Friday, October 30, 2015

Aadya is here!

Over the previous weekend, we were joined by our close family and relatives on the occasion of our little one’s naming ceremony or Namakarana as it’s traditionally referred to amongst Hindus. Thankfully in India, we still have months after birth to mull over various options in choosing a name for our little ones, unlike in the West. However, it is also true that most expectant parents in the West are well aware of their baby’s sex  as early as the second trimester, unlike in India! So they have all the time in the world to arrive at the perfect name and have it ready to be declared at the time discharge from the hospital! Well, with most Indian hospitals today offering birth packages as if they  were vacation packages, more so with an emphasis on faster discharge/ turn-out rates, a three nights – two days  hospital stay, hardly seems sufficient for even shortlisting a few names, let alone finalize one! And then …there’s always the convention of naming after family elders or the convenience of rhyming with sibling names and of course, astro-numerology where the date, number of letters and stars will all have to converge for the right name! So you wouldn’t dare to say “What’s in a name?” …now would you?

Frankly, we didn’t go through much trouble in arriving at the names of both our  children! (who will probably take us up on this when they grow up!) With my older one, I insisted upon a name that he could live up to and we all know how counter productive it turned out to be! So the responsibility of choosing a name for our younger one fell upon my husband, who in his characteristic style sought a consensus among the close family over the first name he liked and didn’t encourage any further discussions and voila!... We had the name! As if to ward off any last minute dilemma, we even had her birth certificate registered before her official naming ceremony! Of course, we preferred a name starting with the letter ‘A’ as to alliterate with Abhay’s and chose the name for its modern yet traditional tone.  Our little one is now officially named ‘AADYA’ which is a Sanskrit word derived from the name of Goddess Durga. Aadya also means the original power from which all five senses and five elements of nature originated.

So as we unveiled the name ‘Aadya’ and shared the joy of her arrival with close family, I had to celebrate the same by a mention on Onestoryaday! No celebration on Onestoryaday is complete without reading a book for the occasion, and  our choice for this happy event is the Tulika’s First look Science series on the basic elements of nature by Anushka Kalro, Rajasee Ray, Sankhalina Nath and Shubangi Goel, developed as a classroom project with Srishti School of Art. Since the name Aadya means the original source of Panchabhootas, five elements – Akasha (Sky), Vayu (Air), Prithvi ( Earth), Agni( fire) and Jal (water), we picked out this series that features Air in “Dhooli’s Story”, Water in “Boondi’s Story”, Earth in “Gitti’s Story”, Earth’s surface in “Beeji’s Story” and Space in “Bhoomi’s Story”.

Each of these books presents a perfect introduction to young children on the science of how things first began. Narrated in a unique format, with each of the elements assuming a young character - be it Beeji, a super-seed wanting to explore the world, through which the story of the evolution of earth’s surface unfolds, or Bhoomi, one of the eight planets in the universe, through which the concept of space is brought out, or Gitti, through which we learn about the earth as we know today, or Dhooli, a tiny speck of dust who flits and floats in the air, through which your little one is enlightened about the air around us, or Boondi, the tiny droplet of water who teaches us about the water cycle! Aided with stunning pictures and illustrations, each of these stories successfully attempts to unravel the mysteries of nature by way of interesting stories that are sure to capture the imagination of young minds. So as Aadya is set to begin her journey in this world, here’s seeking the blessings of the Panchabhutas or the five elements that form the basis of our cosmic quest of this world and beyond!

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