Posts Tagged 'memory'

of nostalgia and growing up in the early ’90s

Posted by on 18 Aug 2009 | Category: kerala, life

Whenever I use the word nostalgia, my wife says it is my excuse for remembering those girlfriends of the yore. For me, nostalgia is actually an excuse to remember my times with my boy-friends. But yes, those are the times when me and my friends chased those girls!

The word nostalgia comes from Greek, nostos meaning returning home and algos meaning pain. At a time in the past, it was used to describe as a medical condition! Nostalgia was one condition which used to cause deaths, especially to soldiers who were posted far away from home. Now it doesn’t exist as a medical category but still is attributed to many psychological conditions, depression and as a possible factor attributed to some suicides.

Age 7 (1987): OK, so back to my nostalgic memories comprising of just boys and girls. It was class 2 and I was like less than 7-8 years old. We were sitting in the classroom, I guess it was a free period though the teacher was there. Suddenly, in between, the boy sitting next to me poked me and went down the benches. Soon I followed, and there I watched with awestruck eyes the vision I will remember for the rest of my life. No, it was not the holy cross appearing on the wall. It was my first sight of the chaddi (slang for underwear) of a girl! and that too a blue chaddi! You can guess how vivid the memory is when I exclaim the color. Some of the girls were sitting on the floor, leaning their backs on the wall facing us, with their legs upright opening the gateways to a new, previously unknown, foreign land. These memories… that is what I call nostalgia 😈

Age 10 (1990): By the time we graduated to class 5, complex, intricate, dynamics ran throughout the class. This we understood only by the end of that year. A smart, dynamic young boy had joined our class in the middle of the year and had shattered all the dynamics in the class. Just after 2-3 weeks of his joining, he captured the smiles of the smartest girl of the lot. This girl was smart in studies and sports and she was pretty as well!! There were too many fans for her in the class, but none shared the secret with others. By the end of the year, the whole world conspired against this smart boy and cornered him. Last day of that year, somehow, from all sides, 4-5 boys “including me” cornered him and started pushing him. We don’t know how we all got together because it was not planned at all. Anyways it didn’t matter to us. We didn’t want a newcomer to take the girl making a fool of all of us. When he was pushed back, he caught my shirt to balance himself. The shirt I was wearing didn’t have one of the buttons and I made that a chance, accusing him for tearing off my shirt. The pandemoneum which followed – dragged him from the classroom – all the way to the basketball court. Poor boy. My autorikshaw back to home was waiting near the basketball court. So, unfortunately or fortunately, I had but to hurry off leaving the job to the others. Those are memories… that is what I should call nostalgia, right?

under the table

Age 15 (1995): Then it was class 10. We were no longer at the mercy of external dynamics. We created our own, internal, dynamics. Probably it started off as an accident from our extra scholastic mind. Excessive and vigorous use of pens and pencils used to cause them to fall on the floor, confirming Newton’s gravitational discoveries. Following Newton’s discoveries, we had our own discoveries as well. If a pen or pencil fell down, we competed to go down and search for it. You know, Larry Page was not yet at Stanford, and google was not even in the embryonic stage. So we had to be our own crawlers, and we crawled on the floor, and did our own searches for the pencil. We “stumbled upon” several gorgeous, mind-blowing structures while crawling under these benches. We indexed these crawls in our mind, for later use (?!) and I could still visualize myself under those benches… Now, aren’ t they memories? Don’t they make you nostalgic??

school footbal match by the stream

Age 17 (1997): So let us move on to class 12. By this time, all of those boys had their hormones working at its peak. Especially those who previously sat ON the benches instead of crawling UNDER! This I came to understand through the daily football matches we had. After the school time, we had almost all of the boys in our class moving on to the school playground. This playground was blessed with a stream flowing by its border. So what? Semi clad, young, water nymphs from the neighboring regions used to take bath and wash their clothes in that stream. What other heavenly boon should an adolescent boy ask for?! It always happened that the football matches were one-sided. Or to be technically accurate, the football never touched one side of the ground. It was always rushing to the other side of the ground where the stream touched it; where those nymphs moved around. Blame the dirty football! It doesn’t stop on the other side of the ground, but it always rushed down the stream. About 5-10 of the boys run down the ground and to the stream to fetch one football. About 20 boys (including the goal keeper from the other side) stand at the brink of the ground watching the huge event. “Event” in the sense, retrieving the football; not the young, fresh, round, ripe, water melons waiting to jump out of the wet wraparounds of those water nymphs! When I tell you that this happened every few seconds during the match, and that all the boys in our class participated in it, you will understand the dynamics behind it. If I don’t get nostalgic about those memories, you or at least one of those boys will beat me up!

contrasts of times

Posted by on 19 Sep 2008 | Category: india, life

“There was a time when children used to fill the grounds and their laughters used to echo through the evenings. Now when I get up early morning, I see them leaving at 6 am. They are going to tuitions. I don’t get to see them until they return by 6 or 7pm. At least the teachers could have mercy and leave them a little early. The church grounds (where children usually play) are now empty. Even when they return home, they have no time for the family. All are studying quietly inside their rooms.”

