Dec 20, 2010

Enjoying Cartoons

Aryaa enjoying "Tom & Jerry". She gets totally engrossed by it. While she is watching this, we have to shout "Aryaa!" 5-6 times to get response from her.


Dec 7, 2010

----Mountains and Jungles for you

Aryaa's innocent talks continue to surprise me. They are never old and never boring.

This one is from her 'ever changing'  "I want to be a ----" or "I will be a ----in future."  I now have already forgotten what her first "I want to be a ---" was. I may have mentioned it somewhere in this blog. Nurse, doctor, bookshop owner, ice-cream shop owner, farmer, driver are some of those  "--want to be---" that I remember.

She took this to new height yesterday morning.

"I want to be a god." She said while I was helping her change clothes.
"'God'??", I was surprised but I tried to hide my surprise. "Why do you want to be a god?"
"I want to build a lot of mountains and jungles for PAPA to take photos." So it was for me that she wanted to be a god.

I talked with Sobita about this. She said it's already a few days and Aryaa says like that quite frequently. She says it whenever she sees beggars too, that she will become a god, make a lot of money and distribute to them:)

My time with Aryaa recently is much less than that used to be in Japan. So I became late to hear this 'statement'.

Anyway, I promise with you to post photos of mountains and jungles that Aryaa creates:) For the time being, please be content with a pic of a mountain which already exists.

KAHUN DANDA in early morning

Nov 17, 2010

Photographer Aryaa:)

Namaste! This is my first ever post in this blog. I will try to be frequent here from now. I also have one blog in Japanese, you can see it here; MY WORLD.
------------------------------------------------
Aryaa has started playing with our little digital camera. It's nice to see her in 'action'. And she is also the 'official photographer' of her parents:)

Here are some of her shots.


We are living in Pokhara city now. Majestic Himalayan mountains seem so near here. The place we are living, is still not a good location for mountain viewing.

And the photographer:)

Oct 10, 2010

New 'friends'

Aryaa's TV time was controlled while we were in Japan, or I may say 'balanced'. She also didn't much care about it. She loves playing outdoors much more than TV or anything. She used to watch children programs in NHK Education Channel every morning. Many interesting and educative serials including ZENMAI ZAMURAI used to be aired then. But her craze was with PURIKYUA characters after she turned 3. It used to be aired every Sunday morning in another channel. But as Aryaa used to sleep until very late on Sundays, she rarely watched it. She used to watch PURIKYUA in You Tube.

Japanese channels can't be viewed here. NHK World is there, but I don't know whether it has anything for Aryaa's age or not. Aryaa is missing PURIKYUA very much. Watching in You Tube is also not easy due to the frustratingly slow internet here. It takes forever to load one 10 min video!

Luckily, our local cable provider has `Cartoon Network' in its list. Its 'Tom and Jerry' have become Aryaa's new friends now, they are replacing PURIKYUA characters rapidly. There is also an another cartoon (animation) channel, which airs a lot of animations based on Hindu religious stories. Aryaa loves them too, especially the one about Lord Krishna's childhood.

And Nepali folk music. Aryaa starts dancing whenever she hears some Nepali folk music or any other melodious music. She has already become quite a good dancer. She has even learned to wear her mother's shawl so that it looks like a sari:)

Oct 6, 2010

Bye Bye Grandpa----

Want to share a very sad news today.

Aryaa's grandfather (my father) passed away two and half weeks ago. I was unable to write much in this blog as we were observing some complicated traditional Hindu rituals for 13 days after his death. I only could manage to post an old photo of Aryaa in my previous post.

My father was 73 years old. It's an old age, but not old enough to take the death as 'natural'. With his fit and strong physique, we expected him to live many more years. He didn't drink ,but used to smoke. He was diagnosed with tuberculosis in lungs last year. It was completely cured after a few months of treatment. But he started becoming weak, having his vision blurred and having his thought and speech incoherent after some time. Doctors then diagnosed him with brain tumor. It was already in developed stage and due to his old age they refused to make any surgery to remove it. We were told to take care of him well and help him have a peaceful death. We tried our best. He was either unconscious or very little conscious for last two months of his life.

