In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Transporter.”
A lot has changed. From the time when a tiny boom box painted the rainbow of sounds across our home, as it churned out melodies after melodies on the radio and cassette player, to today when I have my sound at my fingertips. The smell of food that filled my heart will forever remain attached to the sounds I heard then. I see my mother in the kitchen, now and then. One ever so busy mother, with a job at hand, making sure all’s in order for lunch while me and my brother freshen up and change into regular clothes.
The table cleaned, waiting for a flurry of dishes be placed on it, to embrace them, to taste the curries that filled them. The table loved us. While we dearly waited for my dad to arrive, on his scooter, “Priya”, the sound of which got everyone into action. The table, all dressed, invited the hungry ones. Hungry ones always found the way. What would normally start out as lunch with sun-filled eyes ended in a blur. Somehow I don’t remember a single thing I did after lunch, probably clean the table and sleep was all I did till my pretense of being grown up finally showed through – then I studied, had to, never knowing why.
Today, while I wait for my maid to ring my doorbell and prepare what SHE calls food, I recall those afternoons, for I took them lightly, for they may never happen again. Such sweet memories and each one has a song for it. Like a straw that flows, I’ve seen a lot along the way, things appalling and shambolic, things that make me hum tunes, from the distant past. Tunes I won’t forget. Some Things change and how and Some never can!
Here is one of those tunes that reminds me of those lunches, the siestas and the pretense I now call “Studying” –
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.
“Did someone just POOP?”.
I dreaded/dodged this question for an awfully long time during my childhood. Well let me just admit it – I had weak bowels! I suffered disasters when none expected them and hence, the QUESTION. Those, who’ve borne witness to those grotesque scenes will admit that my primary school days weren’t very kind to me, and to them.
The issue as of today stands CORRECTED and hence, no qualms exist!!!
However relieving this embarrassing announcement is, announcing “IT” isn’t the primary aim of this post. But then, it also isn’t the aim of this blog, to find old classmates. In a rather surprising turn of events, Hina, my classmate from one of my primary schools, dropped me a warm message a few days ago and I couldn’t help but let you people in on it. I haven’t felt so thrilled in ages. You can find her comment in the link below –
She not only remembers the characters in the post but she also was kind enough to let me know, how great our school really was during those days of limited resources and how exactly she stumbled upon my blog. She was searching for the name of our school and that’s how she came across Views Splash. Not only does the search thing on Google work, it actually provides my blog in search results too – amazing, isn’t it!
What I do want to share with you today though, is how I cheated for the first time (that I can remember of). It was nearing evening when our school decided to hold games for all the classes the next day and a messenger announced it in every class in those email-less days. I can’t recall clearly but think I participated in a couple of events, one of which was the “Lemon Race”. After being told to bring a spoon for the race, I was explained how the race is run. The contestants hold their spoons in their mouth using the handle and place the lemon on the curve and run without dropping the lemon. Whoever crosses the finish line first, wins!
I went home and told my mother about it. We sat for dinner when I saw my brother suckle at his favorite spoon and an idea struck the dead neurons in my brain. The spoon you see was quite broad at the handle and had a rather deep oval.
“This will definitely suffice my need” and so I thought.
After the dinner, I picked the spoon, placed a lemon on it, pursed the handle of the spoon between my lips and ran. The lemon fell after a few steps. I ran again and the lemon fell.
“This isn’t working”.
I tried again to check my fault and it turned out, the oval was doing its job correctly at the front but the lemon jumped ship from the back i.e. the handle end. So I worked with the spoon a bit and lifted the oval of the spoon to roughly 165 degrees with the handle which further deepened the spoon and gave the lemon a resting arm. I ran again and this time the lemon didn’t fall off. Now I happily awaited the next day to check out my competition and see how everyone else was faring with their spoons and whether there were any tricks used like I had.
The next evening arrived and the event-o-clock struck. As I went around casually checking everyones spoons, I found they hadn’t tinkered the slightest with the spoon. I started feeling guilty the moment I hit the finishing line in the first place. I saw everyone and only one other boy had managed to finish with rest trying to figure out where their lemons scurried to.
I won a plate, with a rather uncomfortable conscience, and yet I was still proud, not for winning the competition though. I was proud for I tried something different with my brain, something I wasn’t really used to. Regarding the guilt, I guess I was so small then that, it was better I left the guilt at the finishing line.
The reason for this post is 2-fold –
1. Weekly Writing Challenge – Memoir Madness. I now proudly say that –
“When life gave me lemons, I won a lemon race”.
2. The link between my confession in the first part of the post and the second is the friend who found me. A lot of school memories came flooding back and I shared two of those with you, the ones that really turned some of my early ways. It shows how embarrassment and guilt are some of the ingredients I’ve dealt with in my recipe called Life.
