Subha Manoj

While I Was Away

Subha Manoj

One take-away from your childhood

The other day, while taking a walk together, M said to me, “You know what…? Every person should have an activity which they have enjoyed doing as a child and should be able to continue to do so as an adult too.”

I asked him, “As in, a hobby or just a time-pass activity?” He said, “For time pass. That way the child within you remains alive forever. I feel such a thing can be quite relaxing.” “So, do you have any?” He asked me.

I thought for a while and suddenly became aware that there is something actually for me too.

As a child, I used to love watching the ordinary life ‘happening’ around me during late evenings. Every evening, around 6:30 pm, I would go to the balcony of my house and stand there, and simply watch. I would see people walking around in their houses, folding clothes, women starting to cook, children sitting and reading. As the sun set in, it was calming for me to watch families do their things. It somehow gave me a comforting and warm feeling.

As a child, we used to take the train and those days, we went by 2nd Class. Again, in the evening, once it used to get dark, I used to love watching the village come alive yet be so quiet. The smoke bellowing out of the chimneys as the women of the house started to cook dinner, or the elderly sitting on an easy chair in the verandah or simply children reading or playing.
The best part of the train journey were the fireflies. They used to fascinate me! The way the bright light used to come through the tiny and ignorable flies. I actually used to think that they had a bulb in their….Shhhhh….behind.  

It is highly coincidental that A asked me recently whether firelies had bulbs in their bums….:)

Even today, late evenings are my favourite time of the day. I still love to sit in my balcony simply watching households and people. It comforts me when I see labourers walking back to their homes, men and women driving or walking back home after a day’s work, children coming back from extra classes, watchmen getting geared up for the night shift, dogs slowly retiring into their quiet corners….it never stops getting interesting.

So, I guess I have that one activity which I get to carry on from my childhood. Do you?

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