Truth, That Is You!

Quoting from the prompt

“There is beauty in truth, even if it’s painful. Those who lie, twist life so that it looks tasty to the lazy, brilliant to the ignorant, and powerful to the weak. But lies only strengthen our defects. They don’t teach anything, help anything, fix anything or cure anything. Nor do they develop one’s character, one’s mind, one’s heart or one’s soul.”

– José N. Harris

Trust me, liars get my attention the quickest. Somehow, I smell them but this fickle mind believes that a liar is doing truth the justice when he lies and hence, belies the lie into a truth. It’s his responsibility to lie else truth won’t exist.

The sweeter the lie, the more painful is the truth that reveals it.

Just today, I got talking to a friend and he started with how when we get angry and yell at someone, we invariably feel sorry and yet end up choosing between revealing our guilt or no. He also pointed out the mental process that goes behind the anguish caused by the act and how it invariably lays the foundation to cover up the same angst in future. He was very clear in keeping the anger and the guilt it caused on a balance and how after we first choose the act, we invariably run for the other side – the guilt to keep up a balance derived from nature. And it happens really fast inside the brain, and yet never fails to leave an impression inside. He said that the choice is always clear but the brain, as it is trained to run for an excuse first and think logically later, comes up with a lie.

Guilt, ladies and gentlemen, has a tremendous power – it makes humans look and feel incredibly foolish which means embarrassment ahoy! To escape this, mind has to have plans ready and it thus, keeps a track of everything we do inside our subconscious, so we either don’t act that way altogether or be incredibly nimble in conjuring up a LIE! Not that Your’s Truly isn’t a master at the art, but doesn’t it need a thief to catch another?

Why do we lie? I say, we start to train our mind to hide the truth (guilt in the case above) and consequently lie from a very young age. It doesn’t come naturally to us. Parents never knowingly teach us to lie. Schools impart the correct wisdom, then where is it that liars are born? It all starts at home. We learn from our company. It’s a misconception among parents that their children can’t pay a heed to their lies because they are either too dumb or just don’t give a rats ass. These things are very small, so small that they in fact, must be forgotten and yet leave an impression lasting forever on a child’s mind.

“Hey Jo! Tell the man at the door that I’m not home yet” a boozing father says – Jo learns alibis that he’ll use against everything forever after.

“Hey Jo! Tell your dad I fell on the bathroom floor today and we’ll have to order food from outside and you can go buy your game DVD tomorrow. Here take the money” a lazy mother funnily tries to buy his son. Jo learns to disrespect his father.

“Hey Jo! You can tell your dad that you lost your ball and get money for another one, which we buy burgers with” Jo learns to lie to his parents for a burger that he would’ve anyways got, had he asked for it directly to them. Jo learns thievery.

In all the above cases, lies covered every evil. It seems like a lot of fun working over people to get things done, but this breeds dishonesty and knack for hurting people without knowing it. Lies destroy us – from inside. A lie is livable. It’s a world created in fantasies, bravado, and shining liveries. It hides the pain of the inside but instead of strengthening the soul, lies hollow it eating us everyday. It’s so lucrative and easy, some of us take permanent refuge in the deluge, forgetting that truth makes the soul lighter, stronger, and appreciable. Lies are a façade to our weakness. This mask though, is rotten from the inside. The longer you wear it, the more it disfigures the original identity. Every lie only moves you to away from the truth, truth that is you.

Crotchety Chump

Don’t we all want happy faces around us all the time? We are all selfish and in turn want to share the communicable cheerfulness to brighten our own days. Grumpy looking people often make for a bad viewing and… company. Happy people share jokes, make us laugh, spread positive energy with their infectious smiles, and even make some unhappy ones seriously jealous. But have you ever thought why some of us are permanently grumpy? Don’t you think that they too want to flex their cheek muscles at least once every day and smile for a change?

Yes, I am grumpy. I’m told by people that there are, at max, 4 expressions that they’ve seen me wearing. I haven’t practiced them in the mirror. I just look that way. It’s, in all practicality, impossible for me to stay happy and smile all the time, for from time to time, the realities of life keep dawning upon me. Earlier my problem was I wanted to keep everyone else happy. I failed! Then someone, a few years back, told me to start thinking about myself and now my problem is I want to keep myself happy. I’m not fairing any better here as well. My sofa needs cleaning. I need new mattresses. I need a new seating arrangement for my PC at home, new chair and table, more ergonomic. I need to get the engine on my bike repaired and blah blah! I know you don’t want to hear it but that’s precisely how grumpy people talk, BEAR IT!

