Leave!

In days of my education as well as career, I take leave, very often.. Like once in a month at the very least..

Do you want to know why?

Simply because, I wasn’t feeling like going to school on that particular day..

I say the very same reason to my parents and they do allow me to avail that. For they believed firmly that if you don’t accept the real reasons, even if it doesn’t sound so correct by societal norms, it lead to telling lies. So they encouraged by accepting the simple fact that I don’t feel like going to school..

So it got ingrained in me to take a little while to enjoy the vacation amidst chaos of the routine..

And now I wish I could avail a leave from blogging, but there is something else that drags me back to post every day.. And that’s when i realise that I’ve never loved my school as much as I love blogging!

Keepsakes?!

There are so many collectibles around to collect and I’ve had many hobbies including stamp collection and coin collection.

But there is one weird collection amidst that which even I don’t understand as to why I started collecting them.

To this day, I couldn’t throw out the collection from almost a decade back.

Oh my collection is bus tickets! I commuted through bus during my college days and if I could date them, I might check my attendance to college.

Alas, I don’t keep them organised in any way. But there are about three boxes fully packed with those.

To this day, I could never fathom the meaning of why I did, what I did nor have the heart to throw them away. I know I should definitely declutter my useless keepsakes.

I have started throwing away most of the useless things despite great memories. But, this is one thing I couldn’t throw away yet.

I’ve stopped collecting them when they shifted to the printing system, for those prints faded with time. Now, my collection has become a relic as the system of pre printed tickets is almost extinct.

So what’s weird in your collection?

Heights!

Do you know the queasy feeling when you look down from a high building / place?

I used to have that! Very often.. And what you define as high is highly different for me.. Because to me looking down from the first floor will give me that wretched feel..

And in my days in school, we would often visit my grandparents on the weekends, which was a very short ride on bus, but stretching over, a small bridge, just about 200 mtrs or so. And every single time I would wrangle my mother’s hand, in the name of holding her hand!

This continued for so long until few years back.. And in the years before, our vacation will mostly be to hill stations. Guess who suggests those places.. Still me.

Though I have never cared for the adrenaline rush of any activity, I still prefer the mild coldness in the hills in contrast to the scorching heat of our place. And so yes, I will go on a whole trip enjoying the growing side of mountain rather than the steep downside.

I was scared of the heights of Ooty and Kodaikanal, until I visited Manali, Shimla and Auli. The view all through was snow clad mountains as far as you could see. The roads were narrow and right next to the road flows the Ganges, few kms down the hill. But now I was not afraid, as I was mesmerised by the ethereal beauty, which can never be bound by words.

That was a true heavenly sight to behold and an experience to nourish for life. For not everyone realises the exact moment they let go of their fear. And that feel gives a better mushy feel! 😉

For the First time in Forever..

We were living in a concrete jungle, popularly known as apartments. There were many kids to hang out with and the terrace is always under lock due to us. They said it’s for our safety. One day, one of the wooden door bucked under climatic influences. And that’s when a new horizon opened to us, literally.

We, the gang, were school going kids, in a generation, when the kids aren’t actually burdened with too much of schoolwork and parents let their kids play along with others. It was those golden days, when we would play till we are drenched in sweat, our tummies ache with laughter, air is filled with happiness, our cheerfulness an inherent identity of the neighbourhood.

Though we have played our hearts out on the ground, the information that the door was cracked open, invited to explore us more. And the opening was good enough for us, the kids to get in, but very hard for grownups to follow us in there. And of course, it became our secret spot for playing.

We were playing there and it was on one of those days that we happened to stop our games, just to enjoy a moment around us, when the sky was painted with the myriad of colors of the sunset. So far, sunset only meant that it was time to end or games and return home. Now it was a whole different thing.

We started noticing it when the Sun takes a glorious shade of light yellow, bordering orange and we stood near the outer wall and silently watched as it turned into all those shades before it buried itself into the outlines of what lied ahead. And we continued to watch in silence, till the sky has lost its lighter color and started to darken. It was a wonderful moment and all of us fell for it. And we kept returning to the terrace simply for that moment.

Like all good times, it too came to an end, when one day one of our parent started searching for us and with all the usual ruckus around getting caught, we were forbidden to the terrace and the view of sunset wasn’t the same when watched from ground of a concrete jungle.

