At Write Tribe we always keep coming up with amazing ways to involve us bloggers and blend us in. Today on February 1, we, the members of Write Tribe are celebrating the memories of our childhood by narrating the earliest memory that we have and posting it on our respective blogs half an hour apart. So before you move on to my story, do take a peek at Kalpana Solsi’s story at Gemini In The Sky.
Born and raised in a sleepy hill town in the mountains, life was on a turtle speed, always. I always pictured the town as a ‘lost in the woods’ town on a winter morning with the sun shining bright on the freshly snowed rooftops. Even today when I close my eyes and think about that place, this is the image that comes up.
As a kid, I don’t remember being shy at all. When I would walk down the humble little bazaar, most people would wave at me and I would happily wave back. Back then, the parents did not even stop us from meeting, greeting or befriending total strangers. It was in reality, a gesture of accepting the world just as it is and embracing wholeheartedly. And I would like to believe that the town is still like that. Because in my mind it still is. Most things familiar, most people known, most places visited, most everything …mine!
One of those days, just the kind of kid that I was, I befriended a very gentle human soul who used to come every morning to our colony quarters to sweep the ground & verandas and he would also help us get rid of the trash. I don’t remember his name and I don’t remember his face (maybe just vaguely). I was perhaps 5 or 6 when I started chatting with him each morning while going to school. I, along with my brother, would be waiting for our school bus at the bus stop and he would be gathering leaves around there.
On Sundays, I used to go to the St. Andrews Church, which was right opposite our school bus stop (actually a stone’s throw away from our residences). There used to be a huge boulder outside the church that we kids would take turns to climb. Believe me it was a tough task, not less than climbing a hill, I reckon. Our afternoons would be spent gathering morel mushrooms and red rhododendron flowers that mama would use to make a savory and a chutney respectively. As a gesture of thanks we loved plucking stealing hydrangea flowers from papa’s office garden (Papas’ office and our colony was joined by a mutual wall).
On one of those afternoons, I happily mounted myself on top of the favorite boulder, after gathering the finds of the day, and I noticed a large hoarding of Glucose D biscuits right across the road. Not that I had never had them before, but just then, I kind-of craved for them. I looked around and saw him – the angel who agreed to buy me a pack from papa’s office canteen. Was I delighted?! You bet.
I did not realize it then, but whenever I think about the incident I remember him fondly for he was the one to teach me a very valuable lesson in generosity. He taught me that it does not take a very well read person to set examples; that it is in giving that one receives; that love and compassion is beyond caste, creed, color or religion. That day I learnt a lesson in that I hold very dear to my heart.
That one sunny Sunday afternoon, right outside the church on a boulder I happily sat sharing a pack of Glucose D biscuits with the man who probably spent his one day’s wage (or maybe even more) to make me happy.
My earliest memory!
I pass on the baton to Geeta Nair at Fabric Of Life. Hope you enjoy her earliest memory as well! Have fun.