On Mother’s Day, a Mom Writes About Documenting Her Baby’s Travels
Kazuo at his first monument in the Amer Fort. (Photo Courtesy: Sahar Zaman)   
Kazuo at his first monument in the Amer Fort. (Photo Courtesy: Sahar Zaman)  

On Mother’s Day, a Mom Writes About Documenting Her Baby’s Travels

I had a mom who was there for me 24/7. Coming from a middle-class nuclear family with no outside help, “being mom” was indeed a full-time job. And she was more than happy to give up her interest in an arts and interiors practice to be with her babies.

When I became a mother, I was glad to have my mom baby-sitting my son when I did outstation shoots and a day care that took care of afternoon naps while I was away doing my news shows.

But I was also aware that too much of an absence from my child wasn’t a healthy practice. So I slowed down and made a few amends. We named our son Kazuo because it means Man of Peace, knowing the world needs a lot of peace today.

How I Started to Document My Child’s Travels

 Kazuo learning re-takes in his first TV shoot. (Photo Courtesy: Sahar Zaman)  
Kazuo learning re-takes in his first TV shoot. (Photo Courtesy: Sahar Zaman)  

It had never crossed my mind to think about a legacy for my child. As mothers, we give what the child needs in shaping his/her character and personality – a secure upbringing, good values, positive memories and all that jazz that folks have done for generations.

But given the digital world obsession that this generation faces, we’ll end up locked inside a pen drive full of images and videos. My husband suggested that we start a LIVE blog for Kazuo in which we documented his travels and interactions with the arts and culture world. I became the caretaker-manager of the blog.

Today there’s an audience that religiously tracks www.kazuo-on-a-roll.blogspot.in, looking for write ups on parenting, travel, arts and humour. It’s open for the world to dip into, enjoy and step away. Was I worried that my son was overexposed? A bit, perhaps. But aren’t we all overexposed on Facebook already?
Kazuo trekking to the waterfall with dad. (Photo Courtesy: Sahar Zaman)   
Kazuo trekking to the waterfall with dad. (Photo Courtesy: Sahar Zaman)  

Each blog piece is a diary entry in the first person. I make sure it remains true to his conversations and experiences. Right from his first trip when he was 5 months old to date when he is four years old.

It follows a narrative of a child waking up to the wonders of the world with milestones such as ‘my first trek’ or ‘my first art show’, etc. I am waiting for the day when he is old enough to take over and start blogging himself. It’s a digital legacy for him to look back at and realise how cool or awkward his folks were to believe that he was their best travel mate.

Kazuo fascinated with Pt. Hridaynath Mangeshkar’s walking stick. (Photo Courtesy: Sahar Zaman)
Kazuo fascinated with Pt. Hridaynath Mangeshkar’s walking stick. (Photo Courtesy: Sahar Zaman)

It also strives to digitally bridge the generation gap between us. Kazuo is already way ahead of us. He chooses his own kids videos on Youtube, and has already introduced us to new animation characters and filmmaking techniques.

Thanks to the innumerable art shows he has gone to with us, he understands a painting is different from an installation. He’s had his first TV shoot and learnt how to give re-takes. If someone’s screaming on TV, he figures that it has to be one of Mom’s newsanchor friends! His summers are incomplete without trekking and fishing in the hills with Dad.

How Kazuo Picked Up Lessons of His Own

Kazuo in a shikara with mom. (Photo Courtesy: Sahar Zaman)   
Kazuo in a shikara with mom. (Photo Courtesy: Sahar Zaman)  

In his first heritage walk, he learnt what it means to walk through a city’s by lanes while talking about its history.

In his first forest safari, in search of a tigress and her cubs, he ended up spotting the leopard instead.

If he had his way, he would watch every sunset on a lake and wake up in a moving bus to the hills. He is certain to fly the spacecraft next. Sure, space tourism is a reality already.

It’s also been a two-way process with all sorts of suggestions from readers. We were told that the least stressful way to fight a baby’s ‘ear pops’ in a flight is to give them a lollipop.
Kazuo at his first forest safari in Tadoba. (Photo Courtesy: Sahar Zaman)    
Kazuo at his first forest safari in Tadoba. (Photo Courtesy: Sahar Zaman)    

Someone recommended the Tristan da Cunha to pitch camp next. I was spooked to learn that it’s the most inhabited place on earth with a group of volcanic islands!

A global parenting experience – acquired through this blog – is what makes me a strong advocate of the digital medium for raising a child.

On Mother’s Day today, I wish my child a healthy real life and a safe digital one.

(Sahar Zaman is a senior newsanchor at NewsX and art critic.  She blogs for her son at Kazuo-On-A-Roll.blogspot.in)

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