In today’s parenting class our teacher Nancy asked us about values that our family had growing up. Thinking back to my childhood, one that stood out was the love of learning.
It must’ve been 1994 when we first got a computer in the house, relatively early for an Indian household wihout engineers or tech-people in it. My grandfather Bhaiya was determined to learn how to use it. I remember him going to computer classes, and eventually getting a private tutor all through his 70s and 80s. He was so proud to be able to send emails to brag about his grandkids’ accomplishments!
My mother joined a class at the local university to learn how to use PowerPoint, so that she could make slides to more effectively teach her junior doctors. Always a fan of listening to Hindustani classical music, she started learning to sing it in this last decade. With a scientific approach to cooking, she’s never satisfied till she’s tinkered with a recipe to perfection, and made it her own. These days she is training to be a Yoga teacher.
When he was about 50 years old, my father discovered fitness. He quit smoking, learned how to swim, developed a gym routine, and started a diet. Over the years, he also developed a love for climing mountains, and spends some time every summer in the Himalayas. More recently, long distance running has been his passion, and a couple marathons have been added to the annual calendar.
Growing up, my brother and I were always enrolled in some class or the other: music, arts — I often joke that I’ve tried and failed to be good at nearly every sport that is played in Indore. Mother once bought me a typing tutor CD because she felt touch typing was an important skill to know (the software worked. I can now type at 100wpm). Excelling was never expected, but trying new things was.
The love of learning and constant self-improvement is something I must’ve taken granted growing up, but reflecting on it now see how special of a family value it really is. I hope to be able to pass it on to Tanya as well.