A few lines taken from in between a conversation I had with a 76 year old lady. She had come from Kerala to stay with her son in Secunderabad for 3 months in 2007. Her own grandson likes staying indoors and rarely ventures out.

She says, ” The contrasts of times”

In memory of her…
Born : 30 Dec 1930
Died : 20 Sept 2007

journey through life

Posted by on 16 Dec 2005 | Category: Uncategorized

Life. We live through this phenomenon but seldom do we understand it.

Most of my precious moments, most of my energy have been spent to quench that inner thirst, but the fire still glows vigorously, more than ever. From my early days itself I had an aspiration, to search for the truth. I also had a dream of traveling along the foothills of the Himalayas, to the abode of Indian philosophy. I never thought it would happen; but it happened. The following is a sort of travelogue; some from the sporadic notes I made, some from my memory, but you can ‘t express it in the real form, you have to experience it yourself. The information given may contain errors, am not intending to give any wonderful geographical info or any philosophic adventures or any literature. I just wrote it down so that it may be inspiring and useful for people of similar dreams; it may good knowing how another person took such a road. This story is not a closed one, and don ‘t expect anything particular.

[If you are looking for geographical info on India, better read Lonely Planet: India; if you are keen on Indian philosophy and the mysticism around it, the best book I would recommend is ‘Search in secret India ‘ by Paul Brunton; you are just interested in some adventures in life or philosophy, read Richard Bach; for simple but revolutionary and stimulating thoughts, read Osho; for tibetan philosphic adventures mixed with logic and some science, acceptable to even those i_dont_understand_so_i_dont_believe people, read T. Lobsang Rampa. If you really wanna know life, read yourself].

am not adorning the costumes of a philosopher or a sannyasin (or a writer 😉 ). me give myself to the passions of this world, give myself to my hormones; me don ‘t differentiate what good or bad is (everything is co-existent. your definitions are relative (you say ‘apekshikam ‘ for that in Malayalam)); I live to my heart ‘s truth. but I believe that the life you live ought to have some meaning, something other than the routine style of eating, studying, sleeping, having a job, a family, children, dying… something off the usual cycle of events.

My passion for a journey got engraved in my heart and by the time I was doing my masters, I wanted to work it out somehow, I didn ‘t care whether the outcome would be fruitful or not. So our summer holidays were arriving, after our second semester exams and I thought this was the best chance. I went to the cusat library every day to collect some info on the roads I ‘ve to take, went through the maps on those dusty books, searched on google, wrote down some plans…

One day I bluntly told daddy that am going north, that I ‘ve booked the train ticket up to Delhi for 09.06.2001. He was like his mouth going O. He never gave me the consent.

I didn ‘t plan a lavish trip, as it would annihilate the fundamental cause of my journey. I had some sort of money saved from my pocket money; it was a meager amount, less than 3000 Indian rupees which is a small amount for a journey. Priya send me a money order of around 1600/- or something. 2 days before, daddy called from home and gave me 1000/- more. So after taking the to and fro tickets to Delhi (train to delhi and baaki travel by other means) and buying some essentials for the journey, I was left with something like 5000/-

I took the return ticket also so that I don ‘t have to find money for that later, whatever expenses I encounter; also I could plan my days wisely by setting a particular date for departure.

My friends were too much worried, they don ‘t know what to say, whether to encourage me or discourage me. Priya always tried to show a good face (in spite of all the worries she carried, she knew I have to go), she tried to be happy and helping before me in all the possible ways. And there were my seniors, bijoy, manoj, rajesh, sabu and all standing with me.

And you know what, few days before when I left from home to hostel; I wrote a letter saying I loved them (people at home) a lot and bla blah and abt mickey and put it in my cupboard so that they could read if I don ‘t come back.

So on 09.06.2001 at around 6 pm I was at the central railway station, ernakulam. Prem and rajesh was with me, they stood there till my train left. The train whistled at 6.25 pm and I was out to where_the_hell_am_going,_I_donno. As I sat by my window, I felt emotionless then; I think that was better than sitting worried. I don ‘t know where I was going; I don ‘t know what will happen to me. I had a vague idea of where I had to go. I just wanted to go. I knew my legs would lead me where I ought to go.

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