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:

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