MY SILLY SEARCH FOR ADVENTURES

I was a huge fan of “Famous Five” series as a child. It was a series of novels written by a British author named “Enid Blyton”. The stories revolved around 4 kids who were cousins and their dog. Every novel used to describe their summer vacations together at countryside of Britain. It was always a mysterious story where the five would go out on adventures and figure out something unusual which could be anything ranging from an illegal activity to haunted places. The five of them were always brave and ready to take on challenges. They had their cycles that they would use to go around places and they all loved their dog – Timmy.

Over the years of reading these stories, I felt so connected with these 5 characters. I used to think about them, dream about them and talk about them almost endlessly with one of my friends (Nupur) who was also a “Famous Five” fan.

We were living in colony of Government quarters then – IIP Colony. IIP is the name of institute where my dad worked. It was one of best places for kids to grow up. At outskirts of the city – surrounded by green trees, acres and acres of tea plantation around and the best part was that our colony’s boundary wall was adjacent to Rajaji National Park. So just a few kilometers away, we could reach a proper jungle that had real animals.

Me and my friend Nupur always used to talk about the Famous Five adventures and kept dreaming of having one such adventure ourselves. My dad was very fond of taking all the kids of our colony on excursions inside the jungle early in the morning. It used to be like project and it was a lot of fun. We used to go deep inside the jungle then used our sense of direction to get back home.

Nupur and I in a hope to find an adventure used to take our cycles up to the nearest point of jungle boundary wall and after jumping the wall – we used to cover some extent of the jungle. Just the two of us! But unfortunately (or fortunately) we never found anything illegal happening there or never encountered any animals or ghosts. Now when I think back – it was quite dangerous because in no time the jungle used to get really deep and anybody could get lost there. But we were just so eager to encounter an adventure – that we never thought of any of this.

Those were the stories that I grew up with and that I believed was a reality in some part of the world. Later our adventures completely stopped because there was news of spotting leopard around the jungle boundary. Security was tightened around the boundary wall to ensure the safety of residents and that brought all our hopes of finding an adventure and solving it on our own to a complete halt.

I believed that Famous Five actually did exist and Enid Blyton wrote their stories. I wanted to be famous like them, so famous that someday some author would also write about my adventures too.

OH!! SILLY ME!!

With all these going around me, I am unable to think and write anything. I have to cook, I have to go to the washroom, I have a book to finish, I need to eat my dessert, I have to finish that craft work, I, I, I…. Wait! She told me to take care of a certain thing. What was it??? Can’t remember…. (Mmm! She is so nice that she remembered to tell me to see through. She is so caring. She has a beautiful house and a wonderful interior. I love her vase and those beautiful flowers in it. She even keeps her kitchen so clean and tidy. How can she?) – All happens within the thought bubble. Just a small sound of the baby getting up. Done. All the pending chores go unattended because of the random silly thought about my friend.

Yes, yet again I wasted my precious hour thinking. It’s not only that I get thoughts about my friends and their clean houses but also other things.

Recently, I got my daughter’s admission done in a school nearby. Hence, I get thoughts many random thoughts about her school life. Some like,

  1. She missing me and crying
  2. Getting hurt while playing
  3. Doing some stuffs I never knew she could
  4. Speaking a full statement (she still doesn’t speak a full statement)
  5. Getting her friends’ home or going to their place.
  6. Studying and doing good and making us proud parents.

Many thoughts are happy and some painful. Still, anxiety and excitement takes a toll time and again. Another recent example of my silly thoughts is about yesterday night when I was preparing food for my husband’s colleagues for their potluck. I, constantly had a pinging thought about them, complaining that the food is not good enough and everything. Well, silly of course!!

This process of thinking and then dreaming and day dreaming about stuffs have been there with me since my childhood. When I was a kid, I used to think that I had super powerful eyes. I could see the sparkling things in the sun rays. Later discovering those were dust particles and everyone could see them. I even day dreamed of becoming thin and then becoming very famous for becoming thin all of a sudden. Well, it definitely never happened! I thought of killing all bad guys, who came to trouble my mother with one slap, almost every time we went to market. I even killed a man in my head, for talking badly to my father in front of me. I even thought of looking angrily at my dad, while I was being scolded, and then being scolded for not being attentive. I even thought that the moon followed us everywhere we went. I even thought it came from the devil to haunt us. I even had a mysterious hand which was under my bed, all ready to grab me by my feet at night.