As Aryaa was in Japan with us, she could spent very little time with him. When we came back to Nepal, he was already having problems related to brain tumor.

We all miss him very much.

May his soul rest in peace!

Sep 22, 2010

4 Years Ago

Life has become too hectic again. Let me continue this blog with one of Aryaa's old photo today.

She is only a few months old in this one. We were in Japan. The colorful traditional Nepali cloth was sent by family in Nepal for her rice feeding ceremony.

Sep 7, 2010

Early Childhood Education – Acquiring Sign Language

[Today, I am happy to share with you an informative and useful article that I got from Kathleen Thomas.]

Early Childhood Education - Acquiring Sign Language

One of the keys to surviving in a tilted economic system in which opportunities to achieve a decent standard of living will be limited is versatility – and the ability to communicate articulately in a variety of ways with the widest possible audience. This includes bilingual ability as well as the ability to communicate in non-verbal ways for the benefit of the disabled – primarily the deaf.

At the same time, a growing shortage of qualified interpreters fluent in American Sign Language has led to more career opportunities – and if current trends continue, it's likely that skilled ASL interpreters will have little problem securing lucrative employment in a society where such a commodity is destined to be in short supply.

Signing Before They Can Speak

A great deal of research has clearly demonstrated that the early years – ages 2 to five – are the best time to educate children in different modes of communication and language. This goes beyond the spoken word (though it is an optimal time for children to learn a second language); many young children have an aptitude for signing as well.

This is not as odd as you may think. As you know, many indigenous peoples around the world, including American Indian nations, have used sign language for centuries to facilitate communication with other tribes with whom they do not share a language. Some paleontologists and anthropologists theorize that Neanderthals – who apparently lacked the vocal mechanism to produce many spoken words – depended a great deal upon hand gestures to communicate.

In fact, recent research suggests that sign language is innate. An article published in the Boulder Daily Camera in 2003 presented strong evidence that babies as young as six months old communicate with their hands:
"...by 6 to 7 months, babies can remember a sign. At eight months, children
can begin to imitate gestures and sign single words. By 24 months, children
can sign compound words and full sentences. They say sign language reduces
frustration in young children by giving them a means to express themselves
before they know how to talk." (Glarion, 2003)

The author also cites study funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development demonstrating that young children who are taught sign language at an early age actually develop better verbal skills as they get older. The ability to sign has also helped parents in communicating with autistic children; one parent reports that "using sign language allowed her to communicate with her [autistic] son and minimized his frustration...[he now] has an advanced vocabulary and excels in math, spelling and music" (Glarion, 2003).
The Best Time To Start


Not only does early childhood education in signing give pre-verbal youngsters a way to communicate, it can also strengthen the parent-child bond – in addition to giving children a solid foundation for learning a skill that will serve them well in the future. The evidence suggests that the best time to start learning ASL is before a child can even walk – and the implications for facilitating the parent-child relationship are amazing.

Image Source: ivillage.com

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Co-written by Emily Patterson and Kathleen Thomas

Emily and Kathleen are Communications Coordinators for the Zionsville educational child care facility, a member of the AdvancED® accredited family of Primrose Schools (located in 16 states throughout the U.S.) and part of the network of Indiana educational day care preschools delivering progressive, early childhood, Balanced Learning® curriculum.

Aug 31, 2010

Aryaa goes to School

Aryaa started going to school yesterday, one and half months after returning to Nepal.

She will be in 'Nursery' level for the time being, until she becomes familiar with the system here.

We have started living in the teachers/staff residence of an engineering college, where I have a job. Aryaa's school is not far from here. School bus comes to pick Aryaa and other kids up in morning and also to drop off in afternoon. Aryaa seems to have enjoyed these two days in school. We were worried about her Nepali language skills, but she is learning it very fast. She now knows enough to communicate in simple and short Nepali sentences and express her feelings. With her new friends and teachers, she will be fluent soon.

As all other parents, it was very hard for us too to decide a school for Aryaa. This one is considered one of the best in the locality we are living in now. All the people whom we asked had very good view of this school. I was also very much impressed by the School Principal's concepts and visions for kids' education.







Aug 22, 2010

‘KUSAI!’, ‘URUSAI!’, ‘GAI AYO!’, ‘KUKUR AYO!’

It’s already more than one month that we are back to Nepal. Aryaa has become familiar with all the family members and many of the relatives. Her Nepali has improved a lot, and she has well maintained her Japanese language skills till now. If we two sometimes talk with her in Japanese, it’s probable that she will carry it further for some years.

We are trying to make her life in Nepal as comfortable as possible. We know she misses her kindergarten, her friends, her teachers and well equipped children parks in Japan very much. Her formal schooling in Nepal will start after a few days. We hope that she can make a lot of friends soon. When she has a lot of friends, she will enjoy her days here more than she is doing now.

While going for walk or for shopping, she is irritated with the garbage one can see everywhere. Nepal has been going through a long period of political instability. This has affected every sector of life, and waste management is one among them. Nepal’s waste management system might be one of the worst in world. “KUSAI! KUSAI!” (It stinks! It stinks!), she says, and covers her nose almost all the time we are in the street.

And the streets here are very crowded too. Our villages have very few facilities. They are also hotbeds for many insurgencies. So a lot of people from villages immigrated to cities. So villages are empty these days and cities have dense population, more than what their infrastructures can bear. The number of vehicles and bikes has gone up too, and with it the noise pollution. It’s as if there is a permanent horn blowing competition in our streets. Aryaa was very afraid at the beginning. She is not so much afraid these days but tries to close her ears with index fingers and sys “URUSAI!” (It’s noisy).

Our streets have a lot of stray cows and dogs. “GAI AYO!” (A cow there!), she says in Nepali, with smile in her face whenever she sees a cow. And “KUKUR AYO!” (A dog there!”), whenever see sees a dog. Even in this chaotic ‘world’, there is something that fascinates Aryaa and makes her happy:)

*'KUSAI' and 'URUSAI' are Japanese words, whereas 'GAI AYO' and 'KUKUR AYO' are Nepali.

Jul 31, 2010

Adjusting gradually

Aryaa is adjusting to life here gradually. She is learning Nepali fast and is also trying to make some friends. Her improvement in Nepali language will certainly give her many new friends. Aryaa has one little cute cousin sister, her name is Abha. Abha will be 2 soon. Aryaa and Abha normally get well with each other.

We are afraid that she will forget Japanese soon. So we (Sobita and me) have decided to continue talking with her in Japanese. This will be useful for us too, to maintain our Japanese speaking ability:))

Jul 21, 2010

A Long Silence Again

Sorry for the long silence again!

We left Japan and returned back to Nepal. Before leaving Japan, I was busy in preparation and couldn`t manage any time to write here. We were in Singapore for two days after leaving Japan. We visited some parts of Sentosa island there. Aryaa too enjoyed it but the day was very hot and we were tired to hell.

After arriving in Nepal, Aryaa seems lost in the new environment. She misses here friends in Japan very much. She sometimes says she wants to go back to Japan as she has more friends there than in Nepal. She is trying to learn Nepali and make friends here. It helped that she was in Nepal for 5 weeks last year here, she understands simple Nepali. We can see the difficulty she is having and doing our best to help her adjust here. Besides, My old father is seriously ill and most of the adult members of family are busy attending to him. So Aryaa and other kids sometimes aren`t getting enough attention. I haven`t have any chance to read bedtime stories to Aryaa these days. It just makes me so sad.

I hope everything gets well after a few days.

Thank you for being here! I will try to write continously about Aryaa`s days here, her success with making friends and her education after she joins school.

Jul 9, 2010

World Cup 2010 is to be blamed:)

I don't blame myself for this long absence, World Cup 2010 is to be blamed:))

Just joking, it's me who is to be blamed. World Cup comes distant second even if it's to be blamed:) My problem is that this blog is very intimate to me and so I want to write here only when I am in a perfectly 'relaxed' mood. Such moments are becoming rare and rare these days.

One short video again to break this 'long silence':)

Jun 14, 2010

'Laughing' and 'Walking'

Two short videos today. Aryaa wasn't yet 1 then.

This first one must be when she was 8 or 9 months old. What I have in my hand is a measuring tape. Aryaa is fascinated with the sound of tape (scale) being pulled out and rolled in.



Next one is even shorter. This was taken some days after Aryaa started walking. Aryaa started walking at around 9 and half months. Sorry for the poor quality too.

Jun 3, 2010

PURIKYUA (プリキュア)---

It was at least more than six months ago that Aryaa started talking about PURIKYUA--(プリキュア) and HAATOKYACCHY PURIKYUA (ハー トキャッチプリキュア). At the beginning, we didn't have any idea what those strange words meant. We thought it to be some word that she learned in kindergarten. Then when she started talking about characters like KYUAMARI, KYUAPAIN, KYUABUROSSAMU etc. we guessed it to be one of those countless Japanese anime targeting kids.

But it was still strange because she watches very liitle TV at home. It's also not broadcast in the 'free' Education Channel of NHK. I am sure that they don't let kids watch much in kindergarten too. What Aryaa learned about all these crazy characters must be from her friends who watch it. 

I came to know later that this PURIKYUA is the name of a magical anime metaseries being broadcast since 2004. PURIKIYUA is for "Pre Cure" ("Pretty Cure" shortened). HATOKYACCHI PURIKYUA! (ハートキャッチプリキュア!) or "Heartcatch Prettycure"! is the latest (7th) series of PURIKIYUA. 

And these series, its cute little girlie characters with magical powers, seem to be very popular among kidergarten age kids, specially girls. I knew that media was very successful in penetrating adults' thinking but didn't know, until this PURIKYUA thing that it was equally powerful among kids too. Looking at Aryaa, I can see that this series is a great marketing tool. Aryaa demands anything; clothes, bags, shoes, socks--- with PURIKYUA characters printed on them. Gone are the days of ANPANMAN and ZENMAI ZAMURAI. And same is the case with foods too, especially snacks and drinks. In fact, PURIKYUA characters dine with us everyday:) Aryaa always wants PURIKYUA brand FURIKAKE to sprinkle on top of her rice. Every little pack has different characters on them, so a small 'lecture' from Aryaa about those 'PURIKYUA of the day' is a regular ritual in our home:))

I can see Aryaa's sense of different colors improving sharply with theis 'PURIKYUA' thing. 

But it doesn't seem to be 'parents-friendly', as anything with some 'PURIKYUA' character on it costs much more than the same without it:)  

May 24, 2010

Learning is Fun

I have heard people say and I have read many times that children learn more indirectly (informally) than directly (formal teaching), and you have to let them learn in their pace, pressing them for learning fast is a blunder. Now I'm being a witness of all this great truth. Aryaa is learning many things very fast these days, but all without our 'direct' or 'formal' teaching, except than our pasting of some posters with numbers and alphabets in our rooms.  In day care center (kindergarten) she goes to too, they have emphasis on 'learning by playing' and 'learning through daily life activities'.

She is very much interested in numbers and alphabets these days. It all started without much effort from our side. 

The process started with '8' more than a year ago. She was playing in the near by children park. She got interested in the number written in the small 'rocking chair' (see-saw?). You can see the actual place in the photo below (taken a few months later).

 the "8" which started Aryaa's interest in numbers

"What is this (written)?"
"It's HACHI (eight)." hr mother replied.

After that for many days, this world was "HACHI" (eight) for her. She would say "HACHI" loudly whenever wherever she saw "8". Her interest got extended other digits too after a couple of weeks and going out with her started to become a big 'difficulty' for us:) She would suddenly stop walking and start saying "TWO-NINE-ZERO-FIVE--------" looking at some signboards. She would also start reading vehicles' number plates and when those vehicles moved without her finishing reading, she would start crying:))

It was the combination of digits that she got interested in after that, which is still continuing. She asks us "What is '2' and '3'?" , "What is '5' and '5'?"----. She keeps forgetting most of them, it will certainly take some time for her age. 

After numbers, it was Hiragana syllabary of Japanese language. "" (no) was the luckiest one:))  For Aryaa, its shape was funnier than others'. She was interested in this one only for many days. It was just like "8" while going out, and she would also search "" in her storybooks. Then it was "" (a), her name in Japanese begins with this. Other alphabets too came gradually. She remembered most of them by trying to read labels in packages, hoarding boards, displays in stations etc.  She now has remembered almost all Hiragana and Katakana syllabary.
The story for English alphabets started from big "P" that she saw in parking area. With the similar process, she got interested in and remembered other letters too. As I wrote in my previous post too, one of her favorite videos in YuuTube these days is "Strange A, B, C---".

Nepali (Devnagari) letters are yet to begin. Currently Aryaa doesn't show much interest in them, might be because she doesn't see much of them in her 'daily life' here. We may have to wait until we go back to Nepal. 

I think almost all the parents of growing kids have similar experiences. Every child is unique and every child has his/her unique interests but the learning pattern, more or less, is similar. They learn fast when allowed to explore by themselves. Encouragement and availability of learning environment/materials is necessary too, but pressure isn't going to work with kids.

May 17, 2010

Her favorite videos

These are a few of Aryaa's favorite videos (in YouTube), that she gets chance to watch when one of her parents is out and the other one is busy. 

This one is called "Strange A, B, C---". It's intended to make kids interested in English alphabets and remember them fast.



Next is Hello Kitty. She doesn't understand English yet, but loves to watch this one. 



She still loves to watch this DORAEMON song, but not as much as a year ago.



And this one was not intended for her:) I was making a play list of my favorite video/songs about Buddha and Aryaa saw and got interested in this video. When asked what she liked in it, she said "Buddha's face and head is KAKKOI ('cool').". LOL.

May 8, 2010

GOLDEN WEEK 2010

Golden Week is over.  We visited a couple of parks with Aryaa.


In Meijo Park

In Kid-station in a local mall




 In Nagoya Wild Flower Garden

Finally, enjoying in a river near home.



Apr 30, 2010

Aryaa-chyan wants to be----

"Aryaa-chyan wants to be a bookshop owner after 50.", she said during breakfast a couple of days ago.  Her current 'want to be' is a bookshop owner, that we are hearing since last few weeks, but she has started adding "after 50" recently. Since her last birthday, she talks a lot about people's ages and it has got reflected in her 'dream' too.

Living with a kid is reliving your own childhood. I don't remember what was my first "want to be" but I remember I had a lot in my childhood too and they were constantly changing.

It was last summer when I heard Aryaa's "want to be" for the first time. She woke crying one morning.
"What happened?", I asked.
"Aryaa-chyan became a SENSEI (teacher) but -----".
"But what?"
"---but Nayu-chyan was AISUKURIMUYASAN (ice cream shop owner).", she was still crying.
"Ha ha ha! Is that so?", it made me laugh. "But isn't it very good that you became a teacher?"
"No! Aryaa-chyan too wants to be AISUKURIMUYASAN."
"OK! OK!! You too become an AISUKURIMUYASAN.", I told her. She stopped crying a little bit later.

I don't know what made her cry. She might have dreamed of her becoming a teacher and Nayu-chyan (one of her friends) owning an ice cream parlor. Or her teacher might have assigned her a role of teacher during a 'play' in kindergarten the previous day and she cried remembering that. Whatever the reason, it was 'unendurable' for Aryaa as she is crazy for ice cream:)


 Although she is still crazy for ice cream, her dreams have changed over time. I remember it was "SUPA NO ONECHYAN" (supermarket sales girl) around autumn. And during winter, as there was a lot of figure skating going in television, she wanted to become GURUGURUMAWARU ONECHYAN ('rotating girl', her word for figure skater). After that it was the teacher, yeah teacher itself for some time. It was KANGOU SAN (nurse) after teacher. It is bookshop owner now, and that too after getting 50.

"PAPA, MAMA MO EHON KAINI KITE NE. TAKUSAN EHON ARU KARA---" (Papa, Mama; please come to buy picture books (in my shop). I'll have a lot of them---), she tells us.

Seems she already 'knows' that advertising early is good for her business:))

Image Source: Click Here

Apr 21, 2010

Papa, don't go bald---!

It was last Sunday afternoon and we were watching TV.

"Why is that OJIISAN's head like that?" Aryaa asked. An old bald gentleman was singing on TV.
"OJIISAN is bald. His hair fell down.", I answered.
"Hee----! How?" she was surprised.
"I don't know how, but men lose hair gradually and they become bald." I explained. "Papa too will become like that OJIISAN someday." I am balding too, it's not as rapid as with some of my friends but I'm sure I will catch up with them in a few years:)
"No! Papa, don't lose your hair!" Aryaa screamed.
"Why?---I can't----"
"KAKKOU YOKUNAI (it's not cool). Aryaa-chyan doesn't like it. So don't lose your hair." She interrupted and 'ordered' me.

Now I have a problem. I have to do the impossible work of preventing my head from balding at any cost, as according to Aryaa,  it isn't "cool":))


Apr 15, 2010

"Aryaa-chyan is girl."

Aryaa was ‘best’ friends with both boys and girls until 3. It’s changed now. It’s not that she hates to be friends with boys, she is just not intimate with them. She is a member of a girls’ gang:), all of her best friends now are girls.

It may be because of this girlis' gang that she has started showing choices and behavior which is attributed to girls and females as a whole. One example is her choice of colors. While buying clothes and shoes for her, she chooses pink ones and red ones. She says “Pink and red are lovely. They are for girls. Aryaa-chyan is girl.” When we want to buy something blue, green or even yellow, she says that those are for boys.

I guess small boys must be thinking opposite of this, but I’m not sure. I don’t exactly know how such thinking develops in a child. It must be a combination of many things like friends, parents and media culture, etc. Males and females may also have some natural differences in their feeling for and choice of colors, but again I’m not sure and it’s just my guess. What if a girl is raised in male only environment or a boy is raised in female only environment? But that is impossible.

Another of current“Aryaa-chyan is girl.” is related with hair.

We used to keep her hair short until a few months back for the ease of washing and maintaining it. She started ‘demanding’ long hair after that saying “Girls have long hairs. Aryaa-chyan is girl.” She is a ‘fan’ of Nana-chyan, one of her ‘best’ friends, who has longest hair among her classmates. Aryaa’s hair is getting longer gradually and she is eagerly waiting for the day when her hair will be as long as that of Nana’s.

Not only length, even her style has changed. While in shower, she tries to wash her hair imitating her mother, sometimes even ‘teaches’ her mother the proper ways:) And when sometimes her hair falls to her forehead, it's nice to see her moving it back with her small index fingers. She has a style and it's so 'girl like':)

It's surprising to see this craze even in a small child like her. Such thoughts are already deeply ingrained in human consciousness, human society all the world over is thinking like that since at least a few thousand years and it doesn't seem that this thinking will end soon.

Aryaa's 'long hair' craze is working greatly in one aspect though. She is ready to eat any vegetable now as vegetables 'make' her hair 'longer':)

Image Source: Click Here

Apr 8, 2010

JumpZone and Sakura

They have a spot called JumpZone inside a newly opened mall nearby. Its target is small kids (actully their parents' pockets). When kids see such a place, they will try it at any cost. Shopping with a kid is a dangerous thing:) They will want anything they see! In fact, market (and the whole capitalism) is the biggest enemy of parents:))

Now to JumpZone. Here is the 4 minute video of Aryaa enjoying it. She enjoyed it and wasn't much afraid as the guys at JumpZone were careful enough to make it comfortable for her. Aryaa has already started nagging us to go there again.



And here are a few of Sakura blossom photographs from our HANAMI this year.

 





Mar 30, 2010

"---when Aryaa-chyan is----?"

Aryaa dreams of becoming 'big' these days, and dreams too much:) Another stage of a kid's mental development, I remember having similar 'dreams' myself, and I've seen it with my younger siblings and nephews/nieces.

Some 'regular' incidents have happened within one month and they have magnified her dreams and desire to be big and tall soon. She turned 4 and she knows she will turn 5 on her next birthday. She talks not only about 5 but 6, 7, 10 and whatever she can count up to.

Then the start of new session in her kindergarten. It is from April 1 in Japan, not only kindergartens, but schools, universities, companies and government works. They had SOTUENSIKI (kindergarten graduation ceremony) in Aryaa's kindergarten last week. Kids who turned 6 will leave the kindergarten and enter primary school. Aryaa will be in YUURI-GUMI (YUURI group, YUURI 'class') from April 1 and she is very happy. She is happy but 'impatient' too at the same time for the day when she herself will enter primary school. She has even already memorized full lengthy names of a few nearby primary schools:)

And her counting ability is going up gradually. Right now, she easily counts up to around 40 and then goes directly to 100:) For her, the biggest use of numbers is to mark a person's age. So her questions now are generally related to age. She already knows how old her MAMA and PAPA are.

