Friday, May 31, 2019

100 Rays Of Son - 19

The Coin Collector

When as a child Rayyan lived with my family, he would often find coins laying everywhere in the house. Good for us that he never had the habit of putting anything in his mouth, or else there would be a new choking incident taking place every other day. Even as a two year old, Rayyan would walk up to his Naani (grandma) with a coin saying, “Here, take it. I found some more money”.
One day I decided to buy him a piggy bank so that all the coins he found would go into the bank and he could use it to buy toys. The first one was shaped like a mail box in red color. Rayyan had just completed his second birthday then. On the first day, Rayyan hunted every possible place to find coins and found nearly 17 rupees. I am not sure whether those coins were placed there by my mom/ dad or not. Slowly, the piggy bank began to get heavier so much so that Rayyan couldn’t even lift it.
My mom was never good at managing money. Her well planned budget would last only till 22nd of the month and last week was always penniless days for us. No matter how much she had, this was the way it would end. At times there were great crisis like she needed a certain amount for something very critical and she would come up with strategies to resolve it. On a day of one such crisis Rayyan offered to help. The box could not be opened but had to be cut. It was almost full. As we cut open the piggy bank and counted the coins, to my surprise it added up to 2,300 and a bit more rupees. I do not remember the exact amount. He had been collecting those coins for nearly two years. That was more than enough to resolve the issue at hand. I bought him another piggy bank and he started collecting the coins again. My mom swore to add 100 rupees more and give him back the money.

 The next time his piggy bank was full, it had 1,300 and some extra money in it. When asked what Rayyan wanted to buy with his money, he asked for a cycle. So, I added some extra cash and bought him a BSA SLR cycle with his money. Rayyan was very happy that collecting coins could be such a great thing.

He has had various types of piggy banks in form of birds, homes, coin eating shoe etc. Apart from the cycle he bought for himself, I have never seen him buy anything from his collection of coins though it was always meant for it. There would always be a financial crisis and Rayyan would gladly help with his piggy bank collection. When we shifted to Byndoor, Rayyan had another piggy bank as well, but the coins to be found were very rare. I wouldn’t let the coins to lay around everywhere. I saw that Rayyan had also lost his enthusiasm in collecting them but he did anyway.
When my mom was diagnosed with cancer, she shifted to Byndoor. Rayyan was again interested in collecting coins. I saw that his enthusiasm was somehow connected to his grandmother. Naturally, there was again a crisis for money with Naani, and Rayyan happily broke open his piggy bank to help her out. Unfortunately, my mom passed away the next year and the piggy bank era was over. I have never seen Rayyan show any interest in collecting coins after my mother was gone. He may not have said it out openly, but I know somewhere in his heart, he connected it to her needs and felt very proud to be of help. I am not sure that he is even aware of this or not. As he would hand over the money to her, she would heap tons of blessings on him and it was so funny to watch.

My mom had asked me to do few things for her in case she lost her battle to cancer and one of them was to repay Rayyan all the money she had borrowed from him. In fact she had kept an account and it totalled to 7936 rupees according to her.
After my mom passed away, I brought this up with Rayyan who was 15 year old and told him that I would repay my mom’s loan as soon as possible and he replied, “Maa, I never lent or gave any money to your mom. I gave to it ‘My Naani’ and you cannot and shouldn’t repay it”. I never thought this would be emotional, but I do have tears in my eyes as I write this. He had a beautiful and very lovely relationship with his naani who loved him in a way I never thought was possible. It was completely blind, unconditional, unlimited, unfair and uncontrollable love that my mom had for this particular person and Rayyan is lucky to have experienced it.

When I clicked the pictures for fun when he broke open the piggy bank, I never realized that it would be the last time he would break open it. The coins are not, but the memories are a treasure. 

