The other day,as I sat contemplating what I am doing at present and what I should actually be doing raised a number of questions,visions of long lost friends came up,complete strangers started walking and talking in front of me and it was a whole maze of pictures persons places all mixed up.I think amidst all this contemplation,we tend to forget our past,but it is actually from our past that we can learn and make our future better,so said the great Gandhiji.
I was born in the 90s,a great time to be born as I now have come to realise. We used to play on the streets,talk to our neighbors,got into fights and sorted them out too,played hide n seek on the buildings’ rooftops,badminton by streetlight and what-not! I come from a family of doctors and engineers and have always dreamt of imitating their steps.My close family is of my parents and a younger brother.I have often heard people say that they have the best parents in the world, I never thought of putting my parents to the competition,I was always anxious to be the best child in the world.
I can just remember fragments of my childhood.Born in a small town,and my grandfather being very famous there,I was something of a mini-celebrity(my grandmother loves saying it!) being a rather chubby and good looking kid(i can vouch for the chubbiness,seen the pictures!).One of the first stories I remember my thakuma (grandmother) telling me is how schoolgirls on their way back home from school would come by our garden and want to play with me and how she would refuse first nicely and then sternly that it was not allowed.
My father loves taking pictures and it seems my childhood is all there in the family albums.One funny thing is he also has pictures of me crying,he says that is also memory to be preserved.I used to ride the scooter with him,we had one light blue colored Priya scooter as far as I can remember and I used to love the noise the air made in my ears while I stood holding the handle in front of my father.It was a tradition that every holiday that he had,he used to take me and my brother on a ride to nearby small hills.It was on such a ride that he suddenly took an unknown turn and the scooter started going downhill faster.I was a little surprised but then he stopped and asked me to get down.In front of us was a small building,newly colored and with a picturesque background as far as I could recall.He told me he had come to show me THE SCHOOL.I was quite excited and that is as far as I can remember.Next memory is my father taking me to school and chatting with me all the way,then comes the school and he takes me inside.There he introduces me to my teacher,Torna Miss,as i recall and tells me to greet her.She in turn pinches my cheeks and tells my Dad to go as the other kids would arrive pretty soon and the first class would begin.I was really worried about i no-not-what and dad, after telling me to be a good girl, left me with the teacher and went.Next what happened is best described in dad’s own words.He says he was just starting to climb uphill when he heard a rather strange shriek,he stopped,turned,second shriek followed by wailing and he was sprinting downhill.Next thing he sees was me crying my eyes out and Torna miss scared and above all shocked,standing there,unsure of what to do.He spent the whole morning hovering near the window and I spent my first day in school looking out the window to make sure he was there!!
My mother was the perfect daughter-in-law,the perfect wife and the perfect mother. Being a pampered two year old when my brother arrived,I was naturally very angry and very jealous.A strange idea entered my mind that dad was mine and mum was brother’s.Hence I always used to be with my dad,and when he was in office,I spent time with my grandmother.In fact I went to ma only when I needed something done,like dressing me up,combing my hair etc.She regularly used to style my hair different ways and most of the times she had to do it more than once so that my hair would be PERFECCCT!!.I used to have breakfast of milk n cornflakes while watching some historical serials going on right in the morning and my mother doing my hair and father tying the laces of my shoes.At school I remember one incident when Torna miss suddenly came in the class one day and asked us who could spell ‘MOSQUITO’ correctly.I remember I got confused with the’q’ and ‘u’ and another boy took the prize of two toffees,I was so sad!
We all used to bring lunch boxes from home and i was never allowed to bring anything but veggies and was also told not to eat eggs or chicken from others since books were sacred and we should keep them pure.I always used to ask ma to give me boiled eggs and after two three times she used to get irritated and finally asked me to go live in the friends’ houses who used to bring eggs and I used to laugh out loud.But as time passed this lesson became a way of life for me,till now books and food are always kept separate!
Life goes on,we grow up and our lessons and values become a part of our life,the way we live!