Journey of a parent


It was Early 2017 that we were asking our son about his hobbies. Our 2nd child used to do multiple craft works like Origami. We were curious to know what He wanted to do as part of his hobby time. He never replied after several inquiries but one evening he mentioned that “cooking” is his hobby. It was a moment of shock and disbelief for both of us as we were not sure if that can be a worthwhile hobby. We just ignored his input and forgot it almost then and there.

After a few weeks, we were back on to the topic of hobbies and curious to know what his “real” hobby was. This time without hesitation he repeated that it was cooking. This time it was shock and annoyance as our reaction. As parents of a male child in India, it sounded very counter-intuitive, given our own backgrounds. The conclusion from this discussion was that we had to expose him to more options and the right hobbies. When all of this was going on, Aadarsh never went into the kitchen. He did show interest is watching cookery videos during his screen time.

He was in his early twelves in 2017 and we never even felt safe to let him into the kitchen. He would request to be let into the kitchen once in a while but was never allowed in the following few months. It was a blessing in disguise that my wife was unwell one day and my son puts his hand up to make breakfast. It was a mission which pleasantly surprised us all with good results. For the 1st time, I took a pause to notice his good skill & interest in cooking, given his age.

Was this a one-off spark or is cooking his passion and not just a hobby? How do we as parents deal with this?2018 was a roller-coaster year for us as a family. We were in Singapore from 2017. He was moving away from us emotionally and my mother’s long-term illness was resurfacing. At a tipping point that was critical, we took the plunge to have him goto Aarohi in Bangalore. At times, the beginning is the indication of great things to come on that journey. He never travelled alone until then but we decided to have him go to Bangalore from Singapore alone. He was longing to stay in a hostel for the last 2 years until this D-day came by.

He arrived in Bangalore all by himself and was taken to Aarohi by his uncle in Bangalore. We had intriguing stories to listen in from both him and his uncle of no-running taps, no grid-based electric connection and children deciding even how their day should look like etc.,

Little later in 2018, our Family moved back to Bangalore. We found a regular school for our 2nd one and He continued in Aarohi. We had no expectations and opinions at that stage. Aadarsh was a guest (Phase1) and seemed to be enjoying his first few days and 2 weeks at Aarohi. It is not clear as to how and where his interesting in cooking came out, he started mentioning about working around the oven and trying his hand on cooking. While trying to cook was a “hurdle” in studies at home and discouraged, at Aarohi he seemed to be doing things around the kitchen, trying his hand on random things.

Maybe it was somewhere between 4th week to 15th week (just can’t remember), he came back home in the weekend, mentioning that he baked a cake. It sounded accidental to us still but the next week, he baked a cake at the home, which looked promising and good for a 13 yr old.

Where is this going and what should we lead him to? Stay tuned to learn more on our journey!!