These are a few of my achievement and they do continue till date. The only difference being that the thoughts have matured along with me. Now my thoughts are clear and they let me know my inner feelings. I get scared at times when I finish dreaming them. My God!! I can be very dangerous at times! Haha. Life is too short. Silly things make it worth living.

If people never did silly things nothing intelligent would ever get done – Ludwig Wittgenstein

A LETTER TO SELF – SILLY THINGS I DID AND WISH THAT I HADN’T

Dear Pradita,

I hope this finds you in good health.

I have noticed of late that you have been dwelling on your past mistakes as a child, when you see your own child making them. What can I say, genetics works in weird ways! You have been telling yourself that you hope your child does not make the same mistakes that you made. Well, that is what I’m writing to you about.

As your oldest friend and observer, I have witnessed each and every one of your silly mistakes and helped you get past them. Sometimes I may have forced you to commit those mistakes and then stood aside to watch you suffer. It was fun, but I’m sorry. I should have warned you.

A child’s beliefs are based not only on what they see and feel, but also on what they’ve been told. So, some silly story an Uncle cooked up on how clouds are made in a factory in the sky became a part of your belief system, till you grew old enough to figure out that the Uncle was only joking. Take care, therefore, that you do not tell you child such lies. You never know how far genetics may have affected her!

Then there are mistakes you made as a child because you didn’t know any better. Those added up to your belief system too and became your first life-lessons. Don’t get me wrong, dearheart, I’m proud of you… But some things you believed in and some mistakes you made were way beyond my comprehension. Here I present a list of those silly things, and I sincerely hope you have learnt from them and will prevent your child from following in your footsteps –

  1. Chomping on a fistful of chillies, does not prove you’re cool. It proves the opposite. Shame on you for falling for that trick. Full points to the naughty neighbour who goaded you into doing it.

  2. It’s -6 out there. It’s your first snowfall. We get that you’re excited. But, you do not thrust your hand into the snow with measly woollen gloves on. Also, if you did that, don’t bawl like a baby when your fingers burn because of frost-bite.

  3. Drying woollen gloves and socks (from your previous silly mistake) onto a coal-heated deghchi only gives you charred and crumpled wool… not dry gloves and socks.

  4. You do not grow a full garden in your tummy by swallowing a few fruit seeds.

  5. Yeah sure, bunnies look cute, but they can bite…ouch!

  6. Falling into a ditch is a common side-effect of cycling and letting your eyes wander from the road to the cute guy on the other side of the road. On the plus side, its euphoric when the same cute guy comes and helps you out, even if he thinks you’re an idiot to fall into a ditch in the first place.

  7. When you are only minus 5 feet, it’s very much possible for you to drown in the shallow end of the pool.

  8. There’s no point in showing some any skin in the middle of a bitter Delhi winter. Keep those tights and socks on, sista!

  9. Those sanitary napkins weren’t meant to wipe off ink splotches. Your Mommy lied to you. Likewise, those rubbery tubes aren’t transparent balloons…You get the rest, don’t you?

  10. Do not ever rub your eyes over hands that have been doing things with chillies.

  11. Those somersaults on TV are conducted by experts. Do not try them on your own bike and then cry about that twisted ankle.

  12. Cheating is not meant for you. You do not know how to cheat with stealth. You cheat like a sloth, then cry like a baby about being caught.

  13. When your teacher offers you the lead-role in ‘the’ school play, you do not turn it down to look gracious! There goes your possible-ticket-to-Bollywood!

  14. Likewise, in a rickshaw full of school-going kids, you do not offer your seat to a porky kid and then end up balancing yourself on an iron rod for the remainder of the 2-mile journey home. That’s not graciousness, that’s foolishness.

  15. On the day of an examination, do not trust anyone who asks for your pen/pencil ‘just for a minute’. AND REMEMEBER, you do not know how to cheat!

