Category Archives: Childhood

Who killed my childhood dreams

Space Exploration

US Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Alwin Aldrin landed on the moon in 1959 or was it 1961? Russia had already been sending rockets to moon by then. The world looked infinite to my tiny ears. I was fascinated by the stars and the planets. I remember when everyone were asleep in the house. A little 5 year old mini-me would walk to the window, pull a chair and stare at the skies till it was dawn. I would stare at the stars, try to figure out the the planets. My Favourite planet was Mars, since I was told the same could be inhabited. I wanted to be a space explorer.

Scientist

Another carreir I visualised was becoming a scientist. I even had converted our small balcony in our 1 BHK flat in to a personal lab. Trust me I was only 7/8 years old and I had a fucking lab at home!! I would open up radio’s, Tv’s and whatever caught my fancy around the house.

Laziness

I realised I was not a hard worker, I didn’t have the discipline to put in day in and day out. So by the age of 10, I would ask my friends who were better with radio, transistors etc to come and work for me. They would just hangout in my lab, spend some time, helping me wherever they can.

After that I realised that I could be better industrialist. I mean, I clearly wasn’t cut out of studios stuff of scientist. Here also I felt laziness creeping into my bones again. I had another brilliant idea. I announced one day to all my family that I would rather marry a industrialist’s daughter.

How Engineering killed all my childhood dreams

Of-course, Dad wanted me to become a Engineer. If there was anything of my childhood dream left. The boring engineering college professors mutilated it. Engineering damaged me so much that I gave up on all my dreams of space travel and being a scientist. I came out of college, thinking I was good for nothing, dimwit idiot.

I became a idiot instead of a scientist or a space explorer

Today, I spend 16 hours staring from one screen to another. I shift from my iPhone to iPad and then to the mac.

Where are those space travels? ??

Where are those fabulous inventions I was supposed to make???

The highlight of the day now is getting 25 comments and 25 shares on Facebook.

P.S – If you read till the end, could you please share/comment/like this post? 😛

Childhood memoir of Summer Vacations in Mangalore

The school summer vacations, a good 2 months of nothing to do. Dad packed us, me, my mom, and occasionally my sister to Mangalore, where his two sisters lived. My mother’s uncle too lived close.

Dad’s extended family comprised his 2 elder sisters and their children. Each aunt had many children. In our wonderful language, we called our male cousins “Bhavji” and our female cousins as “Vahini”.

My Cousins

The custom of spending summer vacations in Mangalore started around age five and abandoned after I grew ten years old. These five summers are the liveliest of my life. My cousins who were much older and in their youth were great fun and unique. They took me to restaurants for Gadbad ice-creams and other food, told me fascinating stories. These cousins were my childhood heroes, they could climb trees and get me fresh coconut water. They could jump from a floor or more, and they climbed into well’s if a cricket ball fell into it.

The Food

Though both aunt’s and my mothers uncle lived around Mangalore, the character of the food varied. At the aunt who lived in Mangalore city there used to lot of fish for lunches and mangoes and jackfruits to eat for deserts. With the aunt in “Puthige” (a village near Mangalore) there used be lot dosa and chutney and a wonderful homemade pickle which tasted divine with watered rice. When we reached at my mothers uncle place in Polali, we got treated to a huge watermelon fresh from the fields. My mother’s uncle then caught a chicken roaming around freely in his house front-yard and screwed it’s neck. The half dead chicken is then dispatched to the ladies for cooking. Thin Rice wafers (called as Roti) is usual accompaniment with the chicken curry.

Toilet Matters

But there were troubles too, the greatest issue for a city slicker, was the lack of toilets inside the house. Being a shy child and not keen on being led by an elder to the field for my daily defecation. Most of the times a girl cousin escorted me into the open, who I accused of sneaking in to see my behind. Open defecation in the field tormented me, even though now I consider it as an extravagance. Later the aunts got into a rat race to get the first toilet built. The city aunt won. The game plan for the aunts was whoever builds an indoor toilet’s will make us city slicker more comfortable and hence get more time at their place. More time, means more ability to influence. I don’t think it worked, my mom spent extra stay time with the family who provided her the intoxicant of choice.

