×
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Reliving the wonder years

Nothing can bring back the hour, but children help us relive the moments
Last Updated : 26 June 2023, 21:23 IST
Last Updated : 26 June 2023, 21:23 IST

Follow Us :

Comments

I saw the room lived-in for a month, the rumpled bed sheets, the awry pillows, and toys and books in total disarray. My daughter and granddaughter came to see the family after a gap of three years and my one-year-old grandson in turn came visiting from the flat upstairs. The room was mayhem, to say the least, with lights on late into the night, laughter and conversation preserved over the years of the pandemic. Even with calls and video calls, there was so much to catch up on in person; those shades and nuances of emotions, the joy and excitement, the gifts to be exchanged and even the sadness of unshared moments with limitations of time and circumstance.

After they left, as I set about righting the place, I thought about how fast time had flown on soundless wings. I could feel my loneliness crawling back, my years laying siege to my joints and limbs. When my grandson came the next day, there were questions in his eyes. He couldn't comprehend the change in his baby mind that engulfed his little life for a short while and then disappeared as suddenly as it had come. Where were all the extra kisses, the extra love he received, the delicious extra bites he got from their dinner plates, the pictures shown and books read to him? I saw his searching looks all over the place and I heard him call his six-year-old cousin's name gently, ”Laya," and waiting for her to appear from behind the curtain.

For me, the mornings lost their lustre, the “spacious” afternoons their charm and the evenings brought on the night too quickly.

I saw the tell-tale marks of mud from flower pots strewn everywhere and the brown and black birds that sat in a row on the branch opposite cooing with gusto while the year-old toddler and his older cousin stood rapt clutching the railings with awe. They looked at the sky opening up in red and gold and they wanted to stretch out their hands and touch it. The older child, looking wise, tells the younger cousin, "The trees are scraping the skies, you and I can't. Let us grow up, we will go flying into the sky and we can touch it.”

I don't know if the little one grasped any of this wisdom, but he smiled. For me, watching my grandchildren, reopened the wonderment I had traversed long ago, worlds inhabited, where every turn of the leaf, every whiff of the breeze, every tint of the sky held infinite possibilities. Lines from Wordsworth’s Intimations of immortality, that grand meditation on childhood and the gradual loss of it with all its innocent joys, came to me: Nothing can bring back the hour / of splendour in the grass, glory in the flower.

ADVERTISEMENT
Published 26 June 2023, 17:55 IST

Follow us on :

Follow Us

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT