Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The lonely child

As a single child of my parents, I have seen loneliness in all it’s colors in my childhood. I used to be a shy child, introvert, and withdrawn most of the times. The most difficult task I would face was to enter a room full of strangers. It would be such a difficult task to face people I did not know and to make conversation. I remember an incident when my aunt took me to her friend’s place when I was a 5 year old. The moment I entered their home, I saw about 10 people sitting in the living room. I was so overcome by shyness that I turned around and fled from the scene. I crossed the roads and found my way back to my aunt’s place where I was putting up for my summer holidays. I was punished when my aunt returned home, mad as a bull, because she suddenly found me missing and was looking everywhere for me.

So many times, I had wanted to participate in a group, but had withdrawn. Something would pull me back, and I would regret it later. Always feel left out because I had the chance to be a part of the group, but I had let that chance go by. The summer holidays would be long, spent mostly in the city of Kolkata, at my grandmother’s home. The terrace of my Grandmother’s house would be a wonderful place for a lonely child like myself – there were so many things to discover, the small plants and weeds that would grow in the not-so-maintained terrace floor, plucking and devouring the tulsi leaves, the space below the water tank where there was a cat occasionally taking the afternoon nap, the grain boxes in the family store house, gulping down the nokul-danas (small balls of sugar offered to the deity’s idol during prayers), chasing the pigeons, watching the busy street below from the height of the terrace – there are many memories of the summer afternoons spent by a lonely kid at his grandma’s home.

No comments: