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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Reminiscing the days gone past

    The morning sun gently peeks through the tops of the houses as I walk down the tree lined path looking for a house from my childhood. It’s been many long decades since I have been this way, yet it seems like I never left it. So much has remained the same yet a lot has changed. The houses are still there yet something is different. A paper made boat gently floats down the water canal vainly trying to find it own path as it gets swept along with the currents.
    A breeze rustles the trees and gently ruffles through my hair. I hear children voices in the park and I see a group of children chase each other through the shrubs and weave through the trees. The voices fade away and I wonder how so much time has flown by so quickly. As I wandered down the cobblestone path with followed the water way, I eventually found myself at the end of the colony. Sitting down on a green bench I remembered that we lived in a real quiet neighborhood. Everyone knew everyone else and the neighborhood was a close knit one. Not much ever happened there. Spring and the autumn months were real nice since we had plenty of open area nearby and alot of kids used to come to play baseball, football or any other sports activity which caught their fancy.
    Looking down the street, I remember living in the third house from the last. It wasn’t a big house yet it felt like what a home should feel like. The kitchen was always full of sounds and smells of all kinds. If you ever had to step into the kitchen, you would have been assaulted by a wide variety of smells and the clanging sounds of pots, pans and other cooking items. Being a large family, the kids were all over the place and chaos was the order of the day. I never felt alone even in the quietest of moments.
    We never had an easy life as pops never earned that much and there was hardly anything left of the Friday’s paycheck. We made do with what we had and he always made sure that we lived as comfortable as possible. We all desperately wanted out of this vicious cycle. People were born here, worked in whatever jobs they could find in the town a few miles down, came home, idled away their time by playing a game of carom, checkers or some card game and the cycle was repeated till they passed away. The only way out was education yet not all of us had even have the basic skill set to pass the small quizzes that the teacher gave out on a weekly basis.

    Through sheer hard work, grit, determination and the desire to succeed where others had failed which was missing helped me in becoming one of the brightest student and not the laggard I was last year. The hunger for knowledge was burning bright in me and the light was shining in me like a light house beacon on a dark stormy light. I wanted a better future and I stayed up all night correcting my deficiencies. I mugged up the math tables, memorized the science, history and relearned English the right way. Somehow I passed each and every quiz that the teachers gave to the class and eventually graduated the local college with a decent grade. Things began to look up for me and everyone seemed to go their own way. I moved on myself and shifted to a different town. Life moved on, got a good job and I finally settled down.
    The clear morning sky began to darken and the wind suddenly picked up. Lightning flashed in the sky and one could hear thunder all around. The sky had turned jet black and I feared being stuck in the open with no protection and no place to take shelter. Between the thunder and lightning, there was utter silence all around. A man was hollering in the distance looking for his dog while it was barking in return. It was still pitch black outside and it started to rain heavily. The sudden downpour soaked me to the bone and I started to panic wondering how I will get myself out of this situation. I knock on the door of my old house and a small child sticks it head out. I hear a hustle/bustle of voices inside and various smell and sounds assault my senses.
    The kid kept staring at me for a long time and before I could utter a word the door was shut once more. The door opened once more and a tall, stocky bearded man appeared at the door. “What brings you to these parts?” was asked as a steaming hot mug of soup was handed to me. After some prodding, I told him my tale. Life always comes a full circle at the end I was told. A change of clothes made me feel better. The burly man had lent me a set of spare clothes till my dripping wet set dries out near the heater. I looked like a scarecrow in the ill fitting clothes. I pulled my chair near the window and looked at the torrential downpour. The cobblestone street had turned into a small river and I couldn’t see the houses across the street. The storm passed as quickly as it had arrived. The sun was up and it was time for me to take a leave. Looking back, I thought it was best to leave for home as it was getting late.
    With the passage of time, I had all but forgotten my previous life until this morning. I had come here to visit an old friend and I had never intended to wander down this long forgotten road which had drawn me like a street light draws a moth. Time had moved on....we grew up and went our own ways, made new friends along the way. We lived in this house for many years until it was eventually sold with the passage of time as there was no one to take care of it and we all lived in far flung areas. But this house still holds a special place for me. It had a splendid view and I am sure that the new owners must be enjoying it as much as I did when I was younger. Sometimes when I look back, it always pops up in my mind and brings back some fond memories and I am reminded of how much carefree fun I had when I was younger.