Culture,Life & Love

A LOST CHILDHOOD … ESSENCE OF LIVING — Lost somewhere…

 

The human growth process and evolution leave behind so much in life. No loss can match the desolation and the devastation of a lost childhood. A billionaire or a pauper may have a sea difference in their lives, but they do share one important thing – the childhood’s bindaas laughter and the naive sparkle in those naughty eyes.

Childhood is lost somewhere and the essence of life is lost.

My domestic help fathers four children(GOSH!), and they live on my premises. Two to ten-year-old kids create havoc in the evenings when they try to perform every prank and noisy chore right outside my clinic. When I see their innocent eyes and a cherubic smile, I mellow down and gulp down my anger and frustration. When I step out, they beam at me – how can I ignore their smiles? Won’t I be destroying their belief in the goodness of the world? They are uncut diamonds in pursuit of their sheen. They don’t fear my ire – their innocence makes them fearless. Who says there are seven wonders in the world? – I see seven million in those glistening eyes.

Believe me – I see myself in those busybodies! My soul leaps out and stands like a mirror reflecting off my kindergarten face. At that moment, I yearn to go back into life – not to amend anything but to feel a few things once again. I crave the virtue of never understanding the rejection, never seeing denial and being immune to the agony of limitless unrequited love.

“Be happy for no reason, like a child. If you are happy for a reason, you are in trouble because that reason can be taken from you”. DEEPAK CHOPRA.

 

In school, I always wanted to be a big and successful guy – wanted to emulate some brilliant Bollywood stars – wanted to get married to Asha Parekh and Sadhana – own a yacht and an aeroplane – drive an Impala car –(a ‘Johny head in the air’….).

I believed in everything, no matter what I saw or heard – there was no logic or understanding behind it. My friends would take me on a flight to the moon . . . narrate the half-cooked physical details of the girl sitting in the front seat . . . prove the presence of a ghost in the adjacent rundown building, so on.

“Childhood is about believing in everything and knowing nothing at all.”

Huh – Now, after achieving a decent living, I realize that broken toys, lost pencils, sharpeners and stolen stamps and coins collections were much better than the broken hearts, betrayals, jilted emotions, career frustrations, lost friends and shelved relationships.

Now I go to the town’s prestigious club to slog through a couple of single malts, play silly drab games of Tambola and cards and tolerate the toxic people and their gossip.

In bed, my soul questions me – Hey, have you seen your childhood?– You seem to have lost it somewhere – Do you miss it?

What to say? – The child has grown – the dream is gone – life has metamorphosed into a rubber robot, accomplishing a stipulated goal and living out some set of emotions. I think I found comfort in being COMFORTABLY NUMB – so, we all have—didn’t we?

I try my best to keep alive the child inside me. Losing that child is like losing your soul. The world may coax you to put up a sham front – but, my friend, inside, you are dying.

Can you hear that loud yell outside my window?. . . Someone is shouting – Hey, Anuj, are you not coming to play ice-pice’ ( I spy)? – Do you remember?– those fights over the spilt Piththoo’ – the terrible slap on the back in ‘Pakadan Pakadai’—the deliberate pinching of the girls’ cheeks in ‘Andher Nagari Chaupat Raja’ – the uninvited indulgence in the girls’ game ‘Stapoo’ – the swollen hips in ‘Gend Taadi’ – the curious poses in the ‘statue’. . . L.O.N.D.O.N{ God knows why it was London and not Moradabad} – those bruises and cuts and the tetanus shots and mercurochrome solution and Gentian violet itchy pain along with mummy’s warnings. Everything is so fresh in my mind as if I have just come off a terrible loss in a street cricket tournament. While visiting my old house, I realized that it was not the house I was missing – it was my childhood that was deeply missed.

NOTE: A piece of advice – A museum should be curated, and all ancient childhood games should be displayed along with short videos – not to miss the …Gullee danda, Kanche etc. The present generation — who have no clue about these games and are instead involved in the keyboard gimmicks since the day they are born— they need some lessons.

 

I see cute urchins at the red light crossing – while asking for alms, they teach three things . . .

*There is no reason – just be happy.

*See, we are so busy – morning till evening we chase cars to get some charity.

* We demand what we desire, without any hitch or glitch.

At the green light, I move on and see the urchins laughing and giggling as if they are the happiest lot in the world. Here I have lost my smile and shelved my demands, and opted to stay busy without business. What a life-changer?

Childhood is a princely state where there is no death.

Dreams are born here, and time is never planned. The smiles, the ideas and the visions live on. The span is not from birth to a certain age – it could be extended to the time one grows and dies a natural death.

The soul’s essence is in letting the child survive in you – not letting it die. Learn the art of graduating without losing your inner baby. You will gain seamless clarity because the child never develops filters that prevent us from seeing things we don’t imagine or visualize.

 

“The innocence of children is their wisdom, the simplicity of children is their egolessness – the freshness of the child is the freshness of your consciousness, which always remains young.” RAJNEESH.

I feel like humming the famous Kishore Kumar melody …. “Koi Lauta De Mere Beete Hue Din…”

 

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6 Comments

  1. Dr Ashok Kumar Ojha says:

    An apt heading a lost childhood… essence of living lost , is no way unequal to any other topic
    resonating to scintillating vibrancy of
    childhood.. Experiences and anecdotes of childhood
    remain close to one’s heart, even after one’s life style tends to grow. The vivid plethora of games we used to play during our childhood were exquisite.Rarely we find children playing those thereafter..Whether it was playing gilli danda or kanche, the games had fun in their own way.I still remember we could win more than a hundred marbles in a day..The satisfaction we had on counting them again and again was beyond imagination. There was a divine pleasure while playing gilli danda. A sense of hidden pleasure prevailed when we saw gilli going at a farthest place on strike..It is not possible to retrieve past glory of childhood, nevertheless, its essence makes nostalgic on reminiscence..

    1. Dr. Anuj says:

      Ashok Bhai, I am so lucky to have shared a major chunk of my childhood with you. Those days of kanche, gillee danda and cricket in the small field outside our flat. I still remember your typical style of bowling… the way you moved your wrist.
      Everything is so clear and vibrant. Wish we could relive those moments… our fights and friendships.
      love you

  2. Hi Doctor
    Good reminder…..Childhood is a wonderful time of our lives. Filled with optimism, reach out to everyone. Talk to the birds and flowers. Fall in love again and again, forgive and forget. Also never got sour over anything for long. I don’t think it is so difficult to follow this still. Living that simple unsophisticated life will surely give joy.
    I too would like to remind you that you have missed one of my comments on your previous post.
    Regards RG

    1. Dr. Anuj says:

      hi RG
      nice to hear from you after a while. I miss your comments. you write so well. I am sorry if I missed your comments. will check out. Childhood is indeed the best time… I cherish every bit of it.

  3. Karen Kumar says:

    Hello
    It was great talking with you tonight, as always. Your essay on happiness and embracing the innocent joy of childhood is very timely. I allow so much in life to diminish the daily joys that are right in front of me! Chopra’s statement is very wise. I need to be mindful every day of the little blessings and stop striving for happiness as if it comes through striving. That would be like trying to catch a butterfly.

    1. Dr. Anuj says:

      thank you so much, Karen Kumar, for your comments and thoughts. I try to live my childhood and love to watch the butterfly of happiness that keeps floating in front of my eyes. I stopped trying to catch it a long time ago because it is an illusion. It will settle on its own when the right time comes.
      regards
      note — please do read my other blogs and give feedback..thanks

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