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Tuesday, August 20, 2019

100 Rays Of Son - 100


Happy Birthday Rayyan


August 20th will be a great day for me, because this was the day when Rayyan, the unending blessing of my life was born. I fought for my life very hard 24 years ago against cancer because of few reasons, but foremost among them was that I wanted to be there for my daughter and second, I also wanted to be there with my son. He was such a cute, lovable and peaceful child that I did not want to miss the chance of bringing him up. I was damn sure that he was going to make me a very happy mom, and you bet I was right. He was also the support that I could fight hard against the odds.
This is the final 100th Ray of my son. I have to appreciate Rayyan for his courage in allowing his mom to share all the good and weird stories and pictures of his in an open forum. Not once did he feel nervous, embarrassed or scared of the whole thing.
This has been my interpretation of Rayyan, his discussions and lifestyle, which were published without his permission prior to it going live. There has been some changes in what he says and what I wrote at times. For example, he never uses heavy words like soul in his discussion, but says “something inside me”. I assume that is the soul he is referring to. Even about many other things I have written, I had to keep it short because we at times discuss for hours over matters. If I went into details, each topic would have been of hundred posts, so the end result could have been a bit shorter version which may change it a bit.
I missed writing about many other beautiful part of Rayyan’s life. The special gifts he buys for me, the day Farheena took him shopping to Shopper’s Stop for his birthday and bought him a lot of superhero T-shirts, some exclusive things I made for Rayyan like a T-shirt with his name and many more such things. I am sure there are 100 more stories waiting to come out some other day.
I had made my mistakes with Rayyan in his earlier childhood. When he started school, I expected him to emulate me and score high marks and stand first in class. After all he was my son. But later I realized he is my son and not me. The awareness made a huge difference to me and also to Rayyan. There was no need to change this wonderful, lovable, content child into my dream child, who would be ambitious. Rayyan is lucky that he is always content and happy. He is happy with his clothes, toys, books, life, marks, achievements and the whole world. He is happy with his colour, height, weight looks and other aspects of himself as well. Initially being stupid, I had tried to steal that all from him. But, I made a tough decision and decided that I am not going to change my son for the sake of achievements we expect from him. I am going to allow him to be what he is; as finally what counts in our life is not whether we are successful, but whether we are content and happy with our lives or not. The freedom of choice applied to every part of his life, including his religious choices.
As the result of this Rayyan does not come home with medals, cups, certificates or championships as much as he could if he tried, but nevertheless I am very proud of him. As proud as any mom would ever be!
I have had my share of the achiever children’s moms advises. They often asked me what made me proud of Rayyan, because for them it was staying ahead of the pack that was matter of pride. But I knew the worth of the person I had with me. Whenever I took out Rayyan for shopping, he always calculated how much money a toy, snack or dress would cost before telling me whether he liked it or not. Isn't that better than scoring 100% in Maths? Even when he was a toddler, he never demanded anything from me. He was happy with the stories I told him, walks I took him and games we played together. His most treasured possession was the lullaby I made up and sang for him every night. That was one thing he did not want to share even with Farheena. Even when I started Giggle Garden, he told me that I could not use his lullaby for the Gigglers.