Thursday, May 30, 2019

100 Rays Of Son - 18

Learning To Be Independent

When Rayyan got admission in Arena Animation Jayanagar, the challenge of his accommodation cropped in front of us. Though he could stay with either my sister or brother’s family, I decided to teach him a little bit of independence. Since childhood Rayyan had been with me and was always taken care off. Though he helped me around with everything in our home, he always had me to guide him. I somehow felt he needed to learn to be on his own; so we decided that he would live in a PG in Bangalore with his friends. He also had to learn to manage money, so a tiny sum of 2500/- allowance for fixed for him to meet his everyday needs, like cleaning, eating, travel etc.
Soon time came when I had to send him off to Bangalore and honestly, though I behaved very normal and calm, I was very nervous. For the whole first week, I waited for a panicky call from Rayyan, but there was nothing of that sort happening. Every evening he would call to say ‘Hi’ to Farheena and narrate in detail about his day. He was actually doing fine. Weeks turned into month. The call I expected to hear him say that he has run out of money and needed a bit extra never came. The lecture I had prepared for him about managing finances was lying near the phone eagerly waiting to be picked up, but the time never came.
Second month went by as usual. The only problem Rayyan faced so far was missing his sister. Rest of the things were moving smoothly. One fine day, we had a surprise visit from Rayyan. Rather than rushing to hug my son happily, the first thing I blurted out was, “how did you manage to come? Who paid your bus fare?” and Rayyan answered calmly, “I saved it maa. I also bought you and Farheena Pizza because when I was having pizza I missed you both”.  This really shocked me, and you will never be able to guess what a big shock it was for me. I paid him way less than what he would need and here he had saved out of it and had managed to spend it back on me and Farheena as well. At least Farheena responded normally expressing her happiness on his arrival and enjoyed the pizza. Later as we sat down to catch up with the happenings, I slowly asked Rayyan how was he able to save money to afford bus fare and the pizza. Rayyan gave me a list of things on which he saved money, and one was of walking. He never spent anything on auto or bus at all. He just walked everywhere which saved him a lot of money. After hearing how he managed the finances, I slowly stretched my hand towards the written points of lecture I had ready for him and threw it away, never to be seen again.
He worked on his assignments and did great in his animation course. I could see his hard work and dedication through the output.

As time went by and Rayyan had been in PG for more than a year. He visited us whenever he could, and also bought something special like a pastry, book or chocolates as gift. I realized that the lesson had been learnt, but unfortunately it was not Rayyan but Farheena and I who learned it. Rayyan managed his life, finances and studies calmly, where as we both struggled without him to help us around. As far as I believed that I pampered him, it was me who was pampered by this child and life was so tough without him to help me.
Finally when Rayyan was engrossed in his animation course for the second term, I declared to Rayyan that he has learned to be independent and the lesson is over. I was moving to Bangalore and he could come and stay with me and Farheena in the rented house. Until today, Rayyan was living in the belief that I had achieved my goal of teaching him independence not realizing that the roles had been reversed. The cat is finally out of the bag.

