I wrote this recently on a forum and thought i’d post it here so friends and family with ideas for Raghu can chime in.
Umm… I’m writing this subject header and am glad to see those 2 words
together. I have struggled with guns being a part of Raghu’s shine. I still
have visions of 9/11 and being in the city and Ravi being in the building next
to the one that fell. Somehow those images float into my head when I see
Raghu’s intense love for guns. I was also in college in Mumbai (bombay) when the
blasts happened and i saw the bloody, racist aftermath to some extent. So I took
those images to their root and saw that really why would I connect the 2? Raghu
is Raghu. He loves guns. He talks about killing enemies. And there are so many
parts to Raghu…. he is sweet and generous to friends, he has so much affection
and concern for everyone’s wellbeing. And looking to the environment he is being
raised in…. i can’t see any reasons in his life for him to become a violent
Yesterday we explored gun quizzes online (Raghu loves quizzes!.. it was his idea
to google guns and quizzes!) and he knew so many answers about so many different
types of guns, old and new… that I was amazed. Yesterday we researched thru a
friend and found a store that sold M-16 type realistic looking toy guns. Raghu
was blissed out. He slept with his gun next to him! He woke up and took apart
the gun and lovingly told me how he dreamt of TRON and his gun was part of the
story. We have an endless variety of guns at home. He plays a gun app on the
ipad in which it shows you how to take apart different guns and put them back
together. He now does it without the app helping him. He spends hours playing
zombie/sniper/war type games with his friends outdoors. They use our car as a
sort of tanker and invent endless variations.
He also loves blood and gore, adores everything Halloween, is looking fwd to
having a mock battle for his birthday. Oh my… as i write this I’m more aware
of his love for all this. I want to align myself better with his love for guns.
I am sometimes fine and then sometimes I feel like I can’t deal with it.
He shocked my mom one day when she asked “Raghu what would you like to be when
you grow up” He happily said “a sniper”. My mom to her credit despite being a
little stunned said… oh wow. Raghu saw her shock and said don’t worry… I
will be the good guy. She asked how he would identify the bad guys. Pat came
the reply…. i will have a manifesto… it will help me identify them 🙂
So i was wondering if anyone has more ideas for me to help him along his quest
to know about guns. We already watch a lot of YouTube videos of people handling
guns. I’m trying to find local gun stores… so he can see them in person. I’m
trying to get an army friend to show us some real stuff too. Have yet to find a
gun range for children. We may buy an air-rifle to use with pellets… with
adult supervision we could re-create what we find at most fairs in India…. a
balloon shooting wall. Any one know of places for RAghu to do shooting under guidance?
Any ideas for us? Or if you have a blog post about your child’s or your love for wars, guns etc… please let me know. LAst night i was reading for the millionth time Gerald Durrell’s “My family and
other animals”. In it Durrell describes his brother Leslie’s love, obsession,
joy for guns, shooting and hunting. Reading it made me wish for someone like
Leslie in my life… so Raghu would be able to share his joy with a true gun
A dear one asked me to get back to writing my blog again. My old blog chronicled our journey from homeschooling to unschooling and on to radically unschooling. It was a lovely blog to hold on to and post photos and little stories at. But with Raghu turning 9 in a month, Zoya turning 6 soon and Ravi and I being together for over 14 years, i feel like a new blog is in order. A new blog at the start of a new year.
While thinking of a name for this blog the word ‘Shine’ kept cropping up, or its variants, as it seemed to describe much of our life. Attending the Shine Conference at Jellystone Park in NY a few months ago has kept the word shine up and foremost in our minds. So ‘The Bharadwaj Shine’ seems like a happy title for this next phase of chronicling our journey as a family (unschooling, no school, living life with children, inner journeys etc..).
Trying to figure out how to stay in tune with my inner self and outer self is looking like a big part of my current journey. Not in order but rather all in their own time and way…. the vision of Auroville, Thich Nhat Hanh, Jack Kornfield, Natalie Goldberg, my dear Ravi, Urmila Samson, Dola Dasgupta, Georgia O’Keeffe, my children Raghu and Zoya, Anne Ohman, Erica Chase Salerno, Anna Brown, Sandra Dodd, Ashwini Pawar, my sister Veena, are some of the most important inspirations to me during this 37th year of my life. I owe them all a great debt. A debt of enormous proportions. One that cannot be re-paid. They are all different parts of my self.
Happy New Year and love to all who read here.