Aasim was a few months old and I use to sing to him so that he could sleep. Yes back then, I could sing. He would watch me sing with this toy in his hand, and with the gentle rocking of his swing, he would fall asleep.
This was his favourite song back then.
Aa chal ke tujhe main le ke chaluN ek aise gagan ke tale
jahaN gham bhee na hoN aasuN bhee na hoN bas pyar hi pyar pale.
On his 19th birthday today, my wish for him is that his world be filled with happiness always.
Kabhi dhoop khile, kabhi chhon mile
lambi si dagar na khale
jahan gham bhee na hoon aason bhee na hon
bas pyar hi pyar pale.
For all these years we have been preparing ourselves for this day. The day when Aasim will leave for the US for his undergraduate studies. He has secured an admission in Drexel University, Philadelphia, with a decent scholarship and will be attending the Close School of Entrepreneurship. He is flying to the US directly from Nagpur tonight, thanks to Qatar Airways flight via Doha.
There is excitement, and anxiety but also a reassurance that he will do well for himself. Being in Pune for the last two years has taught him vital lessons in survival though by no means all the life lessons. Those he will learn as he grows and grows up. While a parent can not stop being a parent ever, as parents, a major part of “upbringing a child” for us is over. We now have to take a backseat and just be there for him whenever he wants us. We too are preparing ourselves for this role.
So here’s to the future. Aasim’s and ours. Cheers!
While we saw him changing during his time at MUWCI, and we had expected that he would, it was a pleasure watching him interact with his peers and teachers as a grown up. We sent a boy to this school, and he returned to us as an educated man. A man who aspires to make a difference to the world we live in, a man who perhaps may.
As parents, we will always dote on him, and fuss about him because he will always be our little kid. But the world he is going to step into, he won’t be a kid, and as an adult, we feel reasonably sure that he is ready to face the challenges that life would throw at him.
The graduation ceremony was a beautifully and thoughtfully organised. The performances by the students moved us as did the speeches given at the occasion. Aasim was the first in line to get his certificate. Here’s a short video that I took.
Here’s Aasim with his friends Pulkit, and Saket. It seems only Pulkit (kind of) knows where the camera is 😀
It has been 18 years – I look back and remember the day when the tiny bundle of joy had finally arrived. Since this wasn’t a child who cried too much I can’t say wailing, screaming bundle, but a bundle of joy nevertheless. Although like most new borns, he did keep us awake at night – when the world slept, and I could barely keep my eyes open, this little one wanted to play. So it wasn’t a surprise when as a teenager he preferred working/studying at night instead of day time.
Aasim is 18 today and has stepped into adulthood. While I was going through the pictures to make this photo collage and had no idea how much time I spent doing it, I felt the time was frozen. In Aasim’s words, when he was ten, “the clock was randomly browsing through time”
Happy birthday, betu. You are an adult today but for me you will always be my little baby. I love you.
Packing is done, and Aasim is finally flying out of the nest and he is excited about the new world awaiting him. A world where he will be part of an international community, people from over 60 countries will study, work and do projects together. It’s a dream come true for him, and for us.
About a year and half back, when we learnt about the United World Colleges (UWC), we were not sure if Aasim will be able to meet the challenges that are required to be met to become a student of one of the 14 UWCs. The more research he did, the more the prospect of being a student of a UWC excited him and finally we procured the form from the Indian National Committee in Sept 2013
The form among other things, required him to answer eight questions, and some of them were quite difficult even for an adult to answer. However, when I finally saw his answers I was impressed with the maturity and clarity of his thoughts. I felt he does have a chance.
The form was submitted, and we planned to visit the Mahindra United World College, which was his first choice among the United World Colleges across the world (his other choices were UWC Pearson College, Canada and UWC Adriatic, Italy). The visit to MUWCI made him, and us feel that this is the place where he truly belongs. Not only did he feel comfortable with the place, he met other students (and teachers) who he felt at ease with, and completely at home.
IB is a very tough syllabus and the way it is dealt with at UWCs makes it even tougher. Aasim got through the first screening (application form) and was selected for the second stage; a 24 hour interview camp. This one was going to be tougher, we knew, and it was, but he got through and was selected to be a student at the United World College Mahindra College, MUWCI for short.
