Saturday, November 7, 2009

If I were a baby again


[Disclaimer – All characters in this article are fictitious and bear no resemblance to any person living or dead. Any similarity with anything living or dead is purely coincidental. The ‘I’ in the article DOESN'T  refer to me. It refers to a fictitious character]

Reaching my late 30s, I was going through what typically men in this age go through. I wondered why the college going girl in my neighboring flat address me as uncle. I wondered why the dark ‘clouds’ which once eclipsed my shiny moon-head are slowly uncovering the it – emitting moonlight (so bright that when I stand close to a wall my moonlight projected on the wall makes a kind of halo over my head) even on a new moon night.I wondered why I start breathing heavily when I climb up to my flat (2B as opposed to 13B where Madhavan lived) after screaming at the security guard for not getting the lift repaired.

But then, I was not a typical man.

I watched the King Khan endorsing Fair and Handsome. I knew that Santoor soap lets your skin understand your age out. I had heard of knothole potions. I had seen Rekha. I had seen Hrithik in Koi Mil Gaya. I saw hope. I didn’t want to suffer more. So, I searched the Internet to find if there is something available which can bring my old days back when I was not ‘old’. The 300th link pointed me to a research scientist who claimed to have a medicine to reduce age. His name was Bhagawan Khushi.

Bhagwan Khushi, was temporally 86 years old but biologically looked like a 20 year old person. I explained him my problem and asked him to give me a potion to reduce my age. I agreed to transfer to his name my 2BHK flat – the only property I had. However, I would still need to pay its EMI.
I wrote an email to my wife saying what I was planning to do. Then, I drank Bhagwan Khusi’s potion and, alas, I became four years old!

And what an experience I was going to have!

When I saw myself in the mirror I was pleasantly surprised seeing the black dense forest on my head. My college-going-neighbor Priyanka, while coming from college, dropped by to collect money for flood relief. She couldn’t recognize me. She lightly pinched my cheek and kissed me. I couldn’t believe it. The uncle-calling girl, actually, kissed me! While going, she delicately ran her fingers through my hair and bid me ‘tata’.

Wow! It was fun being a baby again.

I played that whole evening - ran around the house. Took a used syringe and filled water in it. In the bathroom, I scared the lizards off by aiming a jet of water from the syringe at them. I made the bathroom completely wet and jumped on the accumulated water. In the dinner, I made boat out of vertically cut ‘patal/parwal’ and let it float in a pond of daal enclosed by a wall of rice.

The next day, my wife took me to a children’s carnival. And for the first time I enjoyed myself without alcohol! I mingled with other kids of different communities, religions and castes. I played with them without conspiring against any other kids. I didn’t worry if the children of Uncle Sam were happy with me. I treated them as equals. I was fearless. I didn’t care if there was a bomb planted at the site. Neither did I plant a bomb. There was a bag full of gold moving at almost lightening speed. I didn’t care to run after it. I didn’t care if I had enough money for my food after 10 years. I didn’t show partiality towards kids of my state. I also didn’t bribe the organizers to get me the cheat code of the game. I played with all the kids. I was just enjoying myself.

I was free. I was myself.

The carnival got over. And for the first time I had a deep sleep – that too without Larpose. The next morning my wife took me to a school where she had arranged an admission interview for me. The interviewer showed me pictures of weird flowers and asked me their names. She then asked me to sing some nursery rhymes.

I, somehow, got admission. And that marked the end of happy days.

Immediately I joined 3 tuitions. I joined swimming class followed by singing class. I did homework till late evenings. It became a pain to carry the 5 kg bag to school. Surprise tests became nightmares.

I, then, yearned to become older soon – so that I could come out of this mess.

[I don’t know if he went back to 30 years life again. All we know is that he was not satisfied neither when he was a 30 years nor when he was a baby. Every age comes with its challenges which seems too huge for that age. If he were a baby again, he would have wanted to be an adult. He would have been as happy as or as sad as he is now. Of course, the complexities in his life would have decrease – something which he experienced in the Carnival.


As Gertrude Stein puts it – A ROSE IS A ROSE IS A ROSE 

PS: Bhagawan and Dev, and Khushi and Anand are almost synonymous]

36 comments:

Psych Babbler November 7, 2009 at 4:30 AM  

That was really good! It's the whole 'the grass is greener on the other side' isn't it? Very interesting read...

