When I was 8, We lived in our old house. Houses with families living for tens of years in the old colony. In those days we used to recognize more than just one guardian. Each adult in neighborhood contributed in lecturing, scolding and occasionally keeping our secrets to save the well deserved beating from mom. They knew us, understood us. It was a large family with the big old uncle tree visible from every corner of the colony.
The banyan was the most amusing thing we had seen in those days. Lying on the grass, breaking twigs, We counted its branches and tried to tell monkeys apart, identifying which is mother of which. Wow, the mild sun of winters!.. the godly time to let the warmness take over the brain, get high and let it loose to wander.
Those Sunday noons started with jalebi, progressed towards switching between the games in the ground, at times convincing boys to let us join their cricket & football; Although we were declared out of the game very soon as we sucked at rules. Made victims of planned conspiracy by wicked minds in those days! I suppose they might have become cons of expertise by now. Huh!
Anyway, running behind the ball and bringing it back from inside the drain water was no less than heroism. Greater the difficulty, the longer you get to boast about it. Also, The VIP treatment received from the big brothers- Sitting on roof-rails with their shades on our eyes, We watched the kite-fight in the bright white sky.. yes yes we looked toons but then who cared!
Passing shirt to big brother when he came back without one from a fight. “Mom must not know!”, He kept whispering from down stairs with heavy breaths. I hushed my tears seeing his red face lest we both be having redder ones. A brave brother and a smart sister- A formidable pair for keeping troubles at bay. The partnership continues till date; Only that troubles got bigger and stakes got riskier.
All things end But the good ones lot faster. Those days ended too.. in dull melancholy of setting sun.. when everyone went back inside the house, tired and sweating.
Then I sat there beside the window. The window offered so much to be seen, heard and felt from beyond and became my first teacher!.. urging me to Write ‘something’ down, and I did write. Well, That collection of my brain-children, in form of a ‘tangible’ diary, stores outputs from the bare milligrams of brain I possessed back then. Few pages of it are swung open in family evenings to make them more amusing, till date.
Memories are countless, never alone; associated with many more trails, one after other.. tangled yet bright.
Sitting in the corner, clutching sleeping mom’s saree corner, staring at the empty open ground through the window, against the setting sun, I hoped for them to come out again and for my chance to breakout, to fall, to get hurt, to laugh and to shout at my peak voice. I wondered why time goes by so slowly for those who wait.
I am still there. My very soul stayed there. Waiting.. wanting.. living and reliving the very same time.. wondering what happened to the slow pace of time!
Although my shadows sped ahead with it.. but perhaps only the shadows!