Day 70: Growing up

I went to my ancestral home this weekend. My paternal grandfather built it as his generation progressed, moving the large family out of their rented home and into this single floor house, and eventually adding another floor too. I spent two years, kindergarten and grade 1, here and it has been a constant for all summers.

I drove into the lane that the house lies on and I was shocked at how everything else seemed to have grown up, while the house stayed the same. I remember climbing up the tall gates as a child and being scared of hitting down hard if I fell. Now, if I put my hands up, I hit the ceiling to the entrance. I remember the little water tank in the back of the house and how we’d use it as our personal bath tub. I could wet a hand completely now before it begins to overflow. Even the terrace and it’s little benches all seemed to have shrunk.

Life was much better before, us tiny selves and everything around us too big to grasp.

You used to slide down this railing as a child? I’m scared to go down these stairs, and you used to slide down? Crazy, S” Scotch 

I am officially ‘old’

The inevitable is always around the corner. As much as you may try to sneak around it, try not to look it in the eye or shut your eyes and will it away, it is there. So, I knew that my growing up growing old was as expected as the ice cream that melts and the nose that runs. But, now that I see it here, I am trying to shut my eyes and will it away.

How do I know that I am old, you ask me?

Lists! It’s those darned lists, I say. I am sure that I’ve grown old, not grown up, because of these darned lists.

You see, it was sometime in the course of my late teens that I had assured myself that I would never grown old. It was a simple logic; I would never make lists and only old people kept lists. Hence, me no grow old.

Oh! Those little, cryptic words, meaningless when looked out of context, scribbled on minuscule  pieces of parchment. Folded and folded again, to fit into little crevices in giant bags. Referred and re-referred to at every opportunity and scratched off and written on over and over again, till they become the very reason for your existence.

...would look just like this one

My very important to do list…


I’ve started creating these monsters too. You will find me surrounded by these devils, passionately stroking one to completion. These little sheets seem cryptic and yet hold much more meaning than I can attribute to any other entity in my life. I wake up staring at the new list perched up on the wall. I spend the day planning activities that revolve around me striking items off  ‘the list’. I go to bed thinking of new items that are worthy enough to make the cut. I dream of innovative ways of making lists and striking them off.

Do you know what the worst of it all is? I truly enjoy it! I love to watch that list, the little savage of things-to-do, grow. And then I fall in love with it all over again when it’s time to scratch things off. Yes! The heavenly pleasure associated with running a crisp pencil (a pen comes close too) across the engraved words, thereby rendering those very words completely meaningless, is unspoken of. The true indulgence of that trivial activity can only be felt from within. Deep, deep within.

Identify Paper - Land Pen - Fire!

Identify Paper – Land Pen – Fire!

That is also where none of the modern day inventions come close. Where is the pleasure in pushing one little button and marking a task done? The pristine tasks apps don’t quite emote the energy and pain that was put into completing that activity. It would be more genuine if you could crack the tablet’s screen a couple of times, spill pasta over it, create some coffee mug rings on one edge and scribble a love note at the top right corner. Now all that talks about the sheer will power put into completing the tasks. What these digital apps miss is everything that depicts the true gravity associated with a list scribbled on a 4X4 post-it note.

The true gravity associated with a list scribbled on a 4X4 post-it note?

Oh my dear lord! I am officially old!

I'm officially old

I’m gonna cry in my little corner now