So what exactly does grumpy mean?

– Bad-tempered and sulky.

– Crabbed; annoyed and irritable.

Synonym – Crotchety!

Just like the way happy and cheerful people have days when they are sad and depressed, we, the grumpy ones; have days when we are Happy and Cheerful for once. It’s difficult for us to leave our comfort zone. Deep down we love the way people hate us, despise us, want to hurt our face so bad, that we look even grumpier. But that’s where we WIN every day. For no one hits us. No one can do a shit about the way we look or behave. All that they can do is look away which is precisely what we want – no attention! It serves me better that I’m introvert as well.

There are several emotions, aren’t they? We sift through plethora of them every day – from happy to sad or angry or empathetic in matter of seconds. It’s these emotions that often drive our moods. These emotions change the way we perceive our world, see its colours, and hear its sound – basically change the way we feel it.

What I find most interesting though is how some emotions bring out the best in you while some doom you to obscurity. These emotions impact our will to achieve like no other person ever can. They impact our state of mind and the vibes coming from us in general. These emotions are quite distractingly very visible and are quite in-your-face.

My mother has one such emotion – anger. She cooks her best food when she is angry. Me and dad used to secretly wish for her to get upset and then cook (psst psst we still wish so). It used to start with an argument between them that I’ll never understand. They never made sense to me. They were so – worldly. Dealing with day-to-day issues that anyone of them could resolve in the blink of an eye. Anyways – food and anger! Yes, this is one complaint my mother always has when she is angry – she keeps saying she hates cooking. That how she hates every moment spent in the kitchen and yet, when she sees dad set the first foot across the threshold of its entrance to cook himself, she’ll jump in and prepare some of the tastiest drool-worthy delicacies, a human will ever taste – all in a fit of rage and knowledge that dad will ruin everything inside the kitchen. The chances of her screwing up the food then drastically reduce to zero. I think most women will relate to this feeling!

And that brings me to my question – what’s the emotion that brings out the best in you?

Mine is anger and I guess this is something my mother has unknowingly rubbed onto me. I think clearer when I’m angry. I say better when I’m angry. My focus dramatically increases even when I’m venting out my anger on something completely unrelated to the real problem. I invariably end up doing all the right things when my hands are shivering with angst. The only problem is – that’s also the only time I’m thinking just for myself and in those on-the-thread moments, I end up hurting a few people.

Okay, then what’s the emotion that brings out the worst from you?

Mine is happiness. Yes, that’s the reason I’m grumpy. Happiness brings out my concern for others which in today’s world, is quite unappreciated. People start to think that I’m interfering with their lives when in the first place they are the ones sitting in my home, sipping beers, and sharing the sorry state of their sorry ass world with me – the most unconcerned person on this planet. People for some reason don’t understand genuine sympathy or empathy now. They fail to acknowledge an unselfish concern for their well-being but who can blame them. We all get ditched so many times and in so many ways, we can’t even rely upon ourselves to trust others and find their true motives, rest aside the chances of us believing anyone else for our good.

I guess I’m searching for unadulterated love, for my love even for myself isn’t enough pure!

That Face in the Mirror

I’ve written a few things. Small and insignificant as they are and were, they mean a lot. They give this barren moaning desert of a soul a dream of a thunderstorm, a storm that’ll change the texture of the laughing rocks and fill the air with that earthly smell after the rains.

I’m 30 years old. Old enough to be a father and a manager, and I’m none of them. I see myself in the mirror and an obscure vision of a merely satisfied man appears. A man who wants his petty griefs to end so he concentrates harder on things at hand. His spirit is free but scared to fly high. He’s scared of the vultures and the eagles that hound the skies. And everyday that he wakes up, he wants to be one of them killers.

But he is soft. He loves everyone, wants to respect everyone, gives each opinion a chance to stand and get itself heard. He isn’t scary but only for his demeanor, people hate him. He comes across hard, slaps the living lights out of you to let you in on your true self – your true reflection.