"What--- when Aryaa-chyan is six?" She asks this everyday.
"Aryaa-chyan will enter primary school."
"And when seven--?"
"She will be a second year student in primary."
"And eight---?"
---------
---------
"What when Aryaa-chyan is 12?"
"Aryaa-chyan will go to middle school." But this questioning continues almost 'irritatingly' to each year in middle school and high school. But parents are not allowed to get irritated:))

"When will Aryaa-become as big as PAPA and MAMA?" Questioning goes on.
"Well, may be when Aryaa-chyan is 18."
"Where will Aryaa-chyan go after 18."
"University.""----when Aryaa-chyan is 28?", she skips some years now, she might have 'irritated' herself:)
"--in job, Aryaa-chyan will be working like----"

We expect the series to stop here but it doesn't.

"---when Aryaa-chyan is 70?", she will ask after a brief 'rest'.
"Aryaa-chyan will be OBAACHYAN (grand mom) by then."
"----when Aryaa-chyan is 100?"
"Hmmmm----, Aryaa-chyan will be an even bigger OBAACHYAN."

It's a relief that her counting hasn't gone beyond 100 yet:))

Image Source: http://www.21cartoondrawings.com

Mar 23, 2010

Kindergarten Life

Here are some photographs that we got from Aryaa's kindergarten.

 Christmas Celebration

HINAMATSURI celebration

Must be Japanese/Chinese (Lunar) New Year 

Some day in Summer




Outing to a nearby Children Park

After the UNDOUKAI (sports meet) in which everybody 'won' and everybody got 'medal':)

Class Photograph with the Principal (left) and the class teacher 

Sorry for the low-quality pics. We are given printed photographs only. This is what I could manage with my mobile-phone and sleepy eyes :)

Thanks to kindergarten teachers and staffs for these photographs!

Mar 13, 2010

Your Heartbeat

Your Heartbeat

Dear, I am listening to your heartbeat
Somewhere in the deep forest
Song of the hiding stream,
Left by the creator of the world
Ancient but yet continuous
Wonderful song of the soul

I am relieved as I never used to be.
If I ever won the war of life,
To bequeath the happiness ,
I have got your hands now,
If I ever lost to the war of the life,
Your feet are there ,
To wet with my tears

Or, if I get lost today,
From the eye of the world,
My existence will be there
Along with your name, my name will be there
Somewhere in your heart beat…
The rhythm of my heartbeat will be heard

I am listening to your heart beat,
Visualizing you in my imagination
Dear, I am listening to your heartbeat
Waiting for you in the deep

(December 19, 2005; Kasugai, Japan)

 Image Source: Click Here

(This poem was originally written in Nepali. I am very thankful to Sweta for translating it into English. Nepali version appears in my Nepali blog )

Aryaa was still inside her mom's womb when this poem was written. We didn't know whether the child was a girl or a boy. We didn't care much too, we wanted that to remain a happy 'suspense' until child was born. Our doctor Yonemoto also had the same thinking, he didn't like parents talking too much about the sex of the child to be born.

It was already some time after the doctor had started us showing the child's movement in ultrasound. We could hear the child's heartbeat too. Then I had started putting my ear against Sobita's stomach to hear the child's heartbeat and to feel his/her movement. That was an unexplainable transforming experience, a totally spiritual experience. And it was not only because it was my child, I was mesmerized by seeing a new life getting its form inside another life,. I just couldn't think it as a regular normal incident. With the beginning of the arrival of the child, I had started having  even more thankfulness and respect to Sobita and the all the females.

The talks then between me and Sobita at that time was naturally about the child and for the child. This poem was born out of those heartbeats that I heard and those endless talks about the child we had....... This my small try to give words to feelings of soon-would-be parents. 

Aryaa turns four from today. Happy Birthday Aryaa!

