Once upon a time in my life

I started noticing and disliking guests after my brother was born. So many people come home, make my Mother cook, burp and go away. Every time guests come home, they would have a typical question to ask me, the four-year old then. Though I don’t know why they ask me such a question but somehow their questions were always answered. In the beginning my parents or grandparents would tell me the answer and I would repeat them. Then as I grew up I started answering the questions but my answers didn’t impress the guests.

The very often asked question was what I want to become when I grow up.

In Kerala, during early 90s, kids went to school in auto rickshaws and jeeps. jeepThe concept of school bus was implemented only in Kendra Vidyalaya. After going to school in auto rickshaw for three years, during my rest  of three years in Tirur I went to school in a jeep. The name of the driver name is Rashid and the name of the cleaner boy who closes the back door of the jeep and sits on the edge of the door isn’t in my memory. As I was the last one to get into the jeep, I get to sit next to the driver. It was a fun ride to make Rashid Ikka* race the jeep and get ahead of rest of the vehicles. We would shout “faster”, “faster” to encourage him. So the biggest dream was to become a jeep driver like Rashid Ikka. I promised my brother that I will take him to school when I become a jeep driver. The guests who came to my house weren’t impressed when I excitedly told them my ambition.Instead,they made fun of me telling that there aren’t any girl drivers who drove jeeps. I hated them even more. One day morning, when I got inside the jeep, the driver wasn’t Rashid Ikka. He told me to sit with the other girls behind the jeep. And I was disheartened and lost interest in becoming a jeep driver.Otherwise,who knows I would have come to your houses early morning in a jeep to pick up your kids.

12948435-astronaut-girl-over-sun-and-stars-backgroundSunday walks with my Father were an unbroken habit of my life until he got really busy and I got too bored of his talks. Every Sunday, the Father-daughter time that we had is worth making into a book. Unlike my Mother, my Father is a bad story-teller. But one day he told me an interesting story and that went on to become a noose for himself. He told me the story of Neil Armstong. Then I flooded him with doubts. How did Armstrong stand on the moon because the moon is in crescent shape? Did he fall from the moon because the moon is so thin? I liked Armstrong’s moon travel costume. One day I declared to my parents that I am going to Moon soon. As they were very kind to me, they appreciated my decision. As a 6 year old girl, I was proud of myself. My Father bought me posters of Moon and some books which explained Armstrong’s journey to the Moon. Like the Gru of the movie Despicable Me, I also dreamt about wearing a space costume and landing on the moon though the concept of oxygen and gravitational force didn’t make sense to me at all then. Later, I asked the doubt of the year which went like this. I’m flying from Earth to Moon in a spaceship. Earth and Moon are standing in the air. The concept of vacuüm wasn’t discovered in my life, so the Earth and the Moon stood in the air. Do you know what is below the Earth? I asked my Mother. She explained me about Space and planets and told me that below Earth, it is the Space. So if my spaceship falls off, then I will fall. Then where will I fall and land? You will not land on any surface but you will be floating, she replied. She did her best to teach me gravitational force and its concept but I was so adamant to find where I will land once I fall from the spaceship. My Parents gave upon me and I also gave up on my adventurous trip to the Moon. If only I had taken going to the Moon seriously, I would have become the first Indian (the first Mallu too) woman to land on the Moon. The history indeed lost a chance to keep my name on its leaflets.

We built our house, I mean my Parents built our house in 1996 and there was a discussion happening at home to choose a name for the house. Though a 5th STD girl’s opinion is not a big deal, but my Parents did ask my brother and I to tell us our choice of names.”Sachin!!” I screamed.”Sourav!!” my brother screamed. Then both of us started beating each other and rolling on the carpet. We kept shouting Sachin and Sourav the midst of the fight. For both of us, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly were not mere cricket players. They were more important people than our family and friends. We prayed for Indian cricket team more than we prayed for ourselves. We knew every other information about Sachin and Sourav.girl_playing_cricket_CoolClips_vc038236

The 1996 cricket World Cup happened after we moved into our newly built house. If Indian team is not playing well, my brother and I would run to the Puja room. We cried badly when the Indian team lost matches. Whomever asked me about my biggest dream in life, the answer was very confident and clear – to be a Cricketer. I nagged my Mother to enroll me in the Calicut Sports Academy. Once I even went to fast as a protest for not enrolling me for cricket. The 1996 world cup semi-final was a great blow to me. Those days, though I read about bribe in the Newspapers, I really didn’t understand the meaning of it. Day and night the only thought was to take revenge against Sri Lanka as they were the ones who beat us in the semi-fnals. There was a recurrent dream which I will never forget. The semi-final match is going on. The Sri Lankan team challenged India that if one randomly chosen person could score so and so runs in an over, then India will win. The floodlight fell on me and the camera shot me closely. Sachin poured his blessings over me and I played for an over and made India win the semi-final. Today when I look back I can’t believe that I truly had such a dream.

The dreams and ambitions changed a lot more times in the course of the time.But, one thing makes me sad. Those days, when somebody asks me what I want to become in life, at every phase I had a clear answer. Today if somebody asks me the same question, then I have to think hard for an answer. Damn, we all grew up.