When I was going through cancer, he suffered silently so that he would not make things worse for me. He would sit beside me, working on some painting quietly, and when Farheena demanded attention he took care of her too.
People have been asking me endlessly to change him into someone else. I wonder why I would do that! He is happy with himself and so I am. He has not been a topper in class, he had to struggle a lot to clear his languages in SSLC exams, he is not very ambitious to get into competitive sports though he loves cycling and swimming a lot. All this is held against him, and people sometimes say he is non-achiever. Another complaint against him has been that he is not faithful follower of his religion, a behaviour that brings out the wrath of many people around me. People who are concerned for me, and are my well-wishers, worry about my children’s future as they see no great achievement coming their way.
I have been often accused of spoiling him with too much of leniency. I don’t find anything that indicates he has been spoilt. He does not spend money on phone calls, petrol or any other extravagances. When all his friends were zooming on bikes, he used his cycle to travel around everywhere in Bangalore so that he can save on petrol and rickshaw fare. Only when he got a fat bonus from his company, did he give in to my pressure and bought a bike. I used worry about his safety on roads, as cyclists do not get priority on city roads, but he assured me that if we follow rules and keep cool, cycle is the safest mode of travel.
Though he is accused of not following religion, I feel he does follow the religion perfectly, what he ignores is the useless rituals associated with it. He does not throw temper tantrums, as for the fact I have yet to see him get angry and violent. He is kind towards animals and trees. He is respectful towards fellow human beings, no matter what their religion, nationality or status is. Isn't that the base of all religions?
I have been worried sometimes, whether these comments may make my children feel that they have let me down, but NO. For some wonderful reason, both my children do not find anything wrong with them, and know it very well they do not have to change to make their mom happy and proud. The negative comments do not affect them because they are sure of my support and love. I feel that has been the greatest success for me as a mom. Farheena is damn sure I love her the most and so is Rayyan.
Children are gifts. We do not get to choose our gifts, but our loved ones choose them for us because they think we deserve it the best. Imagine a situation when your loved one gives you a ring with blue stone, when you really love a green stone….. Do we try to paint it green or change the stone? NO. When we are so specific about little material things given by our loved ones, is it right to change our children who are unique individuals with their own lives? I myself had tough time letting my son go his way, discard the engineering field and take up animation as profession. But I did it because I feel it was the right thing to do. Today I say for sure I was right. He is passionate about the field he has chosen, and his work is the testimonial to it. A barber who can give a perfect haircut is way better than the King who rules his kingdom inefficiently. Better allow everyone to excel in what they are good at and love to do. We should not change our children to be what we want them to be, instead we should allow them be the best in what they choose for themselves. There are no perfect children in this world, it is our parenting that will give us the power to love an imperfect child perfectly. As for me, Rayyan is the closest to the perfect child I would ask for.
Dear Rayyan, I want you to know that I could not have imagined anyone better to be my son. You are the best and Maa will always love you.



















