Friday, June 01, 2007

Walking alone

My native village is a small picturesque place, nestled between a curving river on one side and the gigantic expanse of the Arabian sea on the other. It bakes in the summers and soaks wet in the fiery monsoons. The people are lazy, humourous, opinionated, contented, city-bound---like me. My childhood was, to a large part an anticipation of the one month every year, wherein we'd finish the annual exams, hop onto a dirty bus one hot april night at Bangalore bus-stand, and wake up the next morning smelling the fresh aroma of the salt-soaked air of Kumta.

For one month we'd forget all worries and lose ourselves in joyful abandon, pampered by granny and grandpa, swinging under the sapota tree, hurling stones at ripe mango fruits high up in the trees, building caves and canals and watching them get washed away by the approaching waves of the sea, sit by the silent river and listen to the never-ending rustle of the peapul leaves as birds returned home against darkening skies......sit around a fire where grandma prepared rice rotis, waiting to be dipped in hot, succulent prawn curry, listen to the local 'real' ghost-stories from uncle's friend and scream after waking up to nightmares, get up early and get dressed to attend the local fair, throw ripe bananas at the huge chariot of the Goddess, bring home a ripe jack-fruit and fight over who gets the most pieces, fill up a small tank with water drawn from a well, remove all clothes and jump into the tank and swim around until mid-noon.....

Of course, there were moments of pain and humiliation but they were obscured by a seemingly carefree time, filled with fun and frolick.

All of these came rushing into memory when a close relative from that village visited us last week, bringing with him delicacies, a simple dress for our tiny tot and an unspoken affection. And reminded me that it had been six years since I last visited his village. And told happily that his daughter had finished the tenth standard exams in flying colours. And long after he left, I suddenly realized that I hadn't sent any gift to his little daughter, whom I'd cradled in my arms when she was a child and who now has grown into a shy girl who makes her dad proud.

And when Archana reminded me last night, not to lose myself in my work and pursuits, not to lose my connections with relatives and friends, not to be stone-like.........



  1. Thank you, Vishwa, for recalling and sharing those memories. Again you have given me insight into life in a place that is far from me and which I shall never be able to physically visit.

  2. Vishwa, your writing about your everyday life is lovely - but when you write about train journeys, or your childhood it is so evocative. It is so good to be able to share it. I am reminded of the novels of R.K. Naryan, he can paint an atmosphere like you do. More please, when you are able to.

  3. Hello there. How true, what you touched on with this post.

    If we could live every minute of our life, without trying to get through it in a hurry, we would treasure every smile, every person we've met. It's so easy to put things things on the backburner and say we forget or we are too busy. It's so easy to walk by that rose by the path, and think you'll smell it on your way back. There's no later, perhaps, in a rich, fulfilling life.

    Opened me up, sort of. Nice post. Sorry and thanks. Heh.

  4. Tell u something, I have this habit, good or bad, I can't judge, but of convenience definitely.... the very few friends I have, I keep in touch very rarely... they do the same, but when we call, my or their presence or call makes a difference...b/c they would have just though of me then and wished and then the call.... telepathy... Good!! I walk around with the same kind of ppl who think this type of communication is lovely, come to think of it, work makes us forget a lot of ties.... to prioritize relations.. Bad!! and the excuse everybody buys is work!! Sad, I say!!

    Love the recollection, and the mouth watering phrases on food!! Read the introduction to Kanthapura by Raja Rao... same style... reminded me of that..

    cya and tc, Ash

  5. Prashanth...The rose whithers once you pass by--and there are other roses on the way that keep you occupied. Also there's no way back. But we seem to realise this in retrospect, after we pass by--not in the moment. Then you resolve to be careful next time. But it seems to be the same story always.


    Ash...someone summarised life as birth-school-work-death. Though cynical, it looks true with many.

  6. Yes, those who tell you not to be stone like, you become like a stone towards them !! !!
    be a soft petal, be a flowing river, be a smiling flower
    be a singing bird , be a rising sun, just be who you are !
    but not a stone . . :-)