Kerala, with its blessed beauty of nature, long and silver-haired with colorful clips of fishes and a black mountain cap, standing in a green curly dress full of colorful butterflies and glowing flowers on it, mesmerizing eyes with calm and peaceful nature gifts us a pleasant world.
In 1975, a new creation of God, his loving child came to this world. I cried as every child does but at the next moment I laughed because I have been born into God’s own country, The Paradise. Thanks to the Almighty for bringing me to this wonderful heaven. Oops! I forgot one special person. Slowly I turn towards that smiling face, the one who is holding me in her hands, my sweet Mother.
Hi, I am Neha, the blessed child born into a loving and caring family. Our house too was not less than a paradise in a beautiful village which was full of greenery. It was a joint family with grandfather, grandmother, great grandmother, uncles, and aunts and especially with a dozen of cousins! After three years, being blessed with a younger sister.
I was a shy and reserved character for strangers in the outer world but I was open with my family just because of the serenity they made me feel by giving the freedom to express my feelings and wishes. My childhood days gave me the most memorable and golden moments in my life. It was such great fun! In those days we used to play a lot of outdoor games, going for movies with our granny, fighting with brothers, walking on walls, sitting near the pond and chatting till our granny came running with a bamboo stick, competing with the cuckoo and making it angry and making fun of boys! My cousins and I never missed the regional movies on Doordharshan. I was passionate about listening to music on AIR, writing it down, memorizing it and singing along with the singer. When my mother finds me missing, she comes searching for me without a second thought to catch me red-handed with a radio.
Then came the tape recorder which made it easier for me to listen to my favorite songs when I wish and record my own sweet voice... (giggling) Actually I love doing intoxicating things and have fun which I shouldn’t being doing! Isn’t it funny? But my grannies were too strict that I had to control all my mischievous behavior and be a very good girl. Got confused? Ha! Ha! There were about four grannies. There was always a unity in our family. I never had the feeling of being without a brother of my own as my cousins who were brothers always made me feel more like their own sister.
One more thing about me friends, I am a great devotee of Lord Krishna, whom I believe is always with me as a friend, lover and well-wisher. Oh my God! I revealed the secret about my love and lover! Imagining Him as a lover, playing with Him, dancing with Him, enjoying happiness to the fullest with Him was my great dream. Please don’t shake with laughter but I really wish that to happen, a blessing to see the original form with His flute, the sky-blue colored Krishna and experience the love and lust transforming myself to Radha, making it a spiritual affair.
My father, who was a great artist, used to draw Krishna’s pictures especially for me, knowing my crazy love for Him.
I did my schooling well as a normal child and scored average marks happily!
I felt that I was the luckiest person in this world. (smiling)
Mmmm. Now it’s time for college. I got admission for BA English Literature, my favorite subject, my passion and one of my dreams.
One of my cousins (sister) and I joined the college. We were in great excitement and were sure about having great fun because when we both were together, there was no doubt of pleasure and entertainment. Even though I was not so modern I was stylish and became a queen in everyone’s eyes! We had a great time in college with our friends. There were boyfriends too.
One of our friends, a best friend, Nikhil was so special, caring and loving, always doing something exciting to make me fall hard into laughter.
Hey! One more secret: I used to feel that I am playing with Krishna as a friend (Remember my wish? ...LOL)
Nikhil and I used to fight a lot on different topics but when it’s all over and we got tired, we were back together with more affection and fondness for each other. He was a very comfortable friend with whom I could share any of my feelings and viewpoints straight from the heart.
I was moving forward to the fourth month of my college, September, when the buds of beautiful flower forget-me-not blossom smiled at us.
In this beautiful month, comes Onam, the day that welcomes the great King, Mahabali to Kerala. It was a month of celebration for me. A pookkalam would be drawn, decorated with different colorful flowers in front of each house till the day of Onam for ten days, which I really enjoyed during the festival.
Knowing my wish to do this, permitting me to make pookkalam for those ten days.
I got up early in the morning wandering everywhere to collect flowers from our house and of course our neighbor’s house (giggling).
After making my art with flowers and admiring myself, I gave a pat on my back mentally as if I have won the first prize for pookkalam. The most interesting thing is, my cute great Grandmother joined me with a no tooth smile (imagine)
I enjoyed my holidays with my family in new clothes and Onam sadhya with my favorite Ada pradhaman ( payasam) ….yummy !!
During those days there were only landline and it was strictly prohibited for us. Permitted to make only important calls if necessary and only girls could ring us, not boys (how sad, isn’t it?)
No mails! No Facebook! No Whatsapp!
Still it was a great time because we were able to feel moment of celebrations, relationships and perceive the worth of feelings of our dear and near ones. Almost everyone was free of mental and emotional strain in our time. The only reason was many of them were able to solve the complications and pressure of their lives through direct communication, a joint family, a joint society. There was always a lot of helping hands.
Children enjoyed each others company as they met daily by playing outdoor games, going to school by cycles, walking together and sharing their daily class sessions, their mischievous acts and how were they punished together by their teachers. They even shared their family issues and there was no need of counseling for children at that time.
I was back to college after the Onam holidays and celebrations. You might be thinking why I didn’t mention about missing my friends and college.
Actually they were in my thoughts but I am the kind of person whose policy is to “Live in the Present” and not spoil the present happiness of oneself and others.
I am sharing one more secret! I missed a special person among them. Guess who?
You were right! It’s none other than Nikhil, my Krishna.
Reached college in my caravan, BSA SLR (my cycle) with my cousin sister. All our friends came running towards us and we contributed our love and affection for each other.
I lost my father when I was in college but my uncle never gave me a chance to mourn the loss and stood with me as a pillar filling absence of my father. I always believed that Krishna was with me in all my ups and downs in different forms to support me.
After my father’s death, I decided to take life in a methodical way with my credence in Krishna to overcome the trammels coming on my way.
I accomplished my graduation and joined for post-graduation. You might be wondering why I am not mentioning anything about Nikhil….hmmm….I read your mind….
The truth was that I was totally lost after the death of my father and my full concentration was to complete my graduation well.
Hey! But his full support made me more ardent and to gain more will-power to face all ups and downs.
Nikhil completed his B.com and then joined to do CA. As his father got transferred his family relocated to another state. That was a big shock for me but I consoled my mind and heart, requesting them not to make me weak.
Accomplished my post-graduation, did my Teachers Training and I am an English teacher now! Surprised? But happy for me, right?
One thing friends, till now I have faith and belief in my Krishna.
I know what is going on in your mind. Did Nikhil and I communicate with each other after his father’s transfer? Did we meet again?
After leaving the city, we were in touch for few months till he flew to America.
Slowly I too stopped communicating with him and engaged myself in daily matters and family duties and took care of my mother and sister.
All my cousins, one by one completed their academics, some got married and settled in their family life. But there was always a get together once in a month. Now my mother wanted me to get married and settled.
Many alliances came and I was ready to shake my head like a goat to the one which my elders chose for me.
Ha! Ha! Just kidding…. They know what is good and bad for me. Actually that is what I believe.
Hmmm…. Anyway I made one promise to myself that if I give birth to a baby boy, I would surely name him “Nikhil”.
Now I am a wife and a mother of a one and a half-year old boy.
Excuse me, did you ask me something?
Oh! My son’s name?
One second please …. My baby is crying…
Please change the baby's diaper !
A short story of a girl who lived in Kerala in 80s and 90s. Hope you all will enjoy it :-) Sorry, if it's too long.. Please take time and have patience to read it.. Read when you are completely free and mood off :-)