Thursday, April 8, 2010

The End- Of -Term Cleaning

It's that time of the year again.

New books have to be bought. The old ones have to be either given away or disposed off. New notebooks have to be covered with brown paper. There will be new pencils and pens. Erasers and sharpeners. Paints and crayons.

There is plenty of anticipation in the air. There is also some consternation. The untutored mind looks at the new syllabus and proclaims, "We can never do this, this looks too tough for eight year olds."  Of course with time, the same syllabus becomes "So easy that even a six year old can do this."

The house is always a mess. Too many books. Way too many notebooks. Reams and reams of brown paper. Scissors that get lost at the most inappropriate moments. Bottles of gum that inadvertently topple over and create a mess on the table top. The screaming father. Someone always takes his pen to write on the labels but does not return it. Kids scream equally hard. It is just a pen after all. Grandma never screams. But her TV does. And the mother screams the most. She after all has to do most of the covering and labeling  and writing part.

The mother also has another tough job to do. Her little one is an artist of sorts. She draws all over her books, notebooks and all the other unimportant papers that need to be thrown away. Which work of art  is to be preserved? Which one is to be thrown away? It is a difficult decision. Some sketches are mere scribbles. Some are hurriedly drawn doodles on her text books. Most of them are in the class work notebooks. "Why did you draw in your class work books?" " Because I finished early. And because I wanted ma'am to know I really understood the lessons very well. And because I felt like drawing."

So anything connected to sunshine has a picture of a resplendent sun. The lesson on festivals has Ravana burning and Santa beaming. There are pictures of flowers, children flying kites, man feeding a cow. The budding artist never lets go of an opportunity. Or for that matter a lesson. But sadly, everything is on notebooks that have an expiry date.

Of course apart from these, there are those loose sheets of papers where she has drawn. One can of course preserve them. But the trouble is she has been drawing and painting since she was a three year old. And now there are too many such sheets.

So over the years the heartless mother has learned what to do. Keep the finished sketches. Throw the unfinished ones. And always throw the ones she has drawn in the notebooks. There is only so much storage space in the flat she calls home.

The story has begun again this year. Make place for the new. Throw away the old. Clean, arrange, stack, store. There is a slight difference however. The mother now has a blog. And she can now share some of these paintings with her friends.

Technology can sometimes be handy.

The heart need not ache so much this time.


Anuradha Shankar said...

wonderful, aparna!! this is a great way to keep the memories without the papers! which is why i have been putting up my son's efforts too :) congratulate the budding artist for me...

Nupur said...

Aparana :) I said one thing again and again and hence not saying it again ;)

Your confusion tells me what my mother must have gone through while she had to throw away some art work that I did like your sure must check this here

My mum actually cut the drawings from all the notebooks and pages and pasted them in a drawing copy :) notebooks and brown paper and labels...chod aaye hum woh galiya :( I so want to go to school :P

You are a great mom,A :)

Nupur said...

and hey..pass on my wishes to her..she is draws very well :) pat her back on my behalf :)

Lazy Pineapple said...

oh wow...she is so talented...I loved the waterfall

Simply amazing :)

I wish we too had technology in our childhood...I used to draw and now all of it is gone forever...

Ritu said...

So pretty. God bless her

R. Ramesh said...

yes correct..pass on our wishes to her..n pat her back on our behalf :)

Aparna said...

Excellent drawings...please encourage her from her my side too...

Btw, her notebooks reminded me of my college note books...I used to mostly draw my lecturers on the margins of my notebook...I would have slept in the class otherwise...drawing kept me awake...HEHE. :)


Neel said...

Ayushi's paintings are AMAZING...!!!

Mejojethu's genes after all!!!

Diwakar Sinha said...

I began to draw ever since I was 4. But I never drew this well...
cheers to her talent..she'll surely grow up to become a great artist! do get her into a painting class. I had throughly loved it n im sure she'll love it even more :)

kirti said...

Your daughter has got great talent.I loved fish and Girraffe and kingfifher ( infact I liked them all).
I am also with you about the dilemma of what to keep and what not. why don't you take pics of all that you have to let go and save on yr pc.