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!
It’s just amazing how some of your best memories are from your childhood! And I so wish someone returned those days back to me. All my summers in Itarsi, a dehat (a type of village) in Madhya Pradesh during my days, how liberating were they!
Mangoes, board games, food, berries, watermelons, melons, cricket, sleep and repeat it in any order everyday. That’s how we passed our days then. Some cartoons too along with video games but mostly outdoor sports! Running around the houses, madly in search of the balls, players, riding bicycles, mopeds, jumping! In those days, we didn’t have homework for summer. No pressure like these days. I genuinely feel, the childhood that we lived will never be lived again. Interestingly though, I don’t remember a single night!
Friends and brother were all I searched for in my summer days. My mother took care of the heat. Mango juices, shakes, Aam Panna (I don’t know what else to call it, my Indian readers will understand it. For everyone else kindly Google it. It’s a raw mango cooler) kept me away from any stroke. The trees, the cold floors and the coolers doing their bit too!
And food and food! I just can’t forget the smell of the rotis with ghee and sugar sprinkled on them. I can’t forget the roti’s torn to pieces and milk and sugar. My mother has had me so fallen for her food, I’m still to wake from my dream. I’m since hung over!
How did you celebrate your summer –
- Summer Dreams | The Mirror Obscura
- The Match (Part 6) Oh, Brother | The Jittery Goat
- Summertime Sadness | Life Confusions
- Dark Wings and Peacock Hope: Daily Prompt | ALIEN AURA’S BLOG: IT’LL BLOW YOUR MIND!
- Daily Prompt: In the Summertime | The WordPress C(h)ronicle
- DP Daily Prompt: In the Summertime | Sabethville
- Daily Prompt: In the Summertime | littlegirlstory
- DAILY PROMPT: In The Summertime | Melissa Holden
- the party stayed up | y
- Daily Prompt: In the Summertime « Mama Bear Musings
- Summertime Sadness: I hope not « psychologistmimi
- “Kinda” Excited to Have a Baby | A Crohnie’s Classroom
- Beyonce Songs That Speak to Me [Part 1] | She Writes
- Daily Prompt: In the Summertime | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice
- Daily Prompt: In The Summertime- My Future and Past Summertime | Journeyman
- Summer | Kate Murray
- Stop, Summer Time ! | Knowledge Addiction
- In the Summertime – (Daily Prompt) | Roving Bess
- Daily Prompt: In the Summertime, HOT Summer and Reading Summer! | seikaiha’s blah-blah-blah
- Fascinating Bird | wisskko’s blog
- Daily Prompt: In the Summertime | Nola Roots, Texas Heart
- Summertime Hiking|Remind Your Mind | Remind Your Mind
- hot fun in the summertime | eastelmhurst.a.go.go
- My Fav Season… | FREE BIRD
- In the Summertime | Purplesus’ Blog
- Daily Prompt:In The Summertime | My Other Blog
- Seasons and Lessons of Life and Faith | meanderedwanderings
- 7 Reasons Why We Love Summer | Never Stationary
- when they told me that | y
- Daily Prompt: In the Summertime | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
- Summertime Truth | Vanessa Elliott
- Summertime in Montreal | That Montreal Girl
- In a nutshell… | cockatooscreeching
- On deck… | Muddy River Muse
- When Summer Comes | Triumphant Wings
- Past and Now | Flowers and Breezes
- In the Summertime | Dragon Droppings
- In The Summertime. | emma blogs
- Daily Prompt: Remembering Summer | Mama Cormier
- Let’s Start a Band | Thinking Diagonally
- Daily Prompt: In the Summertime | My Atheist Blog
- Summerfest Adventures | RECREATION | WANGSGARD
- Daily Prompt: In the Summertime | Finding Life
- Root Beer | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
- Warming « Averil Dean
- Summertime Blues | Just Visiting This Planet
- Guzzling sweet tea, noshing on peach pie, training up a storm and making new friends: All in a summer day’s work | Institute for Hispanic Health Equity
- Daily Prompt: In the Summertime | thoughts and entanglements
- When you are waiting for life to start | Boundaries and Edges
- Summertime is Luh-uh Lovin’ | djgarcia94
- DP: SUMMER, GIVE IT TO ME!!!!! | Scorched Ice
- Daily Prompt: In the Summertime | Dreaming of December | undefined by design
- Daily Prompt – In the summertime…. | myjourneyeveryday
- Sweet Summertime Yoga | eat less sugar you’re sweet enough
- Summer | Love.Books.Coffee.