Finally enjoying guilt free Pizza with Farheena

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

100 Rays Of Son - 17

And Rayyan Buys A Fish

When in Byndoor, fish was very important part of our diet. Even though initially we were very reluctant to eat fish very often, slowly we started to settle down with whatever was easily available in the coastal town. When Rayyan had got used to shopping for me and also became quite good at it, I dared to send him to the fish market to buy some good fish for our lunch. Initially he was reluctant but then agreed to go and buy some good fish for me.
He was gone for quite some time while I was waiting eagerly to see what fish Rayyan will bring for me to cook that day. When he walked back in with a very heavy bag which contained a big fish, my chest swelled with pride. All I paid him was just 50 rupees and this fish inside the bag looked like something worth 300 rupees. I felt that he had mastered the skill of bargaining and purchasing products in India in just 2 years. As I stood there with stretched hands like Anil Kapoor in Lamhe to receive the fish, Rayyan like Sridevi rushed way past me to the backyard. Immediately a big tub was filled with water and the fish let inside it. To my surprise, this fish was still alive and it was the first time in my life that I had seen a fish like it. Its fins looked exactly like the soft antlers of an antelope and it was quite big; may be around 2 feet or more. In a while it started moving around and it blew up a sprout of water from its head as well. I jumped in fear and was so scared to go near it. Then Rayyan started narrating his experience in the market that day. “Maa, as I entered the fish market, I was so sad to see so many dead fishes being bargained over and sold. I wonder how people sell things which they haven’t owned in the first place. Weren’t those fish born and grew up in the water on their own? Yet they are caught, killed and immediately become someone’s property to be sold. I was really heartbroken with the sight. Nearly a hundred prawn lives are taken to make one delicious dish. Then I saw this fish which was alive and thought at least let me save this one. So I asked for the price, and fish lady offered it to me for 15 rupees as no one was buying it. What shall we do with it now?”
I was like usual holding on to my jaw to stop it from falling down to the floor. Why, for God’s sake did I send this weird child to the fish market? What was I thinking? What was I going to do with this Dragon like fish which was gaining more strength with each passing moment? When I was thinking, Rayyan filled a tank with water from our well and let the fish in it. It was a huge cement tank and was enough for the fish to swim in. But then we lived in a joint family and the other people in our family would never allow this fish to live there. I knew this was a marine fish or I felt sure that it was which was not at all based on my knowledge but I told Rayyan in a very sure tone, “Rayyan this is a sea fish and we cannot keep it in water of the well. We have to send it back to sea water before it starts suffering”. I half believed what I said, but appeared as though I believed it completely. Now Rayyan did not know what to do and looked at the fish pitifully. So finally, I decided to call an auto driver who we usually hired who was very helpful person, especially to do odd jobs like this, and told him to let this fish in sea. After laughing for nearly 10-15 minutes, he asked whether we really wanted to do this. I said, “Yes”. We poured some water in a large plastic bag, put the fish in it and sent it away. Over all the expenditure was 165 rupees to bring the fish from the market and send it back to sea; including the auto fare.  That was the only time I sent Rayyan to buy fish from Market and he bought a fish. Somehow, for few months after the incident I could not even bring myself to cook or eat fish.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

100 Rays Of Son - 16

The Great Disappointment

When Rayyan was around 6 years old, a weird thing happened which was quite funny. As Rayyan was taking water in bowl for his watercolor painting, there came few small black live dots which was spotted by Rayyan. At first I thought it was dust particles, but then realized they were alive and swimming randomly. So this was a mystery to us how some living creatures other than worms can come from a tap. When we all were worried about infections and illness due to the use of not so clean water, though it was used only for cleaning purpose, Rayyan calmly found a white bowl to keep those very tiny swimming creatures in. By the time we had the overhead tank cleaned and settled down with the issues, Rayyan had fetched some stagnant water from outside and added to the bowl so that the creatures could eat something. He already had decided that he would allow them to grow and then find a home for them to live in. 
We all reluctantly agreed to allow those black creatures to stay for some time, because Rayyan looked very excited and happy to be their caretaker. There were around 8 of them and slowly they started to grow and gain a shape like that of fish. Rayyan was very happy that he had saved some fishes from dying. Somehow they aroused my curiosity as well and I started watching them and to my surprise I threw in a dead mosquito inside the bowl to feed them as well. Rayyan would throw in a grain of cooked rice or a small piece of vegetable for them to eat. I am not sure how many days must have passed by, but after a few days Rayyan appeared to be a bit disappointed when watching them. I asked him, “What is the matter, Rayyan?” and he said, “Maa, I think they are not fish. They look different now”. I walked over and closely looked at the mystery creatures. They appeared much bigger than the last time I had seen them and they were something like aliens we see in movies. It took me sometime to realize that they were tadpoles. They appeared quite weird with the tiny legs sticking out from their side. Some frog had got inside the overhead tank and had laid eggs there. When I turned towards Rayyan, I burst out laughing because of the look he carried on his face. He was highly disappointed looking at these new creatures which were definitely not fish. I explained to him about the life cycle of frogs and what tadpoles are and told him these were the tadpoles. Since I did not know much about their life from the time they developed legs, so I decided that we could not keep them in home anymore. When I was making fun of Rayyan with my family for breeding frogs in home and then being disappointed with it for not being fish, he coolly announced, “Frogs or fishes, life is a life. I think I did what I wanted to do that is allowing them to grow a bit big before finding them a home. Now I will find a home for them and say goodbye to them as planned earlier”. Whatever he said, I could not stop laughing. Together we took the bowl to a small water body nearby and said bye to the tadpoles as we poured them in there. Surprisingly, as I walked back, I felt a bit sad that they had to go… 
I am sure if Rayyan was able to search on google, those tadpoles would have stayed with us to grow into big frogs. Fortunately those were not the days of google search and we had no clue what to do with them and we parted ways happily.