Monday, August 19, 2019

100 Rays Of Son - 99



Of Gods And Souls

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I was born into a definite religion but I grew up without a definite religion and belief system I could firmly follow. My parents were staunch devotees of Satya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi and we constantly had Sai Baba devotees in our home. I saw my dad offering his namaz as well as singing bhajans. He would collect money and send it to Ganesha Temple in Byndoor. The open minded of our parents meant we were exposed to all religions other than the one we were born into. I was called Farila and my elder sister Surila, which were complicated names which did not show our religion either. It was not until I was married that I had to make any religious choices.
When Rayyan was born, he went through the religious confusions that already existed in my family. His father wanted him to follow his religion very strictly, but he never saw any seriousness in his mom. I am not sure what he saw all those rituals as, but most probably he saw it as an act that we do to please others. I never wanted my own thoughts to influence him, but allowed him to follow what his father wanted him to do. Being a less diplomatic person, I told him often that you have to do this because this is what your father wishes and he will be happy if you do this. That was very wrong foundation to base someone’s belief on.
From the age of 12 to 17 Rayyan did try a lot to fit into the role his father wanted him to play. He was regular for his prayers and that was enough for everyone to call him a good person. This became a thing of pride for his father, but instead of happily embracing him, his demands kept growing. It became a source of his own ego.
One day my husband came in angrily and demanded to know where is Rayyan. I told him he had gone for prayer. All of a sudden he started accusing me of lying, "You are so ignorant. He did not go for prayers today, but he lied to you and you believed. You will spoil his life". I was very confident that Rayyan hadn’t lied and I would prove it once he came home. The more confident I was, the angrier it made my husband.
Rayyan came in little later and even before I could ask, he told me that he had gone to a mosque little further with his friends for prayers. Instead of trusting him and leaving the issue there, his dad started grilling him with questions and later on went to confirm that by asking others to be sure that he wasn’t lying. I knew back then that this would lead to a change in Rayyan and I think it did. The next day as we were having lunch together, Rayyan casually mentioned, “Maa if we go for prayer everyday regularly, it becomes something that we have to do and even if we miss it for day, people say we are bad. On the other hand, for those who do not pray regularly, people are so happy to see them pray even once a week. Why is everyone so obsessed with the relationship others have with God or religion? Isn’t it something very personal and we all should be more worried about ourselves rather than others?” I did not say anything much.
Many such tiny incidents kept taking place. Coinciding with his questions, the timing of his college, his travels and studies took its toll on his regularity of his prayers. I left him alone to deal with his life, because I had tried my best to guide him as his dad had said, but his obsession and his demands were pushing Rayyan away from where he actually wanted him to be. With Rayyan’s irregularity, the obsession of his father became more vehement and again it pushed Rayyan away. Finally there came a time when Rayyan took his stand and said, “I will not pray to please people”. He totally walked away from it. I tried a bit to convince him to follow the faith he is born into, but then I saw that I myself was not convinced enough about what I was saying to convince him.
I had tough time dealing with the accusations from everyone around me that I had spoiled him and chased him away from religion and God, but I know that I did not contribute to it in anyway not that he was away from God. It is the extremism and obsession of people with religion and about how much we pray, how we pray, why we should pray and other doctrines that made him take a stand. I am not sure about Farheena’s contribution into all this, but I am sure she has played her part in his changes.
He was cursed, verbally abused, his clothes were thrown out and many other stupid things followed. The more one is pushed, the more is the resistance, and his resistance grew. He did not fight, nor did say or do anything rash, but he just stopped praying.
Rayyan one day said to me when we were having religious discussion, “Maa, do you really think people believe in what they are saying they believe. More than 80% percent of the people in this world are religious. How do you explain so much of wrong being done then, when they know that God is watching them? If they really believed in what they say they believe, the world would be much safer and beautiful place to be in”. I slowly realized that it is the hypocrisy of the people that was irritating to him as much as it is to me.
When I ask him, how he will know what is good and what is bad without someone more knowing to guide him, Rayyan says, “We all have a soul and it tells us what is right and what is wrong if we actually observe and listen to it. If I feel I have to hide what I am doing from everyone, or if I feel that is going to be hurting or harmful for others, than that is wrong. It is a simple rule we all can follow to be on the right path. I think everyone will have their own thresholds of right and wrongs and we all should follow what our souls guides us towards”. It looks like that has worked for him so far.
One day, after having a heated discussion with a friend who is supporter of cow vigilante team, I was questioning actually myself rather than Rayyan, “How can someone believe a cow to be God? I find it very irrational!” and he actually answered me, “Why do you find this particular belief so weird when there are so many other Gods and his/her descriptions that is scarier or weirder? I find the cow a more pleasant description of God than many others”. I did not try to discuss with him further for the fear of actually changing myself.
Though Rayyan is not religious by rituals, I feel he is highly religious person because he has strictly followed and adhered to the basics of all religions of this world. When I go back and observe his life, I don’t see the sins of any kind touching him. Lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride have not bothered him much and I wish so much that I could say the same about me. I do see virtues like chastity, temperance, charity (in moderate ways), diligence, patience, kindness and humility which is a part of his nature. All these came to him inherently and not by my guidance. The day he wants to, he can fit into any religion of his choice without any changes he may have to make to himself.
Rayyan has never underestimated the power of belief, because he says, many people need the guidance and help from religion to lead their lives. I feel he has found a different way of connecting to God, which is looking inwards and listening to the voice or feelings we have within us. I don’t know when it happened, but somehow rather than looking outside for guidance Rayyan started looking within. I have always had my faith in God, but I do feel he has found a superior or better way of having a proper faith.
At present, I do not interfere in his beliefs because I find he is very convinced and there is no harm in the way he is.
That now completes my 99th post with just the last one to go tomorrow and also almost a peak into every aspect of Rayyan’s life, the good, the bad and the ugly sides of it. Wow! What an experience it has been to write all about this…..

