Thursday, November 9

The History Of The Paddy Field Boy(s)

Received a super tag from Velu sar which is to
[1] Write 8-10 things about your childhood ( 1-12 years) that you miss.
[2] Write 8-10 things that you disliked about your childhood.

Something about history that would never let us go, that would never let us forget and certainly never let us 'go back'. So this is a strange life that we live in, thinking that all the best times have sailed past, every day wishing for that single happy day in school, the day of the first love or the day of the first kiss. And before that, there were only stories, innocent and majestic.

So I powered up the trusty ol' time machine, packed some Lays and Root Beer, got my sweater and went for a trip to the grand 80's...

8 things about my childhood that I miss most...
1. The very first day I gained consciousness. I know this sounds weird, but I can only look back to that one single day that I am aware of being alive and it is clearly in my mind, as I woke up that morning to see the sun beams creep to the walls and floor of the room through the window with metal bars and out side the reflection of the beams on the tree tops and leaves were just as fresh in my mind. And from that day onward I woke up to that very same setting for years to come.

2. My adventures to that lake. When I was 4 years old I went jogging with my dad through this jungle path then we came to a great big lake with white ducks (which ofcourse looked like big swans when you are small!) and hundreds of beautiful lotus flowers. It was like a setting from a movie, I have never seen a place so beautiful like it before. The lake now is in the middle of a housing estate and is not as nearly beautiful as it was back then.

3. On Deepavali mornings I always would wake up at 4 or 5 am to wait for my uncles from the big city. Everyone would be asleep and I would be in the hall along with whatever ghosts around at that time waiting and just waiting to see my cousins. The priceless moments come when they arrive and I dont utter a single word to anyone until they leave a week later. Memories...

4. The mango trees. We had so many mango trees around the house that sometimes I become so sad thinking of the ugly environment we live in now. There was always a tree that I would climb and sit forever watching people pass by the roads around the house, throw young mangoes on the tin roof of the house and wait for grandma to run out scolding me, eat all the unripe mangoes I can and then get this lesions around the mouth because of its highly acidic(?) milk, try to build a tree house and pluck fruits for the neighborhood kids. Nowadays I get the jitters climbing the stairs to my office or apartment...

5. To the Circus School! I did not cry on the first day of school simply because I think I was dumbfounded by the hundreds of kids around me crying, running around, fighting, shouting... The teachers never let parents into the class, during recess or the assembly after our registration and there was all this kids running around acting weird and me being the ultimate shy dude (a ghost particle then itself) would just stand under a tree or at one corner of the buildings and watch people! So came one kid who just beat the hell out of me on my 2nd or 3rd day and after that I brought my grampa to report to the teacher. The boy was canned (when canning was still legal in schools) in front of the class, and from that day onwards till I was in standard 5 the dude still bullied me. Yes, I had a traumatic schooling life but I loved every bit of it because I used to have a small gang with me who would just hang out being guys. We had the most fun the and I wish to relive every moment of it.

6. 'He said he wants to be a scientist'. The first time I saw Beyond 2000 (the science show) on TV with grandpa was a special occasion. All those people talking the language I cant understand and then after the show he would explain to me all those stuff they did. I watched the show religiously for years to come and still do it on the Discovery Network. So one day I asked him a supermost great question, " how does striking a matchstick causes fire?" and he explained more and more stuff that was gibberish then and said the scientist made it (he pronounced 'saai - yan - tea - iis') and the I went around the whole week telling everyone I want to be a scientist. Grandpa would tell everyone who comes to the house that I want to be a scientist. All that was pure magic. Later when I entered secondary school everyone wants to be an engineer or an accountant or a doctor or a lawyer and there were no 'saaiyanteaiss' anymore around. I miss my grandpa alot.

7. The Family. Nearly all my uncles and aunties lived with us in grandpa's huge wooden house last time. It was very nice being the eldest grandson in the family and everyones attention is on me. So anything I do will somehow create immediate fan following from a lot of people because they want my grandpa to know that they are treating me nice. This big family went through everything from marriages to births and deaths together, and I could still remember the laughter and cries. On the days nearing Thaipusam when the whole family will build beautiful Kavadis for my uncles and we will stay at the temple during the festival operating a small food stall and watching the procession together. It brought immense happiness just knowing there are always people around us together not showing their sorrow for a greater purpose of staying as a family. I dont know how else to describe it. People change, now the house is sold and everyone is living far from each other.

8. The sun and the moon. How do we see the world when we are small? Try running around the house to reason day and night, to feel the cold rain and at the same time bath in hot water. Drink hot coffees and wait for the ice-cream man on a bicycle selling what now would be primitive ice cream. The nights that were cold and sleeping with amma or grandma fanning me not knowing how that fan creates 'coldness' or watching the blades of the fan spin and disappear into a single round 'thing'. Electricity, fridges and irons. Then the food which tasted so good, and we feel so content because we are being fed by the hands that raised us that cooked day and night for us. For all the stars in the sky that I peeked at afraid it might fall to the day I stood there for minutes and hours asking questions to grandpa of what it was. It was, everything was me. Our childhood are 'us' because we made everything to be mysterious. Then we touched each of them from the trees to the plants to the lovings eyes of our mothers to know what they were. Then the days we gave name, we met people and we learned how thing works. The days when the sun rises and moon rises are the days of innocence. There are no days of innocence now.
8 things I wished never crossed into the best memories of my childhood...
1. The cane and the hand. I used to be a nice kid, then the solitary path that I choose (not wanting to talk to anyone) caused me to turn into a snob and then a naughty kid who seeks to disturb and destroy more than be nice. (all this when I was 5 years old). So the results are the same every time and the feeling are the same every time that I remember being beaten or slapped because I did something terribly wrong because truly I did not know what I did. That is one thing no parent should do to their children, but there was no other reasoning in the 80's I guess.