Monday, May 27, 2019

100 Rays Of Son - 15

The Amusement Park Is Wherever I am

Most of the parents especially stay at home moms or dads will dread summer vacations. “I am bored” is the Mantra of the children repeated so often that it is surprise that they have still have hairs left on their head.
Image result for mom i am bored
Every day they are at loss on how to entertain the children. Finally they give in and allow children to watch Television endlessly.
With Rayyan, I never faced such an issue, though I have had tremendous problem with Farheena’s boredom which ends up only when I mention what she had thought about initially when she started the boredom song. When I took Rayyan to Byndoor from Bangalore, I was worried with the summer vacation approaching, because I did not know what he would do for two months. Until then, he would have a lot of attention from his grandparents, uncle and aunts apart from me to enjoy his holidays. We had lot of places to visit and activities to do in Bangalore which was completely different from the village environment of Byndoor.
When the first summer vacation began, to my surprise I found Rayyan taking up different projects to entertain himself. One week he would explore and clean the attic. Another week he would plan cleaning up and gardening in the backyard. He enjoyed fetching water for us and also helping others run their errands. He slowly created play areas for him around the place he lived. From trekking early in the morning along with his friends to cycling around the remote areas of town he came up with tons of activities to keep him engaged.

Visits to the beach topped the list. Even as a child, Rayyan would enjoy his time playing around with anything he could find. Long time ago he had also made a hat out of the gift wrapper and box Farheena had received on her birthday and played around wearing it for nearly two years.
One day Rayyan was busy in our backyard for more than 4-5 hours. I could see him from my kitchen window moving around with sticks. I was wondering what is this child doing and when back to check on him I found him sitting calmly in a hut or something he had built for himself and enjoying his space. 

It was a simple thing which brought in tremendous joy to him. Slowly in days to follow, there were lot of children who enjoyed their time in there.
He then built a swing to play and would enjoy that for few weeks. All he needed was a rope which was not in use and some stick laying in the backyard. 

This also slowly became a great attraction to children from our neighbourhood and all were having good time, until a foolish lady decided all by herself that it was dangerous and her children might get hurt and cut if off. Rayyan was very disappointed because he had created it in our own private place, but since the children were his friends who apologized on behalf of their mother he let it go.
When I got to know about this, naturally I was very angry. I wanted to break her TV because I thought her TV was dangerous as well and my children may get hurt watching it. Rayyan stopped me from starting a war by saying, “Maa if we want to, we can make the swing again. But then her children will want to play and they will not be allowed to leading to lot of chaos which I don’t want. It is not a big deal. Let it go.” Now I was angry with Rayyan as well and said, “It is cowardice to let others bully us Rayyan, and I am not a coward like you”. In his usual way Rayyan answered calmly, “Maa being scared of others is cowardice but knowing that you can do something about it yet deciding not to do anything because you value friendship, peace and harmony in neighbourhood takes a lot of courage and strength. That is a bravery of different kind”. Rayyan has always confused me with his views, and most of the times when I am sorting it out in my mind, I calm down. Somehow the matter ended with me not picking up a fight on that day, but the words Rayyan said remained with me strongly. I slowly realized how strong a person he is though on the surface he appears to be very mild and soft.
Even to this day Rayyan believes we need not visit any exotic place or amusement park to have fun. If we want to have fun and enjoy our time, amusement park is wherever we are. Only he knows, how lucky he is to escape boredom so easily.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

