I am not a story teller - at least not a great one. But I like penning down incidents that happen around me. There is always something more than what catches the eye, and story tellers are very skilled to catch it and turn it into an interesting series of events. But I write in simple plain terms, without the dramatic twists. Because, this is a simple narration of something I experienced myself, and want to treasure forever.
Not far away from the hustle and bustle of metro cities, is Kanpur. Visiting the place after 12 years was a trip down the memory lane for me - it is where my maternal house is, and I used to go there often as a kid. I was amazed with the details I could remember of the house - the paintings, wall colours, carpet designs, and even the arrangement on the showcases. The streets - not much have changed - honking cars, cows at street corners, people who are always in a hurry with a phone in one hand and with eyes in all directions. But my dear cousins at Kanpur are still not a part of that madness. Shreeya and Satyam, they are called. Shreeya at the age of 13 is an avid reader, and Satyam at the age of 18 has a tool kit as his most prized possession, with which you can find him fixing and building things around the house. But as you know, we don't let kids be the way they want. There is social pressure, academic pressure, peer pressure, and then the changes which are taking place within themselves as they grow up. It is so difficult to keep kids in check, and it is so easy for them to slide away.Their parents have really worked hard to keep their childishness from being lost in the wilderness of the world.
Since I had only a day or two of stay there, my schedule at Kanpur was jam packed, and I had little time to spare for Satyam and Shreeya. When I first entered the house - they were shy, of course. They wouldn't dare to unwrap the chocolate that I had got for them (though they looked at it with craving eyes). They would do a casual namaste and wait for me to talk, and when I would, they would shy away from the conversation. but that awkwardness lasted only for a few hours. The next thing you know - these kids were always around me - figuring out tactics to convince me to stay just a bit longer. In just three days, their delicate faces, innocent smiles, loving eyes and thoughtful acts won my heart.
I had never met Shreeya before, and had only met Satyam when he was 3 years old. I have vivid memories of those days - the chubby cute little Satyam running in the park while me and my elder brother would play cricket. He is a star from the start - if he would fall down while running, he would just laugh and get up again. He loved puppies while everyone else around him was scared of them. As you may know, kids have a constant habit of picking on other kids due to their physique or any other thing they find funny - I am sure Satyam was picked on too. Most kids turn out to be introverted after that - but not Satyam. He is the most confident kid I have seen! He will easily become more than an integral part of your friend circle in a matter of hours. Such is the lad.
Shreeya is someone I can see my childhood in. Though we have never met before, she has all the same habits I had when I was her age. Love for books, collecting recyclable materials from all around the house for craft work later, love for soft toys, a composer, a music lover - somethings I can totally relate to. When I talked to her today, we talked and laughed for hours, and it felt like I was with a younger version of myself. We dressed up, where she did all my makeup and hair, took a lot of pictures and we laughed about everything we did - it was lovely.
But nothing good lasts forever. It was my last day at the house, and I had a crazy day. My train was to depart at 4 am in the morning, and it was around 1 in the night when we finally got free after dinner (crazy day!). Bhabhi had packed lot of snacks, sweets and refreshments for me. Kids also got a pack of refreshments each. The reader must notice here that for a kid, chocolates and food are something they love to get, and something they find very difficult to part with.
Moving on; as the departure time came near, my heart started sinking. As a parting gift to them, I had made them a placard each, which they could put on their study table. They loved them, and felt the obligation to give a return gift. I was about to leave, when they came to me, offered me their refreshment packs, and said " Didi, abhi hamare paas toh aur kuch h nhi dene ke liye..islye aap mera bhi saunf ka packet le lo, as a farewell gift." ...I could not control my tears, and neither could they. It was a moment of pure emotions emanating from both ends - a river of eternal bliss, a place in the universe where you are the happiest - something that I will cherish forever. Such is the innocence which you can experience only with kids - will always love you both!
केहते है बच्चो का मन निर्मल होता है। वो भगवान स्वरुप होते है, छल कपट का नाम नहीं होता। उनकी हँसी पर फूल झरते है, और पक्षी चेहचहाते है। उनके रोने पर सबकी जान जाती है। वही बच्चे कभी कभी अंजाने में ही कुछ ऐसा कर जाते है, कि बड़ों की आंखें नम हो जाती है। हमेशा उनके करीब रहने का मन करता है, पर जिंदगी की जिम्मेदारियां रहने नहीं देती।