Thursday, November 23, 2017

A Thanksgiving surprise

Out of nowhere Aarush asks me yesterday "Acha, can you come to my school tomorrow?"
Its not usual of him to make any demands, maybe I have infused my practicality gene into him that he doesn't make an effort to put forward any demand. Or it also could be the fact that most of him demands are postponed, delayed or even quashed by both of us.
Although a little surprised, I try to understand the need of such an ask with a puzzled face "Sure, Do you want me to drop you or pick up from your school?"
"Tomorrow we have a grandparents day at our school and we all are performing" was his quick polite reply. Nodding behind him his mother approves and its decided I have to postpone my 10:30 Server migration call because I have to go to his school. And also to note that, most teachers in his school won't even recognize me since its been once in a blue moon appearance from me there. So its good to go there once in a while to show my face.

After reading above, don't get me wrong. I am not being surly here or trying to dodge a parental act either. Its just that I am plain lazy and would rather gleefully shove this duty to my beloved wife. In any case, 10:35 Indian Standard Time which means always late by 5 minutes I reach his school. Holy Shit!! There are no parking spaces available and the entire street is filled up a lot of cars. So off I am to park 2 streets across and walking in a chilly windy day. I started thinking maybe it is that big of a deal with so many cars here. Kudos to the school for organizing such an 'aww' event.

As I trudge through some known faces I find a spot between the crowd. And once I get comfortable and look around I see a lot of young and old grandparents eagerly waiting for the kids to enter the stage. All the parents were holding their iPhones in anticipation and  some fancy ones had the SLR's too. And then magic happened, little kids dressed as the Pilgrims and Red Indians trickled into the stage. Teachers were arranging them in rows and also whispering little instructions. As the kids walked in they were all eager eyed searching for their loved ones in the crowd and waving at them frantically. As Aarush entered the stage I too waved at him but I started to wonder if he will ever see me in the crowd. "Buddy over here, Kanna over here, Kunju this is me at your school" my mind kept yelling these lines but my polite social etiquette just managed a worried smile and some frantic big arm waves.

But then somehow he found me and waved at me with poise and was exceedingly cool about it. I wish he was a bit more melodramatic about it, but he rather picked the "its all cool" face to wear at that moment. Crowd was going bananas by then, everyone was cheering for their little loved one on the stage and it made me realize then "Gosh!! how could have I missed this one?" . We talk discreetly and worry a lot about all that hate out there and get out of my country slogans in our corridors. We worry about loss in humanity and chastise the very people sell differences and spread hate. But then there was this, life at its best in front of this tiny little kids. We forget all our differences in color, creed and descent to celebrate the day when hundreds of years ago a bunch of  Pilgrims and Native Americans celebrated their first harvest together. The crowd cheered for all the kids and my chest was puffed up with pride to see my little man singing among-st them.

When the kids were singing I noticed a lot of teary eyed mothers and grandparents nodding their head in unison. Some drove from as far as South Carolina to see their grand-kids perform, some giggled when one kid tried to get his Indian hat right which kept falling in his face. The music teacher did an amazing job teaching them and making it interesting at the same time. She had some kind words as well for the school and rest of the teachers who made this all happen. Once the performance was over it was time for me to pick him up back home. Saying good bye to his teachers and wishing them all a happy thankgiving we walked back to our car.
"Acha, kunju had fun today" {Yep if you didn't know already he is a born illeist. He tends to refer himself by his nick name a lot.}
"Acha had fun too, actually Acha was so happy that I could see you perform" replied the happy me.
Acknowledging my happiness he says "Okay, now lets go to Veena aunty's house to make ginger bread with Kichu"
Well as you see like his mother, he does know how to make use of a favorable situation

Kunju & Kichu working on their ginger bread

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