Sai Charan said...

This is such a good post, I read it twice and it reminded me of my early school days spent in my mother's lap :) I was pampered a little too much those years :)

Thanks for sharing the photos of art, drawn by tender fingers of a child. Encourage her and it would turn into a much-appreciated creative hobby for her in future.

Well, it is easier to comment on the topic of this post but I would like to share my view below, on your narrative style.

As a follower on your blog, I knew only about your regular narrative style - Yes, the aggressive style of narration, projecting dominance - be it with simple day-to-day humour or when lashing out at social evils.

But I was taken by surprise today when I read this post. You sound so simple, calm and composed in every line, projecting the feelings of a mother towards her kid.

There is no exaggeration anywhere - you were to-the-point in explaining your helplessness for not being able to store every sketch she drew.

Right from the starting line till the last line you sound passive in approach. Those who read the post with full attention will understand and feel - peace, calmness and soothing tranquility :)

Oh, Sorry for making this comment really so lengthy - But I felt like telling you about my opinion on this post.

Keep writing more of such posts. Make use of technology to share her future works as well with all of us readers :)

And convey my warm regards to the little master artist who makes your family proud which such masterpieces :)

Sai :)

Haddock said...

The best thing is to read the new text books before the school opens.

Unknown said...

ohhhhhhhhhhh those are amazing pics.. Gosh if only u had put up some of the pics earlier, they were excellent entries for the artsy-craftsy @ my blog.. these are BEAUTIFUL~!!
It must b so tough to choose the ones you won't store..

Kavita Saharia said...

She is so talented,she can have a blog of her own(once she grows up little more).My daughter thinks that learning drawing could be fun with her..its a huge compliment because she hates her present art teacher(the tutor at home).It was hard to choose one fav but mine is the fish one,gauri's is the parrots and my son's fav is the giraffe ...quite a fan club !!

Is she the one whose project was destroyed by a bully ?

RGB said...

Your daughter sure is talented. Wonder if her teacher feels the same way too...using class notes to draw, doodle or colour :) Towards the last term, my daughter tends to do the same too, though I chide her for doing that. And yeah, when I come across some of her creative work, it's a tough choice between what to keep and what to trash, coz there's quite a few!

Aparna said...

@ Anu, Thanks so much. There are quite a few papers, quite a few memories. A mother learns to deal with them.

@ Nu, I did see some posts of yours where you put up some of your sketches. It is a blessing to have so much talent. I hope you continue with your drawings. I do understand what your mother went through. I am going through the same. Best wishes to you.

@ Lazy Pineapple, yes technology is a saviour. I too wish we had it when we were kids.

@ Ritu, thank you so much.

@ Ramesh, thank you, I will.

@ Aparna, our good old doodling days! Wish we had them back. Thanks.

@ Neel, Ayushi's father wants you to know that his father was also equally talented. So she has got the genes from both sides :-)

Kavi said...

New notebooks ! Ah that feeling resonates so very well with me ! :)

Goodness gracious me. What lovely pictures. Ask her to keep it going. And perhaps whenver you get a chance...publish a few !


Aparna said...

@ Diwakar, my daughter does go to a class. She loves it. But if I tell her to draw something, she protests and refuses. Creativity can not be forced.

@ Kirti,it is a rather difficult decision, and there are so many to choose from. May be I will store them in a CD now.

@ Sai, thanks for such a candid and incisive comment. Yes, this post of mine is a little different. I hope you liked it. And best wishes to you and your family.

@ Haddock, yes we do tend to do that before every term. Thanks for your comment.

@ Mindfulmeanderer, I did see your invites for the artsy-craftsy blog but I did not realise I could even submit my daughters paintings for this. Next time I will. Thank you so much for your appreciation. Ayushi will be very happy.

@ Kavita, no this is my younger daughter. The bully destroyed my elder daughter's creation.
Ayushi is the artist in the family. She will be happy to know she has a fan club!

@ RGB, she has had the luck to have very understanding teachers. They never complain about her art work. May be because she draws only after she finishes her class work.

