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