I have a vivid picture. I clearly remember it was March…the only month with holidays sans homework; 20 days of full leisure and play. It began at 12 o clock or an even lazier hour of the day. I would sit with my assorted colors; crayons, pencil, water…all kinds…and with all patience and interest would devote ample time to thinking, drawing and painting… three hours later, when the bones cracked, the torso hurt and eyes squinted, I would sit straight all happy to see what I had created. It was quite a contrast- the dirty hands making a beautiful composition. It gave me a kick like nothing in this world. I would sprint to the market, happily fetch milk and bread, go to the park, swing like a monkey on the trees, play with my friends and just be happy coz I did what I liked the most. Sometimes I would behave crazily too. I would look at the painting at different time slots of the day to see if it looked any different in the morning light from the twilight light. 20 days meant at least 15 art works. It could be anything- a greeting card, a composition, a pen holder made of old boxes or a kaleidoscope made from mum’s broken bangles. Sometimes I wonder where those paintings are. Are they rotting in some filthy corner of a street or if they have adorned someone’s drawing room wall or simply biodegraded back into our ecosystem. However just a few of them are making for good lunch and dinner for a zillion bugs in some dark corner of the attic.
There were so many things that we did as kids, things that we liked. My brother played cricket with everything that he laid his hands on- spoons, chess pins, stationary… I painted, wrote poetry, my sister danced, tried a variety of wardrobe combinations and admired her endlessly in front of the mirror. She and I were really close. I was like a little guinea pig at her hands. She tried her short skirts on me, made me mount on the dining table and taught me the sleaziest dance moves. And beat this- I happily obliged!! It wasn’t really that difficult to be happy those days. Half an hour of chitrahaar a week had us humming for the entire week. There was a constant smile that flitted across our faces all the time making us look slightly demented but genuinely happy smiley souls. The mind was always thinking creatively. The nights seemed endless if I thought of an idea in the midnight that I wanted to pen down and couldn’t wait for the dawn to break and sit with my pen and paper and just let it flow. Sometimes I tied knots in my pyjamas strings that reminded me of the idea till the next morning. Every little painting, every little poem was like an Oscar for me. I flaunted it to the world.
It’s been ages I felt the hair of the painting brush, smelled the aroma of Camel watercolors. Why we stop doing things that simply make us who we are, that simply complete us and give us a sense of being, a sense of completion. Happiness has become so elusive these days!
Maybe I should blog more often. SIGH!!