Friday, January 28, 2011

Glimpses of the childhood

     A couple of tube lights scintillating through darkness,  a portrait of Guru Rinpochoe and Thangka of Jampelyang, overhanging nearby,  blesses me and my room. I watch my books sleeping peacefully in book rack and  table,  looking beautiful and clean.  I like this environment. I feel elated and waves of tranquility flows deep inside me. I can see it  abnormal because seldom does my room look beautiful and comfy. I can see change. I asked myself to  realize that my mind is free of psychological stress and my body at ease. Lately, examinations have gone by and things have transformed around me.
    I love this free time. It rewinds me back to 19 years when I used to be young. My memories are all clouded yet so special to explore.  The bygones and the present times are all different. 
    I used to be a coward, an introvert  and a timid child. I remember, myself confined back in house when my parents left for work in the field. It was my choice and  interest as a child.  I used to stay locked from inside and  I pretended to be brave but I never was gallant. It was during the time of my stay in  village. The valleys and mountains are it's wealth of beauty.  The green forests,  chirping birds and animals add mystical beauty to my village. It hasn't changed much. I  get the same pleasure of freshness and peace when ever I visit my village. 
     As a child, no significant works can be done. Gradually, as I grew by, I remember, guarding maize fields from monkeys. The fields used to be close to forests and monkeys would party if not guarded. The days would pass by shouting and banging on tin sheets so as to drive away monkeys. It needed much patience in me. I used to watch maize plants gradually becoming ready for harvest. The cycle repeated again and again. It was really nice interacting with mother nature. 
     I remember going to school at the age of five. I used to be interested in going to school. We were a group of   children from the same village travelling about two hours to reach school. My mother, used to wake up early,  finish morning chores and prepare food for me and my brother. Later on, my sister joined us and we used to be three of us going everyday to school. 
     Now, I am a young adult. It takes lots of patience to prepare food and eat,  making me miss lots of regular meals. This really makes me realize the magnitude of efforts my parents  rendered towards me in sending to schools and making  me what I am today. I am greatly indebted to them and I heartily owe them lots of gratitude. 
    Going to School was never easy. The summer months used to be a problem . The heavy rain used to drench clothes. Travelling used to be accompanied by a constant fear of landslides and leeches dominated the pathways full of muds and grasses above and below. The bigger children used to beat, cheat and frighten smaller ones adding misery to the days. 
     Interestingly, mother nature has gifted us in many ways. There used to be walnut trees on the way to school.  We used to collect walnuts and play on the ground with the intention of getting more and more. I remember, losing almost in many occasions. Winning was never a gift for me. 
    As a child, we cared very less of time. We were never punctual. We used to play on the way and land up late in school. I remember when I got beaten for late. It actually helped me, on the contrary, it had been a psychological stress as a child. I remember the days when I landed up late and when  I had to go back  home without reaching school and lie to parents that I did. 
      I remember the days when I asked money in the name of going to school and I even cried when not being given. I should not have done that. I am sorry because I didn't know that parents are suffering lots especially in villages when sources of income is so rare. 
     I am a slow walker. I used to walk so slow on the way to School. My brother used to tell me, 'Sonam, be faster, we are getting late'. I had to gear up and had to pace with him. Unfortunately, I failed in class I, and I don't remember anything about exams but I remember when I had to repeat with juniors. May be I deserved failing. My parents knew I could change and supported me through bad times. Though, they knew very less about academics at that time, it didn't hinder them. They just helped me via love and tender care. 
     I used to be aloof most of the times and even I do stay at this time of age. I never used to participate much in co-curricular activities. There weren't much facilities available at that time. But, we never used to go home early from school or either play on the way. Then, we had to wear slippers in hand and run in darkness in fear. It used to be like a competition because whoever is in front will have less fear. Sometimes, if unfortunate, will have to undergo involuntarily prostrations on the way injuring many parts. That is not an end, parents will be disappointed for such stupidity. 
    Gradually, days passed by and I grew bigger. I reached sixth standard. We had a custom in school. All the sixth standard students should stay in border so as to study more because we had to give common examinations which seemed to be tough. It was tough time for me. I had to collect firewoods. It never used to be dry so, I land up exhausted with eyes becoming red and full of tears while trying to make fire. I remember those days where I had to eat uncooked food many a times. Perhaps because, I didn't know much of cooking. Now, time has changed. It is like a boon and preparing food has become so easy. 
     With such  daily routines, I completed my primary schooling and at last , I was rewarded with colourful results which I cherish even to this times of the day. Then, I happily left for higher classes in the next school. to be continued........