I, me and my shadow

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(Photo by Simeon Jacobson on Unsplash)

                       The vague, scant, childhood joys doggedly cling on to me like barnacles with an engaging tenacity, occupying the reserved spaces deep within, the most obstinate tenant whom I refuse to replace or evict at any cost. That point in time seems like an inordinate moment in the infinitesimal pauses of time travel, stopping intermittently to peek into the well-lit repositories. There were confines, restraints, limits, rules, but also a celebration of the joy that seeped into every corner of life.

                         Any likelihood of indulgent or materialistic splurges was virtually non-existent there. As a child, I never had many toys. Of the odds and sods that I had, I cherished a happy drummer monkey that turned defiant after years of toil. I could never discard it since it looked so happy, even if dysfunctional. My wish list was full to the brim, still, I could pluckily strike them off without a murmur or a speck of resentment or simply there was no other alternative. There wasn’t any need to pursue happiness, it just happened, bright, breezy, full of joys of the spring. No hard feelings, no anguish, no frustration, no disillusions, no despondency, no dejection. Wonder how grown up a child’s mind could be and how puerile a grown up’s mind!

                        Happiness was an orderly passion then, never chaotic, a perennial feeling that lasted long. I still savor the moment of the yearly treat to a single Cadbury’s Five Star chocolate, conditional on getting good marks for the final exam for the grade. The tacit edict of conditionality meant, no chocolate treats in between, no matter what. I had the feeling of achievement, a rhythm of joy repeated in a cycle, the zest alive in all respects until the next year. A bite of chocolate meant scaling the peak of success and accomplishment, a sublimity, not a material to be surfeited with. The taste, a hard-earned bliss and not an indulgence. Though I never possessed the mastery of self-restraint against the tantalizing sight of it, rules were hallowed in a stern upbringing and I wilfully followed them jolly well. The consumerist and materialistic culture had no place in that world, a modest milieu that stressed a familiar ‘make-do-and-mend’ groove.

                       Personal space had never been cramped or exclusionary. There was no definite perimeter or bounds and it was ever-expanding like the Universe. It made space for all and sundry on the earth without needing to rely on affected decorousness or without needlessly delving deep into dialectics, dialogues or debates. Contenting with the few possessions was not hard. There never seemed any need for someone to teach the noble art of sharing and caring, those were opportunities accepted with alacrity and enthusiasm.

                     Getting along with someone was an undemanding exercise. And the accompanying rapture was different. It was not facile, it had a certain depth and it never went dry. It was not just happiness, but happiness fortified with faith, though the halo was discreet then. While struggling to compete, to hurriedly climb the different ladders, this cardinal asset seems to have been left behind. Not sure whether it had been a leap of faith or a stretch of inanity, to have thought of it as an enduring patrimony in the present times of avarice, puffed up egotism, one-upmanship and calculated grandstanding.

                   No amount of excesses could bring back the warmth of the lost spring. Turning back to the distant dream is a no-win, on a rock-strewn road. The vast space has now shrunken to a twilit zone with restricted access, and the self a shadow that has condensed unto itself.

 

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91 thoughts on “I, me and my shadow

  1. You have an incredible depth of understanding of life even as a child and your writing is truly beautiful. I was touched deeply in my soul to read it. Thank you most kindly, and thank you for subscribing to my blog as well.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Thank you for your inspiring comment Anne and thank you for subscribing and finding my blog interesting. To be honest, that was just disciplined parenting or in other words, there was no other way but to learn life lessons the hard way 🙂

      Liked by 4 people

      1. I think you learned what all of us need to learn, and it sounds as though your parents did a very wonderful job of raising you up. I am writing in my own blog about my own life and growing up as a child as well. I did live through life perhaps the hard way, suffering much abuse along the way. But I have used it when I have been mentally and spiritually able to help others and to teach them what is important in life. Thank you kindly again. I am going to truly look forward to reading your blog. Don’t be surprised if it takes me awhile to get to reading each post and responding. I think as of my last count, I have some 690+ blogs and other correspondence to read, but I have been quite ill this year and at 77, it is not easy to bring health along with me (I wish it were). Like you, I have had special favorite toys too that I treasured long after they had any kind of physical value. But this will be part of the writing for sure. Peace and blessings, Anne

        Liked by 5 people

  2. You gave my dictionary a good workout! But, beyond the impressive range of vocabulary, you’ve touched on a universal human truth. We mourn for the past and long for the future, but somewhere along the road we forget to appreciate where we are presently: a skill that only children seem to genuinely possess,
    Great post.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Wow your writing is very powerful and your words are very beautiful. I’ve never read a blog written like that. How you describe your childhood reminded me some what of mine. I had solo toys as well that even when broken were so precious. I felt that pain because I understood it. Thank you so much for sharing your heart and thank you for following my blog and I will definely follow your beautiful writings. I look forward to reading more. ❤

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read, appreciate and comment on my post. Your words mean a lot to me. That was an absolutely inspiring response. Thank you for liking and following 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Despite all the restrictions (more so, according to today’s times to endless choices to indulge in) there was no acrimony. More time to be outside, being carefree, a sense of sharing (even if it was a tiny portion of a cookie), provided a bonhomie. Again, the mind has its own reasoning, desires; quite opposite of what the heart wants. An evocative piece from you.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thank you Amitav for taking the time to go through the post and appreciating the message. I do like your poems and posts so much.
      True that there are definite wellsprings of joy today. The only difference back in those days was that the delight that pervaded around was ethereal sans a solid provenance. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Beautifully written! Wide range of vocabulary without compromising the feelings
    “Happiness was an orderly passion then, never chaotic, a perennial feeling that lasted long”…something we lose when we grow up sadly! And even the happy memories become so far and distant “The vast space has now shrunken to a twilit zone with restricted access,”
    I certainly recalled some childhood moments 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Yeah true. Each one of us had felt those special moments that we yearn to revisit.
      Thank you so much for liking and appreciating.
      And a huge thank you for infusing the confidence to take the pen again 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Claire, for linking my post to your blog. Really means a lot! Never thought so many people would like it and take it to their heart. So glad that you could resonate with me. 🙂

      Like

  6. A beautiful piece such a vivid expression garners a response which not only appreciates your childhood but also takes one back to dwell on the shaping of a period which makes us what we are today . 👍👍

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Funny, I was just thinking the other day how “biddable” I was at the age of four or five–I had a yearly dance concert from my dance class, and even though I was the tallest and perhaps less graceful than the others, there was a special dance routine for that year I remember, which required me, at the end of the exiting line of dancers on the stage, to run back out and perform a move or two by myself, and then exit again. I was as shy or shyer then than I am now, not enjoying in particular physical publicity, but because I was told to do this, I did it. When I remember how I felt at the time, how little I wanted to be on stage to start out with, I’m amazed that I didn’t protest or refuse. But as I say, I was biddable. Things change!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yeah, things do change…Change is inevitable..The eye-opener for this post was a sort of sensory satiety I had felt while I was in a local confectionery recently. Had that been decades back, it would have been absolutely different.

      There are moments when we stop still just to look back, to seek ourselves on that dusty mirror behind, or to hear the distant, faint, anachronistic echoes from the past, if for no other reason than to apprehend the real you. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Savvy Raj.
      From the wonderful comments I have got, the one best thing I imbibe is that, as long as the inkwell of your emotions and experience are there near your pen, you could connect to the hearts of similar beings. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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