Saturday, January 29, 2011

Another one of the many come backs...

This is one more of the many comebacks that I will be having not with regard to this blog only but about many other things in life, I am sure. For someone who can’t sit still for a second I think I will have to come back to things and places and situations a lot more than others, just to mend it. But this is the new year, which is one more reason I thought maybe I should make amends and come back to something that means a lot for my cousin, besides it being a healthy exercise for me to embark upon.  What can I say? I am the perfect example of the kid of this generation. I am more comfortable typing in my thoughts to the blank sheet on the computer screen than penning them down for posterity. Of course, just like the delete button, there is also always the option of crumpling the piece of paper and throwing it into the waste basket (and imagining one awesome basketball shot for my own mental records). So I have come back to it almost like the prodigal son and I am sure the ever welcoming virtual world will welcome me with open arms. I know my cousin will. She has been too patient with me.

To come to my present status, I am quite older now with some issues regarding my body weight, which has come to worry my parents I can see. Hence, every evening I am packed off to the gym class and then karate class every alternative days. Thankfully, Dad has figured it out that singing is not really something that is cut out for me. So after slogging in school for a day and then these extra-curricular activities and then the days’ homework and lesson I am dog tired to even wish goodnight to my siblings. But then I am not using this as an excuse to not write. It is not that I haven’t been doing anything else.

There has been a significant change in the family now. Mum has got a job and so most of the time we come back home and take care of ourselves for the first couple of hours till my sister comes, who keeps an eye on me till Mum comes. One might think that an arrangement like this might make us feel a little left out and urged to fend for ourselves. However, for us it is something that any kid would love to enjoy. You come back from school and the entire house is all yours. For that small span of time you are the king of the house! Well, there is always this power struggle between me and my siblings, but then at the bottom of our hearts I think we all relish that whole sense of complete insane freedom!

As for the usual updates, I am persevering with my sitar practices. My twin has started learning playing the keyboard. My sister, remains the storehouse of talent and has recently topped her class!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Comebacks and family

I am sorry dear readers, for already failing my promise to write at least three times a week if not more and it’s been so long since I last wrote here. Yes I never made any staunch promises or written vows – you might wonder when did I mention this, but that’s what I had in my mind when I started off writing this blog. In my defense, all I can say is that I had once mentioned that I would like to make this into something like a virtual diary where writing was more important than who read. And that again I must admit that even within these few days I have had readers years older than me, dropping by my blog and even taking the trouble to leave their comments, helping me sort out how to write and then maintain a blog. There are others who have left encouraging comments and then there has been my good old cousin who still keeps her hopes up regarding this blog and of course me.

Coming to the present scenario in my life, I just managed to earn a massive compliment from my Aunt when she said that I have mastered the art of playing sitar (beginner’s level) and am qualified to move on to my next level of training. Here let me tell you all the story of my family. My grandfather was a Physiologist who also took a keen interest in music and played the Sitar as well. He made sure that his children also got a chance to get a shot at playing some instrument or singing. My oldest Aunt plays the Sitar – she is the one teaching me to play the Sitar. If she wanted she could have taken music as her chosen career because she was quite good at it and even played for the All India Radio from the early age of eight or even less I think. My other aunt used to sing, but yes, it is referred to in our family in past tense (pun intended). My uncle played the Tabla (the classical Indian percussion) and still does. My Dad used to play the Sarod but that again is referred to in past tense. So you see in my family, at least my father’s side everybody is quite musically inclined. My two cousins – one plays the Esraj and the other one dances.

Nobody thought that I could get myself to sit down and learn how to play the Sitar, let alone play and play well on top of that. My half chopped scarred finger was now starting to give trouble. Soon after the operation when the wounds healed we noticed that I couldn’t straighten my finger. The doc told us that the ligament has dried up and was shriveling which was pulling the finger back and therefore I couldn’t straighten it. A lot of things were tried. Doctors even suggested physiotherapy but I was an impatient kid. Soon my parents’ patience wore out – Dad having to make both ends meet bringing up three kids with a sales job and Mum trying to juggle school and our lives. That’s when my Aunt suggested that we try Sitar. That way I will learn to play an instrument as well as be able to exercise and stretch my finger.
It’s been two years now and I can see the improvement myself. I can stretch my finger much more than I could in the beginning. Also, I have overheard people saying that I have become a lot more patient, can concentrate better and of course can play the Sitar quite well for my age. I think that’s where family comes into the picture. We may all live separately but we are always there next to each other in good times as well as the bad. We take these things for granted most of the time but I think it’s something I can easily forget. Obviously I don’t say it out aloud but I definitely feel it.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

First comment and school in general

I am extremely happy today. I have gotten my first comments on my blog. I have been posting only for the last few days and I already have someone reading my blog and leaving comments. My cousin has been encouraging me all the while, but to tell the truth it is quite boring and a little heart-wrenching that no one other than my cousin visit my blog. But the cluster map shows some more people here and there in the country. However, it quite funnily failed to detect the presence of my first commentor (is that how it is spelt? - hello I am a ten year old... I must be excused!)

