I can’t be ‘coming back’ because if ‘back’ is behind my point of reference then how can I ‘come’ there…I can only ‘go’ there as I leave my current position. ‘Coming to the present’ is something I can be more comfortable with. But not many would worry about it, as is evidenced by the oft repeated errors of speech we see in the popular media… the preceding example being only a little humorous scratch on the surface while the reality is more painful.
Why do I care? Well, first because I like to have a certain quality in the things we do. It keeps the daily life more interesting. And second, because today (yet again) I read a news-piece about so many new MBAs and Engineering graduates trying desperately to find menial jobs just to survive. I will let them do their own ‘career-planning’. And, here, now I will talk about essay writing. When I was in the primary and junior high classes, writing an essay was a big-deal and we graduated from being asked to write a few lines (usually 10) to writing a few pages as part of the “ordeal”. It ended when we graduated from 10th class.
To me these essays were a fun-thing. When it was the ‘10 lines, class 3’ type, I was intrigued by copying the exact words in my brain and then metamorphosis-ing the same from my brain waves to on to the page. And the topics were also quite relevant: festivals, parents, cow, pet(s), friends, holiday…
Here I write a little, and reminisce, about the time I celebrated a 10 day holiday with my grandparents (it was a 10 day school holiday on the occasion of Dushera – a hindu festival celebrated 10 days before Diwali):
The best Dushera I remember was in 1992. I was living with my grandparents in a small town in the North of Uttrakhand and we had 10 days of fun in front of us. As part of the festivities, a big open space was occupied by small temporal shops selling little things…yes only little things which could be made in little shops by little people with little tools. Customized little things for a little price.
A bigger stage was set for the evening village-people theatrics to be performed for 10 nights for the entertaining of the visiting people…free for all. I remember visiting the theatre a few evenings for the little fun and the little things, and for a few late nights for the theatre performance which ran till around midnight, each of those 10 nights.
Those were the days (and nights) when people had the volition to do something of their own volition.
And I am also very sure that that ‘10 day Dushera of 1992’ will be the best I will have had for this lifetime…with the right mix of people, place and passion set in a time when things were just about right for an eight year old to do how-so-ever he would please. To play, or not, to study or not, to sneak out of the house, to have older friends which my grandparents didn’t like, and to come home when he was tired and have a river-front-view to sleep to.
The prompt to write the above, is this book I am reading these days ‘The God of Small Things’ 1997. And the pleasure to pen a few words is entirely mine.
PS: The credit to get me to read this book goes to a friend, who has my thanks for not letting me be the ‘inglorious blaster’, that sometimes has me overlook the ‘small things’ while I am “busy” searching for the big god.