Good Old Days!

Last Sunday I woke up to thundering noises coming from the store room which is built separately from the rest of the house. Terrified, I sprang over the garden and ran towards the room and almost got my head banged into the huge iron cupboard which someone had pulled out. A thick layer of dust made it impossible to see who the doer was. Stupidly, my first thought was – is someone trying to steal that huge mountain of steel and dust (a.k.a. Mount Doom), God, are we being robbed? Then my next thought was to shriek because the first thought had scared the shit out of me so instead I asked for my “Mommy”, in a frail voice.

“You’re finally awake?” asked Mom.
I still could not see her.

“You bet I am”, trying to hide my scared-as-shit tone and replacing it with a you-woke-me-up-so-early-on-a-frigging-Sunday tone.

“Will you give me a hand?”, she asked me coming out from behind the huge dust cloud. She was enveloped in grey dust flakes and when she came out of the room in the sunlight, the particles shone brightly making skin and hair turn white. A huge broom was in her left hand and an equally huge photo album in her right. All in all she was looking like Gandalf the White from The Lord Of The Rings! Thankfully, she was wearing a mask over her mouth and nose and gloves on her hands to get cover against the dust but that made her look like Willy Wonka, only in whiter clothes and without a hat.

After all of my useless observations, I finally said, “You bet I will.”
Trust me, I become all the more satirical after being woken up to unessentially horrifying sounds on an essentially important day like, I don’t know, a Sunday!?

“Well, someone has acid all over their morning breath”, Mom said signaling me to hold the prehistoric album.

I rolled my eyes because if I was a pro at this, Mom was an old pro.

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Mom was spring cleaning the place and like all the other previous years it was that time of the year when all of us would sit together and “relive the old memories” because after this the album would be put back into the cupboard and the room won’t be cleaned again until the next year hence no “remembering the good old days”. That photo album has all the pictures since Mom’s and Dad’s college days to their marriage to our births to the present day. It’s actually a collection of different photo albums put together as one.

For this special little event of ours, Mom makes some special food and Dad’s thing is to get all the pictures of the previous year made from the photo studio and put them up in the album. After everything has been done, we sit together and look at the pictures not actually to go down the memory lane but mostly to make fun of each other.

I am not going lie but I wasn’t the most photogenic kid in my childhood, hence I have to face most of the humiliation. There is this one picture that my uncle had clicked just to check if the camera was working or not. The picture was a natural one because neither of us knew that the camera was working. So, in the picture, Mom, Dad and me, all of us are sitting on a sofa. Dad is reading a newspaper and Mom is sipping her tea and where am I? I am sitting right beside them with only a minor difference, that is, my legs are where my head should and head is where legs should be and as it turned out that the camera was working perfectly! So, after getting myself humiliated over and over again, I noticed one thing, that is, it seems I didn’t care how I looked or what I was doing when those shots were taken just to get a oh-my-God-I-should-upload-this-on-Facebook, which was great, but, as it turns out my parents didn’t care either.

Apart from harassing one another, while the event goes on, my Dad has a few lines which he says after each picture.
1. My God, look how fast time passes by!?
2. How I wish we could all go back to those times!
3. Oh! Hah. Look at you! And you!

Trust me, he says these words at every second picture and with the same energy. It seems as if he is transported into another world once we start to look at the photos. He is instantly back to his childhood and talks how beautiful those days were and how happy he emphasizes upon how fast the both of us grew but my sister and I tell him melodramatically – NO, time does pass by, every single year we have gone to school each and every day and suffered the thrashings of our daily routines and for over a decade and for the last time, TIME DOES NOT FLY BY!
The point being that we never really thought about Dad’s words or what they actually meant until today.

So, today again we were having this event and Mom called had Uncle and Aunt over to our place with their two beautiful kids. They have a boy of eight and a girl of one.

The girl is one of the most ravishing things I have ever seen. Hands down. To this most of you might think that yes babies are beautiful and all, but when I say she is ravishing, it means she is one of a kind. She has this small round face accompanied with little silky smooth black hair falling on her forehead. Her long eyelashes sweep across her pink cheeks slowly as she blinks her eyes. What I mean is she is you can’t take your eyes off her once she is in the room.

Anyways, we were all sitting and chatting about the old days. Dad was in a awe (again) and was back to his childhood and stuck to his pet lines. Mom was telling Uncle and Aunt about an incidence my sister pulled off in her school. My sister, Vikhyat (the boy) and I were teaching Avi (the girl) to speak. As we were forcing her to get words out of her mouth, Mom said, “Look how fast she has learned to walk and now she is even starting to speak!”
That’s when it occurred to me what Mom and Dad had gone through and now I was too going through that stage. My sister was also born in front of me but at that time I was too young to understand the phenomenon. But with this little girl things are different as I now am more capable of witnessing and understanding her growth.

