Sunday, August 29, 2010

More often than not, while doing the things that I do, meeting the people that I meet and facing times and circumstances that I face, I think back on the time of the cliched age of innocence. 
Happiness at a time meant owning a Pilot microtip pen. Or to own a Sheaffer. Going to the teacher with the monthly test/exam asking for a 're-total' or ask for an extra mark and feel proud to get 47 and 1/2. (on 50) Where 1/2 was written like a 1 and a stylized E in red. A so-called fashion show, where someone would be crowned Miss 6A. With other classmates for judges. Of 'crowns' made of pink cardboard and sequins. Of referring to glitter as 'jigina'. Of being caught by the Physics teacher on "WHY DID YOU HAVE A  MISS 6A CONTEST??"
Of watching the faces of the top three rank holders in class figure who trounced the other by a fraction of a quarter mark. And then the utter surprise on their faces to find an underdog. Of crushes and I LOVE YOU greeting cards when, I wonder if people even understood what all that meant. Of unfortunately watching a boy who gave a so-called card, getting thrashed by the Mathematics teacher.
I happened to think about the Pilot pen and the Geometry box and everything else a couple of days ago and read a lovely post by one of my friends on similar lines. 
I wonder if as children, we had something called an Ego. If we bothered about who had the last word. Where the biggest disappointment would probably be not having your parent come home in time, or get to see you favorite TV Show, or maybe get fever before a game or something, but be deliriously happy if it had to be about missing an exam. I was a weird kid though. I remember my mother telling me that they (my grandmom and I ) used to be scared to tell me that Saturday and Sunday meant no school. Heard I used to bawl that there was no school. I finished an entire year's work book in a day and got slapped by the teacher for that. And then my mother asking the teacher not to beat me if I finished books like that, (because she was in a dilemma wondering what to do for an entire year) and that she would supply more if needed.
Happiness was also going to school on a rained out day. Being one of the very few kids in class. I don't wax eloquently about college because I personally had decided no college in Chennai was going to let me go without harping on the attendance and to me music was more important than marking attendances. Hence it was Madras Univ for me.
In retrospect, its funny how the word "partiality" was some sort of a buzz word during school. Getting my LadyBird bicycle. Pink and all. The only thing I remember which was pink in my entire stuff of things that I had. I could not bear the mauve version that they had. Pink was the only other option that I had. The basket and all that. Buying milk from a vending booth. Calm. Quiet.
Would we be happier if we remembered to remain the children that we were? 
Why did so many of us grow up in ways we should not have. Wonder if it is growing up at all. In a lot of cases, we have grown down. Shrunk our horizons. Love less. Accept less. Listen even less. 
With so much noise, within and without, who is even bothered about listening. Whether it is listening to oneself or listening to someone else? 
For once I do not have a wish to end this post with. 
As an afterthought, maybe I do. 
I wish for you that you can play out the memories that give you a sense of poignancy, a yearning for a time that is gone, even if it is only for a little while, something that leaves your throat a little constricted and your heart a little heavy, in your mind's eye. Something that leaves you with a watery smile. And then of course all our everythingness and nothingness will take over. As it usually does.
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Sashwath said...

Nicely written.... did you happen to wing 6A CONTEST..?

Anonymous said...

Was just thinking about my past and saw this post. Very well said, Chinmayi.

BriceColdPlayOnwards said...

Poignantly written. Childhood is a time of blissful clarity and simplicity. Unfortunately, aging is a graying process, not only of the hair, but in the blurring of the line between black and white. As an ever more complex world buzzes electrically about us, our moral compasses can start to wander. Nostalgia is a wonderful way to reground and remind ourselves as to what is really important. Very nice. :)

Also, glad to know that Pilot pens have now made at least two youngsters very happy. :D

Praveen said...

This is so reassuring, that its not just me, but people as successful and famous as you still take solace from the lost years of innocence. I wish everybody realized how cliched the 'Real World' is, so that our life dont have to be a dog fight everyday. Great blog n many thanks!

Anonymous said...


msr said...

My 2nd comment in all these years I've been following this blog.
Good post! :)
Talking on children and ego, guess this would be an insightful read - Ego - The False Center

Unknown said...

Thinking about it, only a child can cry aloud saying he doesn't like the people around him. If an adult does the same, he would be considered "not very social" and would be advised by some people with "come on man, grow up; don't be a kid". Strange isn't it?

I guess as a child we didn't have a perception, so we were ready to listen a lot, accept a lot and love a lot. But as we grow our perception filters all those lots.

Loved this "something that leaves your throat a little constricted and your heart a little heavy, in your mind's eye. Something that leaves you with a watery smile. And then of course all our everythingness and nothingness will take over. As it usually does."

Matangi Mawley said...

Strange though it may sound- I was just thinking along the same lines. though in a little different way!

i often think of Bharathiyar's lines: "nallathor veenai seithu athai nalam keda puzhuthiyil erivathundo, solladi siva sakthi- ennai sudar migu arivudan padaiththuvittai.."

Bharathi was indeed a genius- in using "sudarmiku arivudan.." when he wrote this verse! i sometimes feel i would have been extremely happy born in a village- be an illiterate and not give a damn about what happens in the world beyond my own!

There is so much beauty in innocense.. Pity one has to lose it to appreciate it!

Saranya said...

Off topic. Sorry!
I have noticed from this weekend's SMY that you have now adapted a new style of saying ScoRes. American pronunciation. Any special reasons? It quite stands out from the other words you say, like.. "Average" the R is the same usual R emphasized pronunciation. Ur usual scores with silent R is nicer. Btw, this is just a thing I feel like saying and no suggestion or criticism here :)
thanks for allowing a space for us people out here to feedback, very kind of you.
Loved ur dresses from Chhote Ustaad. U looked amazing!!

MEERA said...

hi chinmayi,
Little things make up the great sum of life... must also agree dat lil age is the most blissful time...skool,education nd everything..but remembering ours is fyn...i think things willb much better wen v can help kids of dat age get their education in dis socitey... mayb wen v all realise dis...India may light up... Jai ho!!
P.S. dis comment may not b very relevant to d post... bt dis is d first thing that stroke my headafter reading ur post... Cheers!!!

Anonymous said...

I am surprised since I felt the same today :) I honestly think time machines do exist , you can always walk to the past through memories and walk in the future through dreams :)
way to go Chinmayi! Cheers :)

Chinmayi Sripada /Chinmayee said...

Ilavarasan: Hehe no.. I wasn't that pretty :D

Deekshanya said...

Nostalgic! The definition of happiness changes so much in our minds over time. Enjoyed the time travel through your post. Keep writing.Everytime you write something like this, you keep scaling the ladder in my mind, I truly admire/respect you Chinmayi for what you are!

Sowmya Gopal said...

I was having a really bad day and feeling home sick when I read your post and I started crying afterwards and the few tears shed gave me such a lot of relief that I was back to my old self. It was only then I realised that I wrote something very similar the day after I dreamt about my school. I doubt if you would have the time to read it, if you do, here it is -

Youtube of India said...

//we have grown down//- nice one.

You have started to write more philosophically(ref:post on aug 14)...,I swear!!!

Manirathnam Hari said...

Hi Chinmayi.

You seem 2 be stirring al d nostalgic memories. Very wel written. Happy Janmashtami in Advance. Take Care :)

Preethi Joshika said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...


And yeah you were not pretty then...! You are now...! ;) ;)


Unknown said...

Love your blog, love your voice, love your spirit!!! just found out about your blog and through that I ended up watching Chhote Ustaad, Aug 14 episode, trying to find you singing Konja Neram... but after a couple of minutes, I forgot why I was watching it, because I was mesmerized by the wonderful voices of both the children and Asha ji, Sonu ji and Raahat ji. Too bad they edited out your singing. But the main reason I am writing this comment is to ask you about that kid, Satinder (forgive me if the spelling is wrong) What a voice and what a rendition. I have no idea what language it was, I have no idea what the song was about, I have no idea what style it was, I had no idea who composed it, I have no clue as to what one would call such a rendition... I was dumbstruck!!! But I was sure of one thing, it was from the heart, meant to reach every other heart and soul! it definitely reached my heart. Can you please tell me what he was singing and what it was about? Please... I am not asking so that I can understand, but so that I can remember and recognize it if I hear anything similar again...

Thank you!!

Anonymous said...

Beautifully written post, Chinmayi. I wonder too where all our childhoods go, when our egos were never so easily bruised, and the tiniest thing became an object of so much fascination.

Perhaps, it would be wise to continue to see ourselves as children under the care of a Much Higher Parent, Who watches over us with the same adoration and wonders at how things which are probably just as little from That vantage point have become such objects of obsession for us. Maybe humbling ourselves to This Higher Purpose may put us back in touch with our inner child.

Warm Regards,

A said...

It was quite refreshing to read this post of yours. Brought back so many memories. When I was a kid, all I wanted was to become an adult. But now I desperately yearn for the past. The innocence and friendship formed back then are priceless. Wish I had understood its worth a little more back then.

Thanks for the post btw :)

Aishwarya said...

Another post that has left me rly astounded... Loved ur insights and loved the way you put them across such that the reader is just left spellbound at the end of it all. Ive always felt that childish innocence, where deep set satisfactions came in all things simple, is most beautiful, and i think ur post just puts just that into perspective... :D

Praveen said...

Is any of ur songs gonna release in recent future ?

Sreekrishnan said...

somehow this is the only time your posts beats your voice. Brilliant !

PS: to add to many, for me - to have a Rs 10 note in my pocket/wallet felt awesome - i saved it for long and infact to carry a wallet felt awesome. Today i have more, and feels too much ! very strange !

Manoj Bharadwaj said...

Being 'childlike' - and not childish - is a quality that I need to nurture to stop the world from turning me cynical.

2 things:

1. We really tend to romanticize our memories - and children have a much wider extremes in emotions than adults (both good and bad)

2. I dont think we are pursuing happiness (as preached by many and to some extent our reminiscence about childhood is also because of the perception that we were happy then). We are pursuing meaning in life.

Kalyan said...

What a reminiscing post - "Microtip pen, the half mark symbol,geometry box. Absolutely mind blowing post.

Ruthesh said...

hi chinmay,
really a great post and a valuable one for everyone to realise their childhood days... get going so...
I have a doubt that the I LOVE YOU cards you specified was given to u. Is it??????

Jayne said...

Got slapped for finishing an entire years work book? Haha same thing happened 2 me... I wonder why we get punished for being extra hardworking :)

Anitha D said...

Amazing post! Thanks for the touching lines. And Happy Birthday! Keep shining!

Your fan & well-wisher,

Wini said...

You are a fantastic writer. Emotions and memories related to MY childhood with you came rushing back to me, for some reason, when I read this post. I remember you narrating a few of these incidents to me. Especially the " I love you" card!

Miss you! Hope Aunty and you are fine.

Please don't publish this.

manasa said...

Hi Chinmayi,

If I were the author of such a post, you bet I'd have written the Same stuff! Not a single day passes without me thinking of my childhood days that are nothing but CLEAR memories etched in the mind and the heart. I'm kind of 'watery-eyed' after reading this post of yours.

Would I be able to post a link of this on my FB page? Do let me know!

Manasa :)