A young man’s hearty laughter: he is riding a bi-cycle along a decrepit village road full of potholes; a ball rolls down on your way kicked off by a hunk; this happens when you speed walk on the side of a playground just to shoot down your sugar level; now a different youngster slapping his friend on the back for munching a sugar candy when the national anthem is being played; another young chap who darts to a hospital carrying a small boy injured in a road accident.
All the young fellows you run into trigger your memories. They look like your alter egos. You become pensive, begin to see in them the adolescent you from whom you have walked away long back.
Rewind the time a bit; hurtle it down the decades; and there… you are, a stunning young man brimming with youth. A rugged man, you make life run errands for you. Adventure was then your vocation given a sturdy body and mind.
We want to be what we were once. Since the past is so yummy, we wish to cud chew it whenever life’s obstacles become insurmountable. When the goings on in life become tough, old memories offer us their sanctuaries. We, again, seek to blow up our memories into a bubble and live in it forever.
I used to take refuge in the cool shades of my retrospections when life becomes so hot and scalding.
Sunday morning. Predawn bustle took over the home. I was sleeping jolly well. When the alarm clock shrieked at 5 a.m. I gave it a big punch. It became subdued. But not Papa. A man not to get discouraged by a single flop, he had many tricks under his sleeves just to chase me off the bed as soon as he got up.
Unmindful of the failure of the alarm piece that succumbed to my assault, he shuffled into my room like a thief. Pinching my forearm, he tried to wake me. But I did not yield to his machinations. Like the legendary Kumbhakarna, I got myself immersed in the ocean of sleep. One of the things you should never miss in life is the pleasantness of late morning sleep. Unfortunately, Papa had no inkling of it.
‘Would Papa engage a band of musician – who might play an assortment of instruments into my ears – or a herd of trumpeting elephant to make me jump out of the bed?’. Thoughts gushed as I was half-conscious.
My honeymoon with the morning slumber continued until it rained in my room. ‘Rain!!! How could I get a rain inside the room? Was I hallucinating? No… I wasn’t. If it didn’t rain how come I get my face wet with water still dripping from my head?’ I moaned, saw Papa exit from my room holding a water jug in hand.
When I was about to resume my sleep, I saw a scrap of paper flutter in the hot air of the whirring ceiling fan. It was placed under the time piece. I dried my face in the bedspread, took out the paper and read it. It was from Papa.
“Easwar, don’t be lazy. How long will you sleep? It has been hell of time since the day dawned. Your late morning sleep makes the sun squirm. If a bird becomes a despicable slug like you and sleep late in the morning, it could never get a worm or two. Will go without feed. If you don’t get up now, I will toss you on to the road.
Get up, moron.
‘Huh… why Papa tortures me like this on every Sunday, thwarting my indulgence to sleep a bit late’. I grimaced, turned my head to the table. My pen wasn’t there. Only got a blunt pencil. Turning to the back of the paper where Papa reproached me for my long sleep, I scratched something that occurred to me then.
Another hour flew. I was straddling sleep and wakefulness. Soon, my room got jam packed. I writhed in pain when a rain of slapping lashed at my butt. I screamed, sat up and saw all my family, including my septuagenarian grandma crowded around me. They looked askance at me as if I was a crab.
I now heard Kala, my sister, read what I wrote and, she did this at the instance of Papa.
“Papa, why don’t you allow me to sleep late in the morning even on Sundays? You know those who oversleep are smarter than the early risers? I don’t eat worms as I am a human, not a bird. The sun comes to work early as his father may nag him like you. Papa, don’t you have any work worth doing. The barn in the backyard clutter with heaps of uncleaned cow dung. You’d better go there and clean it. Don’t fiddle with my sleep.
I heard a riot of laughter break out when my sister finished reading the stuff I wrote. While my family was chortling at the discomfiture of Papa, I curled myself on the bed again, pulled the blanket, covered it on my face and began snoring.
This is another bout of memory The World Sleep Day unfolds and, it helps me find out the adolescent boy I have lost in the sea of time. I love those recollections that make me smile no matter what is going on in my life now.
Guys, try to walk into your past once in a while just to see how sweet it is.
Images courtesy: Google