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.


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