Sunday, February 7, 2010

1460 days

This is not nostalgia. This is just a realisation that how fast life moves, and how we mistake it being too slow. I clearly remember how four years during the end of eighth standard, I counted out the days I had more to get out of home. 1460 days was the perfect figure and for a dozen or so days I used to cross out the days mentally. But the overwhelming number of days never seemed like ending, so I gave up counting them out. And today when I sit here on this chair, I realise that I only have a few days left and then I will be out of my own house forever. How time came and went by, each day passed away leaving weak memories occasionally. I was fourteen years old back then and how I longed to grow up. But there was one thing I had back then, and that was that I used to dream. I was an innocent dreamer, the one who used to play, study, and appreciate his own actions highly. I used to be amused, and awed by things back then, but now things only satisfy me. The sense of realism and rationality which has been crusted on me has killed that tender dreamer. Entering the ninth standard, my mind bought itself restrictions called love and future. The future of packages, of doing great, and the burden of being successful did direction me to a scripted path. And of love, I discovered a whole new world of girls. As a student of boys’ school, my contact and experience with girls had been lesser than zero. They were creatures from whom I shied from, little beautiful beings that were just meant to be admired, and dreamt about secretly under the blankets, things about whom you think about, smile and blow away like an unachievable dream. But introduction to a complicated thing like sex and flesh blood girls did make me think about them a lot. The usual concept of love did affect me and as a teenager I half forced and half lusted myself to fall into it. And for the first time in my life I had aims or roughly restrictions, love and future.

I vaguely remember my first day in my school in kindergarten, the parents saw off their kids in the quadrangle, and so did my father. Out of habit, I asked my father to come down lower near to my face so that I could kiss him. As a very private person, my father declined and softly said “This isn’t exactly the right place, son.” as the quadrangle was full of parents and students. Then he put his big hands on my face, gave me a big smile and left. I clearly remember the denial of his cheek that day. I didn’t know of embarrassment at that age.

And then there was this day, when we entered Ist standard from kindergarten. I and my best friend were sitting on the stairs, and then I held up my newly acquired blue school tie and announced, “Piyush, we are seniors now!” How big I felt and how senior I felt that day. I guess that was the biggest I ever felt in my life. And now, when I am in the highest standard of my school life, I don’t feel like a senior at all, it is just as something which is going on and has no significance. Like someone has forced me into a boat named ‘Puneet’s life’ and the oars of the boat are being controlled by someone else.

I am the only son of my working parents and from a young age I had this habit of being alone in my house for long periods of time. I have loved the hollowness and silence of the house from the beginning, it gave me my own space of imagination and the faint light coming out of the curtains have always fascinated and ignited my mind in weird ways.

The earliest and first girl in my life was the daughter of my mother’s fellow colleague in the school. I was 5 or 6 years old and I used to go to my mother’s school on some days, and she also used to come. She was my same age, I remember how we used to jump on the desks, and run through the empty classrooms. I don’t know if she was pretty or not, but she did look beautiful to me back then. I haven’t met her for twelve years, but I so want to meet and feel her now. It isn’t a feeling of love or longing, it is just that I want to see how she has grown up. I adore my memories with her, and just want to match myself with her now.

All my life I have been a good student when forced, and till sixth standard, my mother forced me enough to be great at studies. I still remember her reading out every line of the hindi chapter and then also explaining it to me. I have always been awful at hindi. She had been a good teacher to me. She just left me on my own in seventh standard and I somehow like the decision now. It made me wander into different spheres of life by myself.

I turned 18 a few days back. The 1460 days went by and that too faster than a flash. I don’t miss myself being a child, but I miss my open sky at which I used to gaze, and my open grounds on which I used to run. I hate paths and I hate directions, and somehow I feel that I lost something in my transition to being an adult. I miss something, something very dear, and something which defined me. I guess I need to cry. I need to cry.