Day 14 : Children’s Day

NaBloPoMo November 2016

My school friend called me yesterday (14 Nov 2016). We were in the same class from Nursery to 12th. We used to study together for exams in some of the years.

She was remembering one children’s day celebration that I had organised at my place. I like to rummage through old stuff, which is aplenty in our 150+ year old house and the ground surrounding it (we used to own a ginning factory). One fine day in the late 90s or in the year 2000, I found a framed photograph of Jawaharlal Nehru. Children’s Day was approaching, and a Hindi lesson where a gang of girls decide to clean up their village was influencing me a lot. So I decided to have a gathering where we make our own gang of girls.

Incidentally, the leader of the fictional gang and my friend N shared the same name. That made me believe that we can bring about a ‘Kranti’ – a revolution.

I called up all the interested girls in our class on the 13th. I am happy to say most of them turned up. We were about 6-8 attendees at the gathering.

I dusted Chacha Nehru’s photograph, took out the jumbo chattai (carpet) to spread under the neem tree in our ground – the venue for the gathering, and cleared the neem twigs with a kharata (broom). At around 12 o’clock, the photograph was propped up on the chair, which was kept near the carpet.

My Mom had made snacks for us. I don’t remember clearly, but all the attendees brought something from their home. Yes, I think they did.

The gathering was planned with utmost detail. When all had arrived, we lit an agarbatti (incense stick) as homage to the great soul. I had prepared a speech, which seemed very inspiring to me. Everybody listened till they could, and then shut me up. 😐

We played passing the parcel. The winner got a prize. Then we had our dabbas in the cool breeze under the neem tree, which gave us shade in the otherwise sunny afternoon. Time seemed to stop. When the meeting was over, handkerchiefs were handed out to everyone as a return gift. (I got to know afterwards that giving a handkerchief to someone is considered a bad omen. Your friendships turn sour, if you do. Well, I am happy to say that it is not so and they might be saying that for used hankys ‘cos they spread infections. We all have retained touch with each other and have stronger ties than ever.)

Of course, we did not realise the significance then. We do now. It was an attempt to freeze our childhood which was running out fast – all of us were in already in our teens.

We fought over the futility of the idea, there was reluctance in getting together, but when we did – we made a merry afternoon of the gathering. There were many such gatherings (not on children’s day) at intervals of 5-6 years after each. The reluctance was always present, last minute drop-outs were coaxed and dragged into the train/car to Lonavala and we kept on making memories like that noon.

Thanks N, for reminding me of that Children’s Day yesterday! Love you, and love our gang of girls!

Third ramble

Time flies.

My earliest memory is being carried down an escalator in my Dad’s arms and talking (at least I think I was. Maybe I was just listening.) to my Mom’s Faiba. Later I discovered it was the Juhu Centaur and I had danced with the live band there. I still don’t know how old I was, but brings chills down my spine when I think I am ‘thinking’ since then!

So I exist.

Since this year, I can almost think and reminisce about 25 years of my existence. The escalator memory still seems just a blink away. At most times, I either find myself looking ahead or back in the time fabric.

I think of what will give me joy, if done, in the future. And leave it at that. As if it will happen by itself. Joy, in the present, is always ‘postponable’. Say I want to read this lovely book, I find myself Facebooking for an hour instead. Ah yes, maybe everybody does that to a good book.

Postponing joy is not a good thing at all.

Maybe I want some things to happen, some places I wanna go. I should keep trying for them while enjoying my journey leading up to them, instead of ‘waiting it out’ and then finding a fizzled form of happiness when and if I eventually get there.

The funniest thing is, I have actually implemented my own advice above, in our courtship days. These days, I find it difficult to keep thoughts aligned and enjoy the present.

I don’t see children often. When I happen to meet the little ones in the society, I observe them and find the deepest form of happiness and contentment (most of the times, when they’re playing in the evening). I remember how happy I was as a child. 

The reason was the world was full of possibilities. And there was no other way I’d imagine my life to be.

With the exposure to too much information, I have forgotten that I am not here just to absorb others’ lives and crave things other than my own surroundings. I remember I liked the fancy stuff the city kids had, or did. Or maybe from the books I read, of times that were not my own. But I had always known that I too live in my own peculiar world, I’d never wanted it just because they had it. I had my beautiful stuff too. I climbed trees, and fed goats. I bet they would’ve loved to be able to do that…(or not, who cared!)

Now, I have fallen in the trap of observing more and doing less. Of not stopping to smell the flowers, ‘cos either there exist better ones elsewhere in the world. Or maybe I’ll smell the new flower that’ll bloom next spring. I am postponing joy! For a better moment (which sure is) awaiting me…

So let’s not postpone it anymore, let me bask in delight over publishing this post, which is as true a ramble as they come! I am not even gonna read what I wrote till I publish it. I am writing, not postponing joy anymore.