Outside my blog life, things are quite the usual. School was the usual with another heart stopping moment in math class when Sobuj Sir was almost about to land a missile-like rap on my knuckles. That's one of the many ways of tackling a bunch of will-go-out-of-hand-anytime ten year olds. If you are found talking in class he will swoop down from nowhere and then knock our heads with each other. If he is busy scribbling boring numbers on the blackboard and cannot easily reach us, he will turn and throw the piece of chalk that he is holding in the direction of the sound or rather the whisper or the hum. We all agree that he would have been quite asset for the Indian cricket team who, off late, have been quite lousy on field, especially while pulling off the perfect direct hits. Thus, for us he is the unsung hero!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Remembering Puri

Today I am suddenly reminded of my trip to Puri. The water, the salt and the warm sand. May be the it is the cold winter chills that suddenly reminded me of it...

And suddenly the rickshaw swerved to the left to tackle a sharp bend in the road which I initially thought what it was) and I was left gasping for breath at the sight of it. Suddenly, life seemed framed within a movie shot in slow motion. The camera closing in, the roar of the waves breaking on the shore was the only sound that was captured by the novice eardrums that I was the owner of.

I really did not believe that this trip was actually going to happen. I thought that this might another of those big promises that elders make at the beginning of every summer. Yeah, this is not the first time that such a promise had been made only that this time it was for real. I seriously did not believe that we were going to Puri until I was actually sitting on the train. My twin insisted that she won’t believe it until the train started moving. So to beat her resolve I said that I won’t believe it until I see the sea for real. (and hence the dramatic beginning with which I tried to start this entry).

If you want me to be the regular tourist then I suggest you read no further and check out some more useful websites. But, if you want some inside info about how to strike a deal with the nulias (the life guards who also make some money taking people out into the open sea on inflated rubber tubes) or how to covet the best position from where a four feeter can clearly see the changing of the flag in the Jagannatha mandir, trust me, you are in safe hands.

I don’t know how to swim (at all). Well that’s another tragic story that I will narrate some other time. For now, let me just say that my height played truant with my learning to swim. But swimmer or not, I have a brave heart and so I resolved to hit the biggest of waves and scare the shit out of mum and dad. (oh btw, that’s the newest addition to my ten year old lexicon). Well, of course that never happened eventually. To tell you all the truth the huge frothy white waves that crashed all around me scared the shit out of me! I almost gagged in a whole lot of salty sand-filled mouthfuls of water that I managed to gather in my ten year old contraption. But shitty scared or not I came out of the water and out of the beach (eventually) quite tanned. As for truths, it’s not tanned for us Indians – it’s burnt skin and nothing else!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Of mirrors, camera, embarassments et al

The mirror always fascinated me. My twin and I have spent quite some jolly hours in front of the mirror staring at each other through the mirror. We made weird faces and funny faces and laughed out loud once in a while.

And then the camera entered our lives. No we are not given the chance to be the spoilt brats from an early age. And hence the camera is given for us to handle under strict parental supervision. Yes I do get bothered when I see that my friends are carrying exclusive gadgets to school and other outings and I have but a car which is thankfully on the fancy side to boast for. But I believe that there will be a greater pleasure in acquiring one of those of my own. And trust me I will! But as a mark of confession I must say that they quite assumed that role even before I could actually voice any resistance. But my sister is growing up before me and she seems quite fine. So are my cousins and that includes the weird and old one who forced me into this thing called blog into my life. Now I don’t feel that my day’s work is done until I have written something for my blog. I will soon start treating it as a virtual diary. Before which I would like to let my readers know a little bit about who I am and what makes me what I am.

