childhood

Milk Of Human Kindness

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A very special guest graces my online abode today, with an extremely special post. She is someone who is very popular in this little "blog world" of ours and is one of the best things to happen to me over Facebook. You may know her as Dagny Sol of Serenely Rapt. You may also know her as a person who is highly resilient, eloquent and someone who can tell you to "get lost in a place where the sun doesn't shine" in such a manner that you would actually look forward to the trip. But here at iWroteThose, I love a bit of a challenge. Dagny is someone is prefers to keep to herself. Yes, she loves to listen to people and will always be there to lend a helping hand and listening ear, but not many people know her. So when I glanced at one of my prompts for Project 365 this time around, I decided it was time to put the serene and calm Ms. Sol in the spot. And guess what, being the sport that she is, she agreed.  So without further ado, here's Dagny giving us readers a bit of insight into her childhood. Warning: It can be a bit of an explosive revelation.

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I’m an only child.

It might be a fairly common thing now, but in the time I was born, it was as inconspicuous as a vibrantly colorful bird of paradise in a colony of sedate penguins. Striking, if you know what I mean.

Actually when I think of it, nothing about my life conformed to the rest of the beige fabric.

Only child? –Horror!

Only child in a Nuclear Family? –Double Horror!

Only child of a working mother in a Nuclear Family? --Horrors on top of horror!

Only child of a working mother like my mom? --Speechless! And Scandalous!

What a mother! One who called her husband by name in public (and, to do her justice, in private), taught post- graduate English literature, caught rowdy students by their collar and slapped them hard before sitting them down and making them read TS Eliot with reverence. Did you say kick- ass? No my mother wasn’t kick- ass. The word is too tame for her.

But this post isn’t about her. It is about me.

I am an only child who grew up in household which was nonconformist to the hilt. My dad not only brewed the perfect cup of tea, he often fixed my breakfast and packed my lunch. Of course his parathas didn’t turn out very perfect, but he made up in enthusiasm and love what he lacked in skill.

The neighborhood aunties of my childhood always reminded me of cats. They opened the floodgates on the many rivers of milk of human kindness that heaved in their collective bosom. They always expected me to be starved to death and revoltingly filthy. I think it aggrieved them terribly to find I was neither. They tried valiantly to look for other evidence to prove that I was a neglected child. It was self-evident to them that the child of a working mother in a nuclear family, passionately devoted to her career, would look, smell and behave exactly as an orphaned street urchin.

They tried desperately to pity me for being left alone at home when my mom had to be at work. From the time I was three, my parents and I had this mutually satisfying routine. They would lock the house from outside and leave me alone at home. If someone was daft enough to knock on a locked door, I didn’t owe them the courtesy of telling them that my parents weren’t home. In other words, until my parents returned, I needed to please no one but myself. If that isn’t bliss, what is?

For a few hours every day, therefore, I was mistress of the palace. Never a naughty child, there was nary a danger of me setting the house on fire. I knew how to tune in the radio and I had plenty of toys and picture books. To say nothing of a very active imagination that created larger than life, intricate stories.

Each of my toys took on multiple roles as the script of the day demanded. The mechanized blue and white airplane filled in as the hero’s lance, the groom’s best friend or the mango tree in the yard from which rope swings were hung. Don’t ask me how I managed to assign such diverse roles to it and to the other toys. I just did, that’s all. And had a marvelous time in the process!

The truth is, I loved… just L.O.V.E.D…. my hours alone with myself - still do. I have always loved my company best. I am sure you’ll find it strange that in all the years of my life I have never felt bored. The only time I’ve used that word - and used it deliberately for some other purpose than to indicate ennui- is when nosy people (who also remind me of cats funnily enough) have asked me, “Why did you get divorced?”

I’ve happily grinned at them (even while I’m chatting online and they can’t see me) and said, “Oh I got so BORED!” I’ll let you imagine the pure joy I have gleaned out of their uncomfortable silence. Of course it takes them many weeks to figure out that they had been royally but gently insulted!