This stage of life, which started after we got the message of her arrival, is getting more and more transforming, because I always like children and after these years with Aryaa, I even more like them. This world is full of selfishness, mistrust and cruelty. It is still livable because there are children, there are their innocent eyes, there are their open heart like sky and there are their pure quests. This world has future because there are unlimited possibilities in children.

I we want a bright future for humanity, every child should get a happy childhood. Otherwise there is only darkness.

This poem is dedicated to the unlimited possibilities that exists inside every child!

Mar 9, 2010

'Good Thief', 'Good Wolf'

Back in the ancient times (i.e. when Aryaa wasn't yet 3), this world was a very beautiful place. Stories for her (and hence her stories too) were full of love and friendship. One main reason for that world being so beautiful was that there were a lot of animals and very few human:) All these animals lived in peace with each other, swam together in summer and enjoyed the spring breeze and autumn moon together. The few humans were children only and these children too were very friendly with each other and all the animals. Children would teach animals play soccer, dogs would cook curry for children, cats would save everybody from thunderstorm, elephants would help gorillas find banana---. What a beautiful world!

The world is beautiful no more. Now her stories have started including 'other side of the coin' too. There are thieves, ghosts, cruel dark-magicians, rude friends and wolves. So Aryaa's world is divided into two now, 'good' and 'bad'.

This division of world into two is manifested in her endless "What if---"s these days. In fact, "What if---" is another big explosion after "Why--" and "What---". I was about to devote one full post to "What if--" but abandoned the idea as it would have scared new and prospective parents:))

"What if---" questions are sometimes much crazier than "Why--" and "What---", like she once asked "What if sky falls down?". I first told her that sky never falls down, but she was not ready to accept that, she kept on asking "What if---". I finally told her that, in that case we will hide under a table. She liked the answer very much, hiding under table is one of her favorite activities.

Now back to stories again. She has a curiosity of what we should/would do if a character from her story books comes. She has learned to make some twists of her own too.

"Papa, What if bad thief knocks at the door?"
"We will not open the door, will not let him in."
"What if bad thief enters by force?"
"We will beat him, kick him. Then he will run away."
"But what if a good thief knocks at the door?"
"We will do the same. We won't let him enter."
"But that is GOOD THIEF----!"
"There is no such thing as a GOOD THIEF---"
"There is---. What if a good thief comes---?"
"Well, we will open the door, say 'Please come in!' and have lunch together." I have to 'accept ' that a 'good thief' exists, that too in the present world. What an innocent childhood! But who knows, many 'Robin Hood's might be roaming around today too to prove Aryaa right:))

And another similar one.

"What if bad wolf knocks at the door?"
"We will not open the door. We will beat it if it tries to enter by force----." I try to make my answer 'complete'.
"What if the wolf is good?"
"There is no such thing as a GOOD WOLF-----."
"Nooooooooo! There is----. What if------"
"OK! OK!! We will let the good wolf enter and invite him to lunch----."


Image Source: Color-Your-Own

I realized after this conversation that it is always the wolf who is vilified among animals. It's true that it preys on animals weaker than it, that's its nature, and so do lion, tiger and leopard. The latter ones are always glorified and depicted as majestic in all of the stories, whereas poor wolf is always depicted as the worst villain. Even crocodile and snake are called 'lovely' and 'beautiful' and their movement is considered funny.

Why is this world so unfair to wolf???

Image Source: Color-Your-Own

Feb 28, 2010

Hinamatsuri song

I couldn't arrange time at all to write something new here. Hence I thank 'Hinamatsuri' for coming to my rescue:))

March 3 is HINAMATSURI (Girls' Day or Doll Festival) in Japan. I wrote one short post about this last year too. Let me put the song (video) of this occasion. The melody is so sweet. 



I found the following English translation of the first verse in one site;

Let's light the lanterns on the tiered stand.
Let's put peach blossoms on the tiered stand.
Five court musicians are playing flutes and drums.
Today is a happy Dolls' Festival.

Feb 18, 2010

Some moments

Some moments captured---

In Shinojima beach on November 28. It was a very cold day.

 
With friends in FURO

with the 'newest' friend:)

  
Laughing a lot, because------

 -----the family is funny:))