I was 8 years old when I wrote an autobiography about a coin and it’s life. How it travelled from the mint to an ocean. The teacher appreciated it a lot and placed it on the table, on the day of our results for everyone else to read, as an example to emulate in the future. I remember her clapping. Right there, she sowed the itch to write in my heart. I always knew I wanted to write. But what? I never let anyone in on my dream to write until recently.

I’d never written a word and yet I was scared of the evaluation and the seething comments I might receive. I was scared to get ruthlessly dumped out of the vast ocean of writing genius, that waited for me to dip my first toe in it. The pain of it thwarted my heart and I was yet to write a single word.

I’m not extraordinary. I’m simple with nothing more than a few words to offer. I’m clearly short on vocabulary and the grammar ain’t great either.

In 2012 though, I made my move. I had to get a lot of thoughts out of my system. They were clouding my heart and jolting my brain. I opened my account with WordPress after months of washing my face with tears and after further thinking, I decided upon Views Splash, as my pen name. It goes both ways – in soliciting and in providing the views. The name stands just right for me and my readers have done it full justice.

I wasn’t great at first and for a year and 2 months, I never wrote seriously, never made a move to improve, and never wrote enough. It was more thoughtless entertainment. It never satiated me. But inside I always knew, I wanted to do more. A persisting fight with my present wasn’t helping either. I was scared to let my thoughts out for everyone else will know. I’ll become an open book but deep down – I was still digging the grave that I’d been digging for past 30 years.

People have helped me immensely in nearly every matter of my life but not this. They’d built importance and they knew they were a part of every tide I’d faced – whether low or high. Yet they never dared touch my writing, for they’d burn their hands. It was fire they’d play with. Fire of the thoughts that will now flow like magma – uncaring, unrelenting till it cools and settles down by itself providing a more fertile land over time. Land that’ll flourish again with positive thoughts, smiles, and love.

My writing is my reflection and I love how it looks!

Lets see what others have written about this post –

  1. Writing Challenge: Writerly Reflections | The WordPress C(h)ronicle
  2. Writing Challenge: Why Do I Write? | Miss Diaries
  3. Writing Challenge: Writerly Reflections | Awl and Scribe
  4. This is Why I Write | Musings | WANGSGARD
  5. Writerly Life | melissuhhsmiles
  6. Writerly Reflections | emilycharlotteould
  7. Keep On Writing, Everyone | Never Stationary
  8. Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflection | Blessings through raindrops…
  9. Never at a Loss for Words | The Ravenously Disappearing Woman
  10. Why I Write | Fish Of Gold
  11. Negativity Insults My Intelligence | Bumblepuppies
  12. Writing Challenge: Writerly Reflections | samallen230
  13. The Beginning | snapshotsofawanderingheart
  14. A Challenge Followed by a Challenge | Kami’s Beautiful Morning
  15. Origin Story: Why I Write | Lead us from the Unreal to the Real
  16. Why I Write | Lead us from the Unreal to the Real
  17. Dreaming About My Dream Job | Musings | WANGSGARD
  18. Where it All Began | Passionate Dreaming
  19. My Lifeline | Artfully Aspiring
  20. Ichabod Crane in a 1960s straight legged suite | The Seminary of Praying Mantis
  21. Instant Writer: Just Add Library | Charron’s Chatter
  22. (DP Challenge) Life’s Pit Stops: Journal of Becoming a Writer | Jenkins Writings
  23. dear sir or madame would you read my book? | eastelmhurst.a.go.go
  24. Writing Challenge: Writerly Reflections | siobhanmcnamara
  25. Weekly Writing Challenge: Writerly Reflections | imagination
  26. Weekly Writing Challenge: Writerly Reflections | Reflections and Nightmares- Irene A Waters (writer and memoirist)
  27. Stuck In A Blogging Rut | Eclecticfemale’s Blog
  28. Weekly Writing Challenge: Writerly Reflections | Morrighan’s Muse
  29. Writing Challenge — Writerly Refections |
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  31. DP challenge: Writerly Reflections. | A cup of noodle soup
  32. My Origin Story | Simply Miko
  33. Reponse to- Writing Challenge: Writerly Reflections | really, villie?
  34. “We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.” —Ernest Hemingway | Chronicles of Illusions
  35. How The Snot People Paved The Way For My Life As a Writer | momaste
  36. Writing Growing Up | Among the Whispers
  37. Writing Challenge: How I became a writer | writingtutortips
  38. Feet in my Shoes, Mary I Am | Mary J Melange
  39. Why write? | fifty5words
  40. Write What You Know | 365 Days of Thank You
  41. My Supergeek Superpower | Abstractions of Life
  42. A Moose and Three Giraffes | Master of Something I’m Yet To Discover
  43. writing is the pits | Musings of a Random Mind
  44. Writerly Reflections | Icezine
  45. writing challenge: reflections | Phylor’s Blog
  46. Falling in Love | Jody Lynne
  47. The Librarian, the Library and the Words | jen groeber: mama art
  48. Why Writers Write | jsleflore
  49. Writerly Reflections | Alexia Jones
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  51. Writing Sneaks Up, Won’t Go Away | abundance in the boondocks
  52. Writing Challenge: Writerly Reflections | nagwak25
  53. Origins | the little things in life
  54. Writing Challenge: Writerly Reflections | xin’s blog
  55. WRITING CHALLENGE: WRITERLY REFLECTIONS | All I Need Is Pink!
  56. It’s all about the story | Not famous for anything
  57. Bedtime Stories: The Cat Who Wore a Pot On Her Head.” | Destino
  58. Writerly Reflection | Thinking Languages!
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  60. Writerly Reflections: Discovering Poetry | Indigoat Footnote
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  64. Writing Challenge: Writerly Reflections | Rose Red Stories
  65. Writing Challenge: Writerly Reflections, rather my first try for this, how I started writing or what made me start in the first place | seikaiha’s blah-blah-blah
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  67. How Did I Get Here? | the intrinsickness
  68. Throw Back The Pen | Ako Si Ehm Blog
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  70. “The miseducation of Nicholas Christian: Origin Story” | The Bohemian Rock Star’s “Untitled Project”
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  72. Adam Ickes | Writing Challenge: Writerly Reflections
  73. A come-back post with Writerly Reflections | TALES OF MY JOURNEYS ACROSS OCEANS
  74. Putting Words on Paper in a Particular Order | Fun with Depression
  75. The Writer With Crayons and Oil Pastels | Irish Noble King
  76. Love of Writing | My Adventures In Marriage
  77. Am I a Writer? | Wine goes best with a good book
  78. Weekly Writing Challenge: Writerly Reflections | SIM | ANTICS
  79. Writing, creating, breathing… | Scent of Rina
  80. Gunga Din and me | The Sapient Chronicles
  81. My 8th Grade Work Is Better Than Any Professional Work I’ve Read | Sammi Talk
  82. My need to write? I blame my mother. | christineespeer
  83. Writing Challenge: I Write Because I was Born into a World of Words | theempathyqueen
  84. A Puzzle, Piece By Piece | Polymathically
  85. Writing Process Blog Tour: Little Victories | Be Less Amazing
  86. Barsoom | luvsiesous
  87. A writer of tales | Thin spiral notebook
  88. It all started with a fish! | 1,000 Photos of my Life
  89. My Sister and The Famous Five – Evelyne Holingue
  90. Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth….Chances | Searching for Substance
  91. Urban Bookworm, Secret Wordsmith | Laughing Through Life
  92. Writing Challenge: Reflections | The Day After
  93. How I Got My Superpowers | The Adventures of Cat Madigan
  94. DPChallenge: What got me started | xzxJennaxzx
  95. Writerly Reflections | Bako Heat
  96. When the Verbal and Visual Unite, an Expat Writer is Reborn | reinventing the event horizon
  97. I write because I MUST: Weekly Writing Challenge | ALIEN AURA’S BLOG: IT’LL BLOW YOUR MIND!
  98. Why I Write | Huckleberry Moments
  99. Resurrection | In So Many Words
  100. It’s Kind of a Long Story | Corned Beef Hashtag

To My Family!

