Saturday, July 20, 2019

100 Rays Of Son - 69

The Water Animal

If I have to believe in past lives of our souls, I am damn sure that Rayyan was a water animal in his past life. He could have been a fish, octopus, squid, crocodile, whale, tortoise or a toad; but he sure was in water. Since he was a baby, Rayyan would get terribly excited as we prepared his bath.
He would laugh and enjoy the bath, as his loving Naani would start scolding us for making her life a hell in our own childhood. She would say that we all cried and threw tantrums whenever we were bathed. I would accuse her of pouring hot water on us which must have made us cry.

As days went by, I made Rayyan sit in the water tub for some time. It was too late for me to realize that it was a wrong move, because he would plead to be left there and did not want to come out at all. 
When he came out, he hands and feet would be like raisins. He would help us as we washed clothes (manually off course) or bike since it allowed him to get wet. He would love any work that involved water. Farheena turned out to be the same. Even as small children, they would be drenched in rain. Rayyan would be running around or playing in water, while Farheena would just love to sit on a chair and get wet. Fortunately, it did not lead to cold or fever or else they would be banished from enjoying the rain. I have so often been reprimanded by different people and strangers for leaving children out in rain. They cursed the irresponsible mom who did not care for her children.
When we shifted to Byndoor, I decided to teach Rayyan to swim. For all the love of the water, he would not jump in the water for his swimming lessons. He was afraid to go deep and would just hold the ledges and pretend to swim.
Once when we were on the beach, my brother and I together decided that we will remove the fear of deep waters from Rayyan’s mind. We found a nice spot where the water looked calm and decided to send him in there. Rayyan already knew a bit of swimming but was not an expert. We two stupid people who were trying this out did not know swimming back then. Rayyan was brave to venture into waist high water but would get scared when the water mark reached his chest. We just wanted him to get over this fear.

We threw one of his favourite ball in that calm water and asked him to fetch it if he wanted it, or else we would abandon the ball and go back home. The poor child was in a dilemma here. “Maa, what if the water is not safe”. “If you get in there you will know that it is safe” we said. Rayyan went a little further in water, but then rushed back to the shore. “Maa that water is different. It looks like it is pulling at me”. We ignored him and stuck to what we said earlier. The poor child, who usually doesn’t abandon his toy, especially the ones which are old, again slowly started venturing into the water. By then, someone started shouting at us, “Take the child out of water, take the child out of water, it is not safe waters”. By then Rayyan had reached to the ball. He grabbed at it and rushed back. By then, the person shouting had neared us. He was quite angry and grew wilder as he watched Rayyan staring at him innocently. “Are you people crazy to send that child into such dangerous waters? This is the place where the river meets the sea. There are strong undercurrents that can drown expert fishermen like us and we avoid it. How could you send such small child to fetch that toy?” He looked agitated enough to push us both into the water. We said sorry to both the man and Rayyan.
Rayyan still accuses me of trying to drown him in water, but that did not stop him from loving water. 
After, little bit of pushing from me (one which literally was push into the pond) he started venturing into waters.

 Like with the water filled tub, I realized too late that this was not a right move. Not only Rayyan would get into any water body without checking out for its safety (though he disagrees with this), he would stay there and we would be stuck on the beach, river bank or amusement park for hours. What scared me was his adventures in sea on Someshwara beach. 

Sometimes I would try to look for him and his tiny head would be invisible. I was torn between my fears and his love to enjoy water. Rayyan would come up with different theories about the safety of what he was doing. He would somehow convince me about it as well. Though I wanted Rayyan to be safe, I did not have heart to steal the love of adventures, exploration or fun from him. In return for his freedom, Rayyan promised me never to take risks and would check with locals or watch out for dangerous signs whenever he would be in water or anywhere else during his adventures.
To this day, Rayyan is still the same child who loves the feel of natural water on his body and comes with hands and feet looking like raisins. I am quite sure he has some connection with the water animals. You should tell me which animal ……

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