  16. You do not turn into a chicken when you get chicken pox. Stop freaking out!

  17. Mommy does not have eyes on the back of her head… Just very good common sense and a killer sixth sense.

  18. You do not grow old by staying in water too long.

  19. The moon does not have a giant bunny living on it. What’s with you and bunnies anyway?

  20. And finally… you do not get pregnant by watching someone kiss on TV!

Sincerely,

Pradita Kapahi

Blog – The Pradita Chronicles

IMAGINATION DOESN’T HAVE A HEAD AND TAIL… IT HAS WINGS

India has lost 5 wickets for only 132 runs and there’s another 178 runs needed to take them to victory. He has come to the crease after the fall of the fifth wicket. He is a good batsman but the bowlers were kind of too heavy on the Indians today. He started to settle down… but he doesn’t have much overs left to play slow and settle down… He quickly adjusted to the situation and has started playing freely. He’s very quick between the wickets and slowly he opened up to hit few boundaries. He was well supported by Ravindra Jadeja at the other end who knows how important he is. Now India needs 128 runs out of 7 overs. It looks impossible but as long as he is there nothing is impossible. He hits a six. That’s the first six he hit today. Once he starts hitting he is unstoppable. The opponents know it very well. He hits a four again. Indians fans are shouting and screaming his name all around the stadium. Its 22 runs needed from 6 balls. Jadeja is on strike and he knows how important to give him strike if the India needs to see the victory. Jadeja took a run and give him the strike. 21 run out of 5 balls. He hits a six, another six and there the third six. 3 run out of 2 balls.

“What are you doing? Did you finish the lesson…? Are you dreaming or what?” My aunt’s voice brought me back to my study table from the cricket field. I couldn’t give my team members an emphatic victory.

There were other times when I used to imagine myself to be a defense personnel and married. I would be assigned to solve a problem. My wife would be also part of the defense unit and we both would be on our bike to solve the problems that caused many suffer in the city.  I even used to imagine that our defense unit will be a private association and not part of the Indian Army. I used to imagine that I would be the second in rank to the commandant or boss.     

When I used to wake up from my sleepmagination I used to find myself struggling to even go to school regularly for my health issues. 

I still imagine a lot even now. But now I imagine some realistic stuff… like, meeting with Prabhjot and Aastha in Bangalore or arrange a conference for all of us to be part of with lots of food etc. I also imagine that my book or music album will be published and all will be appreciating it. But again when I come back to my reality I find myself right there where I was just sleepmaginating

We imagine what never happens in reality. Imagination doesn’t have any heads or tails but it has WINGS. So when we give air to the wings of our imagination by directing them well we become good writers and story tellers. I am an example picked up from that lot.  

Are you in your sleepmagination? Wake up and channelize it. 

Stay Blessed!

​OH WAIT! THAT WAS SO SILLY OF ME…

Our world is filled with people who try to look pretty serious on the outside, and some may be serious on the inside too. But I am definitely sure that all of them have been bugged by silly thoughts from time to time. And these silly thoughts are not restricted to a certain age group. I know that when we are kids our imagination is hyperactive and our thinking is completely independent of any world view, but even when we grow older there is always a kid somewhere within us.

Enough with the introduction now! Let’s head into few of the silly/stupid/weird thoughts I have had over the years.

The union with Vicky

I was may be 11 or 12 when “Small Wonder” used to come on TV broadcasted on the Start plus Channel. And I immediately took a liking to Vicky, the humanoid-robot created by Ted Lawson, and accepted as a part of the Lawson family. Well I accepted her too and was smitten by her.  Smitten so much that I even dared to kiss the TV while she was in the frame; of course nobody else was there in the room. And in my dreams I used to see this strange storm transporting me to Vicky’s world. The dream was always incomplete and the union with Vicky (in my dreams) never happened.

The thing with orange seeds

Now this is something which might be common to folks. When I was a kid, someone had told me that you should not swallow orange seeds or else an orange plant would take root in your stomach and soon you would be producing oranges. Well! The orange plant taking root within me itself was a horrifying thought which made me extremely careful while eating oranges. And the worst part was I actually thought it would work this way: “You swallow the seed and then you drink water, and the plant starts to grow. That’s how plants grow; water the seeds and they grow, don’t they?” One day when I accidentally swallowed a seed I got very anxious. I could not even avoid drinking water, but then when nothing happened and I learned about the digestive system my fears were allayed.