I don’t think I need to tell anyone what denial is. I was in denial – all my life. I can safely say that I’m more than three-quarters through my life now and I have no one else than my family to thank. I don’t know what love is! I’ve never known love but I believe it’s a strange combination of respect, responsibility, care, and detailing. And I guess that’s what me and my family have. That cocktail of aforementioned ingredients that binds us.

The two late comers in our family, my wife and my brother’s wife, they were I think destined to share their lives with us. Now they are what me and brother are, to my parents. A simple enough structure, no joint family, phew! The kind of people we all are, only 2 out of 6 are extroverts – dad and my wife! The way we take care of each other is very unique – for me it is! But I feel all families are unique in their own little ways.

Just want to say – I love you all and be around like you always are. This bugger needs you sometimes – OK, all the time!

Zee2Etch – Task #16

Yesterday, something happened which took me by surprise. Dad and I discussed the difference between Attitude and Nature.

It all started when I asked him what is my reputation? He got confused and at first cracked all possible jokes thinking I was joking myself. But I had to shake him up and tell him to get serious as this is about a blog I have to write for a task I have signed for. He then told me a few things about me that caught my ears and here they are –

I am someone who gets influenced by my surroundings. The more I come in touch with my surrounding, the more I run away from it so no one can question my lifestyle or methods. He said I told me that I’m a thorough professional although he couldn’t, for his mediocre vocabulary, put it into a word and this was what caused a lot of commotion between the two of us. All he wanted to say was, I am different from others because of my “Professional Attitude”. Now first I took his words to actually mean “Professionalism”. But apparently, that wasn’t what it was. He wanted to tell me, that I have a nature to stay correct all the time and to do that, I may sometimes falsify some people for which I may never give any explanation. I run away from such situations and the poor chap is left scratching his head to think the wrong he has committed.

Okay. So this must be my reputation among others as well. I went around asking a lot of people about this and told my dad about it, for which he had a very simple answer – “You know, it’s only you who can gauge your reputation and no one else. Not even us. We are your parents. For us, you are the most beautiful thing that happened to us and we will never put you in a wrong place and will never mean to hurt you. But this world isn’t us. They’ll lie to you, so they may gain points with you and earn your hard-to-gain trust. So there’s no point asking others about it. Ask yourself. For example, when you enter a meeting or a social gathering, you will automatically know if you are liked or not, respected or not. That’s your reputation”.

I couldn’t have agreed more. No one will ever tell me my exact reputation. So I’ll write for this task on the basis of what my dad told me about me.

Let me explain his statements while analysing them too. He isn’t very good with what he says but spend time with him and you’ll know what he meant 2 hours ago. I’ve had an entire day to myself and when he said that I get influenced by my surroundings, he meant that I like to carry a lot of perspectives while making decisions. I like to consider all the opinions and keep my options open before coming to a conclusion. Regarding my correctness, my answer is I have forever rising inner urge to stay equal and fair to all. No one is high and no one is low. All things belong together and it’s that harmony that makes this world livable.

He said a sentence twice – that I run away from situations. Well that has just one answer, I am the rarest possible introverts possible and as my brother would testify – I told him a few days ago that I’d like to buy a recorder so I may record all my thoughts and turn them into posts on my blog. All he said was – you are the biggest introvert I have ever seen.

Just for the record, my fathers testimony is enough!

Unforgettable Past – ITARSI – The Escapade!

He was 6 years old. His second school after his father got transferred from Bilaspur which then belonged to state Madhya Pradesh (now Chhattisgarh). It was his first day at his new school. Far away from his home, he wasn’t used to the alien feeling. He was small and was about to do something that will forever force him to do, only the unthinkable.

Father took him to his new school in his Jeep. He entered the main wrought iron gate of the school – Shri Tagore Vidya Mandir. Like it was his habit from his earlier school from the same town, he started looking for his class. Roamed around for a while and found it wasn’t on the ground floor. Those small feet then climbed the roughly cemented stairs. He was perplexed – why were all the others were wearing red shorts, and his were green? Never having known the concept of mediums in a school, he matched feet to feet and proudly entered his class, having found it on the first floor. He was half an hour early. He entered never having noticed the teacher who was sitting with the kids. She saw the boy with the green pants. She got up from her place and without asking a single question, slapped the boy hard on his left cheek. And then another. She yelled – ‘Baahar jaao yahaan se (Get out of the class)’!