The excitement of being selected at one of the best colleges in the world abated and a long wait began. He enjoyed his summer holidays and prepared himself to join the college. Tomorrow is that day for him. At MUWCI, a new life awaits him.
I am very proud of him. We brought him up to be an independent person and a world citizen, and at MUWCI, he will have opportunities that he can use to do things that truly matter.
The year started and just whizzed by, not even giving me a few moments to pause and ponder. What did I do new this year? Nothing remarkable…. started several things and left them midway…
Lost one of my best friends to cancer and there is nothing and no one to fill that void. Miss you so much, Old Man, and I am sure I am not the only one. Atul, you meant much more to me than I ever admitted.
It is still difficult for me to believe that Atul is no longer going to be a comforting online presence; even as I struggle to accept that he is not there, another friend, who was just getting close after several years of not being in communication had a fatal fall. You were a beautiful person, Kavita I wish we had more time to know you closely. I will always miss that friendship that never blossomed completely.
Just after Christmas, I got one more blow. A man who was larger than life itself passed away. A well wisher, and an extremely talented actor, Farouque Saheb was one of the most down to earth person I have ever interacted with. I will miss his occasional phone calls and messages…
Life has its own ways… and while I am alive, I must live my life to its fullest and on my own terms. People who are gone would not wish any less, I am sure, because each one of them lived their life on their own terms.
2013 also saw Aasim turn 16, an important milestone in his life; he gave his IGCSE this year and is growing up to become a fine man. I feel proud to be his mother. Next year he will be away from home, staying in a hostel for continuation of his education. Though as parents we feel we have equipped him to be on his own, somewhere there is a string that tugs… I guess that will always be there. It’s an emotional bond and I wish it stays that way.
Things changed a bit on work front, we have a talented and much stronger team and a few products to be proud of. SANIsoft is embarking on new growth path and we are determined to take it to new heights.
I don’t know what 2014 will bring, as I write this I remember a very old and beloved friend who loved to say and sing Que Sera Sera… whatever will be will be, the future’s not ours to see.
One of the best thing that has happened to me has been motherhood. I so vividly remember the day Aasim was born, it seems it all happend just yesterday. As a child came to us with clever one liners and sometimes very weird questions (he still does sometimes) and some of the things that he said and did I have documented in my journal. It has been 15 years and our son has been the best any parent could hope for. May you get happiness
Aasim’s exams are almost over and he was quiet bored today after he finished with his syllabus for the computer paper. He picked up Jonathan Livingston Seagull, read it in one sitting, and while I and Tarique were discussing the book after he finished reading it, he summed it up in one line ” There are no limits”.
Aasim returned form Hyderabad today where he had gone as a part of a study/fun tour from School.
We were very apprehensive about his going by train that too sleeper class and as it turned out i discovered that he was not the only one who has not travelled in sleeper class. There were several parents who had the same apprehension and kids were asking questions like why do we have to take sleeping bags? They give sheets and blankets in train don’t they?
They reached hyderabad on 16th early morning without too much problems, only one boy lost his bag in train and children complained that they could not sleep in the night because sleeper coaches make too much noise.
The stay was arranged at Hotel Tara in Ramoji film city. Hyderabad/Secunderabad was fun for all of them. Aasim got extremely enamored by “Rebbecca” and called me to ask if its a veil on the lady or is it really carved!! He hated the animals trapped in cages in the Zoo though he enjoyed watching migratory birds and loved the snow world. He packed his suitcase properly and got back everything that he had taken for which he gets a +1
As parents we were apprehensive all the days while he was gone and missed him but we pulled through. He has come back a little more grown up and ls looking forward to another such trip.
“My tooth is breaking. It pains very much when your tooth breaks. Its like being pregnant for a few days.
Till now eight teeth of mine have broken. The first two were taken out by the dentist The dentist recommends you to have ice cream after he or she has a tooth taken out”
Aasim – “Mamma, what happened after the Wright brothers took their first flight?”
I – “They became immortal”
Aasim -“ who was the second one fly the plane?”
I – “Aasim, no one remember’s the second person who did anything, its always the first one that the world remembers”
Aasim (with a very straight face, emphatically) – “The third person is always remembered.”
I – “huh?”
Aasim -“ I was talking grammar!!”