@ Kavi, yes, new notebooks bring a lot of old memories!
Thanks on Ayushi's behalf. Actually I never thought of publishing any of her drawings. May be I will now.

Santanu Sinha Chaudhuri said...

Good, interesting text accompanied by lovely pictures. My very best wishes to the young one, who seems to be a fine artist in the making.

A New Beginning said...

Oh I just loved the drawings:) so cute! Youre a great mom for sure :)
makes me thank my mom for all she's done for me!Selfless devotion for sure :)

Swatantra said...

Beautiful emotions.. i am feeling like the same.. Your daughter has made very interesting drawings..

Anonymous said...

It was a nice stroll down the memory lane. . Those were the golden days when Ma and Baba used to get busy with covering the new notebooks with brownpaper and labeling them with Jungle Book stickers. . The new pencil box, lunchbox, water bottle, etc. .
Those drawings are really good. . U must preserve them . . My parents had preserved some of my childhood drawings. . I just love to look at them. .
And yup this is my first comment here and i plan to come again

The Holy Lama said...

Real good for a 8 yr old. She can achieve with right guidance. Hope you train under some artist.

Destiny's child... said...

Nice work by the budding artist! :)

This post took me to my school days. Thank you!

Aparna said...

@ Santanuda, thank you, I will definitely convey her your wishes.

@ New Beginning, all moms rock!!!

@ Swatantra, thank you so much.

@ Savvy, welcome to my space. Childhood memories are indeed priceless.

@ Holy Lama, she goes for some training, she enjoys her lessons a lot.

@ Destiny's child,thank you. Our school days were the best.

Anonymous said...

While looking at all those pics in your blog, I feel like storing them all - but I can understand the point - its too much stuff to handle at home.

Your daughter's drawings are brilliant. And this is the best way to store them - take snaps and load them on comp.

Every house is a mess with new sessions being started, with new books and covering !! Thank God, I have taught my girls to do their own stuff. I've done with it. :)

Nona said...

Nice sketches. :)

radha said...

Amazing paintings. And colours used so intelligently too. I would store all of them, finished or otherwise. Let her decide later in life which ones to throw.
( came by from Deepa's list of sites)

P said...

Is that your 8 year old? Hell of an imagination:) guess they get that from their mum!

sujata sengupta said...

I know this feeling exactly, make space!! I just dont know from where?? I wish one room was just stick on boards instead of alls, probably then..the sketches would find justice!!

wanderlust said...

The pictures are real beautiful, Aparna!

ZB said...

wonderful......please encourage her....I wish my lil one too draws like that....hope she does...TC:)

Anonymous said...

The drawing are wonderful! Particularly loved the Giraffe.

And I'm impressed. New books and notebooks in April? When my kids were in school, there would be a mad rush towards the end of May!:)

Onkar said...

Great.The sheets may have to be thrown away, but memories remain.

Zeba said...

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwn. This is the sweetest post I have read about kids. My mom makes it a point to save all of my sister's art work( she aspires to be an artist when she grows up). Mom has come up with a plan too... she only keeps the good ones!! :)

Ire said...

Your kid is an artist! Awesome but yeah I understand the whole storage issue! I am an avid reader and love to buy books every now and my ma seconds your feelings here!


Tomz said...

Interesting write up and article. The mother-daughter duo can make wonders some times

Anonymous said...

WOW!She isss an artist.Lovely sketches!

My 10 year old too loves to draw. She rarely finishes what she starts, most are pencil sketches and beautified with stickers from her never ending collection of beautiful stickers, newspaper clippings and things that i generally tell her is junk!!! I was tired of the notebook messes, so I got her drawing books and folders. Now she has a cupboard rack full of her secret stuff, that I have no access too..... :(

Sandhya said...

Aparna, you took me back to 20-25 years back! I used to do all these work - covering note books, labelling them, etc.

Your daughter is gifted. These paintings do not look like an ordinary child's. I loved the expression in the giraff's eyes! And it is jutting out its bottom lip to pluck the leaves...beautiful.