Nearly one and a half decades ago, my parents were doing the same thing, teaching my sister and me how to walk, to speak, to do stuff and how weird it must feel to see those little things grow up so fast like Avi is doing now. That girl was born in front of us. She took her first steps in front of us and now she was going to speak her first words in front of us. A pang of nostalgia hit me and I could not stop thinking about this girl growing up so quickly. She has half her teeth out and within two years she might be going to school!

Realizing that soon she would be a grown up too and within no time we all would be sitting with an older version of her and remembering these days nearly stopped my breath for a second.
I know I was hypersensitive about the whole thing but at least now I understood what my father meant and felt and I actually thank him for days like these. And yes, Avi made me realize – TIME DOES FLY BY!

Below you will find the pictures of the girl, the ‘first love of my life’ as I call her and I hope you will understand as to why I don’t want her to grow up!

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I Begin To Write

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With a pen in my hand
I begin to write
But the words in my mind
They just stand and stare in my face and I hold the pen tight
The emptiness hanging inside me is all I have
Loud noises of the vacuum is all I can hear
And the wall in front of me is all I can see
I sit and wait for the words to line
But then it occurs to me that there is no good in feeding on the outside world
When I don’t have the courage to look in my mind
So, desperately I start to search for my feelings
That’s when I remember that they are long gone with my senses
Few words come scribbling down on a page
And that’s all I can take to the stage

With a pen in my hand
I begin to write
It is then I realise the small turmoil of feelings I have
Buried deep down under the huge pile of my psyche
Patiently they wait in a corner to pull down my pride
Nervously I go and stroke them and they get scattered all over the place
Gently I start to address each one of them
That’s when they pounce, scream and shout at me
They pull me down to the place I had left
But never had I realised that the place was in me and I was in the place
Few tears come running down on the page
And that’s all I can take to the stage

With a pen in my hand
I begin to write
And I begin to wonder where is all that pride
Now I begin to scratch down my walls
To find nothing but my beaten thrall
This is what I was afraid to face but now I have no place to hide
Horrified, I drop the pen and the ink is all over the page
Quickly I pick up the page and take it to throw
But then I think that I won’t
For that page might not have words
But what it has is more than the words could ever fill or do
And that is what I will take to the stage.

So, You Do?

I don’t know why am I even writing about this but I need to get it out of my system. Very badly. The thing is that today I was traveling in a bus and the girl sitting behind me was on the phone with her boyfriend. I know it is bad to eavesdrop, especially when it is too very private, but she was sitting right behind me and she was very loud. Then I thought ‘Oh, what the hell!’ and invaded her personal space.

The beginning of her conversation was very stale. It was all that stuff that makes you want to throw up. The real thing that made me lost my effing mind started after a long long time. Yes, I did not play a good co passenger and no, please don’t judge me.

“I cannot wait to get married and start living together!”

According to me, either the girl was old fashioned (that’s okay) or she hadn’t heard of ‘live in relationships’ (not okay).

Whatever, I don’t care about the girl or her marriage, the thing I care about is why people think that it is necessary to get married. I don’t mean to say that getting hitched to someone is bad. No. What I mean to say is that when two people are in love, why do they need to take the permission of other thousands of people to live together and have babies? Why are marriages even necessary? I don’t see the need of getting “married” to someone I love even if I want to spend the rest of my life with them.

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So here are some of the points why I think getting hitched is not necessary:

1. The lavish wedding cake is not going to hold your souls together, but the love you share is definitely going to.
2. None of bridesmaids is going to sort out the things when you two are in a fight. It is you who will have do the talking.
3. Not even a single guest is going to remember your wedding after the next day. It will only be the two of you with every single detail weaved in your souls. Good or bad.
4. No gift given will be matchable to the gift you two give to each other without even getting married, that is, obviously your love.
5. If you are not a good dancer, you will have to live with the embarrassment of your ‘first dance’ for the rest of your life, but on the brighter side if you don’t get married, you won’t have to. 😛

So, all of the things mentioned above are possible without even getting married. Also, without getting married you might even know if the person was worth loving or not, because if you are walking down the aisle with that person on the grounds that they might run away, then you need to get your $#it straightened. But on the other hand if he/she is the one and you are not settling down, then I don’t think there is any harm and also it would add a little bit of thrill to your life. Maybe.

Most of the people, after getting married, tend to develop a sense of ownership over their spouse and then they think that any type of a mistake is forgivable but, what good is that?

