There was no birthday bash, no momentous trip, in 2021 as Roddur turned 14 on the 7th of Feb, covid still prevailed. We just visited a local nursery, the day being a Sunday. He doesn’t show any natural inclination towards the potted or soiled lives but does help out when called for.
Grade 8 turned into grade 9 but Anoush remained in his high back chair at the same desk looking at the same desktop. A little solace – Nanda in the same section!
Life didn’t change much for him; he had comfortably settled his life around his dabba (as I call his desktop) much to my discomfort.
Outwardly there was calm, but inside him turbulence was growing. The rebellion that had started at the advent of teens had now caught steam. Discussions were now more heated and difficult to take control of. The argumentative Indian had become more rooted in his beliefs backed by researched facts. His quote – “Everybody has the right to enjoy. Fun is what we live for.” After loads of counselling it changed to – “Everybody has the right to enjoy, not always but as and when possible.”
Anoush took part in a new thing called MUN – Model United Nations. He was to pose as MLA Rajiv Ranjan from JDU. This gave him a simulated but first-hand idea about how the parliament works when in session. Almost overnight he learned about constituencies, laws, bylaws and what not. He enjoyed the exhilarated screams while discussing with his teams mates. Planning a strategy and convincing his mates taught him an art that he was hitherto unaware of – being our only child and having very little needs and most of them being fulfilled without him uttering much.
Here at such a broad arena, across schools, he had the need and urge to put forth his idea and convince. It was a great learning experience for him and he derived much pleasure. He also understood this was not the arena where he wanted to play.
Half yearly exams were scheduled in offline mode but I was not ready to expose him, so while Nanda and a few others wrote their papers in school, Anoush and a few wrote at home.
Roddur loves the beach and since I wanted a vacation particularly for him during the dusserah(October) hols, it had to be a beach, Rajib loves historical places and Goa had been on his radar for some time, so Goa it was! Anoush enjoyed the beach to his heart’s content while Rajib covered quite a bit of his aspired targets. I could not go around as much as I would have loved to but then I am just happy being on the move.
By November I saw quite a change in my little baby; though he would still put the rod of the water scraper in the bathroom’s exhaust fan while it was running and broke a blade, the explanation being that he wanted to see if the blade stopped when it came in contact with the rod, his next plan was to put in his finger; there was something different about him.
For one he was more confident than ever. I overheard him saying – “I can sing.” He actually can, has melody in him just not interested to manifest it to be a trained singer. Same with the guitar, if he wants he can do much better than just play what is taught – but simply not interested. Am happy that his Guitar sir Mahesh Babu is so patient with him, he is an extremely honourable person in his own rights.
This year too he bagged many accolades – the usual SOF Olympiads and a few more. He scored a 100 on BRICSMATHS – an online exam based on logic; he got overwhelmed with the congratulatory wishes he got from his classmates, teachers and even Principal madam, who called him personally.
The major change I am delighted about is the sense of achievement. I feel he has finally caught up with the idea that he is capable of achieving what he wants given the right amount of effort. And he is giving effort!
Be it an external project or school’s; be it exam preparation or group activity – I find him working with deadlines, going beyond the stipulated timetables, rescheduling them if necessary and driving other team mates along with him.
But what makes me the happiest is that he is still that humble non-judgmental beautiful boy at heart. A natural leader, he believes he can lead not because he is in any way better than the others but because he can instigate the others to put forth their best and collate.
Here I think his classmates have played a big roll, Aryan, Pranav, Ivana to name a few – they appreciate each other, are vocal about each other’s talents – that largely boosts confidence and makes each one realise their strengths. Anoushrayan had also had wonderful teachers Radhika(Maths ma’am and class teacher), Kavitha(SST ma’am), Roopa(English ma’am), Prajacta(Hindi ma’am), Shivshakti(computer ma’am) and Science ma’ams(Renu, Garima and Subarna) who shaped different facets of his personality.
In December we went to an interesting place called Vaama Resort – a pet friendly place – so Domma, Zhauwu, Roddur, me and Rajib drove for around an hour and checked into a cosy cottage that the resort had allotted us. The resort is actually a camp for obstacles training for civilians run by a retired Colonel and his team.
My otherwise hunched, laggard non-sporty boy – did well! Not only was he able to do them all he did them well. Roddur always amazes me, sometimes at the zip line or at horse riding – he can be a good sport but physical endeavour simply doesn’t excite him. This year the exams have come early, in February and as if both to tease and to appease – computer practicals are scheduled on his birthday!