I’ve never been bored in my life. Who on earth has the time? I can sit alone for hours and hours on end- sans electronic gadgetry or reading material- staring into middle distance. I can spend many solitary hours with the river, the moon, the sky or a blade of grass. I hope you would think it an affectation, but I have honestly wondered how people get bored. I seem to lack the organ with which to acquire/ experience boredom.

When the neighborhood aunties turned on their milk of human kindness full force, I always knew that they have geared themselves to ask a biggie.

“Don’t you wish you had brothers and sisters, specially brothers?” they would ask me, putting a crocodile to shame.

Duh! Brothers and sisters! As in, 24x7 pestilence?! Were they nuts or just sadistic?!

No, I did not wish I had brothers and sisters. I was very happy alone, thank you very much! What did I need THEM for? I had friends who, as everyone agrees now, are the family God forgot to give you. They also (thank God) went to their own homes at night and stayed away until such time as I wanted to play with them again. That’s like having a wonderfully supportive and loving family- in another town.

Imagine one of them daring to co- own any of my toys and books! And worse, imagine them calling my Ma and Dad their Ma and Dad!! Uh huh! The thought makes me feel ill with disgusted outrage! Nope. Not happening. I don’t like people getting underfoot, especially little people. And I hate them muscling in on my parents, books and toys (not in that order).

No, no, NO. Get out and stay out was just about IT for me. I don’t share my stuff or my loved ones. Yup! I’m possessive. Put that in your pipe and smoke it! Brothers and sisters indeed!

I really wish one of those neighborhood aunties could read this post. It would render them cross- eyed and curdle all that milk forever.

Alas, milk of human kindness is wasted on some!

 

Dagny

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[This post is written for the Project 365 program at We Post Daily aimed at posting at least once a day, based on the prompts provided. The prompt for today was "Tell us something most people probably don’t know about you.  Oh, and in case you are wondering, it is Dagny (aged THREE years) in that picture]

Let Us Play | Guest Post

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What do you do when you find a person who is a unique combination of yin and yang? Someone who can reaffirm your belief in yourself yet will not hesitate to kick you should you wallow in self-doubt. Someone who not only listens to your incessant rambling, yet can literally talk sense into you. Someone who will help you unleash your inner true self, yet will NEVER EVER claim to have helped you. Someone whose beautiful words can sometimes make you well up (in the good way of course) and some other times make you smile from ear-to-ear like a little kid reading his favourite book. I’ll tell you what I’ll do with such a person. I’ll make sure I never let her go. Because genuine gems like her are rare and few. I know, I know. I sound selfish. Wouldn’t you be, if you knew someone like this?

That someone for me from the online world is Dagny Sol, who writes at Serenely Rapt. Writes is an understatement. Her words flow like a magical river, taking what shape and form you want it to and refreshing you with every touch. And when she asks you to write something for her “online abode”, you hope that you can come up with something that will make her proud. Thank you for opening up Serenely Rapt to me and my words.  

Below is a snippet of what you can expect.

 

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As a work-from-home father, I’d like to think that I’m more involved in my little one’s day-to-day activities than most other fathers can afford to be. (Did I hear you gasp at the work-from-home father part?)

With gorgeous (did I add sticky, messy, humid, and sweat-inducing?) summer already here, the little one is home a lot more than he usually is, courtesy of a two and half month long summer holiday for his play school. Of course, this means that a large part of my morning is now dedicated to “reliving my childhood” with him doing fun activities.

Whilst there are days I’m inclined to stick him in front of the TV or the iPad and just zone out, I’ve refrained from doing so. At least so far. Truth be told, some days are harder than the others. But I’ve pledged to keep technology-related activities to a minimum and teach him things that I used to do for fun. Yes, they were activities from almost three decades ago, and probably stuff most kids will frown upon and dismiss as silly these days. But at two-years old, fortunately he doesn’t oppose me. Not vehemently enough anyway.

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