Madhu | INDImag.com November 7, 2009 at 4:36 AM  

All good things have to end huh ? Nice crash land to the reality a the end :-)

Sheetal Kamat November 7, 2009 at 6:09 AM  

Nice post. The imediate pleasure of having reduced age was portrayed well.. And then at the end realisation of reality. Well guess you (who ever your fiction character is) wasnt smart enough to learn it in first shot :D

RSV November 7, 2009 at 10:21 AM  

wow!!
that was definitely worth a read....

I like to others gardens because mine always is full of thorns..

Dhiman November 7, 2009 at 1:38 PM  

A nice story true when we are kids we always want to grow up and when grow up want to be a child again :D

debosmita November 7, 2009 at 2:23 PM  

"Every age comes with its challenges which seem too huge for that age."

That's so true...Loved reading it :-)

aativas November 7, 2009 at 5:43 PM  

Completely agree with you. We want to be something else other than what we are. During childhood we write essays like 'When I grow..'. Typical of human beings! :)

Chetan November 7, 2009 at 7:34 PM  

what you said is true to its core
gr8 post

Prashant Mehta November 7, 2009 at 7:58 PM  

Psych Babbler ji

Thanks!

Madhu ji

Yeah, isn't it? All good things come to an end.

Sheetal ji

The character was definitely not me. I am not 30 years old. I don't have a moon on my head. And neither my neighbor calls me uncle :)

I agree with you. He wasn't smarter enough to realize it. And like him most people aren't. That's why we have this topic to write on because a lot of people still yearn to be a child again

RSV ji

Thanks!

I don't know if others' gardens are also full of thorns. But i'll give the benefit of doubt to suit me :)


Dhiman ji

Yeah. We always want to be what we are not.

debosmita ji

Thanks!

aativas ji

I agree with you! Typical of humans :)

Prashant Mehta November 7, 2009 at 7:59 PM  

Chetan ji

Thanks!

Niharika November 8, 2009 at 8:27 AM  

Prashant Ji,
Great post. I agree. The grass is ALWAYS greener on the other side.

Karthik November 8, 2009 at 11:08 AM  

The narrative style is splendid! I thought it would go on for another one or two paragraphs, but it ended so soon.
It was really worth reading. We never get satisfied with whatever we have. Maybe that's good as it makes us achieve more. If at all we get satisfied with something, then it's all over, isn't it?

indianhomemaker November 8, 2009 at 3:35 PM  

Very imaginative and creative!!!

True we are never completely happy, but childhood can be easily made a lot happier.

Enjoyed this unusual take.

Shruti November 8, 2009 at 8:05 PM  

Prashant, I really enjoed! Anand, Khushi everything is synonymous..Everything is our perspective...How we deal and tackle things that come in our way! Beautifully expressed :)

Nidhesh November 9, 2009 at 10:33 AM  

nicely written post,
There could have been a way of coming to the endpoint of the story. After taking the potion and becoming the child, this person would have had the same psyche. In that case, he would not have played so much being a grown up at mind, would have missed being able to freely go anywhere without his mother's permission. Other similar things may include riding his bike, being able to watch tv all night, and who knows, may be smoking. Again, becoming so small, and weak would have freaked him out. This we could have made the same conclusions.
Watch the misadventures of Little Man on a similar plot. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0430304/

evanescentthoughts November 9, 2009 at 11:51 AM  

This is one of the best posts on this topic I have come across. It was too good :) loved it!!! And you are absolutely right. we wanted to grow old so that we could get rid of exams and the tensions associated with them. Nicely narrated too!

Makk November 9, 2009 at 2:05 PM  

Cool...dude!!

:)

keep writing!

Keep Smiling!!

Lavanya November 9, 2009 at 2:24 PM  

Brilliant post! I notice strokes of a seasoned writer. Congratulations!
Ya, I agree with others, in that the ending was a little too sudden and abrupt.
But, on the whole, a fantastic read.

Prashant Mehta November 9, 2009 at 6:35 PM  

Niharika ji,

Thanks!

Karthik ji,

Even i thought that i should give it a definite ending. But i decided against it. I wanted to leave the ending open to interpretations. I didn't want to give it "my" ending.

Like - i wanted to keep the following questions open to the readers:

1. Does the effect of potion go away?
2. Does he start liking the 'childhood' after the dislike?
3. What all things he go thru as a child?

indianhomemaker ji

Yes. Even i think that childhood can be portrayed in a more happier way. But, i wanted to highlight the problems children of today go through. The peer pressure, the burden to be a winner is stealing their childhood from them. This would make them less happier. Hence the gloomy take - to portray the hardships children of the 21st century go through.


Shruti ji

Yeah. I agree with you. BTW, the reason i used the name Bhagawan Khushi was because it is synonymous to Dev Anand In the Bollywood, Dev Anand is said to be evergreen.

Nidhesh ji

Yeah - that could have been another possible track the story could have taken. But i think it wouldn't have been okay to let a 4 year old smoke :-P


evanescentthoughts ji

Thanks!


Makk ji

Sure :)

Lavanya ji

Thanks! Yes, like a short story i didn't want the story to end at its end. I wanted to leave it open added as i responded to Karthik ji above

Bharathi November 9, 2009 at 7:57 PM  

Nice concept. I too wrote a little similar to urs. I would recommend you to watch the movie 'Bedazzled'. That has something like this.

Guria November 9, 2009 at 8:52 PM  

Really, really, really liked reading this...
Except for the innocence there's nothing special about being a baby, especially not the innocence-ridding procedure (schools, tuitions and the likes) :)

All the best for Blog-a-Ton :))

Aneet November 9, 2009 at 10:09 PM  

Thanks for visiting!

Vipul Grover November 9, 2009 at 11:54 PM  

Dev anand - 20 years old.. now thts a bit far-fetched.. lol
Hey, a very nice post there nd very mch true.. we alwez want to be wat we r not at the present!
Really liked some expressions used like the ones for hair loss nd then how the child played around.. A nice read nd yeah congrats on Blogadda pick!
All the best :)

narendra November 10, 2009 at 12:30 AM  

love the post...keep it up..and all the best..like the way you reply to your comments too.the JI thing. really shows in your post..:) nice nice..

Mahesh Kalaal November 10, 2009 at 12:53 AM  

@ Prashanth,

Hi.... It is innovative, analytical, and retrospective..
Nice post.

Shruti November 10, 2009 at 2:58 AM  

Do read my take on this topic!

MADHU RAO | (INDImag.COM) November 10, 2009 at 3:27 AM  

To me personally, I liked the ending. So when I said "Nice crash land to the reality at the end :-)". I meant it as a compliment ...

Dreamer November 10, 2009 at 9:03 AM  

Really great imagination. Especially liked the ending. It is true, nowadays childhood ends way too early.

ηανєєη November 10, 2009 at 2:13 PM  

well a gud one .....lack of satisfaction is everywhere ;)

Biswajit Biswas November 10, 2009 at 4:07 PM  

Nice way to putting up the pros and cons of every age.

"I mingled with other kids of different communities, religions and castes. I played with them without conspiring against any other kids. I didn’t worry if the children of Uncle Sam were happy with me. I treated them as equals. I was fearless. I didn’t care if there was a bomb planted at the site. Neither did I plant a bomb. There was a bag full of gold moving at almost lightening speed. I didn’t care to run after it. I didn’t care if I had enough money for my food after 10 years."

Saimanohar November 10, 2009 at 8:08 PM  

good post..

Prashant Mehta November 10, 2009 at 8:56 PM  

Bharathi ji

I remember seeing it on TV a long back - don't remember much though. Sure. I'll watch it.

Guria ji

Thanks!

Aneet ji

The same to you :)

Vipul ji

Thanks!

Well, fans of Dev Anand think that he is 20 from past 46 years!


narendra ji

thanks!

The Internet doesn't really tell us the age of a person. A lot of my readers are elders who i know in person and address them as dada/didi/bhai/ben. I felt a little uncomfortable addressing them by their first name. So, i made it common. The best part is, i can use "ji" not only for male and female names but also for inanimate objects! Do you remember Big B addressing computer as "Computer Ji" in KBC?

Mahesh Kalaal ji


Thanks!

Shruti ji

Yes, i did and you have acknowledged as well :)


Madhu ji

Thanks! I am honored :)


Dreamer ji

Thanks! Yeah... when i see my nephews and niece running for class after class, i feel that they are growing up just two fast.

naveen ji

Thanks! I agree :) And that's what drive us to keep going on.

Biswajit ji

Yeah. The kids are very innocent unlike the adults. However adults are more independent :)

You haven't written for a long time now. When can we have your next article?

Sainmanohar ji

thanks!

ARJuna November 10, 2009 at 9:22 PM  

Beautiful piece of fiction...I especially liked the last part where the character is tired of being a kid and yearns to be an adult again...you capture both sides of the pespective well.

narendra November 10, 2009 at 10:26 PM  

Yes I remember computer ji :) i like you.. :)

chandrasegar November 12, 2009 at 5:36 PM  

full of reality.good work

Prashant Mehta November 12, 2009 at 7:22 PM  

Arjuna ji and Chandresegar ji

Thanks!

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