Birthday and childhood are bound by a common chord and seem inseparable. That common chord named nostalgia takes me to my past, into my life, 33 years ago, every 19th day of November… my birthday.
On this day, when I walk down the memory lane, hand in hand, with a few loved faces, some of who have checked in at some other world..have settled well and may have also set on to begin a new journey, a brand new life.
Those loved faces are that of those few loved people who still mean so much to me. In their life they made my life so special and every birthday, so… so memorable. I’d like to fondly remember them and smile at their memories.
Nani, my maternal grandmom clapped like a kid while I cut my birthday cake with my twin. Never found a single grey hair on her head until she was close to 80! Perhaps, greying of hair is about greying of the heart and has nothing to do with age. Nani loved spoiling us with love. On an instance, I remember, how she chuckled in her teethless mouth, while narrating to my mom, how I stole banana from a vendor. I was 4 then. I also remember after that how she bore with a half an hour lecture on parenting from my mother. Nani is one among those few I miss so much on this day!
Nana, my maternal grandfather, was a health conscious man, who’d wake up at 4am everyday, whether summer or winter..he is the one who taught me to try and feel content all the time. Smile through life’ s unpleasant surprises.. He taught me to look straight into the sun whenever I felt low or drained. He used to do one thing, which I always thought was strange unless I understood the meaning of inner potential. He used to stand in front of the mirror, look into it and join his hands in prayer and muttered something. We saw him doing this all the time. It was much later, when I grew up, I asked him why he did that. He said something really powerful that day and that stayed deep within me since then. He said, ” I pray to myself, my inner potential to give me what all I need – peace, happiness and prosperity. The real god is hidden in all of us.”
Dhula mama, my eldest maternal uncle, who was my official story teller. Earlier also, I have written a blog post on him, remembering him fondly. Besides amusing us with his engaging stories, he taught us how a flower drawn on a sheet of paper could be made to look real with crayons.. he taught us to colour. He used to gift me and my twin something that I still long to get as a gift. He gave us a packet of milk bikies biscuit gift wrapped in a neespaper..or may be a pencil and a rubber. He made my birthday a perfect one by blowing balloons and putting them up on the walls.
Baali mama, another maternal uncle was few years younger than dhula mama. I can never forget how his loud gargles woke me up every morning. As a kid, I found it very uncouth and annoying. After all, my mornings began with that wierd sound! He was the one who always motivated me to become a journalist when I dreamed of becoming a lawyer. Years later, when I became a journalist, he was the happiest one in the family. Now when, I go home, that is, where my family lives, I miss that loud gargling sound he made. Can I trade anything to have him back? Yes, I know I cannot!
As I am writing this, my heart is not heavy, I dont have a lump in my throat… instead I have a smile – cheek to cheek, thinking of the warmest memories I have of them.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME
Love you all… smile and shine!