Coming to my fears: When I thought I was being haunted…

I was very tired that evening. The washing of clothes gave my back a lot of pain and my shoulders a bit of strain. The dinner was heavy. I gulped in 6 chapattis with a dry brinjal-capsicum dish. By 11 pm I left my chair near the laptop and fell on my mattress.  

I was in deep sleep when something started to move. I tried opening my eyes and I could see the figure right above me. It was waving as if chanting some spell on me. My legs had grown cold because of the ceiling fan. I remembered switching off the fan before going to sleep but now it was running in full speed. The figure drew closer to my face and I could hardly move an inch. I felt it almost caressing my throat as my breathing morphed into panting like a sudden gear-shift. 

As I tried to reach the figure with my arms suddenly the image became clearer. And with a sudden gasp I regained my senses and recognized the terror. They were clothes hanging from the metal-strip on the door. I checked my mobile for the time. It was 2:53 AM

Does our planet earth confirm to atlas?

Now I have a fascination with geography so when I finally got my hands on atlas and saw the map of different countries and continents, I always wondered if we really get high enough amidst the skies and look down from there will the countries actually look the shape they appear to be in the maps. I never dared to ask this question to my geography teacher.  May be I can go fly to the space one day and check that. And I also wonder how all that water manages to stay contained inside our planet.

Do people actually drink in office and that too during the day?

This happened very recently. I sat across the table of this officer who was having a conversation with my superintendent who sat beside me.  This officer seemed to be affable and jovial. I sat quietly listening to their conversation when my eyes fell on a drinking glass. It interestingly was half-filled with whisky-like looking liquid. Thoughts start racing in my head: “Has this officer already gulped in half a glass of whisky during office hours? Is this the reason he looks to be so affable and jovial?  Should I ask my sir if this officer has this habit?” I knew the answer to the last question was “No” and soon we left the table. I smiled at the officer as I got up from my seat.

Amongst other crazy thoughts why the “hotdog” is named so when it has nothing to do with dogs and is the “100ft road” really 100 ft long. That’s a bunch of silly thoughts from me.  May we enjoy a little silly side of things once in a while as we try to make sense of things happening around us.  Stay blessed!

A VERY FILMY GENIE IN THE BOTTLE

It is said that nothing travels faster than the speed of light. WRONG !!! Imagination travels faster than anything ever known to man. The mind can be in Sherlock Holmes mystery one moment and Alice’s Wonderland the next moment. And my imagination was always in hyperactive mode, be it any stage of my life. My father loved this trait of mine, as it was my inheritance from him. He used my over-imaginative mind to his benefit sometimes, though it was always for my good.

He and I were bonded in the soul, and so he could read my mind and my thoughts real well. It always left me wondering how he knows exactly what I was thinking. I always used to ask him, “Papa, how do you know what’s going on in my mind ?” He would pull me to his lap and tell me in my ear like a top-secret – “I have a transmitter in you that transfers all your thoughts to me.” I was hell-bent on finding where is the transmitter but couldn’t figure out no matter how much I thought on it. One day, owing to Hindi movies, I decided that it is inside the Birthstone Locket I am wearing. I was scared shit, thinking he will figure out all my naughty thoughts and buried the locked in the dirt, happy with myself. But the experiment failed, he still knew my mind. It took me a couple of years to realise he had it in my heart.

My next stupidity was when my Mum scolded me badly. I would cry and run to Papa. She would occasionally land a slap to make me stop creating a nuisance or to make me read my lessons. My mother’s tongue wasn’t sugar-coated, and she said some acidic words to me now and then. I, again influenced by Hindi movies, believed that she was not my biological mother and I was adopted or may be her stepdaughter. I was possessed by this thought and wanted to clear my doubts. One day when she scolded me in front of a crowd, I couldn’t find Papa’s lap as he was on a tour and I cried in my aunt’s lap. She coaxed me so lovingly that I told her my doubts, she was flabbergasted to know my thoughts and told my mother, who in turn again scolded me for having such stupid imagination. I became the laughing-stock of the family.