And he promptly did so, shedding tears not because of the stinging pain on his cheek but for the sheer embarrassment that the incident had impaled in his heart. He cried, cried loudly when a maid heard him. But he didn’t notice. She yelled out at the boy for roaming around on the campus and there came another slap on the same cheek. He hadn’t yet spoken a word on the alien land and had already been assaulted thrice. He forgot the face of the teacher with the last slap but will forever remember the face of the maid – the stroke was ferocious. The boy sat on a tampered round-about, looking at that wrought iron gate that brought him into this hell. And in a fit of rage, decided to open it for he had quit. This was not how he wanted it!

He stood on his toes, slowly and silently opened the gate, got out, leaving the gate hanging limply on its hinges. He smelt freedom, still crying.

He knew his way home. Never once thinking about the distance, he started walking. Wandering around, he saw the relieving sight of the railway station. He saw the rails. He saw the ever-so-fascinating engines. Tears blurred his vision as he started crossing the web of rails never aware of the danger. Guess he never knew danger. He was so small. He was just 6 years old.

Getting across the station and into his favorite empty street, plunging trees caving in from the right and the rails on the left. He now knew what he was looking for. He was looking for a clinic where his father would bring him for treatment when he got sick. He knew that the road from this clinic, drove straight to his home. He had forgotten his tired legs, thirst, hunger – for he knew his way home now, joy bleeding from his heart. Home where his mother will greet him. He found the clinic. Finally relieved, he kept walking.

Then a miracle happened, small as the place was, a driver from his father’s office noticed the boy, took him in his Jeep and took him home.

He was then a happy wanderer!

——-***——–

Remember, I once announced that I’ll rewrite some of my posts. This is the first of the series!

Lets find out how others fared today –

  1. Be a Hero | Rima Hassan
  2. Prison | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  3. Moon-rock | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  4. California: a fat wave* of options | Andrea Reads America
  5. Daily Prompt: The Happy Wanderer-How an Introvert Travel (pics) | Journeyman
  6. Daily Prompt: The Happy Wanderer | seikaiha’s blah-blah-blah
  7. The Happy Wanderer: My Travel Style #DailyPost | The Wayfaring Family
  8. Travel Style | From Journo-baby to Journo-babe
  9. Daily Prompt: The Happy Wanderer | The WordPress C(h)ronicle
  10. The Unhappy Wanderer | Mara Eastern’s Personal Blog
  11. DP Daily Prompt: The Happy Wanderer | Sabethville
  12. How to Get a Green Card: A Lesson in Planning and Letting Go | Kosher Adobo
  13. There’s Nothing There & Professor Hamilton’s Advice To Writers | The Jittery Goat
  14. I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  15. love-hate | yi-ching lin photography
  16. Daily Prompt: The Happy Wanderer’s | My Outlook on the World
  17. I love airports | The Bohemian Rock Star’s “Untitled Project”
  18. An Uncommercial Traveller | The Ambitious Drifter
  19. Just following the sun… | Hope* the happy hugger
  20. What Sue wrote – wandering happily | Sue’s Trifles
  21. The wandering traveler: Can’t wait to catch my multiple personalities in the rear-view mirror « psychologistmimi
  22. The Happy Wanderer | Eyes to Heart
  23. Daily Prompt: The Happy Wanderer | Under the Monkey Tree
  24. Spontaneous: Daily Prompt | ALIEN AURA’S BlOG: IT’LL BLOW YOUR MIND!
  25. Daily Prompt-Happy Traveler-Not So Much | A Day In The Life
  26. Daily Prompt: My Travel Style | Pinstripes&Lipgloss
  27. The Happy Wanderer I am not | Jennifer Paige
  28. Daily Prompt: The Happy Wanderer | wisskko’s blog
  29. Traveling Into The Unknown | Lifestyle | WANGSGARD
  30. The Wondering Wanderer ::E.N.Howie’s Motivational Moments
  31. Wanderlust | Bardo
  32. “The Happy Wanderer” | Relax
  33. Minutely Infinite | Wanderers
  34. The Happy Wanderer | Life Confusions
  35. The Happy Wanderer | Lead us from the Unreal to the Real
  36. The Happy Wanderer | Lisa’s Kansa Muse
  37. lord I was born a ramblin’ man | eastelmhurst.a.go.go
  38. The Happy Wanderer | Roving Bess
  39. Ramblin’ Rose | by L. D. Rose
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  41. Alone, I miss out on wonder | Emotional Fitness
  42. Two white girls on a minibus | Lesie’s World
  43. Wandering Together. | Kota and Coffee
  44. A Change in Direction | snapshotsofawanderingheart
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Unforgettable past – Jabalpur

