My wife Nandini and Advay (our 8yo) had been to Mysore recently along with her Tripster Buddies. There were many moments in the whole trip, but one moment clearly stood out. The following is a note from her travel diary.
Today, we went for the light and sound show at the palace. Just before we got to the palace we noticed an old man selling hand made musical instrument. He was playing so well that all the kids stood and enjoyed his music. Advay was immersed in the music.
Few mothers came and told me, “He is liking it very much, why don’t you buy one for him?” I thought, let him ask, then I will buy. He didn’t say a word.
When Chandrayaan-2 launched, my wife Nandini and son Advay (8yo) watched the launch live stream together. Emotions ran high as it took off. Nandini used that moment as an opportunity to explain about launch vehicles. To explain the difference between a rover, lander, and orbiter. Advay was clearly smitten by all that tech.
The next day I asked Advay if he wants to learn some of the ideas from science that would have helped ISRO scientists to build the SLV that launched Mangalyaan. He said yes with excitement. Using this as an opportunity, I thought of introducing Physics to him. Not knowing where to start, I decided to use the beginner material from Khan Academy where “vectors and scalars” concept is introduced.
Advay (my 8-year-old) has a friend in our gated community who is in his second year of engineering. When he was at home for his semester break, Advay would visit him often and watch him play the keyboard. In roughly a week’s time, Advay would come home and share with excitement about this new tune he had learned to play on the keyboard. He would enact his learnings on the table and make sounds from his mouth to convey what he had learned.
A few weeks later Advay started asking us if we could buy a keyboard at home. Nandini & I were reluctant. But we remembered that my mother had bought a keyboard ~10 years ago and she had loaned it to one of my cousins. I checked with him and brought the keyboard home. Advay couldn’t believe his eyes that we now had a keyboard at him. He called my mother and thanked her profusely.
We connected the keyboard in our media room and Advay called us to watch his first performance. We did not have many expectations. We honestly did not expect him to play much at all. But we were surprised…