete your bachelor’s or master’s degree and be ready for the world, I hope that I am able to attend that ceremony as well, standing there as a proud parent, clapping the loudest and cheering for you and wishing that you pursue your dreams and follow them sincerely to realize them. On that day I am sure, you will be confident to leave the secure environs of your home to step out into the world and lead a life of your own.  You will go off to different places, take big decisions in life and at times you will not even bother to keep your old mother informed.

Let me use this post as an opportunity to tell you, that my love and blessings will always be with you through thick and thin and I will always be there willing to listen to all what you have to tell me. As a child, I heard all your babbling and unnecessary talks with utmost care and attention and I will do the same whenever you want me around.

Love you, my little graduate.

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