“Without suffering, there’d be no compassion”
There is an advertisement on the TV which says that 90% of the brain is developed during, or rather till, the age of 5. It got me thinking of my first 5 years.
Snippets of memory: 1-3 Years
A small boy of age around 3 is carving beautiful patterns and pictures on the wall that is made up of soil mixed with cow and cattle dung. The boy is using a sharp twig and a piece from a broken earthen pot to carve out patterns; flakes of dried out layers of soil are falling down and being eaten by another child, still in his infancy, of around 1 and half years of age; that’s my younger brother and the boy ‘painting’ on the walls is me. I am more concerned about how my pattern is forming than what my brother is doing. Certainly, I cannot be blamed for negligence and avoiding duty at that age.
Later that year…
I am in Delhi. City, as I saw, from inside of train, from its windows, is huge, scary and attractive at same time. Like those fairs where children love to go but are afraid of the huge structures, swings and lots of rush that they ultimately deny of going in any shop, walking on the ground and of riding any swing. For me it looked more like my father- huge, scary and attractive at the same time. I want to go sit in his lap but the mole on right of his neck is scary and looks devilish. I am staying with mom rather. I am not aware of that I too have the same mole, exactly at the same place as his, only smaller.
My home in Delhi…
From station to this place I have seen everything changing to the height of ridicule! I wonder if I am back in village or this too is Delhi! The plainer roads and railway tracks are replaced by no roads and grass-bearing paths. Buses, cars, scooters and trains are replaced by buffalo-driven-carts, cycles, horses, donkeys and by occasional-visiting vans.
We have only one room that is at the rear end of the ‘house’ (now I know this end is north). In front of this room a similar looking (okay, a bit larger) area is surrounded by loosely kept, few feet high, brick stacked like wall, which serves the purpose of a much-needed boundary wall as we are often visited by the foxes and smaller-jackals from a not-so-distant forest. There is village at a distance of about 1.5 miles and ours is probably 3rd house in the vicinity of 500 yards. There is a cement-stone wall, about 2 feet high and just a little more than a feet thick, on the eastern side of the house, which separates the grassy-fields from the trodden-path which was once green.I wonder who would have made this this wall in the middle of nowhere.
Main road is around 200 yards further to the north so it passes from the back of my house. There is an empty plot behind ours which has a small pond-like water-filled hole and beside it an acacia tree. We use this plot as a dump yard, so mostly it looks colorful with the polyethene bags and stinky due to the dumped garbage. We take our milk from the third and last house in our locality which is occupied by an elderly uncle who I think must be in his 200th year and lives peacefully mostly with his buffaloes and sometimes with his Hookah. I often see him lying in a cot and smoking from his Hookah. I wish I could hold that pipe myself and see what’s inside it.
We have cots in our house too and there are few mats those are used, once someone visits us, to make bed for ourselves as cots are used by Babuji and for guests. Babuji is papa’s elder brother and like papa he is huge too, may be a bit more, but he is not scary probably because of his child-like laugh and white-shining teeth. Dad’s teeth are rarely visible. I prefer to sleep in Babuji’s bed where he tells me one incident or two from his work that day and I take them as bed-time story. The packet of Nakmkeen than he brings every day is a plus. I have promised him a truck full of Namkeen once I will be going out of home to bring crispy notes and shiny coins.
The front part of our house is covered with a Tarpaulin sheet with help of few bricks at one end and two bamboo poles at other. Under this Tarpaulin –roof, facing west, is our open air kitchen hence to the right of the house. I like it in summers when the air blows from the east, shaking the Tarpaulin-roof and I enjoy it in winters when mom makes rotis on the earthen-burner-a chulha. As the kitchen is out so is the dinning place – just beside the kitchen-fire. Eating thick rotis with Ghee and Jaggery is the best I have ever had when it comes to eating ‘out’.
It’s all about the friends
Family and Friends: Facts, priorities and experiences