Next example of my abstract mind was given when my father invited some of his colleagues to dinner with our family. Three men came, all tall and burly; they were from Chennai (then Madras). They all had dark complexion and big moustaches, they smoked cigarettes, laughed robustly, and my father entertained them with drinks and food. I was scared to death of them. I was sure they are all evil men (again, Hindi film takes credits with stereotype villains, the hero is never a smoker or drinker, think retro), who have come to my father to trap in him some criminal activities and are bound to bring trouble to my father. They had brought large folder and thick files to be audited and signed by Papa (he was a C.A.). Just when he was about to sign them I stopped him and told openly, “Papa don’t sign it, they will make you sign on some wrong papers, they are bad men”, My father was embarrassed, and all three men laughed loudly on my madness. Papa apologised to them many times, but they gave me excellent chocolates before leaving, which I never ate, as I never believed they are laced with chloroform.

Till date, there are numerous absurdities I have done as a result of living in fantasy land. I like to call myself Visionary, Lol. From seeing ghosts that were never there to chasing thieves around the house in the middle of the night with a Rolling Pin in hand, just because I heard a Thudding sound, I have done it all. I have even gone as far as believing that someday I will find a long-lost brother in some trade fair to wondering if the man who lives next door is a smuggler. At one point I believed that I am a Genie that lives in a bottle and another time I lived under the notion that I am a reincarnated soul of an English queen. In days I was obsessed with Harry Potter I believed that I get Owl mail from him and used a wooden stick as a wand, trusting someday it will make my TV remote come flying to me when I say “Accio !”

“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

― Albert Einstein

Let It Fly !

WHAT THE HELL I WAS THINKING!!!

Hello Everyone,

As a kid it is natural for everyone to have doubts in mind.  The very inquisitive nature makes them question and explore.  I am sure to get hands down on this one 🙂  Still don’t believe me?   Ask your parents how inquisitive you were or better observe kids around.  I am sure you would get your answer.

So as a kid (when I was younger than 10 years), I still remember my mind was a house to n-number of doubts and thoughts that were funny at the face value which I realised later and thought, “What the hell I was thinking?”  Let me give you a glimpse of doubts that once popped up in my mind:

  • Buffalo/cow inside the machine:  Yes, you read it right.  Just like the vending machines for soft drinks we used to have vending machines for milk as well.  Those in Delhi would understand instantly, Mother dairy I am talking about.  As a 6-year-old I used to go with my mom for milk and as soon as the token gets in, milk comes out.  For few more years to follow I used to think there might be a buffalo or a cow inside that takes the token and gives milk in return.
  • Board exams:  Whenever I used to listen to people talking about “Board” exams I used to imagine that it simply means that the questions needed to be answered on a black board.  I used to ponder over “how many black boards will be provided for a class of over 40 students?”  I understood much later that “Board” refers to an organisation.
  • Carpentry is easy: I used to think carpentry is nothing but imagining a shape in mind and cutting the wood accordingly and there was anyways fevicol (adhesive) available.  Would you believe me if I say how stupid I was when I tried to cut an unused cricket bat to make furniture for my doll that too using a blade (that goes in razor).  Can’t get even a deep cut!
  • Pencil Tree in the stomach: One of my aunt (in order to make us not to put pencil lead in mouth) used to say if you eat the pencil lead you would have pencil tree in your stomach.  I used to think what would happen if we actually eat the lead.  Soon we would have pencil tree inside our stomach and the pencils would grow right out of our mouths and we don’t have to purchase pencils again.  Creepy thought, isn’t it?
  • Cable TV Wires: Those were the days of cable TVs, cable connections (I mean cable wires) running from one building to another.  I used to think if something sits or is put on these cable wires the same image we would have on our TV screens.  For example if a bird has perched on these cable wires everyone would see a bird on their TV screens.
  • Television Transmission Techniques: Similarly I used to think that a picture on television is a result of actually something going behind the screen.   Remember Mahabharata on Doordarshan, I used to think people are actually fighting behind the screen and horses could come in front of us anytime soon.

Weird imagination, weird thoughts and doubts, aren’t they? Do you have too? Then share it… 😉

Kalpana 🙂