Houses

Both my aunts (fathers sister) houses were as different as apples & oranges. The elder aunt’s house had 2 or 3 other houses in front of them with a center courtyard. There was a beautiful temple in the courtyard where every evening all the residents of that houses sang aarti’s (devotional songs). This typical village house surrounded by paddy fields and coconut tress looked idyllic.

The city aunt’s house was on a hill. It had a narrow un-motorable approach road. We left the rickshaw down the main road and walked to the house. The front yard of the house had fruit trees like jackfruit, mangoes. I recall the big Jackfruit tree right in front of the house where we would put up chairs and sit. The back gate of the house led to barren hill where a solitude cashew tree stood. We ate those cashew fruits sometime.

Work and Education

Most the girls in the neighbours houses of the village aunt, used to make “bidi’s” – (an Indian cigarette without filter) and sell it to the local manufacturer for cash. It helped them support the household. The marked difference between the village aunt and the city aunt was that some of the children of the city aunt studied to become graduates. The less educated cousins moved to Bombay to earn and support the family back home. A few of them worked with my father in the factory.

Aunts

The older aunt was the like Queen bee, she made sure, they was money to feed all the mouths. She did a good job to push her relatives to work. The younger aunt aptly named “Sundari” (‘O’ beautiful) was more talkative and extrovert. She educated her kids and took pride in their success.

Relationships outgrowing in time

My father got divorced and re-married. The vacations to Mangalore stopped.

Disclaimer – My memory is rather bad, maybe I got stuff here wrong. 

How Vijay (Amitabh Bachchan) made me an Atheist.

Nowadays I don’t get influenced by Hindi movies, but when I was a kid, the only way for a new idea to take roots in my brain was via Hindi films, and mostly it was the special occasion of watching an Amitabh movie. I guess no other film has impacted me more than the movie Deewar.

Amitabh’s character Vijay in Deewar is how I modelled myself, along with a strong influence of Bruce Lee my other Hero. Our household wasn’t very religious, but someone in the house would light agarbatti and diya in the morning and evening at our house. I had nothing to do with it after I saw Amitabh blaming GOD for all the hardships his mother and he faced when he was a kid.

I also conveniently blamed the invisible Gods for all my childhood problems, cause my childhood wasn’t normal like other children in the neighbourhood, I couldn’t blend in.

Check out this scene from Deewar, its sounds almost funny now, and I cant bear to watch it.

The Mind tries to find patterns – A Story about childhood friendship.

Have you said to yourself “Man why does this happen to me all the time?”. Have you observed, how many close calls you had in life, I mean I could have been dead when I was eight years old. I had set up this lab on the balcony of my house, and I was at least getting one electric shock every day trying to become the next Einstein.

Yes, my childhood dream was to become a scientist, but my Dad thought I should become an Engineer and manage his business. So I did become an Engineer.

A couple of weeks back I was missing an old childhood friend Rajesh of mine, I mean we grew up like brothers, but then we lost touch, and a few days later I found Rajesh sitting at the table across me and sipping his coffee. We both recognised each other, but we didn’t talk.

I realised we weren’t kids now, I found him grumpy and felt it isn’t worth working on the old relationships now. Yes, you might say, “how cruel?”. Yes, I feel sometimes, I don’t have a heart, the cold-blooded way in which I manage to conduct myself.

But then again after a few days I meet another Rajesh, who tries to help me with some important work. Here my mind, starts talking to myself “ Woh, God compensated me with another Rajesh”

But hope you are getting the drift, all these coincidences happening to me, I am building a pattern, I am linking the first event “My remembering of my childhood friend” to the other 2 events.

I know, we all love connecting the dots…

But stop there, just don’t connect the dots and let it be! Trust me; you will save yourself a lot of bothers.

