Showing posts with label growing up. Show all posts
Showing posts with label growing up. Show all posts

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Forever a Malayalli

Under the green trees whose shadows she rested I grew up playing, in the very rain that drenched her I bathed, by the bank of the many rivers that nourished her I learned of heritage and culture. She was the mother that I seldom had, the father that I longed, a friend that I cherish. She was everything that I wanted and she is everything that I am. The life that I lived every second of every hour I lived in her cradle is the life that I ever want to know and wherever in the vast expanse of the globe destiny decides to take me my roots are forever claimed and every moment lived is but an attempt to be back in my mother’s lap. 

The spicy scent of the wet land, my grandmother is to say that beautiful scent was mother earth burping with satisfaction after her thirst has been quenched. How beautiful it smelled, like the scent of fresh Thulsi leaves. How beautiful was it too see the dark monsoon clouds come rolling in from the sky, It was said that the clouds had the colour of lord Krishna and just like the little Krishna they brought great joy along with them. My Kerala, My mother was a beautiful sight to see when she was drenched in his blessings. Everywhere there was just the vast expanse of green and from every leaf dripped many a million drops of rain. The trees rained down after the clouds and as a little child, dressed in nothing but a little black tread by waste I would go below the many creepers that grew in our garden and give it a shake. I would squeal with delight as the cold droplets hit my then tender body and I would smile with absolute pleasure. Of course I was too young to remember it then but my lovely grandmother had painted for me such vibrant pictures of my childhood that somehow they seem more part of my memory than a part of her narration. Everytime I think of those moments I feel them, the emotions of the little me rather just a detached memory.

I remember though the many hours I have stood by the many windows, each time a new one and watched the endless rain and I remember being overjoyed at the mere sight of it. To me each drop of rain now is a part of my mother and her endless beauty. They in their watery way tie me down to the land and the land in its muddy way tie me down to the sky and. They together in their symphony tie me down to my mother. There in that adobe of love I started talking root and every monsoon my roots grew just that much larger and deeper and tied me down a little more to the land. 

There is not a day I don’t dream of going back to her, I have not been too far from her yet every moment spent away from her is sheer agony and the desire is that much more deeper. My mother had loved me and I have loved her back just as much, the truth is you never realize how much you love them but at the moments you spent away from her. Rain and monsoon are that much deep rooted in me and every one of my memories does have a tinge of it somewhere. Be it the times I stared at the rain from the safety of the local sweet stall clinching to my grandfather’s hands or be it the moments I have immersed myself in the bliss as it fell down over me. Even when I grew up I was in love with the rain and every chance I get to be with her, I took, every excuse I could make to be with her I have made. I love the rain and the land after the rain. I love the land before that rain that is both ominous and sensational. The thunder and the lightning, the cold and freezing breeze that comes just before the rain and then as the drum roll reaches its finale you hear the hear, the sizzle before she comes and rains down on you.

How could I be anything but her beloved son, How could I ever dream of having a mother that is not her, a home that is not hers. I belong there I belong in her lap and I am to be at home curled up in her laps and listening to her wonderful stories and dream of the wonderful world that it draws in my mind. I belong to her both in this life and the next, I came from her and into her wet soil I must return as ash. In her many rivers must I lay my final rest and in her lap I must lie dead the same way I was born into hers. Forever I will be hers, A malayali.

Saturday, 5 May 2012

The Lost Childhood

Children Playing in Rain, Bangladesh

Do you remember your juvenile days, the time when the whole world was full of wonder and possibilities? The time when the whole world was just perfect and everything was just a thought away? The truth is most of us cant, if I were a wee bit wrong and I do wish I was wrong, we could have seen a whole lot of people trotting along the streets smiling happy smiles. If I were wrong we could have seen unknown people playing with each other and there would have been no disgust or bias based on colour, race or faith. Every evil is the work of an adult, the child is not tainted, the child knows no distinction, and for a child all are one and the same. With age we learn to bias, discriminate and demarcate!

Let me tell you something that happened on my train journey yesterday, I was travelling on a train to home in a relatively full cabin. There was a young couple, an old man, a middle aged professional and then there was me. A rather weird mix of people that under no circumstances would strike up a conversation with each other but it so happened that in this particular journey we were meant to be more than just polite  in our conversations but friendly enough to play together. There was a girl, A sweet, cute angel with a flower the size of a lotus stuck to her hair bow and a smile that could melt the world away. She talked to us every one of us and before we knew we were cracking jokes playing at each other’s expense and mocking each other. What had happened for such a remarkable transformation to occur to a very strange group of people?

The truth is, the kid happened, her innocence transcended our hearts and heads, her innocent melted away any discrimination and disgust we would have carried, it annihilated whatever it was that prevented us from talking to each other. In her presence we were becoming children poking her, making faces, mimicking her stories and acclimating to her emotions. She made us able to see through life with clarity, without prejudices, an ability that we have lost in a very distant past. It’s a shame that we can’t live the life of a child always. Wouldn’t it be amazing had we been able to remain a child forever, an age of mind where your biggest sadness was not getting candy and your days always started with sunshine and ended in fairytales? An age when we were willing to believe in magic, fairytales, magic and fairies. An age characterized by an ability to trust and love unconditionally.

I believe we need to reclaim our childhood if we are to live life to our fullest. I believe when we lose all childishness and child-likeness in ourselves that’s when we really become old. It is possible and it is achievable, to be like a child, it is possible to keep an open mind and it is possible to love and trust unconditionally. We need to understand the child in us and keep it alive inside us. Life is too short to be not a child. Ask yourself if being in the presence of  a child is enough to make you childlike then would it be hard to be childlike all your life if you tried.

Photo Credits: Children Playing in Rain, Bangladesh© 1996-2012 National Geographic Society.