The years of magical living

The years of magical living

Representative image: iStock Photo

Childhood is a romance, a looking glass of many colours through which we saw life. No one day seemed like another, no one thing was the same, the blue of the sky transformed to purple and gold and the twilight was awash with the red of the setting sun, the rain gave way to sunshine and summer passed into winter. The trees rustled with music, leaves danced down with grace and the fronds of the palms sounded like wailing witches in the gathering dusk. The flowers were bejewelled with dew, the air was redolent with mangoes and neem and the massive gulmohar tree rained a shower of orange petals everywhere in a blaze of magnificent colour. The walls were a murmur of sleepy greens abuzz with dragonflies.  We had time to see the butterfly with the glint of the sun on her wings, to hear the beckoning of the breeze and look beyond the horizon for the warbling bird. Everything was a matter of wonder and wonder, we were told later, was the beginning of wisdom

Every day was an adventure of sorts, running with the sun and racing with the wind. Each day was replete with its own tender joys and gentle sorrows. School was all about friends, the strength of togetherness that made us feel greater than our separate selves and a good book opened the doors to many an enchanted evening. Food meant warmth and love and appetite, flavours emanating from the pots and pans and wood fires in the yard, trails of swirling smoke, the tantalising smell of rice and vegetables cooking and the fragrance of dough that got transformed into chapattis.

Suddenly the dream run is over and the adult world has taken charge with its complexities, its compulsions to live up to others, to taste the short highs of success and the long troughs of failure, to adjust to a dystopian time. To grow up we learnt is to live in a bewildering present, to live in an uncertain future to reconcile yourself to the tragic inevitabilities of life. But once in a while we live our lives backwards and hope like the Japanese writer Kazuo Ishiguro for something more stable,” something that will just be there like tomorrows sky”.

We can only look back with nostalgia, memory mixed with longing, happy that we had those days and share the meditation with Wordsworth, ”Whither is fled the visionary gleam/Where is it now the glory and the dream?”.  We were all children once. Long ago.