100 Rays Of Son - 14

Killing Someone For Wearing A Different Uniform

When I was in high school and was thinking seriously about career, the most lucrative one for me was that of a soldier. What got me in love with soldiers was the stories of bravery and glory I used to read about them so often. I had found a treasure of comic books that narrated the stories of WW heroes. It instilled love of heroism and glory in me.

                    Image result for war stories of world war in comics                           Image result for war heroes stories of world war in comics

I wanted to be in military, which later to my disappointment I found out was not possible because I had club foot and did not physically qualify. It was another story that I would had to win a war first with my mom to become a soldier.
Though I did not get in there, it did not stop me from admiring soldiers. When Rayyan completed his 7th grade and we were discussing his career, I suggested to Rayyan that he can look into career in military, especially Navy or Air Force. He was quite shocked by my suggestion and I was quite shocked that he was so shocked by what I said. Finally I managed to asked, “Why? You don’t want to be in military?” Rayyan very clearly and calmly replied, “No”. I went through a lot of emotions. Was he a coward? Was he unpatriotic person? Did he look forward to easy life with easy job? There were lots of questions rushing through my chaotic brain. He left no hope for me of ever getting him in military at all with his clear cut answer and shocked expression. Finally, I decided not to assume but know the reason for his answer and asked in a dejected tone, “Why? It is such an interesting field of work and you earn a lot of respect as well. Moreover you get to handle so many sophisticated weapons. It is a job with lot of power in it as well”. Rayyan answered in his usual calm way, “I have no interest in military because I do not have that thing in me whatever it is that is essential for us to have to kill someone or something. I do not like or have any fancy for weapons. The only weapon I may ever hold may be the kitchen knife. I cannot kill anyone, even if it is soldier of a different country. You may call him an enemy, but isn’t he doing exactly what his opposite soldier doing, that is defending or fighting for his country? Isn’t he a hero as well? You expect me to kill a person without knowing him, understanding him, or evaluating him whether he deserves to die, just based on the colour of his uniform? I cannot do it, neither have I wanted to do it ever”.  Now this was something new thing for me to hear. I had even written poems in my school days praising soldiers and here my son was saying some weird stuff that was confusing me. I somehow managed to ask, “If all think like you, who will defend our country?” Rayyan answers very convincingly, “If all think like me, there will be no country to defend. Isn’t it something we all imagine and get attached to? Is there really a line that divides people and makes them enemies that they are ready to hate, fight and kill each other? I believe in life and living things around me. I don’t value much anything that doesn’t feel pain or gets hurt. I cannot have love, affection or connection to anything that is an abstract existence created by people. Not all people will be like me Maa, so there will be soldiers who are able to defend their country or fight for it.  The world as one nation will always remain a dream for some people like me, whereas the majority will have boundaries, divisions and ideals to fight for”. When I think deeply about it, I have never seen Rayyan feel attachment or passion for anything that does not has life, but at the same time I see him show sympathy even to cockroaches, mosquitoes, snakes or mice. Weird but cannot say he is wrong. This is where most of my communication with Rayyan ends, in a state of confusion with a new outlook towards the world.
I did not further discuss this career option ever again. I was sure that it was not an option at all for a person like him. But then I seriously started thinking about soldiers as well and slowly my glorification of them dimmed out a little. As I recalled history and all the war crimes, I realized that they were all soldiers who were a part of it. I had just then read about an article “Rape of Nanjing” and I realized that those were soldiers as well. 

I am still thinking over it 15 years later and slowly my beliefs are changing, not completely but they are still in the process of changing. 
Meanwhile Rayyan ended up being in the field of animation and enjoys creating videos and images peacefully. 
Trying to make this child a soldier? What was I thinking?

