Twenty One Years and Nine Months Ago (there about) a young couple had this crazy idea that they should now think about a second child. They were very happy with their first effort and couldn’t see a reason not to go ahead with their idea.
From the get go this second child made sure he announced his coming to the world and there was red carpet waiting for him. So the star was born just a few weeks before he was really due. Mum was relieved as she had enough of his kicking in the stomach and decided he was better out than in, however the dad would have preferred a night of uninterrupted Cricket. As it was time was Arjuna Ranatunga to get out it was time for Arjuna Ganesan to come out.
You would think with such an Omen this young Arjuna would have turned out to be a great Cricketer. Well he is left handed and that’s where the similarities and talent ends.
Well, he doesn’t need to be the next Arjuna Ranatunga or anyone else for that matter. From the get go he showed us that he was an individual with his own identity that is to be admired and loved.
I am not entirely sure when he started to talk. It could have been even the same day he was born telling the doctor what to do. He started to talk pretty early and hasn’t given up on it as yet. He has a lot to say about a lot of things. Although an Asthmatic, no issues with voice projection either. Driving the boys to school I recollect many a times Hari (my eldest) declaring that it was “quiet time now”, just to get some breathing space to think on our own. This ability to talk did give him some opportunity to venture into Public Speaking and land a few MC gigs. When your child takes the stage to address a large audience of adults at the age of nine barely reaching the microphone, it does give the mother and father a moment of Goosebumps.
He loved the stage to speak, to act and to dance. As he grew he became more aware of the society and its issues. He was in year 7, and he returns home with his lunch box untouched. He explains to me that he didn’t get time to eat, as he had to break up two year 4 kids fighting in the school grounds. Him and his friend had to tell these kids to break up and explained to them that things would get worse if the teachers got involved. As he was having this negotiation he saw a small kid from Kindergarten in the middle of the car park. So he had to run to get this kid out of the way and take him into the School Office. And when all this finished it was time to head back to his classroom.
There was a kid in Arj’s class (Primary School year 6 or thereabouts) who was considered to be a bully. But this kid was really a great Cricketer. One day Arj asked me during the match to call out this kid and cheer him on. To yell out “Great shot Tony” (I made up that name Tony). Arj explained to me that this kid had no mum and the father was struggling to bring up his kids. And the father rarely attends any of the matches or training. And even when he did, he would yell at them and wasn’t really being a loving dad. So Arj explained to me and said maybe the reason he bullies others is because there is no one to say he is great or make him feel special.
So I followed Arj’s request and during the game I yelled “Tony that was a great shot”. The kid was really startled. When he came back to the club house, he came up to me and said “Thank you Mrs. Ganesan” and the following weeks, after each match or while the game was going on and he was waiting for his turn, he would start a conversation with me. He mentioned that he would one day like to play for the state. Any time he saw me in school, even outside of Cricket he would stop and great me “How are you Mrs. Ganesan?” Years later I met him at the shopping centre all grown up and unrecognisable, but he recognised me and greeted me the same “Hallo Mrs. Ganesan, how are you?” I am not saying that kid turned into a new leaf just because of that one action but I am pretty sure he appreciated that small gesture. It meant nothing to me but it meant so much to that kid. But what astounds me most is that Arj at such a young age realised this.
Even at that young age he was fascinated with politics. For one of his school projects he interviewed a few known Politicians. It was not easy for a Primary school kid to get these interviews. So he got many knock backs and but eventually he managed to interview Nick Minchin, Christopher Pyne and John Hill. To their credit they didn’t treat him like a kid; they answered his questions like they would for Leigh Sales. Also I think it taught Arj that if you want to pursue something, you have to overcome knockbacks.
Years later, now studying Journalism and International relations seems very fitting for his personality and character.
Years ago, Twenty Nine Years and Nine months ago to be exact we had no idea that this crazy idea we had of having another child was going to be this exciting.
Thank you my boy for bringing so much happiness and joy. For all the laughs, for all the crazy things you drag us doing and for the moments you make us so proud. Those moments almost make me forget how your bedroom looks, all the times I have rushed to the hospital with lego pieces up the nose or crayon in the ear canal or with a broken limb. Just remember I said almost, so please clean up your room and stop hurting yourself.
Happy 21st My boy.