The only reason which comes to my mind for getting married is that when you apply for a loan (having it named under the wife’s name makes it easy to get one and lessens the interest).

Please don’t think of me as a depressed creep who has a grudge against weddings because I don’t. In fact, I like to attend them. Not because two beautiful souls are going to be blessed by God and all the other tens of millions of guests are going witness the ceremony after which both of them are going to stay together for say, ten years and then get divorced mostly because of each others in-laws, I like to attend them because of the food that is served. 😀

It is unbelievable how much a person/family can spend on a wedding. Frankly, most of it is mere show off. Believe me, I live in India and I have seen those people spend lavishly on a wedding who have no idea from where are they going to arrange the next day’s meal.

Maybe I am too young to understand the concept of a lavish party at a sacred wedding and maybe I am too going to do the same things when I come of the age, but right now I don’t understand the concept of the ‘big idea’ and nor do I want to.

Counting Stars

“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.”
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations.

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“I live in a big and a beautiful city.”
My younger brother wrote this line in his notebook when he was told to write an essay about “His City”. The two adjectives used by him could not stop me from asking him what did he exactly mean when he wrote those words? So, he smirked at me and said, “Big because it is really big and is the capital of two states and we have really huge malls here, and beautiful because (a long pause), can you not see the roads? Don’t tell me you have forgotten about the last year’s visit to grandma’s?”, and he continued to write his essay.

His answer made me sad because my grandma lives in a village and we live here, in this big and beautiful city. A few years ago, we used to visit her in every six months. This was before my brother was born, but now due to our school schedules and dad’s office we visit her only if something special happens, like last year it was her fiftieth marriage anniversary so we had to be there.
Basically, my brother like most of the people, has never experienced the alluring life of village. Not that I am undermining the city life but a person should also see a village and know what he/she is missing out on.

I don’t usually take matters seriously but this one thing touched the wrong strings. So, for the sake of my brother I decided to make a list of all the things that my cousins and I used to do at grandma’s.
My brother was busy eating his ice cream after dinner. This is usually his “me time” and I thought this was the perfect time to hand him this list. He started to read it out loud and then our conversation went something like this :

He : Waking up to the singing birds, bathing in tube wells, watching hens lay eggs and then having ’em for breakfast”, he paused and looked at me from behind the list and gave me a sarcastic smile.
He : You don’t have to lie.
Me : I am not.
He : Watching hens lay eggs and then having ’em for breakfast. Really?
Me : What? Bet you have never touched ’em all brown and warm.
He : Uh! Don’t want to.
Me : Read on.
He : Moving on, we have – watching the servant milk the cows, riding the home bred horses (no exaggeration),..
I stopped listening to him and looked at his face for his silly expressions. Initially, the list didn’t interest him much and he was just reading it mindlessly, but I waited patiently for there was one thing which I knew would catch his attention and it did.
He : You don’t tell me!
Me : As a matter of fact, I just did.
He : I don’t believe you.
Me : You don’t have to.
Then, I got up from the chair to leave.
He : Wait!
Me : What?
He : Well, okay. Let’s say, I believe you.
He was bluffing.
Me : Go to hell.
We swear in front of each other. A lot.
He : Please, I want to know more.
Me : Okay.

Actually, the thing is that my brother is ten and is a big Disney movie buff and you people might know how all the Disney movies begin. With stars. They begin with a castle made of stars and sometimes, they even end with someone usually looking up at a sky full of stars and praying and all that $#it.

Coming back to the topic, my brother has never seen stars apart from movies or photos because he has never left the big and the beautiful city. He did not even know that they existed until he made a friend whose father is an astronomer. Turns out that his father is always taking his friend to magical little trips at nights, to far away mysterious lands to watch stars and other beautiful celestial bodies. As far as my brother’s hunger is concerned, he gets to satisfy it by the pictures his friend and his father have clicked.
What had actually triggered all this is that I had written a little point in the list.
“Gazing at the stars all through the night.”

Naturally, after reading this my brother went bonkers and lost his effing mind but he tried to keep his calm. But I didn’t mind it a bit because I would also have done the same thing. Then I told him how we used to go on the terrace to sleep and not actually sleep and stay awake till dawn under the endless ocean of stars catching up with each other and telling each other spooky stories. But my personal favorite was when we used to tip toe into star lit kitchen and have the left overs as midnight snacks and while eating how we used to count the stars and the person with the largest count got something extra to eat. Then, when finally we used to run out of everything to do, we used to sleep under the watchful gaze of those millions of divine stars.
Having heard all of this my brother ran to mom and asked her when will we be visiting grandma again. She told him “very soon”, which was a lie, but to him it wasn’t and I kept it that way.