This is a rather quick jotting of some childhood memories. Everything about this post, other than the intention, could appear vague. But that’s how it is with most good memories; you can’t always explain to others what exactly is good about them, can you? Also, generally, the sense of ‘smell’ has a very big role in making an idea/a moment memorable for me; dunno if it’s a common thing with most people.
Here’s the list – call it my ‘top 7’ 😀
- The after-rain smell (‘petrichor’ it is called). While it’s a common experience for us ‘tropical’ people, in my case the pleasure in later years has limited itself to just the singular aspect of that smell. Earlier it was like coming together of all senses, all happinesses. I don’t know where has that complete feeling gone. Although the smell I’ve smelled/smelt (?) every season, the whole magic could never get recreated. Dunno what’s with it, may be I’ve become a bland , corrupted soul, but I surely miss it. This memory circumscribes the entire idea I have of my own childhood, esp the days I spent in our older, rented home. I think it’s about the place. Or it could be a mental thing too; afterall, mind does have its idiosyncratic ways of preserving important moments. *oops, looks like I am psycho-analysing my own mind* 😀
- My first Tobu cycle. (a red tricycle, with a rear seat too : )) We siblings (mis)used it for much longer than we should’ve : ) It met with a rather unceremonious end when 4 of us were once trying to ride it together; it simply buckled under the load, but not before having served its purpose in our lives!
- The (dear) pigs in my locality. Remember the last time you saw a bloated pig (not your boss; a real swine I’m talking about!) lazing around on a cool patch of grass, casually looking back at you? I do. 😀 Believe me, it wasn’t as unbearable or filthy as it may seem to you. Here, I’m reminded of Winston Churchill’s quote: “I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down upon us. Pigs treat us as their equals.” I agree completely! Not to forget, to me they look the most cute too, esp when looking back at you with that ‘pout’. *ouch, did that hurt*
- Open drains. Once during a cricket match at our terrace with these tiny goons around, I remember hitting an ambitious shot that caused the ball to jump beyond the wall. We ran in the direction of the hit. We were a bunch of anxious kids, with hands outstreched in hope, asking the ball to stop anywhere on the road. The ball had other intentions that day. “Nooooo”, we said, as the ball took a proper dip in the drain outside, though still visible as a blackish-green mass. I was sent to fetch the ball (who else !!). When my mom saw me running back to my partners with the smile of a warrior (it wouldn’t have taken her long to guess what I was up to), she hung me by my ears and the game was over suddenly
- Rickshaw journey to the school until as late as my 7th class. Believe me, as much activity happened during that one hour as during the entire stay at the school. I am unsure whether that kind of slowpaced, easy interaction is there for children in any form today. Now-a-days, we see kiddies speeding around in their scooties. Life’s become zippy, whether for good or for bad, I’ll choose not to have an opinion on. (like I read the other day, ‘We travel faster these days, but I’m not sure if we reach better places.’)
- Waiting for my elder brother below a giant tree near my classroom everyday after school, and feeling cramped about it… coz he would come late, discussing something with his friend whereas all my buddies would be playfully panicking inside the rickshaw. I could never come to regard my waiting as purposeful.
- The melodious sound of the Indian ‘koel’ (the cuckoo) in the mornings at school. Nested on the high neem trees in my school, they unleashed the most endearing singing I’ve ever known. (that increasing pitch . . . like koo (pause), kooo (pause), koooo (pause), kooooo (pause), kooooooo ……followed by a flurry of short, briskly delivered, ‘ku ku ku ku ku‘) I’m sure I have done a pretty bad job at trying to recreate that sound here . . . In fact, my writing ‘ku ku ku ku’ in the end is scary, if one gets reminded of the ‘ku ku ku ku’ sung by Madhuri Dixit, the other Indian koel of yesteryears we know of. 😀