 

 

 

deborahsk0 / Pixabay

Memorable Drives.

As long as I have been conscious, I have always been in a car, either being driven when I was a minor or driving with someone, or driving alone.

I have driven a lot, most of the times alone, and lot many times with families and loved ones.

Driving with someone is a good opportunity to know someone, due to the circumstance of proximity, you and your companion end up talking and a kind of intimacy develops between you.

When the roads are never ending, you tend you slip into your inner consciousness. I have been aware of great compassion and love from my fellow companions during those long journeys.

Mostly my driving has been for work and only a couple of vacations. But I have had some revealing insights about my loved ones when driving. When I look back, I feel glad I took those rides with them as those 8/10 hours on the road, made me understand them much better.

Now I don’t drive, but I am looking forward to a trip with someone, somewhere on a beautiful, long winding roads, into the future.

Learning to Fight Back

As far as I remember, I was labelled as the “obedient child” a little bit early in life. An obedient child is aptly rewarded for good behaviour. Even as a child one tends to understand that one has to exhibit proper behaviour, which mostly meant “Just keep your stupid mouth shut”.

This enormous burden of a sweet boy label creates an extremely repressed young boy. The obedient child doesn’t get a chance to rebel; because of the following reasons

1) Complete denial of access to the outside world and interactions.
2) He is made entirely dependent on his parents.
3) By reiterating by action and words, that your parents can take care of all your problems.

I am not saying that this is all deliberate actions on the part of the parents, but it may be just how parents are, they want to control their creation. I hope though some enlightened parents know better than this?

I am no longer an obedient child; in fact, I have rejected the society as it is, I am one of the biggest critiques of societal norms and the superficial values it imposes so that it can make compliant citizens of everyone.

But being an armchair critique is one thing and fighting back is an entirely different ball game.

I have never learnt to fight back for my rights, because fighting back most of the time means hurting the very ones who said, they would protect you. Fighting back means telling the people you respect and sometimes even love, that they are hurting you.

Sometimes there is a such a thin line between what is rightfully yours and what’s not? It is like the predicament of Arjun who drops his weapons when given the task to eliminate his elders and loved ones.

Life is messy and it gets dirtier when faced with such a dilemma, but one has to fight and I hope I learn to fight, and always fight for the right cause.

Why I grew up thinking money was not important.

Day before yesterday, I made a statement for the first time in my life, when I met my sister and brother-in-law for my 4_ birthday celebrations.

I said “Money is my God and I dont believe in happiness in watching sunset in a beautiful scenic place” . My brother in law who is the most practical person I know off immediately understood and retorted “That, after all it takes money to travel to those exotic places to watch the beautiful sunset or sunrise and expereince that happiness”.

Flashback –

Going back say 30/35 years, I was a young kid, 7 or 10 year old, every time i told my mother I was hungry, she would just give give me the keys to the locker where there used to be lot of cash, you know that 5 Rs bundles back then? My mother was a raging alcoholic, she didnt cook at home during the day and only would cook for the evening when dad would be home, so the only recourse for her to solve my hunger was to send me w money to the nearest Udipi Hotel to fetch my masalsa dosa. I hated the fact that my mother wont cook for me, like other mothers did, I fell really sick with Jaundice eating those Masalsa Dosa everyday. After which my father imported a cousin home from mangalore to do the cooking.

Even with my father, who was quite sucessful in monetary terms could never spend any quality time talking to me or he never had time to take my tutions or take me out for fun, i think I saw my first circus when I was well in my teens.

With all the houses and the factories Dad set up, I thought, there was no quality of life for me. This was my perception that there was a lot of money at home, but then I realise, my father was stressed all the time, because he was always short of money to raise capital for his varied projects and had created substantial financial debts and he worked a 12/14 hour day, day in and day out, but that's his story.

I wonder sometimes, will we ever feel, we have enough money, so that we can nurture our loved ones or is it going to be a life of unfulfilled responsibilites because there was never enough money?

