...not of the blog break kind, even though it may seem like that with the yawning lapses of time between posts. No. This post is about Ayaan's musical journey...
Like most kids, Ayaan has always had an affinity for music. I have been playing him CDs of lullabies and nursery rhymes almost from the very moment he popped out of my womb. And once he was able to point and demand, he asked for it when I forgot.
Given that I am something of a bathroom singer myself, the poor child has also been subjected to endless renditions of various lullabies and such like in what I like to think is my mellifluous voice. It started with me choosing what I wanted to sing to him to help him drift off into slumberland but in recent times, the child has turned picky and I have to take requests. The current hot favourite is Little Bo Peep, but I do get the odd request for Dard-e-Disco and such like…
Music also works best when he hurts himself or is generally upset about something. Our special song for such situations is the Hush Little Baby song. It has an almost-magical calming effect on him. That makes this song our equivalent of kissing away the booboos.
The new development in the last couple of months has been that he has gone from being largely a passive listener of music to actively memorising and singing songs by himself. And this has led to some pretty cute incidents that I want to record for posterity…
To start with, we now have a new addition to our bedtime ritual. I am no longer the solo performer of the goodnight songs. He has to sing a song to me as well. Most nights, I get the cutest ever version of Baa Baa Black Sheep though sometimes he decides to go vernacular and recite his favourite Hindi poem about a fish.
The other new ritual is his demand for the favourite song of the moment to be played during the five minute drive to drop him to school. For the last month or so, this has been the Aditees song, better known as Kabhi Kabhi Aditi Zindagi. I am not allowed to put the car into gear unless this song has started playing and depending on the traffic situation, we sometimes have to go through it two to three times till we are at the school. He has a fair idea of the tune and the words but won’t sing along by himself – so we both sing it together. And the other day, I also noticed that he was patting his knee in time with the rhythm of the song – wonder where he picked that up from?!
He has also been singing random snatches of songs taught at school. Mostly these are recognisable nursery rhymes that we have been hearing at home in any case. But a couple of weeks ago, he actually learnt the complete lyrics to an entirely new song about the monsoon and monsoon creatures and came home to sing it to me. It goes like this:
Baarish jab bhi aati hain to froggie aata hain
Hop hop hop hop hop hop karke ghoomta rahta hain
Mitti se nikal kar earthworm aata hain
Snail bhi dheerey dheerey chalta rehta hain
Cham cham baarish aati hain, hum bheeg jaate hain
Aao bachchon ham sab milke bhutta khate hain
And this is usually performed with the froggie soft toy being made to hop around in keeping with the spirit of the song. :-)
And now for what I thought was the cutest episode in recent times. This happened when I was lying in bed reading a book and he was sitting next to me and playing with two soft toys, both frogs.
I looked up from my book when I thought he was saying something to me only to realise he was in deep conversation with the frogs. The monologue went something like this:
"Froggies, please stand up for the national anthem."
He then propped up the frogs against a cushion. However, one of the unfortunate frogs is created in a permanently sitting position so he refused to stay propped up. Ayaan looked at him sternly and repeated loudly:
"I said please stand for the national anthem."
A couple of more efforts to make the poor frog stand followed, after which he irritably said:
"You not standing? OK then, you sit down!"
And turned his attention to the good frog, who had followed his instructions. He then proceeded to sing a completely mangled version of the national anthem, which only an adoring mother could have recgnised as such. Once done, he commanded his audience:
"OK. You sit now."