How are you feeling now Mr. Madhav? I know you're going through a really hard time right now. Do you mind talking?
I feel numb doctor, I can get my senses straight. I've been seeing things lately. I really need to talk to someone to.
I'm all ears. Tell me, is there something you miss?
My home, my friends, my....my childhood
Tell me all about it Madhav....tell me about all those things you've been seeing
Its past six in the evening and the kids were still playing football in the barren fields. The monsoon had just begun and the fields are soaked in mud. Few had mud over their legs like football stockings. One could not figure out if the football was white or brown.
Madhav! Its raining! Lets go to chacha's shop and have pani puris
Kids called him "chacha", which meant uncle. The hot pani puris and samosas that chacha sold were so famous all over the village. People say even the foriegners who come from far away places never leave without having his panipuris. We usually go to his shop after every game, especially when it rains.
There used to be a rusty bench outside his shop, on which Naina didi had painted flowers last monsoon. The three of us would sit over there and savour the most delicious snack that you could ever have along with the cold, calm breeze and the rains. We wouldn't talk to each other for those few minutes. That was our rule.
Arnav's house came first on the way back. On the way there used to be a huge mango tree in Sarpanch's land. He would never let us pluck them. Every evening we would just look at the mangoes as though they'll come down by themselves seeing our innocent little eyes. But that evening we really craved to have some. Bhaiya had taught us to make catapults and we already had ours ready in ready in hand.
Madhav...are you sure? Remember that old man had made us do one hundred sit ups for plucking his mangoes last year?
Shut up Mukund. Dont be such a coward.
Wow! Six in one shot! Now runnnnn......
Using the catapult was the best atempt afterall, we got two mangoes each. We didn't the cut the mangoes with knives or ate with a fork like kids these days do. We would peel it out with our teeth and then bite into the juicy and yellow pulp inside. While returing home all of us smelled like mangoes.
After Arnav's house came Mukund's. The three of us used to go around on Mukund's bicycle. Which means, I had to walk home all by myself. I still remember the way I used to play in that little brooke that ran across the lane. Mom wouldn't let me enter the house in this filthy state. So I usually clean myself up in that brooke. I knew all the kinds of fishes that lived in it. The frogs sat on the bank and watched me taking a bath.
Can you imagine walking home with those drenched clothes on with the winds blowing on you like they are about to turn you into ice or something?
On reaching home Maa would keep the dinner ready. She never forced me to study or do the pending works for school. I'd change into fresh set of clothes and then fall asleep with a smile on my face thinking about all those little things we had done and more excited thinking about what is going to happen the next day.
Like John Keats said, "beauty, love and poetry is all that we aspire to live for!"
Hey Paa, how are you doing?
Oh there you are! Mr. Madhav was telling me a few tales of his childhood.
Can I have a moment with you doctor?
What do think doctor? Will we have him for longer? Its okay you can be honest
I'm sorry ma'am. I'm out of words. But let me tell you he had had a beautiful journey throughout these years and out of what he had shared since a few days I'm sure he had made the most of it. There is nothing that he has missed.
We're all missing the childhood of ours as we burden ourselves with a lot of things. Childhood is not just when you're young. It doesn't have a number. Flow with your hearts desires and fly through the blue skies. You may never know when you're going to get decayed. Afterall we are all just food for worms and fertilizers for dandelions .
ST TERESA'S COLLEGE, ERNAKULAM
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