2. The circus school monkeys. As I said before school was both nice and painful. It was nicer more, and would have remained so if not for the little pests that made everyones life hard by complaining to the teacher or beating me up. I wish to beat them all up now if I see them again. I dont know...the last I heard one of the denise the menace cousin became a police Inspector! Ahhh...there are so many things that I wish to change!

3. The car and the bike. Some of the moments I dreaded most nearing the end of my primary years were when my wealthier relatives come home and brag about their overseas vacations and how their kids are becoming doctors and such. I hate them so much and I still hate them. Dad had only a bike till I was 16.

4. The red army. My mango tree memories would have been the ultimate adventures if not for the red leaf cutter ants. For the years I was the king of the trees to the days when I stopped climbing trees when I got fat, my only enemies were them bad bad bad ants! I used to have scars on my legs because of them and every time it itches I will be reminded of ants. I was even scared of ants for a while.

5. Tears. Any child who grows up learning things can only take small doses of emotions. I cried alot when I was a kid, I cried for everything from ant bites to bad dreams. There were times I would suddenly wake up at night because of a nightmare and everyone will rush in and I would be so afraid theyll scold me because I went into the jungles again that I would say an insect bite me or I fell from the bed. It was so hard finding the reason even now why I could cry for the smallest perturbations while some deaths will make me a stone.

6. The white walls of good and bad. I was dead afraid of hospitals and clinics. I would run away when they want to take me to the group hospitals for fever or anything. I would hide or make a scene so that they will just leave me alone. Even during the times when we walk past the hospitals I would close my eyes.

7. Ghost Stories. Every time my cousins come back they will bring with them treasures of far away ghost stories. How I envy American kids who talk about sex and girls :p So being the ghost then was not being the brave ghost that is. I would be dead scared of their stories but then walking away from the story telling sessions would be tantamount to hating them. The days when I have the cousins I don't like come would be dreaded days because I cant sleep at night and until I'm 16 I slept with the lights on.

8. Withering Leaves. The one thing I hate most of my childhood is seeing people leave. When I was very very small my great grandpa who gave me my name passed away. I never met him but my grandma said he passed away when I was 1 year old. Then as the years goes past alot of people in my life went through changes that I cant understand and started leaving to chart their own course. As much as I missed the days we were a large family together, those days lasted only until I was 8 or 9. And together with them leaves the memories and legacies. I hate to left wandering who was my real teacher and why I was not able to be the same as I was before, now, to them. The withering leaves takes home more than the rays of light and moonshine, it takes with it the faces of us that once reflected on its glass surfaces.
And that was my list of 8 + 8. Hope you liked it, please do this tag if you want to because it certainly brings back memories warm and nice.


Nirek said...

Hi bro
thanks for the tag! I too wrote on it. Loved this tag yaar! and your list is also very interesting to read!

>>'He said he wants to be a scientist' too same boat. only different is that i said this statement till 21 yrs of my age. then got into that post in ISRO also...but later gave up the idea. :)

gautami tripathy said...

GOD! I had come here to be tagged!

No way!

BTW, I hope you win!

Nahuatl said...

good one bro :)

Keshi said...

Ghosty u made me cry...such warm childhood memmories! I think they r the best days in anyone's life. I have alot of fond memories from my baby days. As u said, Mango trees were always special and the moments with family...they can never be replaced with anything in the world!

Lovely nostalgic post!

Anonymous said...

ah the regularity of your blogging!! i can always trust you to make me feel like the laziest guy in the world!!! :)

...lovely post! yet another tag that pick up from you and i want to do!

ps: its interesting how your memories manage to tigger off my own somewhat similar memories...thanks bro!

V N said...

I realise that the tag could have been done this way as well, GP!!! :) Sometimes I feel beauty lies in brevity, but this post of yours is simply out of this world. I could go on and on, but I guess I would never be able to do justice to the feelings that I have in my mind!!

Arent I glad that I tagged you!!

Ghost Particle said...

[nirek] satu thanx for taking this up bro. Certainly great to travel back in time.

[gautami] please do it...please ka....this one is nice.

[nauhalt] nayan! :p thanx money bro. From a bigger monkey...:P

[keshi] hey luv, sometimes we wonder why all this wont repeat...but it wont. Its just gone and we lived it. Surely we will remember it forever.

[nachi] hey bro! just post what you like when you like@! it doesnt matter to write everyday and still have ;ousy posts rite. Hope to c u do the tag!!! thanx...maybe we are moonlit soldiers on fearless nights.

[velu] sar, you inspired me. How we remember our past may be different, but we all lived the same past.

Jeevan said...

I just chewed my memories when I read this post. The day before diwali, I used to wait for my uncle to buy crackers for me; like ur Circus School, in my class there was a boy always pinch me and make me cry, one day mom saw him pinching me and take that boy to teacher to complain, even though he continues....

The 2nd, 8 things was childish Friend.

Kavi said...

Wow Mate ! Wow !

Fantastic memories and fabulously articulated. It took me to a different time ! A time of innocence and carefree gay abandon !

Sigh ! Wow mate ! Thats all i can say ! Even though thats not all that i want to.


it rains around the world sleep welcomes the dream, and  enigmatic souls awaken along the eternal shores of destiny