Monday, 7 June 2010

Mimi's Day Out (in School)

We were guided into a teeny room furnished with teeny, colorful tables and chairs. The walls were covered paintings, and a string of colorful cutouts ran across the center of the room. The shelves were arranged with picture books and workbooks. A blackboard at the corner bore today's date, and a few alphabets. A thin wall separated this room from the next one, where all the play group kids were having their hour-long session. We heard lots of screaming from all directions. Many of the children cried for their mothers, while teachers made futile attempts at distracting them with toys and songs. Few of us let out sighs of relief, because we hadn't yet heard our children crying. I wasn't apprehensive in the least bit, because I knew that if Adiv was upset he'd be screaming now. I smiled sweetly at an aayah who walked past. When she walked past again, I asked if she'd peek in and check on Adiv.
"He is playing with a car", she said when she returned.
"You are lucky he is okay", came a voice from the room I was in. A mother who could hear her son weeping piteously, came forward for assurances from me.
"They'll be fine in a few days, right", she asked. She seemed close to tears, but was holding on. "They will be fine", I assured her. "The teacher is very good." Another mother walked out. "I can't listen to this anymore", she said and settled down outside the gate.
"Why don't you mothers leave and return after an hour", offered the center head gently. "You won't feel so terrible if you are away."
"No", came a collective response.
I stood around with my book. I muttered a small prayer. I hoped Adiv would continue to enjoy school. I'd put him in a dinosaur teeshirt, that he wanted to show his teacher. I had also explained to him that I'd be waiting outside.
"No. Mimi come inside", he had said emphatically.
"No I can't. The chairs in your class are small. I'll wait outside on a bigger chair".
That seemed to satisfy him. He went in with a smile, but ran out twice crying for me.
"I'm still waiting here", I assured him. "I'll still be here when you're done playing", I explained while he cried.
Five minutes later, he'd settled down. Meanwhile I sent Ro several SMSes with updates.
"No crying anymore."
"Running out"
"Playing with a car"
Meanwhile, the mothers and I bonded outside. We spoke about our kids, and comforted eachother. "They'll be fine. Once they make friends, they'll begin enjoying themselves."
Amidst all the crying, we heard some singing. I was glad the teachers were singing. Adiv loved music and he was sure to calm down.
"Your son is calm. He is playing", said a mother who'd decided to peek in on her child.
"Phew", I said. "What about your daughter?"
"She is still crying", she said.
Minutes later, two of the mothers were called in. Their kids who were crying uncontrollably had thrown up. The rest of us mothers watched the flurry of activity from the classroom to the bathroom and back. I said another little prayer.
"Oh God, please let Adiv be okay."
As the longest hour finally came to an end, the kids slowly walked out with their bags.
"Hi there", I said enthusiastically to Adiv, who responded with a big smile.
"Oh Ho, jacket inside", he said and went back to get his denim jacket. Waving goodbyes to everyone we then left.
Now i'm getting ready for another day.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Playing Khan

A few weeks ago we saw "My Name is Khan". The DVD came neatly packed in a case, and we settled to watch it immediately. I was most curious because of the hype. Even people who didn't like Shahrukh Khan was professing love for the man after this film. Some said he was better than Tom Hanks in "Forrest Gump". Some said this was Karan Johar's best. Sadly, I was very disappointed. Like all Karan Johar films, this one was made only for it's protagonist. It didn't matter than the script was bad, or that the numerous other characters weren't well-rounded and complete. Nonetheless, this post isn't a review. It is about Adiv, and how he gave the film it's own happy ending.
When we watched the movie, he sat on the bed between us with his cars. He played quietly, only jumping up to dance during the song sequences. However certain scenes got his attention. He sat glued to the screen when Mandira's son was attacked by the bullies in his school. He is kicked and beaten up. The football that is kicked onto his body finally kills him. The first time we saw that scene, Adiv was upset. He told me he was very sad. I assured him that the achacha was fine. We then saw the boy being wheeled into emergency, where doctors attempt to revive him. He doesn't make it. The time of his death is announced, and his mother screams and weeps over his young body. After the movie, I played the happy scenes again, to assure Adiv that the achacha was now better and busy celebrating his birthday. "Where is achacha", he asked every two minutes.
The next few days, we continued to watch a song from the movie, where the boy is seen enjoying a surprise birthday party. "Achacha fine", said Adiv happily. Soon enough, when "The Hangover" arrived in another neat package, the tiger in that movie got his attention. The Achacha from "My Name is Khan" was forgotten. So now he was watching "The Hangover" in mute (too much of the F word). He'd watch only the scenes with the tiger, and then ask for Barney or Batman. I was relieved.
Then last week, he began a new game. He brought him his ball and said, "throw ball". I assumed he wanted to play catch. However, instead of attempting to catch the ball, he'd fall to the ground very dramatically. "Achacha in pain", he explained.
"Mimi doctor make achacha alright", he said emphatically.
Then I realized he was enacting the scene from "My Name is Khan". I picked him up, put him on my lap, massaged his belly a few times during which he thrust his body forward. Then I'd tickle him and say, "achacha alright."
"Yaaay, achacha alright", he'd repeat happily and we'd do a jig.
We enacted this scene over and over again, till he was very satisfied. We even gave Rohit a demo when he returned from school.
Fortunately now that school has begun, the Khan phase is slowly being replaced by the school phase. Now our little man is more interested in Barney and Baby Bop's pretend school.
"Where is Barney", he asked his teacher yesterday.
"Baby Bop bringing Mac and Cheese?", he enquired when his classmate's mother brought out some biscuits.
So for now I think he is fine, but we've got to be verrrrrrrrry careful about what we watch on TV while he is around.