O dear, you will never know me!
You will not know my childhood odyssey and the wars of street cricket.
You will not feel the happiness in plucking flowers for the festival, nor dressing up for the temple. You will know them as rituals, not as brotherhood. You will not have ‘battle scars’ on your knees that I have as the result of running faster than the other friend in hide-and-seek. What’s worse, you will never know to play hide-and-seek!
Your nails will be polished and lips coloured much before I even knew their spellings right. Your fingers will tremble over the i-pad while trying to finish that car race that you think is the best game in the whole world. Oh Dear child, you haven’t really known my childhood.
You never will know how to stone a mango from its tree. To jump over fences and embark on a treasure hunt to find that missing cricket ball. You will never know the joy in feeding a street dog, nor watching an ecstatic mom give birth to a cuddly litter. You will never know to climb a tree nor swim in the pond, for ponds are now replaced by filtered and coloured pools.
O dear, you will never live the life I did, never understand the fun I had. You won’t even have the time to talk to me after school, you ten year old, as you rush to your room to finish that robo-attack that you had to pause because of your school bus. Maybe even you wouldn’t want dinner too! The only sound I hear would be your commands from across the closed bedroom door and not the happy screams from down the lane, like the kids I used to play with. You will never learn to trust, will you?
Oh dear child, know that I’ll always be there for you though you will never feel the bond.
You will now dress up as you have to upload ‘stories’ upon stories in all the apps you have in your phone. For me, stories were always from my dad’s imagination and lingered longer than a mere 24 hours!
You will come back and count the likes and reply to comments and not tell me about the day. Well alas, you have better companions in the virtual world.
You will not go out to play in the hot sun, nor come back drenched in sweat and mud.
You will not enjoy the beauty of the green fields, nor drawing water from the well. That’s already become history, you would say.
You will not devise new games, nor mingle with the neighbours. They’re so irritating and annoying, you would say.
You will never know the childhood I’ve had, my dear.
And I would still feed you cut mango, dipped in salt and smeared with chilli!
‘Cause you will never know the tastes of my childhood – the dripping, drooling tongues that still water over them!
It was a particularly unbelievable event. For my friends atleast, when I described this instance of getting high.
Well, I couldn’t believe it myself when I think back about that day, almost a month back from now. How weird! For a person who is always the mommy in the gang, making sure that all those drunk folks get back home safely, notifying the Ola driver of the right directions to home, inspite of their incessant, drunk murmurs of the house being next to a banyan tree (which, of course, no on knew where!)
It wasn’t one of those days when I was frustrated with life. It wasn’t one of those days when I was in an I-wanna-try-everything mood. It just happened, because I felt safe getting high
Basically, it all started with that irritating greyness called smoke. I hate smoke, in whatever form. It irritates my eyes and chokes my lungs. What surprised me is how they coolly slipped their mouth and nose into a pipe and inhaled that burning remnants of that brown leaves and puffed out random patterns which my knowledge of geometry couldn’t define. Bong shots, they happily called it. And in an hour or so, that evil slowly crept into my head too. That’s what passive smoking does to you. I never knew when I got high.
No no, that wasn’t the word they used. Cut, it was called. In that dreamy state, my mind wondered how easy life was when cut was just when blood oozed out, little by little. The thought of blood created some sort of a repulsion in me and I decided to stay out of all such gory details.
I heard them laugh when I struggled to put my heels on and told them that I felt sleepy. Sleep should be the last thing in your mind now, they advised. And I listened as much as I could, obediently when they took me to the pub!
Pubs, as noisy as it can get, where places the moral me would never frequent. I was drowsy, but safe. There were strong fingers intertwined with my weakness that kept me moving forward. After ordering a cocktail for myself, I was surprised at how happy and quirky I felt at the same time. Well, time was as immaterial as it had always been, for me then. I don’t remember looking at my watch ever that night. Those hands kept me safe, secure. I drank my cocktail bit by bit, waiting to see if it would actually give me the kick I was expecting. Yes, cocktails get me high. But no, they betrayed me too, that day.
I was still dazed and dreamy through all the laughter and fun. But those hands never left mine and I knew they would keep me safe. I laughed at odd moments and dozed off silently for a while too. But never did I feel embarrassed about the Me, that day
I enjoyed being there, that night, in that state which people called “High”.
The day that would be etched in my senses for ever ended with small sips of beer and marks on my lips. Kisses, I felt tasted the best that day. My hands were still safely in his. I slept.
The smell of oil drifted in the air, an old talcum powder clicked open. Her long wet tresses had made a tumble down her right shoulder, making a wet trail down her red blouse.
She lightly shook the droplets from her hair before she began drying it with that old cloth. Once done with that, she proceeded to tidy up her ever-compelling face. Adding that black line under her eyes was her favourite part. She made a subtle but thick stroke down the lines of her wide eyes with the Kohl that was made of the purest oils and camphor. She softly pinched that red color from her cube-sized box and brought it to her forehead. She studied her face for a long time in the mirror. Man, red was just her color.
She was a goddess in front of every man. Incomparable beauty matched with the perfect curves that would shame even the fully bloomed flowers. The mighty rivers could hide their falls in front of her flowing tresses. Her ankles wore the most melodious music, tapping to the rhythm of the way her bangles swayed with every movement of her hand. And her eyes. No man could, but look more than once. Such depth, power and passion lay within them.
Unexplored, she was. Her name was Seduction.