Thursday, September 30, 2010

The 'positives' of my childhood

The incessant and untimely rains during this month have taken everyone by a pleasant surprise. Organising Committee of the Commonwealth games was most surprised and called it the God’s fury. But, the common man is happy to wake up in the drizzle and drench on the way to office. I too am delighted; each day is so beautiful than yesterday. On one such rainy day, I sat in my verandah with a cup of coffee in my right hand and a bunch of old photo albums. I wanted to do something constructive and didn’t have any better task to do than to scan all the pictures. I had a better reason to do it because it had been years I had flipped through them.
The chair was all wet with the flying droplets of rain; it was like dew on the plastic chair. I made myself comfortable with a couch for backrest and surrounded by around fifty photo albums. Some album with half covers, some with torn flaps, loose pictures and some without even covers.  All positives from camera surrounding me with anxiously looking females on the cover page looking straight into my eye as if they’ll come out and say, “I am tired of that pose, open the album fast.” I asked myself before tossing through the albums, if it was worth the effort or just a time waste. But the weather acted as the driving force and forced me to peep into the first album with an old dark blue cover having 4”x6” pictures.
The first picture snapped with the four generations of the family from my maternal side. It was a treat to the eyes, me-my mother-my grandmother-great grandmother, all sitting in the ascending order. The next few pictures were equivalent to the lightening in the sky. I was at the echelon of my naughty spirits, sitting in front of the wooden dressing table and playing with my mother’s sindoor (vermilion) and kaajal (kohl). It was amazing to know the way society changes your mischievous instincts into sobriety. 
Some pictures took me to the late eighties while the others kept me swinging in the nineties. Different trips with family to religious places, hill stations, beaches and plains were there in a haphazard manner. The best part of each picture of my childhood the natural emotion was kept intact and the deliberate smile was missing. Most pictures clicked with me being unaware of the presence of the lens around me. I wonder as I take another sip of the coffee and speculate the manner life changes you. Times have changed drastically; the change is attributed to the advancement in the technology. Now even the trial room or the washroom in the mall scares me, there could be a hidden camera somewhere. The nature of capturing the object is similar but the cameraperson is the one who makes the difference.
All my emotions and feelings were changing dramatically with each second flip of the album. I chose the albums randomly; another one was with my brother. Small little creature with baggy shorts, vests and curly hair combing my hair, the picture was cuteness personified. The picture was animated but it exuded so much softness and love. I wondered if my brother could be as soft, tender and cute as he was then. That’s the test of time, we have to move, grow old and accept everyone around us. I picked that picture with a few more from that album for scanning.
The rain stopped for some moments, I stood up to have a glance at the drenched apartment. Every building, car and the park radiated freshness. Even I was feeling fresh after going back in time and forgetting every other assignment or project that was due for submission. It was like sitting in a time machine and rewinding my whole life page by page. The slight wind bought tiny little droplets on my face and I again adjusted myself to start again.
Album by album, I went on, smiling, giggling, laughing, remembering and cherishing all those clips. I found so many unknown faces, many who are not around me anymore and enjoying my tryst with my childhood.
After that flipping exercise, I looked at the pictures I had kept aside for scanning; it was a full bundle of infinite clips each picture having its distinctiveness. I thanked my parents to have been so agile to have captured my each moment of life, that too with a flash and click camera and getting the rolls washed each time. It was an outstanding pleasure I got after this exercise. But, I dropped the idea of scanning them, as they felt better when you can feel these pictures in your hand and with your fingers. These pictures are called positives because they really turn you positive towards your life. So, I picked all the albums and kept safely in the almirah and admired the beauty of pictures with unparallel sentiments which touch your soul.

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