A lot of my friends confirm that though I am not a very serious person in real life I make it appear so in this Blog site..I had to make a posting in Lighter Vein. So those who appreciate my conceptual, confusing and often tangential philosophies please excuse me for this deviation. This is also an effort that will make me feel a little lighter by not taking myself seriously.
When I was young I travelled to my Aunt's place in Kumbakonam. Vacation was something every kid look forward to and it was fun in the train with other kids in similar holiday moods. When we reached my Aunt's place I was so thirsty I directly went to the kitchen in search of water pot (this was the poor man's fridge those days). Usually the pot is kept in a dark corner of the room. I picked the glass kept in the cover and started to fill in water from pot when I heard a huge roaring sound behind. I was astonished with an old lady standing with a huge stick..I dropped the glass in the pot and tried to shout. But my voice was stuck inside. She positioned her stick towards my head with a victorious voice "Finally I got you the Black stealing monkey". I gave a shriek. Fortunately my aunt walked in and held the stick back saying " Paati (Granny), that is our boy who has just come to visit us". Granny did not believe I am human..she actually said " I want to check if he does not have a tail as he exactly resembles the stealing monkey which yesterday ran away with my spectacles". I had to turnaround and show that indeed I have evolved to be human by dropping my tails some generations ago though the resemblance is unavoidable. From this time onwards Granny always called me "Black Monkey" though I used to protest saying that I am reasonably fair ( I accepted the fact that probably I was a Monkey). This sticks to my memory as maybe this was the first genuine nickname I earned by just drinking water in a dark corner.
I was an introvert through my childhood and used to hide when relatives visited our home in an obvious display of shyness. Fortunately not many took that as an insult and used say " People who are shy when they are young become loudmouthed as they grow up". I am sure most will agree that this prediction has come true. Talking something about everything is probably my weakness but I am sure it is better than being a depressive individual. In those days if you need to be a captain of a cricket team you need to own the cricket bat and ball. Though I was not a great player I had convinced my father to get me a bat and ball as a quid pro quo of not disturbing him when he was correcting exam papers. Then I became the captain of the street cricket team..I chose when I will be out. Very unfair but most of the other team players acknowledged it was fair enough without a grumble. I remember once hitting ball over to a construction site nearby where the painter took the ball and dropped it in a well. I was happy that I got a six and the player who went to pick the ball came empty handed saying the ball is gone in the well. When you are 10 years old and are the captain you feel that you can lead the world..so I went to the site and asked him " How dare he dropped the ball in the well?"..the painter (possibly a weigh lifter) lifted me with my collars and hung me in the well in split second. I had a sense of flying and I looked down it was water below..he was probably shouting some not so words threating me for my arrogance. Childishness is sometimes loosely used to represent foolishness--I bit his hand in anger and he just dropped me in the well.
I am not sure how swimmers enjoy the vertical landings and win prizes...but I felt just fear as I landed in water. The well was deep and I landed exactly in the middle..so I was safe (this was what people who recovered me told me later..what a definition of safety). The moment I landed in water and starting to drink water (which was salty) through my mouth and nose, I don't remember anything more as I fainted out of fear of death. But when I woke up the painter was really scared and there were people who had taken him to task for what he did to me. Inspite of all the pathetic performance and life/death encounter I smiled as a hero. I had a nick name for this but I will not tell what it is..it stayed on till I went to college. Several of my street friends remember me with this name. There is much more but maybe this is boring enough..but makes me smile on hindsight.
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