Is she dreaming of becoming a vet?! she seems to be lifting and peeping into the ears of the dog!

If you record these paintings in your blog, it will be there forever!

I loved this post of yours, Aparna.

Gymnast said...

Ayushi is talented. DO send her to a drawing/sketching class to learn the art better.

She'll go places. The sketches look great. Nice colour combinations and good line quality. And most of all, wonderful imagination.

Say , you think she'll grow up to be an architect?

Gymnast said...

Ok..i read the comments. So she does go for classes. Thats great.

Takes me back to my childhood when i used to drawing all these sketches. Only a few more years , that she can be totally free and draw as she likes..

College , be it even architecture school leaves little/no time for general sketching/drawing/painting..


Aparna said...

@ umsreflections, new sessions bring new mess every time. My elder one does her stuff without my help, but the younger one still requires help.

@ Nona, thanks.

@ Radha, welcome to my blog. It is not possible to store all of her artwork, so I try to pick and choose.

@ P, yes she is the eight year old. She actually gets the talent from her grandfathers. Both were very talented and superb artists.

@ Sujata, no matter how much space we have, we still will require more space. This is our punishment for having super talented daughters.

Sumandebray said...

Nice painting ... liked the neatness that comes out of the patience and perseverance of the kids. Very intense
The school year brings loads of fun unless you have a sibling who studies in the same school but one year senior to you.....
Brought back my school day memories!

Anonymous said...

若有人問你成功時會不會記得他 試問若你失敗時他會不會記得你..................................................

phatichar said...

Wonderful drawings! :-) Reminds me of my daughter's handiwork..hehe

Vaishnavi said...

This was such a beautiful post! I love your daughter's drawings.....used to do the same when I was her age :)

Smita said...

Sigh!! U reminded me of my school days! I used to crave for covering my books!!

And the drwaings are lovely!

Maya said...

certainly she has some skills,, most of the time these skills just go away as one grows unless interest in it is nurtured

Aparna said...

Wanderlust, Thanks.

ZB, thanks, I hope your precious Ananya turns out to be super talented.

Manjujoglekar,new sessions start in April and then the kids have a summer break in May. So mad rush to buy new books, new uniforms.

Onkar, you are right, the memories remain.

Zeba, thanks. What all moms have to go through!!!

Nikita, even I confess to buying too many books. There are so many books now at my house that I am wondering what to do.

Tomz, thank you. Super talented moms have super talented daughters :)

Jyothi, you are telling me about stickers?? There are so many in the house that I feel soon we will have to buy a cupboard just to accomodate them...

Sandhya, thanks. All moms go through this covering and labeling part in India. The smell of new books still makes me nostalgic.

Gymnast, yes this is the daughter who wants to be an architect. She loves all the creating and sketching part. But she is still very young and who knows what the future has in store for us?

Suman, she does have an older sibling who studies in the same school! Fortunately the sibling is 6 years ahead and has to go to a different building!

Phatichar, if I remember correctly, your daughter also has the same name.

Vaishnavi, thanks.

Smita, yes I know, the brown paper and new books bring back a lot of memories.

Uncommon sense, let's hope she retains her imagination and her willingness to draw.

JD said...

great way of keeping memories intact. best wishes to teh budding artist..

Blunt Edges said...

4 someone who can't draw a straight line with a ruler n a pencil in his hand, this is like watching picasso (hope he's an artist n not a sculptor...yeah i ain't all that smart!)

hope she grows up 2 be a famous artist n i can tell my children that i used 2 read her mom's blog ;)

phatichar said...

You remembered! Awww.. :-)

Yeah.. Aayu has a thing with art as well. Thx for remembering.

Anonymous said...

You got two talented beautiful kids...not that I am surprised considering their genes.

Beautiful paintings and I endure the same problem. My son scribbles away to glory and then hangs up his drawings on the fridge with magnets. Now the fridge reminds me of magazine shops in the by lanes of India.

Choxbox said...

Hi - hopped over from here and there!

What an awesome artist you have there! Brilliant!