There’s a lot of your past you wish you could forget – like erased blank… swish… wiped off of your memory slate. Then there is your past that you just can’t forget. Not that it affects you but its a huge burden on your brain to carry and you wish you could just write it off onto your blog for good. The latter is what this post is about.

Cues:-

Summer vacations.

Trains.

Food.

Stations.

Forests.

Rails.

Rivers.

Toy cars.

A huge house.

Lots of people.

The compulsory siesta.

Playful evenings.

Watering.

Food.

Kulfi (Sweet Indian summer delicacy).

Rains.

A lot of people around will find these dots really easy to connect. I want to write it out ’cause I don’t want to retain them yet remember them forever – kind of memoir to myself – only for my personal use. These are recollections from (last) – a 13-year-old fat boy who diluted a relationship on a very bad note and will regret it forever for he never got say the final adieu.

His summer vacations would last for about 75 days as these were the hottest months in his part of the country. All he knew was it was time for indoor afternoons and fun & frolicking evenings with no homework, coolers, mangoes, lychees, lots of sleep, lots of cricket, ludo, carom, puzzle, TV, cartoons, video games. Just him and his brother enjoying and playing with each other. It was a time for all heavenly stuff. Things he never knew, he would love so much but that he would get berated off forever. These days often arrived after he had received his gift for his stand-out performances in school exams – HotWheel cars, cycle, carom board and many others like these. He would be very happy to board the train for that familiar destination. No matter how many times he had been there, it was always fresh for he knew no other world and these represented the only two worlds that he spent his childhood in.

You gotta give it to the place – Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, India! Place which gave the world one of the most beautiful scenery in Bhedaghat on the river Narmada. A river bank located purely on marbles! It’s beautiful – the air itself is pure – rather was pure (just been to the place after 11 years and felt a bit let down).

Lets start off with the journey to the place. He couldn’t wait to get inside the train. To get the smell of puri-sabzi at the first station and to feel the wind on his face. To look at the train engines which according to him were a miracle that he could watch everyday on his drive to his school. The rails and the train itself were such a mystery for that small, young mind that he couldn’t (till he got Google) ever fathom how the trains even turned!! The sound of the wheels chugging below his feet, the smoke from the engine entering his nostrils (no matter how gross it would feel to others, he would forever relish that smoke), the sight of the trees passing him by at the speed of light, occasional huts, fields and rails cutting each other running along his train. And then would come the sight he still dreads – a bridge on the river Tawa. The bridge apparently had been labelled dangerous by Indian Railways standards and he would always feel that the train would fall off especially as the bridge had no rails on both the sides. Nothing but a very tall height to fall into. And in between this, a far away sight of a dam. He would always wonder what that dam would look like when in full flow. Never to be experienced though. A lot of stations would pass through for that young mind to remember but he would remember things that made a direct impact on his coming life. He would remember each bridge, each platform, each fort and the smell of each one of them distinctly fresh.

Once he started to near the destination, the air of anticipation would raise the anxiety in his heart for what new and novel would surprise him this time in his second world. Nothing, nothing ever. For nearly 9 years or more on a trot, he would see no significant change. The same route always led him to the same house. The same marketplace, the same buildings, the same under-bridge greeted him. A perfect example of sustainability and persistense.

The house which still stands tall and huge – it reflected the late 80’s Indian modernism. It has seen various colors – white, pink, green and at one instance, he could also remember yellow. Six rooms on the ground floor divided by a wall with 2 doors to connect the 2 sections built with 3 rooms each. The first floor, built quite late is a replica of the section below from the ground floor with rooms that were larger. But no matter what you did and where you were in the house, it always gave the same feel everywhere every single time (wish I had some pictures).