Sunday, August 18, 2019

100 Rays Of Son - 98


When Opportunities Knock


When recently I was discussing his first choice of career in Automobile Industry with Rayyan, he told me, “Maa, I never think of what could have happened. I just see good in what has happened and I am going to be happy with what I have. If I start thinking ‘what if’ I will end up being unhappy forever”. I wish I could be like him, but then I somehow cannot stop thinking what would have happened if he could have gone into automobile field.
When Rayyan was in school, he had come up with an idea about using the power generated by rotating wheels of a vehicle to power up the battery or something, which I cannot explain like he does. I could not understand what he was saying, because the working methods of cars and motorized vehicles has never been the topic of my interest. But, I did some Google search on what he was saying, and I found actually few people had tried it out, but unfortunately, it did not work out. This encouraged me to see a future for Rayyan in automobile engineering. Some people ask me, why when something he said did not work out, I was encouraged. It is because there were others who had seen it as a potential working model. May be it needed to be modified some more to work out. More than that, I love people coming with new ideas which means they have critical thinking ability in the area of work. That was what encouraged me. Later, in USA, I saw great interest Rayyan showed working with Jay in garage and I was further convinced about his career and Rayyan was also on the same page. But, then life doesn’t go as we want it to go and a small mistake from his father landed him in a different career all together. This tiny thing will remain a regret for me, no matter what Rayyan will achieve as an animator and progresses career wise. I will always feel now that he would have done great in the field of automobile Imagineering or something similar, but I at the same time I am so proud of the way he is progressing career wise.
Rayyan was at least able to take up his second passion of animation and he is happy. Rayyan has no regrets. As Rayyan finished his Animation course, Farheena was done with her special school training as well. Farheena had to go to a vocational centre which was situated further from our home, so we decided to shift there first, before looking for a job for Rayyan. Officially, Farheena started her career before Rayyan.
I had heard about Digital Juice when helping out a friend find job. I told Rayyan to apply for a job that company and try out his luck. He spent some time preparing his demo reel and then went for the interview. He landed with the job, but I was sceptical about his night-shift. Rayyan found that the job would be great learning experience for him and was very excited to take it up. So, he started his career there and it really helped him learn a lot about Motion Graphics.

Though the company had good standard of work and great learning experience, the challenge Rayyan faced there was the dress code. Since he has never been into formal wear, it was difficult for him to manage the shirts and formal pants. Other than that everything went on fine until nearly a year later, the company suddenly announced that they were shutting down. Rayyan was enjoying the learning more than the earning and was disappointed. Since, he was there to receive Farheena when she came back from work, I had taken up full time job for once in my life. Everything had to be shuffled once again.
Few weeks went by as Rayyan attended few interviews but could not take up job due to distance, work environment, mismatch of work requirement and many other things. I told him to wait for the right job rather than jumping into just anything that came his way. Finally he found something he loved and was waiting for their call. It did not come by. I came across an ad for a company which was very close to our home. I informed Rayyan to check it out. He went for the interview and came back highly excited because his boss interviewed him in Jeans and T-shirt. He got the job in the company and he decided to take it ahead. The same day, the job he had applied for earlier responded calling him in. Somehow, since Rayyan already had the offer letter, he went ahead with the job giving up the one he coveted for long. It was not an easy decision to make.
When he started, he had no clue what the whole project was about. When he realized, it became a passion for him. His company was competing in Global Learning XPRIZE, which was associated with the Elon Musk. That name ignited lot of excitement in Rayyan. The company was looking to create scalable solutions to enable children to teach themselves basic reading, writing and arithmetic in short duration of time. Rayyan would come home excited most of the days and would discuss his project so often with me. They were working in Swahili language to reach out to children in Africa.
Meanwhile, Farheena’s vocational centre shifted to a new place and we had to shift to a new home again. Meanwhile, I got back to working from home like earlier. Rayyan was working with more passion as the days of result were coming near. I was as much excited about the project as was Rayyan. Finally the result was out and to the great surprise of everyone the start-up from Bangalore was the only Indian company among the top 5 finalists in the much coveted XPRIZE. Rayyan had a lot of trust in the project and his boss, but that did not take away the shock, surprise and delight even a bit. When Rayyan took up the job, little did he expect such a big boost for his career, yet here it was. I am not sure how is he going to beat that high peak in his career curve ever in his life, but then life is unpredictable and we will never know.


This also enabled Rayyan to help me out with saving Giggle Garden which was taking baby steps. I had started the school with a working partner who had to back off due to travel and health issues. Rayyan decided to buy out her share and become a part of Giggle Garden because he knew how much this project meant for me. At times things work out in mysterious ways and we feel blessed. I cannot stop being overwhelmed thinking how his company winning the XPRIZE saved Giggle Garden from closing down when the partner suddenly backed off and demanded I refund her share as soon as possible. At that time, the only option I had was to sell off all the materials we had bought to run the school and pay her.
When the project was coming to an end, Rayyan got an offer through an acquaintance who remembered him from the days of Arena. His team lead from Digital Juice had also recommended his name at BYJU'S which paved his way there even before he came out of his previous company.He had enjoyed working in the company which had its share of fun and parties along with the great achievement. As his work with Chimple was over, he had just enough time to finish the interviews, demo-reel before taking up the new job which started on his birthday last year. It has been a good progress for him so far.
I am not sure how, but life is pushing Rayyan towards education and teaching, since his mom is highly passionate teacher. At present, Rayyan is back to enjoying his work, though travel in the heavy traffic of Bangalore is something he doesn’t look forward to. I wish him good luck and also thank him for the gift of Giggle Garden, which is the best thing I have done in my life career wise. He not only loves what he does but also helped me do what I love the best.
He is happy and content with the way his career is progressing. What else can I ask for?