But I am smitten forever with sunsets and the golden hour forever. And I still watch the sunsets with the same curiosity and wonder we had then..(and at times I get stared at for being so curious over sunset :/ )

Do you remember the first time you stood memserised by the magical colors of that golden hour?

Everlasting friendship..

It’s said that if a friendship survives for seven years, it will last a lifetime.

Yes, it’s true for me.

Our friendship started when we were seven and now we are decades stronger.

How it started?

When I moved to a new neighborhood in apartments. Contests were being held as part of their annual celebrations and there is only one competitor for mein every contestI entered into. In later years, we teamed up and the association always got very similar prizes for both of us, irrespective of the first and second places we would get.

Also, we were mostly considered twins, due to our facial similarities and also the way we were always found together almost at all times, despite attending different schools.

How did it survive?

After five wonderful years, we had to shift and it was the first time, I experienced the pain of parting ways. It was the time when telephone digits were just three or four and existed only in certain offices and such.

But the pen pals were in rage, by then. And yes, we wrote to each other occasionally and shared few cards, though the times we remembered each other were much more than that.

Later, we connected over phone after years, and the teenage years went busy in our own separate ways. When we met again after almost a decade, nothing much has changed between us and now the technology keeps us connected!

Our story together alone could take up much space and few of them might be coming up in this series.

How about sharing your longest friendship story?

Cry for help!

A big house, grand parents, two cousins, a game.

What could go wrong?

Nothing much, unless the game is to play police and thief, by a 5 year old and 3 year old. And the police decides to tie down the thief in an adult sized chair with real rope with real knot!

Oh yes, I did tie up my cousin and was not expecting to have tied a real knot and also was not expecting my cousin to start crying, because he couldn’t get out.

I started panicking as just one of the two is enough to land me into a good scolding and how am I going to resolve either of them?

And I too started to cry.. Don’t judge me! I was a helpless five year old!

And of course, eventually he was rescued from the knots and indeed we both had received scolding for the next hour or so.

Though till day, we haven’t discussed the instance as grown ups, it created a fear in me to get into games, from which I couldn’t rescue myself and it has also helped me to learn tying knots properly, to remove or to tighten.

And just like every crying memory of past brings a smile in the present, I do smile whenever I see any kid playing police-thief.

So what’s your smiling memory from your childhood?

Bed-time stories

As a toddler, I needed my dose of story for the night, before I slept. And after a while, I needed fresh stories and didn’t care for repetitions.

My mom, besides being my mom held the super power of being a past student of English literature, fan of Tamil literature, avid book reader, an awesome English teacher. And she also has a soothing voice and is pretty good story teller.

My pestering for new stories made her introduce world classic literature to me as bed time stories. And this went on for years, almost till I was eight or nine year old. By then she handed me books and I let her off duty as my story teller. I still ask for a story once in a while from her, even though I know that, she starts the story by breaking the suspense and yet she keeps the story interesting till the end.

Amidst all those years of hearing stories varying from Indian epics, Tamil classics, Religious tales, moral stories, Shakespeare plays and what not, one story stands out.

Actually it’s a novel. My mom’s favourite novel, “The citadel” by “A.J. Cronin”. Yes, she told that for days, as a series. And I vaguely remember the outline of the story, but to this day, I could see one scene of it before my eyes.

The protagonist, suffers some serious downfall in life and his wife, the love of his life, crosses a road with butter in her hands to meet him back and comfort him somehow. And while crossing she met with an accident and dies on spot, with the butter still clutched in her hands and slowly melting away, unlike her.

The story is good on many levels and for actual story, please get your own copy. I’m yet to read the actual book, and remember again, why the death is a vital and path changing moment for the protagonist.

If I was a good painter, I could draw out that busy road. Since I could just spit words….

For the vision of a lady, in black and white, like the ones in Charlie Chaplin period films, over a track of trams, amidst a fairly busy road, sprawling on the ground, with one out stretched arm with butter, other near a basket of groceries, blood crawling out from under her, lifeless eyes staring, is still pretty vivid in my memory.

Even though I have not read the story, it is one of my favourite novels to date!

So What’s your favourite story of years?