So coming back to the camera story, I was still quite fascinated by the way the camera, almost like the mirror would capture the world around me exactly as it is. Sometimes it would capture my in some act that I wouldn’t have liked to be saved for posterity and giving my siblings a chance to take a dig at me whenever they feel like. Well yes, I have had quite a few moments of my life being captured on that blasted camera (well it becomes blasted when it lands into my twin’s hands). Like when I was really scared when I got locked inside my uncle’s car. Well, in my defense I will have to say that it was a mean joke played on me by my sisters. Harrumph! And trust me, the embarrassing moments in my life can make quite a long list.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The gory event

I was hardly three or four. I have just gotten friendly with Superman and was grabbing every opportunity to swoop down like he does and saves the world. I even managed to get hold of a cape though I had some difficulty in skillfully avoiding mum’s eyes while trying on my ‘chaddi on pants’ fashion makeover. I still wonder though what is it that goes on in my mum’s head which makes the sight of me in a Superman garb so distasteful – she indulges me in every other way from buying Superman goodies to comic books but it is just this that I have still not managed to unearth. Anyway, coming back to the story, it was that point of life when I was running high on a cloud called Superman! So I ran out of the room into the living room, my cape flying gloriously behind me. Made a couple of mad circles then realizing that the women folk were near the kitchen I thought may be I should show off a bit there as well. My mum and bua were sitting near the dining table, chopping the vegetables and making arrangement for dinner. I was as usual greeted by the usual shouts and hollers asking me not to around like a madcap near the cutting board. Now let me explain that Indian cutting boards are not the usual ones with knife and a board as we see on television in western countries. What we have at home is nothing but a big sickle that is precariously attached to a piece of wood. The person using it has to hold the wooden thing with his/ her foot and then bring the vegetable near the sickle (instead of the knife coming down on the poor vegetables) and slice it through the sharp sickle. If you are even slightly not careful you can jolly well slice off your entire finger. I believe our culture teaches us to live life dangerously from the beginning. They even make the vegetables look like a martyr because here the knife does not come down on them but they go to the sickle! Anyway coming back to my running self who is presently swooping all over the place, I hopped skipped and jumped onto the table. Now I was riding high on my enthusiasm and had to show off that I can swoop down from something as high as the dining table. It will be my career best! And so amidst a lot of screaming voices I swooped down.

When I managed to open my eyes and look around I saw a lot of blood. Bua crying hysterically. My twin and sister were standing at the corner eyes filled with fear. I was in my mum’s arms who was squeezed my left hand tight so much so it hurt – though I wasn’t so sure what exactly it was that was hurting. My granny was making frantic calls to Dad at work and the doctors. I was rushed to the nearest hospital by mum – the only person looking at whom I felt that all is well.

The next few hours were a lot of blood. Screaming. Needles. Operating rooms. Big lights. Weird smells reminding me of some other time. And then I remember nothing else.

I opened my eyes. Mum was right next to my head. Dad was also just there. There was bawpi (my oldest aunt), Pishon (her husband), Anku, Chhopi and didun (granny). Their faces grave and then I realized that I couldn’t move my left hand. My head felt heavy. My whole body felt a little weak.

I went home after a few hours. I had swooped down on that deadly sickle that I was talking about before – landing on it with my left hand on the sickle. It sliced off the hand right through between the middle finger and the ring finger. The doctors had to operate it and pull the adjoining muscles and ligaments to put them together. 

First Day and on...

Oh that day was one heck of a day. Well at least that was what I was told. My mum was rushed to the hospital with the first alarm. Talking about alarms, I have often wondered how does one get to hear the alarm. I mean, an alarm is an alarm, right? It should make a hell lot of noise and at least someone (like me who has quite an ear for any kind of alarms having created so many myself) should get to hear it. But no, nothing of the sort really happens. Anyway, coming back to my story (which of course is not exactly first hand, I must admit, having been handed down to me from my Mum), I recall of course a strong smell of something that filled the entire room, the very same smell that hit me when I was taken to the O.T. for stitching up my finger.

Mum says that doctors force the babies to cry as soon as they are born and I can bet on my life that that day I could well hear not just one but two voices screaming out loud. Well that was quite a pair we made, my sister and I – the troublesome twins, the storm after the silence (my eldest sibling, who is a darling I must say).

Then the next few days I heard quite a few voices all sounding that they were coochy-cooing with me or my sister. I was one selfish brat even then. Didn’t like it at all when they showered too much of attention to my twin. I would throw my arms up in the air, at least tried to make it look that way with all the cloth that was wrapped around me, and threw a fit. My sister was the quieter one that way, only that now I realize that she had very cunningly left me alone as she knew that the next whatever years are left of my life, it will be payback time for me.