https://inc42.com/buzz/chimple-global-learning-xprize/






Saturday, August 17, 2019

100 Rays Of Son - 97


Be The Worthy One

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OMG! We are almost reaching the end of the series! There are so many more interesting stories to share but I have to somehow stop after 4 more. I am having tough time choosing the last four. I never realized that my relationships with everyone will be redefined when I started writing these posts. This has been a great experience for me, though for a few times it was stressing for lack of internet speed and power cut which almost made it a last minute rush to keep the posts coming.
Since the launch of the MCU, the Mjolnir or Thor’s hammer has become very famous. Though I used to read a lot of Spider Man, Fantastic Four and Dare Devil comics I was not much into Thor. So, when I started hearing the sentence, “You are not worthy”, or “You are worthy” I was wondering why is this so familiar and why do I feel I have heard it before. I kept racking up my memories, because I knew it was very much closer than the Marvel comics when all of a sudden it hit me like a lightning bolt. It was in Florida, when we had dinner at a restaurant that I heard this from the lady who ran it.
Paula, my friend was a lady with grand ideas. Her goal was to make impossible to happen. One of her goal was for our group of ladybirds to have a Sari party with the 3 Indians, which was nickname for Rayyan, Farheena and me. It was so much fun when the ladybirds came, that I have forgotten the timeline of the events that took place. We had the sari party, ladybird themed game, and visit to Disney World. We had excited dogs and excited Farheena who kept asking, “People coming?” again and again. In all the hectic schedule, in between somewhere was thrown in a dinner at Family Restaurant (Not sure about the name) in Springhill. This was one of Paula’s favourite place and the cake we had there has so far remained the most favourite dessert for me. Rayyan agrees me on the super taste of this cake and I remember Judy was also very impressed by the taste.
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Yummy......
We, the group of ladybirds along with our families went to the restaurant for dinner and fun. Honestly, we were all a bit crazy and were enjoying to the fullest. Sharing stories, jokes and having a blast while enjoying the food as well. Farheena was shuffling between people, not sure where she should sit. There were too many wonderful people around and she did not want to miss out on anyone. Rayyan, choose a corner seat and was the only one who was being his natural self. He also kept serving water and passing on dishes to the corner where the lady who was in charge of the food was unable to go. As for us, Deb started her drama with a sausage and we were almost choking on our food. After a while, we were laughing for no reason as well. Lois, took in charge of Farheena and ensured that she had her food between the fun and laughter. Rayyan made sure that the dishes reached everyone and also helped the lady clean up the empty plates and serve the people.
As we were about to exit the restaurant, the lady came to me and started saying something which I couldn’t understand. It was too noisy with all of us talking and she was speaking with an accent I couldn’t follow easily. All I could see is that she was pointing at Rayyan most of the time and then few times at Farheena. Seeing my confusion, Paula came over quickly. I finally asked, “What did he do? Did something happen?” at which Paula threw me an angry look and was ready to defend Rayyan no matter what he had done. She found that question great insult to him and taunted me about it for many days. The lady looked at me angrily as well and said, “No, no, the child did not do anything bad. I meant he was such a darling helping me around and being so nice throughout the dinner. Even his sister is such a wonderful angel. I would like to gift them something from our store. Please don’t go, wait here”. Saying this, she left in a hurry. By then, Paula was very happy and proud because she always felt Rayyan and Farheena are her people, even closer to heart than I ever could get. The lady came back with her husband and introduced him to Rayyan and Farheena and gave them the Florida T-shirts and few antique jewellery for Farheena. She kept running to and fro to see what looked good on Farheena. She said, “Remember this is a present from us to the two most wonderful teenagers who have come to eat here. I am so happy to have them here today. Please don’t mind me saying this, but people from your region spoil children with too much of love. The children are so demanding and keep ordering us around. Even the parents keep asking them what they want from the menu, while they make fuss over the little choices available here. But this young man here is so different. He got up so often, to help me out. I hope you will be worthy of them and do not embarrass this child during your stay here”. Paula couldn’t hear what she said, but saw my changing mysterious expression and rushed to check out what was it all about. I told Paula that she told me that these two children were worthy of me. Off course she did not believe me, but we were already late and we had to leave. Paula was very happy and would share this story with many people whenever she had a chance with what the lady said to me, changing the way she wanted it to be. We took quite a while to get back into the cars. For once, Farheena completely ignored everyone and went away with Lois, without any help from Rayyan.
Now, when the hammer, its worthiness and the phrase became popular, I would be constantly reminded of the lady and what she said to me, though I have no clue why she said that. I am a great mom, but then most of the time people nonetheless look at me like I am not worthy of these two children and I cannot lift them to prove my worthiness either. A good memory though which I loved sharing.