Saturday, May 25, 2019

100 Rays Of Son - 13

Feeling A Slap On My Face

Rayyan is a decent child, who has never hit anyone, but that doesn’t mean you do not feel a slap on your face at times. I have experienced it quite often.
Once I saw Rayyan eagerly trying to do something in our backyard where it was neither safe nor clean. I wondered what this boy was up to and called him out. He came back running, and handed me my phone and was back there again. Finally, I went there to see what was happening and he informed me that there was a lost snake (I am not sure about that term, because where would you say in the backyard is the snake lost) who was terrified and he was trying to guide it out. In my phone was picture of the snake which looked slithery and scary to me.

I jumped back few yards and started shouting at Rayyan to keep his distance from the dangerous creature and he calmly replies, “Why maa? Is it going to skin me and make a wallet out of my skin, or is it going to pluck out my teeth and keep me in a basket to dance to its tune?” . All of the sudden the snake is a victim and I am the dangerous villain for being a human. I feel the slap on my face and also feel so scared to not stop him. Those who have not been moms to such weird children will never know the dilemma I face. Somehow, I always feel he is right, but I am not strong or brave enough to follow what he says. Finally, I stand at a distance and watch him guide the snake into bushes where it will not be in open to be found and killed. I have to keep this a secret from everyone because there will be panic and accusations from others in the neighbourhood for endangering their life by letting a snake escape when we could have killed it easily.
Once during Bakrid, one of our relatives who believe and do Qurbani had asked me to send Rayyan over to collect mutton from there. I was somehow foolish enough to send him over as requested. When Rayyan came back carrying bag of mutton, his face carried a disgusting and terrible look. He placed it on my kitchen counter and said in a sarcastic tone, “Here maa is your share of dead bodies”. I am shocked and go “WHAT?” Rayyan, who is already quite upset after seeing the killing of goats on Bakrid says, “You may call it chicken, mutton or beef but in real they are nothing but carcasses of dead animals. We eat dead bodies in the name of non-vegetarian food. That is what we enjoy eating, right? Just giving them a fancy name will not change the reality of what it is”. That was another slap on my face. Somehow, non-vegetarian food has not been the same to me anymore. You will never know the difficulty I had dealing with that mutton on kitchen counter. More than what Rayyan says in words, it is his convincing tone, his own belief in what he says and the emotion I see in him that hits me hard.
From a child who loved and enjoyed chicken a lot, Rayyan has changed a lot. I and Farheena have been affected by him as well, though we have not gone completely vegetarian. Occasionally Rayyan does eat a bit of non-veg food as well, like when we order pizza, but he does not eat it for the joy of it anymore.

Once Upon A Time When Chicken Was Not A Dead Body

Friday, May 24, 2019

100 Rays Of Son -12

 Anger Is Overrated & Overused

Rayyan is of the opinion that anger is the most overrated and overused of all emotions, especially in humans.
I have to disagree with this because I know why I get angry and how important it is for me to get angry. Naturally, I was angry with Rayyan for blaming and abusing my  favourite emotion. So I decided to use my gift of gab to prove him wrong.
"Anger is very important emotion Rayyan. Without anger people will walk all over you and use you like doormat".
"When did that happen to me? I think people are nice to me, even though I don't get angry".
When I think it over, I realise that Rayyan gets favoured more often than those who express anger. He is not passionate about anything like religion, language, state etc which usually leads to arguments and anger. So, I racked my brain to see what angers me most. It is usually something said against my mom that angers me. I think it does to most of us. Now I was sure I had cornered Rayyan. Since, I am his mom he cannot say that he will not be angry when something bad is said about mom.
"I get angry when someone says something bad about my mom. Won't that anger you?"
I had to use my hand to stop my jaw from falling down to the floor, so Rayyan was not bonked on his head.
Calmly he continues, "You are my mom and as your child it is my duty to respect you. Why should I expect that from everyone? They are not bound by any duty to respect you. So, what is the big deal? You are just any other person to them. I can control only what I do, not what others do. BTW, unless you hear it, there is no harm in it for you. If you hear someone abusing you, I will never have a chance to get angry, because I will be busy saving that person from you".
I have no argument left but still my heart is not accepting it.... Any help is welcome.