Their welcome was always the same – Nani (maternal grand-mother) would shower them with holy Ganga water and then the entry. Keep the luggage at the proper place and room. Then go about the chores in the house according to time you make an entry in it.

Coming to the chores, a typical day in that household would be something as follows:

Wake up… roll up your bed… place it at its proper place… brush the teeth and freshen up… then it was a choice to either sit with Nanaji (maternal grand-father) and Naniji or go upstairs and have tea with a younger group which included Mama (moms bro), Mami ( Mamas wife) and their children. It was a happening group and he would prefer spending time with anyone but would prefer a place where his mother would prefer to be. Then after a heavy breakfast would be time for a bath in the cold water in the Indian summer… somehow the water always suited him more than any place else. A very clean feel after a bath. Then was the time for indoor games played between all brothers and sisters. This would normally be the time women around would engage in their household works, men would leave for office and Nanaji would spend time reading the newspaper. Games would often include Boggle, ludo, carom and sometimes if the noon was cooler, some cricket as well. He would never forget the days when all of them brothers and sisters would play together in the small porch and the sisters would just cower into corners so they don’t have too get involved in the game. Fun times they would stay. The afternoons comprised of a mandatory siesta. No exceptions for anyone in the household. No sounds. No lights. He hated that period. For he could hardly wait for evenings that would include a heavy dose of cricket, dust, dirt. No matter who would play against him, he would have had to face the boys wrath with the bat. Then return home, for now would be the time for watering the garden and the plants using the water from the hand pumps. This was the best part of his days. The freedom that was allowed to him to perform this chore would be something he would sorely miss all through his life – but he didn’t know it then. All he knew was porch was hot and plants needed water. Water the plants. Then would be turn to get drenched in the same water. This was time to get wet. To get wild with and in water. Unforgettable freshness. Change and then would be the time for dinner. Supper supper supper… super super super… nothing could beat that food for it was his mother that would cook the rotis, dal, veggies and rice. This was normally the time when Mama would return home and after dinner, he would often buy us kulfis. This would also be the time when the entire family would come out into the porch and walk for a while all the while laughing at jokes cracked. In the mean time, the siblings would find time to swing in a swing. It was built to carry at max 4 people at a time, was sturdy and brought with it the feeling of a drowning night. An awesome day was over. Now was the time to show the mosquitoes the power of Baygon. Complete house would get a dose of it. Satisfied with the results, each member would bring their bed and would face absolutely no problem in laying down and sleeping but not before Mama would make his presence felt again. He would make each of the siblings kneel in line on the beds and make them repeat the mantra – La Ila… Il Lil La… Mohammed-e-Rasgullah. Fun it was and it would repeat 60 of the 75 days he would spend there.

He particularly waited for Sundays. They were usually the days when Mama would take them all for a swim in the river Narmada – Gwarighat. Back then, the way to the river was through a jungle, a sparsely populated area. Upon arrival they had to cross the river on a boat which was an absolutely out of the world feeling. To feel the river on his palms would heighten his anticipation of how water would feel like. It was truly amazing! Take off all your extra clothes, get down to your bare essentials and jump into the river. This was where he learnt to swim and he would forever respect the man who taught him to swim (Mama) and the river for letting him learn to swim in it. A good 2-3 hours of frolicking in the water would barely leave him with any energy and when out, they would all dress again and cross the river again on a boat. The sinking feeling of the separation from water would forever lure the boy. But life had to move on and to the next shop upstairs on the ghat. The shop where Mama would make each one of them indulge into Bhajiyas and laddus. He would then be totaled. Even with absolutely nothing left in his body to endure the remaining of the day, he would remain jubilant and never know that he was tired to shit pieces. The first foot on the bed when home, would cover his body with the most tantalizing freshness of a sleep so richly deserved (or thats what he thought).

There had to be days when he had to go and meet his father’s family members. It was normally a day worth of affair and spent peacefully. They were nothing special except for some cricket that he would get to play with his elder brothers.

He loved it and would forever love it. Those days would define his character for the rest of his life. He would learn a lot from those days but the best lesson was – hard work always tastes bitter but reaps sweet rewards.

The child has grown up to be 29 now but nothing would make him forget his longing for the water and he would still dream in red!