- Daily Prompt: In the Summertime | Ramblings of a Midwest 20-Something
- Summer beat | Miss Moody
- Fast Forward to Summertime | The Fairy tale Daydreamer
- Bye Bye Polar Vortex
- Summer’s Around the Corner | 365 Days of Thank You
- Daily Prompt: In the Summertime | NOWHERE TO RUN
- Holding back the dark. | Trucker Turning Write
- Daily Prompt: Summer is Forever Love | La Dolce Vita
- I just hope to stay out of jail. | The Land Slide Photography
- Summertime | B.Kaotic
- Summer Time: No | Barbara Pyett
- Summertime Plans: Teaching Summer School | . . . Furthest Sense
- In the Summertime | Lisa’s Kansa Muse
- My Summer | Captured By Kylie Photography
- Daily Prompt: In the Summertime | The Overwhelmed Undergrad
- Daily Prompt: In the Summertime | SIM | ANTICS
- I miss summer. | Always Expressive
- Daily Prompt: In the Summertime | Basically Beyond Basic
- Summertime! | Laughing Through Life
- In the Summertime – The Move | Breathe away
- Little Ones | Overcoming Bloglessness
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!
This post will depend a lot on imagination. Your imagination. I so wish that I could narrate the first house that we lived in but I can surely remember a lot of our second house and it’s the one I remember vividly. But to narrate the complete picture of the house you’ll have to jump into the eyes of that child who remembers this house, because for an adult, this post will be a three-liner post.
Child says – wear your blue and white rubber slippers.
He takes you to an enormous iron gate, with two misaligned sides. The latch on the top doesn’t fit in properly, so the gate gets locked using chains, heavy ones. The child has the key, he opens the gate that squeal and open without even a push. He grabs your hand, slowly walks you on the cement pavement in the front yard. A huge yard, laden with nearly all types of flowers, a huge mango tree, next to a small play area neatly bordered by lines of roses and multitude of plants, some really interesting ones. It has one whose leaves fold when you touch them, it has one that grows flowers the size of half his hand and they don’t open till they are ripe. They open with a POP. The boundaries are covered by money plants and some plants that grow a tiny berry like fruit that has a crunchy center. The child loves it but lately found that he is allergic to the fruit.
The play area connects to a square part that grows vegetables and grows guava trees, the ones with red fruit. The produce includes gourds, tomatoes, water melons, variety of pepper, and anything that dad decides to grow. Oh such fertility of the land! Turn left and you see a huge berry tree covering half the terrace of the house. Between the vegetable area and the tree was a small gate that led into the backside of the house connected by another cement pavement. This pavement received guard of honor from a set of guava trees and ended at the door next to a cement water tank on one side and wash area on the other.
Now boy decides to take you from the backside itself for his mother has called in for lunch and hurries you in and asks his mother to serve you lunch too. But not too much, for those “ALOO KA PARATHAS” are way too delicious to let go. He wants to eat them all and so won’t share. Mother smiles when she looks at you and secretly lets you know, there’s enough food for 10 people. Now that your food is fixed, you relax and take a look around while the boy hogs his lunch at the huge dining table right beside the door thru which you entered the house.
As you face away from this door and into the house, you see the master bedroom neatly done and cleaned up. Take a few steps forward and through a hallway you see another room at the end of it. The room is messy, full of toy cars visible from below the curtain. The hallway also leads to the loo and bathroom which are both separate.
Take a look left and you see the guest area, with TV at the far corner safely tucked inside a brown casing. A huge yellow Almira right beside it and two huge Philips boom speakers on top near the ledge. A sofa set, a center table, and very oddly a scooter, that greets the front door of the house, parked at the guest room’s entrance. Step into my parents bedroom and you find a bed (quite obviously) at the center of the room and another yellow Almira overlooking the bed. The windows on the far wall opened into the garden on the front. Oh what a view! You hold you breath, inhaling the sweet smell of the roses and slowly releasing it…
As you enter the boy’s bedroom, that is also his play room, you immediately know that these are his summer vacations for the number of toys laid on the floor in the afternoon and an unsolved puzzle on the bed with pieces missing. You wonder where they are.
The boy though is now done with his lunch and it’s your turn. Go hog before the parathas go cold!
Lets see how others are doing –
- New iPod | Crazy Markovich
- of raging wants | Anawnimiss
- Daily Prompt: Our House- The impact of family to our psychological mind | Journeyman
- Streaks in the Darkness | Exploratorius
- Home: Tankas | 365 days of defiance
- To London For Love & The Daily Prompt | The Jittery Goat
- Daily Prompt: Our House | Under the Monkey Tree
- Cumbraes, 1962 | ALIEN AURA’S BlOG: IT’LL BLOW YOUR MIND!