What I expected Rayyan to be like when someone says bad things about his mom

What Rayyan is................

Thursday, May 23, 2019

100 Rays Of Son 11

And There Was No Sound

Enjoying Decorating for Parties
When I was working on setting up Giggle Garden, a project that was more than I could chew, I could not attend to my work at home. One day I realized that our refrigerator needed cleaning but was too tired to get up to get it going. Naturally, this leads to me seeking help from Rayyan. He was busy playing game on his computer since it was Sunday. I told him the fridge was all messed up and it needed cleaning. He told me that he will finish the game and get it done.
I went back to laying down on the bed and relaxing, planning about the future of Giggle Garden. I was patiently waiting for Rayyan to finish his game and get this job done. I was in no mood to pester him nor did I want to do it myself. I kept waiting and waiting as time ticked by. There was no sound… I was kind of getting a bit angry and frustrated. I knew that he had been working the whole week and needed some time out for himself, but did he not commit to do it when he finished his game? So, finally I decided to take him to task. When I entered his room he was happily racing away on the virtual roads of his computer. Somehow I managed to ask him in calm tone which required tons of patience from my side, “Didn’t you promise (actually it was not a promise but just a ‘yes’) that you will clean the refrigerator after the game is over. Why haven’t you got it done yet?”
Rayyan continued playing the game and replied “I finished it Maa. I did it long time ago”. I thought this must be some kind of a joke and checked out the fridge. Not only was it sparkling clean, but all the bottles, and other things inside it were cleaned and arranged neatly as well. But, why did I not hear any sound at all? As I thought about it, slowly it dawned on me that Rayyan is usually very silent person. I never hear his footsteps when he walks around our home, I never hear him parking his cycle, opening the door, cleaning his cupboard etc. When Rayyan works it is almost like he is not working. When someone is working or resting, he usually uses his headphones so even when he is watching a movie or playing game, there is no sound. I have never seen him grumble, complain or get frustrated with the work on hand any time. He doesn’t talk if he is not having communication with the person he is working with or needs something. He handles all the things as though they are about to break.
When he was in USA, he loved working at different odd jobs. Back then we would never know when he watered the grass, took the trash out or cleaned the garden. So often I or Paula would ask him to do it to find out that it is already done.
He would look forward to working with Jay, on his sports car. Jay would also be surprised with his patience, and help. He would usually say that he never tires out nor does he sweat. This was one of the best time Rayyan enjoy working I should say, especially because he had good rapport with Jay.

I used to wonder why Rayyan spots a lot of animals when I don’t. I think it was the noise I made that would scare the animals or birds away whereas Rayyan was never heard for them to get scared to scamper away.
Fortunately for us, the family of lazy people, Rayyan has been a handy child to have around since he was a toddler. 
Never missing an opportunity to make Farheena a part of the project
From fetching a glass of water for those watching TV to cleaning around, fixing technical/electrical problems to shopping, I have to give a lot of credit to him, moreover for doing it silently without disturbing anyone.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

