Last weekend I learnt a couple of lessons – in that of parent’s pride (it’s a totally different sort of happiness) and that an adult can never master the art with which a child can toss a win or loss. They give two hoots really!
My wife had been training my son to participate in a Navarathri competition at a school in Nanganallur – a place where my childhood is tied forever. She did put in a lot of effort but I felt it was for a lost cause for the kid showed no interest whatsoever. He didn’t cooperate in the beginning, cheated a few treats out of us and played with our patience even while traveling for the competition. And believe me, we had to travel a lot to reach there! We couldn’t get him to say what he should at the fancy dress contest and to make matters worst he started throwing tantrums right at the venue in front of the judges and other kids.
He can be loud when he means to and he showed it last Saturday. By comparison none of the kids were crying or cranky and his behavior got us totally upset – to travel so far and for nothing! So when his name was called and he went up, a bit by force of course, we were sure he would mess it up on purpose and our weekend would be a wasted one. But to our surprise he did not falter at any point of his recital of a phrase from Shrimad Bhagavad Gita (he was dressed as Krishna). He did not know what it meant when the audience clapped and he showed no significance to the fact that he was in one of his first competitive performances!
We were more than happy at what had transpired. We took him to the next competition which was sloka recital. I must be honest here, he really blew us away. This kid had never once got the verses from Vishnu Sahasranamam correctly, not even when my wife had trained him day and night for his first ever competition a couple of weeks back.
But he made no mistake today. Even the teacher’s were appreciative. When they asked who taught you and he pointed at his mom – boy was my wife beaming or what! A remarkable achievement for a kid of his age.
We made one last stop for a singing competition. Yeah we were on a roll by now! This we were completely unprepared. He had practiced singing Chinna Chinna Padham Vaithu – a Krishna song which my wife keeps singing now and then. I don’t think he was ever forced to learn this by heart or made to train much. This was an impromptu performance.
The moment he picked the mic he got the raaga, swara etc correctly. At the end of his performance the same question – who taught you? The same reply once again. I guess this really made our day!
While we awaited the result he went to play on the slide in a nearby park. That was it! No expectations. He probably didn’t even know what result means. Boy what would I have not given to be like him!
The results were announced in a small classroom thanks to the drizzle that had set in. We were thinking he did well in sloka much better. Probably there were too much competition in fancy dress and singing. But the judges thought otherwise.
He was standing there with an eager look in his face looking at the gifts that other kids were getting. I wished I knew what he was thinking. No butterflies in the stomach situation for him, that’s for sure. We were happy when his name was called for winning the second place in the singing competition; we had peaked at the result sheet but we were really elated when his name was called for winning the second place in fancy dress as well!
We started back for home, rich with a lot of new story books and a couple of participation certificates. Our day was done – immersed in happiness. His day had just begun – he got the toy car we promised