- Launching Pad | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
- Daily Prompt: Home | The Wandering Poet
- evergreen | yi-ching lin photography
- My family are huggers, and it’s always been an awesome part of life. | thoughtsofrkh
- Daily Prompt: House | seikaiha’s blah-blah-blah
- Daily Prompt: Our House | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice
- Short Plat – A Short Story | Kilbo – Chris Kilbourn
- The House in Middelburg. | Hope* the happy hugger
- BE IT EVER SO HUMBLE | SERENDIPITY
- Home, Sweet Home | Home’s Cool!
- Daily Prompt: Our House « Mama Bear Musings
- The Gray House | A Sign Of Life
- Childhood Memories of Home | Unload and Unwind
- Home | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
- 272. My Childhood Home | Barely Right of Center
- Children Must Be Seen And Not Heard | Lisa’s Kansa Muse
- My Childhood Home | A mom’s blog
- Chained Childhood… | Haiku By Ku
- Minutely Infinite | Is home where the heart is?
- House of Haiku | Finale to an Entrance
- An Ode Full of Home | L5GN
- Formerly known as home | Le Drake Noir
- The rising of the Sap Nymph: an erotic poem | ALIEN AURA’S BlOG: IT’LL BLOW YOUR MIND!
Lets start with an analogy today.
Think of yourselves as a leaf. Your tree as our mother nature and soil as her keeper, the universe.
It didn’t go too bad, did it? I felt it today. Light, alone, a once-in-a-while-happy feeling. I felt free today.
Try and relate your life with a leafs life.
A leaf springs to life from a hole. A little bud that with regular feeding and nurturing starts to grow and show its true colors. Mother nature holds on to that bud tightly for as long as it can pull its own weight. And then the stems start to grow longer to let the leaf face the sun, know its purpose i.e. to give oxygen and preserve nature in return. The leaf remains for as long as it can braving the storms, the harsh sun, the snow and the rain, all to preserve the tree itself. And then autumn arrives when it must depart. It must give itself away to make way for another fresher stronger replacement. The tree whilst preparing the next batch stands naked withstanding the nature spending all that it can and grow old. After several of these autumn cycles when the tree finally gets frail, it starts to wither away. It’s those leaves that had fallen, that then act as the breeding ground for another tree. And the cycle continues.
How similar is that to us? Very. We are born from an orifice too as little buds all rolled up with hands and legs right up to our eyes to protect ourselves from the very nature that will later power us. The parents then provide us, keeping us on a short leash till we have grown and learnt t0 weather the storms of a cycle called life. They teach us to respect the nature and tell us our purpose – to survive. We learn to respect elders and make sure to stand up for them. We learn love. We then learn the most important lesson of our lives – to watch over our parents when we are stronger than they are. While us humans, would not have as many autumn cycles, we do wither away, don’t we but we have our children to breed the next tree just the way trees have leaves.
In both the cases, neither the tree nor the leaves ever wanted to desert each other but that’s a process. That’s nature. That’s how it works. We are so bound in this cycle that anything other than that seems out-of-place. Any other means of birthing, any other way of dying is unnatural.
I’ve grown into respecting the fact that nothing around us can be changed. Only we can change. And when people die unnaturally, it’s always been the most difficult for me to accept. Eventually I do but it requires reconciliation with our wasteful ways. Suicides, bombs, accidents, anything other than dying from old age is natural.
Respect mother nature for we are incapable of ever arresting its fury.
I remember that afternoon. My brother had gone to his school and I was home on the preparatory leave for my 8th Board Exams. It was so sunny, not a cloud in the sky when mom decided that we had to go to the supermarket for somethings. I loved that market for the complex that housed the market had many shops that served my taste buds.
Mom and I sat on our Luna Super Star and off we went. There was a gift store right beside the market, Archies, that had 2 cassettes displayed on the rack. I recognized these albums from MTV for I knew songs from both and even Mom had heard them and loved them. Her near childish demeanor for new music still surprises me and it did that afternoon too.
The other song that we had heard from this album was –
This song is so hip and so pop and doesn’t at all relate to the other topic the artists were about to touch in Krishna. We had no clue how it would sound but the entire experience and the thrill of it is still fresh in my head! It’s a fantastic album for those of you who haven’t heard it yet with very special meanings!
The other album was Aby Baby by Amitabh Bachchan.
Thanks Mom for always bringing out the best of our (me and my brothers) taste in music. I won’t place anyone else there with you. It’s really special and at the top!
P.S. – Pardon me for the poor quality of the videos but these are the best youtube gave me.
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 –
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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.
A huge house.
Lots of people.
The compulsory siesta.
Kulfi (Sweet Indian summer delicacy).
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!