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Mother, writer and daydreamer. Also chocoholic and chick-flick lover. But mainly mommy. To two boys, at that! When not escorting my Elder One (EO) to karate class, I'm trying to get in as many cuddles as possible from my Younger One (YO). And when not doing either, I'm hard-at-work trying to maintain a steady relationship with my laptop. And as for the Man I Married (MIM), well, let’s just put it this way – even though we share a bedroom, our most meaningful conversations are held over the cell-phone!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Happy 8th Birthday, EO!

My darling EO,

Ah! My darling boy! Another year has passed and as I sit down to write my yearly letter to you, I wonder, just like in that good song, where do I begin?

Well, since I've begun with a line from a song, I may as well start off with music and you. Last year, your Dida gave you a guitar for your birthday and it's been a year since you've started taking lessons. I have blogged about your latent musical talents before, and this passing year has only scratched the surface of what I believe to be a reservoir of creative energy and spirit. Your enthusiasm in all things musical is manna to my soul. Your taste is still love Jon Bon Jovi and Michael Jackson; a good Prem Joshua or Bickram Ghosh number will have you listening to it on endless loop, and you have some patent favourites from Kabiguru's treasure trove as well. There were times I wondered whether you really had 'music in you' or whether it was something of rote that we were forcing upon you. Well, a few months ago, you unknowingly put that doubt to rest; we were in Shantiniketan and we'd carried your guitar along so that you could practice. Well, during one of your practice sessions in the evening, the lights went out, but that didn't stop just continued playing. That's when I knew... Of course you sealed the deal when you wanted to try making up original tunes and when you declared that you wanted to start a rock group when you grew up. You'd even thought of the name -- Vampire Rock! As long as it's not related to death metal and goth, I think I can live with that name :-)Your guitar teacher thinks you are very talented and says it every chance he gets. I just smile, but inside my heart starts beating like a hummingbird on a high!

You LOVE the spotlight! You are born to entertain. The stage is pretty much your most favourite place in the world and you are very, very comfortable on it. Last year, soon after your birthday, you made your debut in the  pada'r natok'er stage (neighbourhood play) for Durga Pujo. It was a dramatised rendition of one of Tagore's well-known, much-loved, epic poems -- "Birpurush". And you my son, were Birpurush. You enthralled everyone...including me. You remembered cues, didn't lose balance when others goofed up, delivered your lines in loud, clear tones and you covered every inch of the stage while acting. You took my breath away and I had to blink back tears of pride when the cheers and thunderous clapping started. That's why I started you off in an after school theatre class run by a good friend of mine. Thankfully, you are loving it and they are loving you. This year, Durga Pujo is two weeks away and rehearsals are on in full swing.  The play...a dramatised production of one of Kobiguru's short stories, "Ichchaapuron" (yes, the same genius again...seriously, where would we be without the man? Well, that's a debate I look forward to having with you in the near future). Now, while you do have one of the leads, I have to remind you every now and then to not get too ahead of yourself, to not direct/correct your peers, to not be so full of yourself. So even though you are doing a wonderful job, I don't say it to you too often, because the last thing I want is for you to grow a swollen head. Vanity is such an unattractive quality...

When you grow up, you'll probably look back on your childhood and think that I was a Tiger Mom of the Amy Chua variety...well, maybe not that demonic, but somewhere in her vicinity. I know I'm kind of hard on you and your brother, but it's mainly where discipline and food are concerned. I hate the very thought of food being wasted (the thought of starving children just numbs me to the core) which is why I prefer you taking smaller helpings and not throwing anything away, rather than piling food onto your plate in heaps and then throwing away half of it. And good manners...yes, I'm a bit of a monster in that department, I'm afraid. The thing is, I hate indiscipline. A friend of mine even called me out on it when we went dining out. "You expect a lot [of good behaviour] from your boys, don't you?" I unapologetically said yes. But later I felt I too hard on you two? But then, whenever someone compliments me on how delightful you two are, or how well-behaved, or what lovely manners you have, or how well I've brought you god, I just swell up with immeasurable pride! I need no greater validation or certification. Now I know these words may well come back to bite me in the butt, but right now, as of this moment, I have to say it -- you are quite the little gemtleman!

You're quite the gourmand, my child! You love experimenting with your palate and are game for new restaurants, new cuisines and new dishes. You still love my pasta to the point that you would rather have that than go out for a meal, but I love the way you enjoy new tastes and experiences. You are eager to help me around the kitchen and sometimes, you even think that you'll be a chef when you grow up.

Books are a firm love. You would rather read than go out in the evenings and kick a football around. Mythology is your favourite genre, but right now, you are also hooked on the Geronimo Stilton series. You read extensively and that's why your vocabulary and language skills are more than pretty darn good. You won 1st place in the inter-class English Elocution competition and I was ready to distribute laddoos! You ask me the meanings of big words and try to use them in sentences which I think is very good, but I also hope it doesn't make you seem precocious to other adults and a show-off to your peers.'s sad, but that is the way that some people will see you and it breaks my heart.

You've discovered a new passion for quizzing and thanks to your bookwormish nature, GK seems to be a subject you're pretty good at. The recently concluded inter-house competition also bears testimony to that.

Of course, it's not all sunshine and laughter with you. You have some flaws which you really need to work on. You can dish it out, but you can't take it. You're a terribly sore loser and you really, really need to learn what the sporting spirit is all about. You have to learn how to play fair and you can't always get your way.

I'm there to guide you into becoming the very best that you can be. You have such a sunshiney spirit and sensitive soul, that I would hate to see you be disliked or unpopular because of your bullish streak. I also worry, very often, that you might be a loner, because I've seen you quite content in your own company. You hear the songs and whispers of hidden voices and I see you lost in your own thoughts, often playing by yourself even when in a playground or room full of your friends, because you have a head full of characters and conversations that have your time and attention. I've been there most of my life sweetheart, and loneliness is a crippling feeling. Embrace life, embrace the people around you, embrace the world...but never let go of your unique individuality. I love your poetic soul and speaks directly to my own soul, from where I dreamed you up and breathed life into you!

To end with a line from another song, you beautiful make my heart sing!

I love you endlessly!

Happy birthday, my big boy!



starry eyed said...

Happy birthday EO! What a beautiful letter, M4!!

R's Mom said...

Happy Birthday EO!

Super nice letter! I am sure when he reads this he is going to come to you and give you a BIG hug

Monika said...

awww....what a sweet letter......i just wished it would never end :) Happy Birthday EO. You are a wonderful boy!!

Swaram said...

What a lovely letter! Loved the Shantiniketan experience. Beautiful!:)

Every time I read about Shantiniketan here M4, my urge to visit the place just increases manifold! SO hope some day soon!:)


noon said...

What a rich and beautiful life he has - thanks to such a caring mother. You are nurturing his talents so well in all ways. And I can totally feel your motherly pride at all the things he does.
Wishing EO a very very happy birthday and a wonderful year. Wait till this talented kid grows up to be a teenager - girls are going to just fall for his poetic nature! :)

The Ketchup Girl said...

model child to a model mother. Birthday wishes EO, here's wishing you a world of success, good health and love.

Carol said...

what a wonderful letter!Happy bday EO