 

*Ikka – as Tirur is a Muslim populated area, the word Ikka is suffixed with the men’s name to address him as elder brother

 

 

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Canes and Tears

One of my senior colleagues came in late to office today morning.She looked terribly tensed and exhausted that even sitting inside the air conditioner made her sweat profusely.

I felt that even her eyes were little moist and she kept wiping her nose with the a soiled tissue.

Over the coffee,she explained me the problem causing her trouble.

She was late to office as she had to visit her only son’s school.

Her son was making too much trouble telling her that he won’t go to school at all.Today when she enquired at the school,it was known that her son was punished by a teacher three days back and poor kid got scared to go to school again.She was angry about the punishment system and the way teachers mentally tortured the kids at young age.

It is human nature that when we hear somebody else who is in more pain than us,we will feel much better.Thus I started off telling her my scary school days.

I studied in a CBSE school at Tirur,Kerala.(I don’t want to disclose the name of the school).I was there from my LKG till 4th std.Those days I used to study well only because I was scared to think about the punishment by canes.Below are some of the innovations done by my school teachers to torture us badly.

  • They tie thick rubber bands at the end of the canes.Then they tie two canes together with a thicker rubber band and then beat us.
  • They oil the cane and then wind a cloth at the end where they hold it so that cane don’t slip from their hands.
  • They use wooden ruler to beat us on a tightly held wrist; between the bones.
  • They make us stand at a hand distance and whirl the cane so that the tip of the cane touches our body.
  • It was a common scene to see dark red and violet patches on hands,wrists,shoulders,knee and even thighs of the kids.

The scariest punishment which I ever saw in my life happened to my dearest friend Shameena.(This is her real name.I have been searching for her for a long time.If at all she happens to read this,then I may get back my friend.)

Shameena was a tiny soul who was scared of everything and everyone.Her father was a doctor and her family expected her to study well.But I don’t know why,she was not able to study anything.She was always the last one in our rank list and teachers hated to see her face.During interval,she weeps hugging me but even I never knew how to help her out.It happened in our 3rd std.One day during Math class,she was asked to solve a problem on the board.As usual she couldn’t even make out how to start off.She stood there blinking for a while.The teacher got furious and made her bend down and stand.He beat her on her buttocks and legs like farmers do so on bulls.That day Math was a double period session so she had to stand that way for nearly two hours.The teacher would give us problem to solve and then will ask her to explain the method.Poor girl she couldn’t even utter a word and that made him more angry and he will beat her again with the cane.By the time it was interval,there was a pool of tears where she was standing.Her legs had become numb that we girls had to lift her back to the seat.I remember pouring water on her face and the water getting mixed with her tears and making a patch on my white shirt and navy blue tie.That was the last time I saw her.Next day she didn’t come to class.The class teacher announced that she left the school and our class will be having 100% pass.She seemed to be very excited and relived.

I looked at my colleague’s face and tears were rolling from her eyes uncontrollably.

I told her that it was such terrible childhood experiences that made me bold and adamant and assertive.All our school kids were matured like 10th std kids when we were just 10.

After 4th std,I left that city and I was relieved from those nightmares which made me cry in the midnight.

PS : I have visited that city only once after leaving from there forever.But even then I never went to see my school.Still my heart sinks upon hearing the school’s name and those teachers which we never liked in childhood.

Dog!!!

Hey hey..im not swearing 😉 😀

Dog!!!!That was the name of my dog when I was in play school and LKG..It was a cute one.. 🙂

It was born in our home..and my favorite pastime was to pamper it..It grew up faster than me..by the time I was in LKG it had become a giant dog..as my bro was just born i had nobody else to play..So round the clock,I played with my cute dog..

It will come running when it hears the sound of my autorickshaw..I used to make it hold my water bottle while walking back to home from the gate..It will bite my socks and will keep both my shoes and socks on the shoe rack..

Best buddies..he he.. 😀

Then one day when i was back from school I couldn’t see my dog at the gate..I ran to my house and enquired to my grandma..she told me that it must have gone out..but that didn’t answer my anxiety..i checked everywhere in my house but couldn’t find it..I started crying..I fought with my grandpa when he tried to feed me milk..I didnt even bother to change my school uniform..All I wanted was to see my dog..I ran to the gate..my grandpa also ran behind me..

while I stepped on the gate to check whether it is there on the road..our gate had a design with holes(i used to have fun keeping my legs on those circles near to top of the gate and making a trip to and fro 😉 )

I asked my grandpa what the matter is..he told me to have milk and then take bath..he grabbed me forcefully from the gate..i cried..i could feel that something bad has happened..

my grandpa made me sit on the couch and explained me that terrible incident..

my poor dog had put its head inside the one of the circles on the gate..it couldn’t take its head out and it died out of suffocation..I still can’t express how sad i was at that time..i wept badly..i ran to the gate..i cried standing in front of the gate..i couldn’t even see my dog as the municipality people took to bury it..

Later that night i started having fever..temperature was so high..i didnt go to school for two days..fought with everyone for letting it die..

That was my first and last pet..my DOG!!!

Till this moment I have never dared to keep a pet..My DOG is always my pet..forever.. 🙂