I wonder how people with complete financial security (if there is such thing as financial security) live their lives, are they better at dealing with their loved ones, or is it over indulgence with money which spoils their kids?

Up until now, I feel I have been living off my fathers assets, now it is time to make my own money and before that I need to learn to love money. I still dont know if chanting “Money is my God” a 1000 times a day will make me get over this childhood distaste(Hate) for money.

 

 

Revisiting the Past.

Making a journey to the past, revisiting it. The journey to the past would be only constrained by the memories (of happiness and sadness).

reconstructing it with new adult perspectives and reinforcing the relationships which were meant to be broken and healing them by thought.

The past shouldn’t be treated like a trash can, it can be salvaged and re-aligned with your present and might just make the future richer.

So what are the tools we have to revisit the past. I am starting a dairy for each relationship, for each phase, for each venture in the past and reconstructing it with memory. I am writing non linearly, whatever comes to my mind. Do let me know if you have other tools to revisit the past. Maybe past life regression? Has it worked for you?

There is too much of a treasure left behind to let it go. It is a short life as we all say, nothing is worth losing.

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Looking at intuition in retrospect.

I am a skeptic when words like intuition, magic and esoteric rituals are referred too.

It seems very loony to get involved in these stuff, but I have been greatly influenced by such people who believe in these stuff.

Now looking in retrospect I see signs of my childhood intuition coming true. While I was a kid, every time I used to travel to Bandra, my eyes would get tranfixed on a store called “Satguru’s ” on linking road. Now after 30 years I moved into a house which is opposite Satguru’s.

Again whenever I used to go to Nariman Point I would be very curious about NCPA , my parents never went to NCPA but I do feel extremely blessed whenever I am at NCPA (one of my most favourite place in Mumbai) .

Were these childhood sense of wonder just a sign about what the future holds for me. What if I was more aware of the subtle signs in the universe, would it have been easier for me to navigate this treacherous world with my own mental blue print.

Now I’m exercising my mind to back in time and explore those hidden groves of the memory lanes to find more clues for the treasure life awaits.

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Learning to Tie the Shoe Laces.

I have these dancing shoes, the soles are made of Suede leather, but there is a fundamental problem, every 3 minutes the laces get loose.

So we were practising and then this kind lady notices and shows me how to tie my shoe laces so they dont come off, well it fucking works!!!!

Yes, I am a middle aged man and I just learnt how to tie my shoe laces, it makes me wonder what other life skills I am not equipped with??

Or

Did i know how to tie my shoe laces and have forgetten it?? Yes, you know where I am headed? Yes, to again blame my parents for this. Life is so much convenient, when you can put all the blame on the parents?

I am a father too, well I fathered, and what goes around will surely come around and I am wondering how to deal with it. Atleast when my father was alive I never blamed him upfront for anything, its just that he has been dead for so long that I have the courage to openly blame him. As for my mother, I am not sure, she can understand all this.

Also if any one has the same problem with lace untying I can teach you how to do it properly.

Dont let your parents wake you Up!

Here is a story about my childhood. 

Every morning during my school days I was dragged out of my bed at 6.30 am , given a bath and hair oiled and sent to school to attend at 7.30 am. I HATED IT!!! 

The point I want to make is, it is not really important to wake up in the morning, the phrase “Early bird catches the worm” is a medieval quote and not relevant to our times. During medieval times, there was no electricity and people had nothing to in the late evening so they went to BED early and woke up at dawn, continuing to do so in the INDUSTRIAL AGE, where a person had to reach the factory before the bell rings.

The whole sleep cycle was invented for people to work and be better in factories assembly lines. So unless you are a working in assembly line, there is no need to wake up on time. 

So the question to ask PARENTS is

Do your parents want you work in factories when you grow up? Is it the reason they are spending all their HARD EARNED money on your education. If the answer is NO, tell them to leave you alone and let you sleep it out.