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Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Farheena Reading Newspaper - #100LessonsOfLife -2


Imitating Devamma


Often grandchildren are influenced by the lifestyle of their grandparents and try to imitate them. It was less with Rayyan, but Farheena loved imitating her grandparents in their ways and manners, some of them which she continues to this day.
My dad started his day by reading news. He would sit outside the house in the morning light and read the paper leisurely every day without fail. Soon enough Farheena joined him in reading news. She would be out there with him for nearly an hour or so everyday reading news as intently as he did. Occasionally, she would point at a picture and ask about it. My dad would explain it to her.
My mom called my dad “Bappa”, so she also called him Bappa. Maa was the first word she could pronounce and Bappa was the second. Though a man with very little patience, my dad was very patient and could spend hours with Farheena.
When we shifted near Bangalore Children’s Hospital and Research Centre in RRnagar there were few houses in our area. The only people close was a family of Dhobi who lived nearby. They had 3 children who went to a reasonably good school. We usually ironed our clothes at home, hence, the dhobi very rarely visited us. There were just handful of houses in RajaRajeshwarinagar back then and we were just two families living in one block.
We used to share a bit of chit chat and help them sometimes when they needed something. Shops were not near. One day, the dhobi came by to ask my dad to lend him some old newspaper to pack ironed clothes. The grandpa was enjoying his morning news with his grand-daughter leisurely and asked him wait while he called me out to hand over papers to him. When I came out, I saw him intently staring at Farheena. His looks were not normal and I felt very uncomfortable. Yet, I did not make a big issue and gave him papers so that he could begin the work for the day.
I saw some birds flying around and perching in groups behind our home, so I stood there watching them. Not much time had gone by before I heard a huge commotion coming from the dhobi’s home with his wife shouting and children crying.
My dad went over to see what was happening and I followed him. When we reached there we saw that the dhobi was angrily hitting his children and his wife was trying to stop him, while she also seemed to be angry with her children. Just a few minutes ago, everything was fine, but now he was so angry and scolding them in Tamil. When we asked he told us in broken Kannada,
“Sir, look at this donkeys. They are 8, 10, and 12 year old. They cannot even read their text books properly. Your grand-daughter who is just 5-6 years is reading English newspaper so well. I was watching how she went through the whole sheet and turned over to read next page. All my money is being wasted on these donkeys who only know how to play”.
I burst out laughing and explained to him that Farheena is a special child, she is just 4 and she cannot read. She only imitates her grandpa. Also that explained his look. He wouldn’t believe me initially and it took us some time to explain things to him.
Finally, things were sorted out and as I walked back I saw that his children were reading their books with all seriousness, terrified of their father. Something good came out of this anyway. LOL
As I walked back with my dad, Farheena was waiting for us wondering why we left all of sudden. Rayyan was keeping watch over her. The joke was not over because I saw Farheena was holding the paper upside down. Luckily I did not die laughing that day.
Farheena would sometimes imitate her grandma cooking, dress up like my neighbour, or write stories like I do.
I am sharing the pictures from her story book which you have to look closely to see how she writes. If not looked upon closely, you will never realize what story she is weaving on those pages. Sometimes, they are accompanied by illustrations as well.
With her style and confidence, Farheena can fool many with her imitation skills, not just that poor dhobi.
On the other hand, this funny habit of Farheena is what encouraged me to go ahead with inclusive education because I believe that special needs children can learn better when they are with regular children by imitating them. Only requirement would be not to have too many special needs children in a group, because then the regular children may start imitation and the effect would be reverse. So far, I have seen the successful effect of this in My Giggle Garden, thanks to Farheena.

Learning for exams when her brother has them. She was always more serious than him 

Imitating people of Byndoor in our native place.. including the coy smile

Exactly like my mom would sit... even that tilt of head

When you are Rome (Byndoor in this case) 

If only I could know what those quick notes were about

Fiction story with illustration

The conclusion of the novel

I really admire notes which are so neat and meticulous 

Story of a garden

Story of a bird


Imitating Rayyan



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