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Farheena's happiest memories are of Sari Party
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A special gift Rayyan treasures
 
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Arriving at the restaurant

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The calm before the storm 

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Checking menu

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The fun is to begin

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Deb made everyone around her go crazy

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Some dramatic narration

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Begging Paula for breakfast

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In saris and suit

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Friends close to our hearts forever


Tuesday, August 6, 2019

100 Rays Of Son - 86


Backpack Addiction

I come across the funny videos where women are seen pulling out various things from their purse. It is unbelievable but then I have seen so many things being pulled out of Rayyan’s backpack which makes it almost possible. Food, shoes, vegetables, clothing, devices…. You name it and he has carried it in his backpack. They are very misleading as well. At times when the things before me look like they will require 2-3 bags to fit in, but Rayyan easily pushes them in one. Sometimes my Geometry learning says that it is not possible by size and proportion, but it happens and I have to ignore my geometry. He feels incomplete without the backpack on his back like a turtle without his shell.
You may have seen addictions of different kinds, but I am not sure how many have been accused of being addicted to backpack. Unfortunately Rayyan has been accused of it. As soon as we start off anywhere Rayyan rushes to get his backpack. Be it a program, event, shopping, picnic or whatever the occasion, the bag goes wherever Rayyan goes.
Often, my family is irritated that he carries his bag everywhere and my brother strongly believes that Rayyan is addicted to the bag. He at times forces Rayyan to keep his bag aside and come out with him so that he can be de-addicted. No, he has not shown any withdrawal symptoms during those times, though he has missed his bag all through the journey.
Dramatic farewell to the old backpack

When the old bag wears out and he has to buy a new one, picking a suitable bag is a shopping program that goes on for 4-6 months. In earlier days when we wouldn’t shop online he would visit shops and come back dissatisfied and wait some more days to find the perfect bag. Now it is online shopping. He keeps surfing from one site to another, checking out features, color and sharing links with me before settling down with one bag finally. Sometimes, he visits malls to check them out before placing his order. Once he buys a bag, it becomes his companion for many days, roaming with him everywhere. The old bags become organizers for his files and other important things.
I haven’t put in my word yet to either Rayyan or others who find his habit of having bag with him funny, because I did not think it was important. But I have seen the transition happening in past 2 decades and how he slowly got addicted to the backpack. May be even Rayyan doesn’t know this but I know the ‘how and why’ behind this habit of his, because it has been very important to me.
Farheena has trouble walking on roads and she needs support. Initially, when we used to have carry-bags in our hands, we both would struggle to manage Farheena. I am prone to foot/leg injuries by fate and sometimes Rayyan has to manage both of us. If he has something in his hands, it becomes too tough for him to manage even one of us.

Waiting to help us at Pinkathon Event

Helping Farheena walk.. without his steady support, she is nervous

Judy and I struggling to convince Farheena to take the step.. It is not easy 

His supporting started with his grandma, since my mom had difficulty walking due to her spine injury and often needed support to walk. Those days, I was carrying Farheena easily, but later we started supporting her to walk. Slowly I saw that he wished to have his hands free and would use the plastic carry-bags in different ways to keep himself free to help whoever needs his support. Later, he found the backpacks gave him this freedom. He realized it saves the use of plastic bags as well, keeping our environment clean. The use of backpack happened for necessity but then he found it is very convenient to have one around. May be it is a kind of addiction in him now. I never felt I should actually mention it, until today. I think I should express my gratitude to those hands that are always free and ready to help me and Farheena who struggle on our feet and the bags that help keep those hands free need a mention in his posts as well.

