No matter how tough we think we are, we aren’t as tough as our childhood memories. There is something about them that grows on us. And then we reach that point in our life where it's impossible to go back. And then we die. And then they return to the womb of nature.
Childhood memories are untouchable. I mean, in a good way, not in the Indian casteist context. Of course, you may not remember every single detail of what happened thousands of days ago but still. Your childhood memories will never forget you. If you think about it, memories are what we are left with at the end of the day. Or for that matter, at the end of our existence. And what can possibly beat the era when we had no idea what we are getting ourselves into. Everything little incident was a surprise and continued to be so.
My childhood lacked imagination as I never had a friend like Hobbes. It wasn’t epic. The primary reason being that I can recollect quite vividly most parts of it so the veneer of mystique remains missing in my case. Though there were folks from those days who threw permanent color on my psyche when we passed each other. Such people somehow fail to perish. They just linger on in the nous triggering your nostalgia button every now and then.
One such personality was my grandma. I miss her as she was the only one I knew who loved me expecting absolutely nothing in return. She was a wise angel who weaved and narrated ceaseless yet brilliant stories. She used to tell us, “At any give time, you can be a lot better human being.” At that age, we had vague understanding of what she was trying to convey but those words, along with myriads other words, remain etched in my Tulu mind.
My cousin was another such person who made a huge impact. He was a free spirit – someone who won’t lay manacled to societal (dis)order, especially bunt community’s endogamic mores. He dropped out of medical college. I still wonder why he did that. After all, he was the one who told me, “A doctor saves life. It’s a rare gift.” I too wanted to become a doctor when I grow up but that phase didn’t last long. All things said and not done, he passed away at the age of 29. Unfulfilled potential, withstanding.
We basically miss the childhood we never had. Exaggeration is a pain reliever against our present state of affairs. The shy child in us is what makes us act all grown up. Sometimes, there is not only a child but an entire kindergarten in each one of us. Funny how our species is programmed to grow! By all accounts, one stops growing the moment one avoids being childish and begins to perceive others as childish.
I reminisce all the stupid things I committed when I was very young and how little I’ve changed since then. I guess it’s my karma to be an aching two-legged creature who failed to become a superhero despite being bitten by spider on numerous occasions. Perhaps selecting a proper childhood hero makes a hell lot of difference. Hence I blame Mowgli for whatever I am today.
I blame God too for not existing nor pretending to listen to my childhood prayers. I’m convinced that if at all there is a God, he'd be a lot like Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory. Only a bit more childish and with severe OCD.