100 Rays Of Son -10

 Hearing With Ears and Listening With Heart

One of my Cousin was criticiser of every almost all of his family members and also of the people around him. He did not like the way we spoke using local accent, dressing, walking, and sitting. To be precise whatever everyday activity which someone would take as natural and for granted, would be found fault with and corrected by him. Even I was target of his criticism at times. He was not a bad person, but he wanted people to follow few rules, principles and ethics to have better presentation of themselves in society. Unfortunately, he was always misunderstood by others and would be called a nagging person. Some children would even make fun of him behind his back.
Rayyan liked this person and was not offended by him even once. The only person he ever praised was also Rayyan. Not once I had heard him criticize Rayyan or nag him about anything. He always had good words to tell about Rayyan and I think that those good words were reserved only for Rayyan which looked unfair to me. Once I asked him, “How come you never say anything about Rayyan, when you criticize everyone? I am sure not even Rayyan follows everything you ask him to do”. He answered, “Don’t you see that everyone is trying to justify that they are right and what I am telling is wrong? They don’t even listen to what I have to say. I only want the wellbeing of my family, which is the reason I try to guide them. I have travelled around the world and got to know much more things than what they can learn in this tiny village. I try to make them better, but most often they just ignore me. But, as you say, Rayyan may not follow everything I tell him, but watch him listen when I am talking. He appreciates what I say. Never interrupts me nor he completes my sentences for me. He never tries to justify what he is doing is right. Therefore, for me it is not important how much of my advice he takes seriously or follows it religiously; it is the way he listens to me and shows respect for what I have to say, that makes me happy”. What he said was quite convincing for me because I myself had experienced that with Rayyan.
On the other hand once when I asked Rayyan why is that the family of my cousin doesn’t listen to his advice and follow his instruction to avoid conflicts at home, Rayyan answered, “Maa when people do not respect others and do not listen with their heart but only hear the words with their ears, it becomes a sound. With passing days it becomes like the sound of train engine or a fan which runs in the background without disturbing us. First we have to respect what a person is telling us and then decide whether it is good to be taken seriously or not. When we become judgmental when listening, the communication itself is useless”. I have taken this both insights of two people very seriously and it has helped me in different ways in my life. At times, I just consider the words to be sound and ignore it as well, which I was unable to do earlier.
I am sharing three pictures of Rayyan below taken in the span of ten years. One is with Jay, when he is talking about the English Car Club, another at a blogger meet when a blogger was sharing his blogging journey and then a recent one at Giggler’s party when a parent was talking about their experience in My Giggle Garden. You can see the seriousness with which he is listening. I am sure, he knows how to hear with his ears and listen with heart.  I am trying to get there slowly…..

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

100 Rays Of Son 9

True Love

I feel Rayyan's love for jeans comes closest to the description of true Love. You can call it unending love as well. Even when they turn to rags, he wants to use them for something like wall decoration. Believe me, he had one of those on my walls for two years, by naming it storage unit. 
I really regret the day I bought jeans for Rayyan.Once we came across a good blue jeans which was a bit bigger in size for him. Since I liked it a lot, I bought it for him because children grow into clothes quickly. Unfortunately, Rayyan’s growth spurt was over and he couldn't wait to wear the jeans. We made it sit on his hip with a belt and folded the seam. After few years, when it was old it fit Rayyan very well without any need of belt and the seam was opened. He slowly started to grow out of it, but wouldn't stop wearing it. This jeans made him look like a tramp, but still it remained his top choice for bottom wear. 
One day, I put my foot down and told him he couldn't wear something so short which looked old and ugly. As I cooked my dinner, I imagined all the uses this old rag would have for me. It was good as mop, rag cloth in kitchen, floor mat, etc. As I served dinner and called Rayyan and Farheena out, there was pin drop silence. I went inside to find him working on his jeans. He had cut the leg below knee and was weaving a bridge or whatever to make it longer. Farheena was intently watching him and making few corrections. They both were unaware of the whole world. I gave up any hope of using this precious jeans ever in my life. After dinner, the work went on. Finally there was some weirdest pant I have ever seen in my life. Rayyan was very proud wearing it. I had seen him work so hard, so I had to allow him to wear it. 

 If I have to calculate, it must have been in use for more than 8 years. Finally, the jeans started dying. The zip wouldn't budge and the threads gave in. Yet, it is still hid somewhere among Rayyan’s treasure even to this day.
Found another one. This one is the combination of two favourite jeans. One torn on the knee and the other one on butt. I am not sure which jeans donated the organ for other to survive.

Sometimes I wish someone would love me as much as Rayyan loves his jeans.


Rayyan Lost in Laptop

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