Another attraction of the backpack is his love for cycling. He needs his hands free for that. So, unlike people travelling by motorized vehicles, he has to carry everything in his bag so that he can ride his bicycle freely.
I am not bragging here, but I do win something out of blue at times and so does Farheena and Rayyan, though they are not in my league. We may never know what we have to carry back. Trophies, goodies, gift hampers and many other things are just handed over to us at times. These do not come in sturdy bags but are either given without bag or the fancy gift bags. Having this backpack around has been very helpful in such times. It ensures that we do not lose anything anywhere because everything is safe in this bag. For all the comments my brother makes, he left his sunglasses worth 13,000/- in bus when he got off. Fortunately, I saw that and picked it up. We have lost small expensive things quite often, including many mobile phones. Because of the backpack, Rayyan has never lost anything in years. Everything is automatically shoved in his unzipped mouth and kept safe. All he has to worry is about keeping the bag safe.
Cycle, backpack, jeans and Super-hero themed T-shirts are a part of Rayyan. He feels comfortable with them. He doesn’t look a ‘Rayyan’ without them.

Monday, August 5, 2019

100 Rays Of Son - 85

The Heroes

When we lived in Rajarajeshwarinagar, we used to come across a lot of film shootings taking place near and around the Best Club. Once, when I was on way to pick Rayyan back home after school, I ran into the shooting of a Kannada film. Since there was not much crowd around, I could watch the shooting happening clearly and naturally it was something that caught my attention. I saw that the actor in the movie was the famous Ravi Chandran.
I rushed to Rayyan’s school and picked him up quickly. On our way back, I did not explain much to him about the shooting because I did want him to be disappointed if there was too much of crowd and he couldn’t see it properly. When we approached the site, there was still not much crowd though some people had gathered and a scene was being enacted. I pulled Rayyan towards the actor and told him, “See Rayyan, that is the famous actor Ravi Chandran, would you like to meet him and take his autograph?” A very highly disappointed Rayyan answered, “You were so excited about seeing people? What is so different about actors Maa? They are just like anyone else. Look at him, he is not much different from this man here”. He said this pointing to a guy holding some sort of shields to brighten the area. He actually burst out laughing at this child’s words and said, “Ma’am we all should learn something from this little guy”.


Walls then 
And Now

 Gone are those days. Rayyan grew up with Disney characters like Mickey and Donald and became their fan. In fact, he was the one who enjoyed our Disney tour more than anyone else. He moved on to Batman and DC comics and later fell in love with the Marvel Movies. I am sure, he would not respond the same way to actors if he ever met, RDJ, Hugh Jackman or even a tiny character actor from those movies.
The love for superheroes may be something Rayyan inherited from me, especially his love for Batman. Somehow, DC movies (other than few) let us down. As for Marvel, we developed new love the characters due to the movies.
The Avengers series has caught him in its frenzy and he has been crazy fan of the movies. 20% of his communication has revolved around this in the past few years. He couldn’t wait for the MCU movie to replace Avatar at the top slot, and finally when it did, I am sure he must have celebrated secretly. He has seen all of the recent superhero movies within a week of their release. Sometimes, I discuss the old favourite comics I have read to him. We still have a good collection of them as well.


His first good editing of picture was of terminator, when he was not even into animation. He later developed few more depicting himself in the role of superheroes. I loved the creation of Night Wing the best. Since, it combines both his love for superheroes and photo/video editing together, he gets engrossed in it and enjoys the hobby.
He created a short movie where he craves for the superpower. It shows how his head is steady on his shoulders and how he enjoys the movies but never moves away from reality.
The difficult part in all of these is to find the furniture in our home arranged in weird way, running into Rayyan dressed in Farheena’s clothes, seeing him hanging at a weird angle or being scared by the way he looks as though he is turning into the wolf-man.
But, when I see the output, I feel it is worth the scare and tumbling around the furniture. Wish to see more of this creativity from him in coming years.











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