Friday, March 26, 2010

A Poem and Some Memories

First brush with the cruelty of commercial world was when in fourth grade my two friends and I started a library. We pooled our comics and books and in back-breaking labour wrote down all the titles and the proposed charge and fines against the books. The day arrived when I stuck a huge board of ' Library now Open' on the balcony. Kids came in droves as it was summer holiday and lounged in every nook and corner of my home. Mother was patient, trying to encourage the ruthless business streak in her daughter. No, came the hard part, kids would drink lemonade( on the house) fight over the books ( tearing them to bits), taking them and then aggressively denying they ever saw such a comic let alone issued it! Another cruel addition to woes was the little song these smart kids made up, it went like this, 'A, B C... PEHLE KYU DI THI!'(A, B,C rhyming with, why did you give in the first place?). All the precious Phantom and Mandrake comics vanished and if a rare kid paid ten paisa, he would make sure to extract the worth by torturing us to beg for the precious money. Soon fighting broke among us friends as there was hardy any money to be divided as the books left the shelves, we would blame each other for not getting them back. The end came sooner with the other friends taking their books back and home was quiet again, thankfully rid of the constant stream of thrifty kids. I returned to my fantasy of marrying phantom-the walking ghost or something he was called in every second line. I would seriously wonder what would I do with kit and heloise, his kids, when I did away with Diana Parmer, his wife!

Long ago fresh out of school, my friend and I had these wild aspirations of starting our business. Now I am laughing even thinking about it, we used to visit Gandhi ashrams here in Delhi to figure out what business will suit us. God! The seriousness of it, for hours we would watch incense sticks being rolled ( rest of the skills were beyond us, so we settled for this). We would sit under the shade in scorching sun, I and Smita and eat our lunch, daydreaming about how rich we would be selling those incense sticks. This was supposed to be our research for the business. Nothing came out of all that loitering in the sun. Smita, the rigid moral being in our class. She would howl when the whole class stood in punishment, this would irritate the teacher and when asked she would keep on repeating that she was not talking, She indeed would never do any thing forbidden and stand by the 'truth'! This 'stand' would really get the teacher and poor Smita would be hauled for being stubborn. We were corrupted mortals indulging in evil naughty things like hitting kids with chalk and having a good time when turned out of the class( I was perpetually standing near the black board for being mischievous, that was a mode of existence for me after a while). She would lecture me on how she would become a Doctor and charge nothing to her patients, she is a Doctor now and struggles to juggle a job, kid and a higher degree.

Just remembering those days, it feels that there are many lives that we live. As a kid, I would see the serious adults all around and would vow to never become like them. Dunno, but it seems life drags you ruthlessly and like a harsh parent snatches away the tender flowers of innocence that the soul clutches fiercely. At least reflecting on how things become what they become. Why we become what we become, maybe if we can see that, we can revert to what is joyous and balanced? Human heart has immense capacity to heal itself and others. Peace for the heart and beauty for eyes!

Pic: Himalayas, son has topped in the class, got the result yesterday. He is in this picture with my daughter, both are tuned to mother Nature.


Rest that heart now
Place a healing hand gently
Beats hold songs of your love
Put them to sleep early tonight

Blue light will caress the breeze
Moon will hover somewhere in the sky
Dreams will kiss those warm breaths
Silence will curdle peace, soft and thick

Rest that heart, it has to soar again,
Drifting like a cosmos on the breeze
With songs of wind swept leaves...
Rest the heart now, it's getting late...

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