But of all the voices that I heard, there was always that special voice that calmed me every time it cooed sweet nothings into my ears, or those soft caring arms that held me close. I could hear her heart-beat and it was right then that I had decided that I would also set my heart beat at the same rhythm. There was also another voice which sounded quite younger than the others and I loved playing around that finger that I usually associated with that voice.

Slowly there were pictures in my life! There was that heavenly smiling lady whose eyes seemed to never leave my sight. Then there was that playful finger who turned out to be my older sister. There was also a deep voice that sounded awful proud when he talked about me. It didn’t take me long to figure that this was my family – my Mum, older sister, Dad and oh yeah my twin too.

My granny says that the first sight of me that she remembers is nothing but a bundle of cloths that wrapped the tiny body that slept peacefully without a care in the world. I have a confession here to make – I must say that I am terribly jealous of that tiny baby wrapped in rolls of cloth than this ten year old giving his worldly advice on everything around him. It’s like I have a huge weight that I carry around on my back; the funny thing is nobody can see that huge whatever that weighs me down so much. But I guess that’s one of the prices you pay of growing up.

Kickstarting life

Hi. I am Ronnie and I just turned ten this winter. To commemorate this ‘oh-so-grand’ occasion, my cousin, who is way too old for me for anything sane to be exchanged between us, lavishly gifted me this space – where? In cyber space! She said she got this brilliant idea from a newspaper article she read about this really old Spanish lady, who was supposed to be the world’s oldest blogger. She was quite popular too, as she narrated stories that have gone into the pages of history - from her own experiences. So my cousin, who thinks I am going to be this great whatever, thought not to waste too many years (waiting till I turned really old and gnarled) and kick-start at an early age. After all this is the age where people are doing things way before their forefathers even thought of doing (and yeah I include almost everything you have in your mind right now).

But for me, having spent only a decade in this world, which others think has loads of things on offer if you can manage to grab hold of it, I don’t have much to say. Oh yes, I have loads to say about ‘my world’. But who thinks that’s cool enough?

Look at Mum and Dad. I know they love me and all, but do they ever take anything I say seriously? Like the other day, when I said old Mrs. Ray looks a little unlike herself. Nobody even batted an eyelid. Two days later when news got around that she passed away quietly in her sleep, everybody said that they never got any inkling that something might be wrong. Hello???

Just another day, I managed to extract a face-wipe from my cousin (this is the same one who thought she was too kind to give me some space somewhere), I realized I didn’t have anywhere to keep which I can call mine. With just two rooms and three siblings and throw in a huge dog, it is really difficult to call anywhere your own. Rather it is everyone’s. Even my school bag, which was the last piece of anything on which I thought I had the sole proprietorship, slipped out of my fingers. Why? You want to know why? Our dog Rex, who Mum says is the best behaved in the entire lot, was peeping very interestedly into my school bag. That was the moment - I knew it - that I lost the one thing I could call my own. Next day, as (only) I expected, the bag went missing only to be found in a rather sorry state. And yet Rex gets to be crowned as the best-behaved one in the house.

I know I have a very colourful record of managing to do a whole lot of things that many may get a heart attack while just listening to the narration. Like when I shattered the glass doors of the bookcase in the living-room. I was thrilled, considering that I managed to something as spectacular when I was just one and half years old. But the icing on the cake or the best one so far (oh yeah I am planning to come up with some more awesome stunts) jumped from the table and landed on an open knife and managed to almost chop off my own middle finger (I don’t know why my cousin thinks that it is highly ironic). It bled a lot. Quite gory, I must say! Mum ran around like crazy. Dad was trying to be brave but Mum stole the show for me that day. Hands down. Got a few stitches done. Today I am the only one in my gang who can flaunt a crooked finger and a long scar right down my left arm. Cool ain’t it?

So this is me. I am just the kid next door, with an extra dash of energy. I live happily in this small house with my mum, dad and two very irritating sisters, one of which is my twin – I just wonder how! I go to school like any other kid, braving the taunts of the school bully, who is the only one still unimpressed with my crooked thumb and scar. My Dad is a hardworking employee of a pharmaceutical company (his work is to sell medicine to doctors) and my mum is a homemaker. We have our ups and downs but we scrape through. Each day is therefore something to look forward to, a battle to be won at the end of it. From today, I shall give you a sneak peek into my world and share it with you, ‘coz if I am really going to be famous one day, I better start working on it as soon as possible and now seems to be the best time!

Anyway, happy birthday to me!!