Sunday, December 9, 2012

Of childhood memories and changes

As per the legend, I was loved by all when I was a kid. Elder cousins and aunts (esp dad's youngest sister who got married when I was 2 yrs old) recall my awesomeness at family gatherings all the time.

One of the many tales is about a visit to this mini zoo like place called Sundarvan near our house.  My aunt would take us all cousins there quite often on Sundays and apparently, the the caretaker got so used to seeing us there that he once let us in the place at 6 am to have a look at a bunch of dancing peacocks.  I, of course, have no memory of peacocks, but I do remember seeing a snake show there and how incredibly slimy it felt to touch the Rat Snake.  Guess, I will never get used to touching a reptile.

I remember feeding mamra (puffed rice) to the geese and once there was also a red panda in there.  Oh, and did I tell you about the porcupines? And the Indian cobra?

But then, I grew up.  School happened.  There was no novelty in visiting the Sundarvan.

And then, last year, history repeated itself.  My aunt took us all to Sundarvan again.  The reason was my cousin's daughter, Dhyani. It was wonderful visiting the same places with the same set of us as grownups. But that visit was more of a trip back to memories.

Today, when my cousin called that Dhyani insisted I take her to Sundarvan, I could not say no.  So it was the two of us, having a look at the animals and birds and tried to answer her questions like, why are the geese eating mamra (yep, things haven't changed much in Sundarvan) and why are the snakes inside a glassed cage!  I wondered if I had similar questions for my aunt too? Did she make up stories, or did she struggle explaining a 2//3 year old kid logic?

Some things remained same.  Geese still feasted on mamra, bajrigars still went berserk, snakes still looked slimy.  But things had also changed.  A generation had changed.  I was the one taking care of someone, and not the other way around.

We got back home, she had some food, and since cousin had still not got back, I sat with her on the swing, and when she started feeling sleepy, I held her in my arms and she fell asleep.  Her tiny hands around my neck, trusting me that I will not let her fall off.  After about twenty minutes of being on the swing, I brought her inside the room to put her on the bed.

The minute I put her on the bed, she woke up and gave the most adorable smile.  She was still sleepy so after softly moving her hands over my eyes, she fell back asleep. 

This reminded me of the another legendary tale from the past.  My aunt had always complained how she would sit with me on the swing and try to get me to sleep after 30 minutes, and moment she would put me on the bed, I'll wake up. :P She still hasn't forgotten her hourly exercise on the swing with me clinging on to her and not forgiven me for waking up immediately either. :P

And the swing also made me little sleepy, so I dozed off for while in the afternoon, and woke up when Dhyani came up to me and softly said, "Ninu, why are you sleeping?" :)

Guess, history repeats itself.

But you know, if and when I have kids, I wish to have a daughter.  I'll take her to all the places I went to as a kid, because I was kind of awesome as a kid.

1 comment:

Arpz said...

dammit, too nostalgic I say. Sundarvan. and I remember my tryst with lalbagh and ATIRA and the peacocks and the ganne ka ras there.