The Lost Childhood

Children Playing in Rain, Bangladesh

Do you remember your juvenile days, the time when the whole world was full of wonder and possibilities? The time when the whole world was just perfect and everything was just a thought away? The truth is most of us cant, if I were a wee bit wrong and I do wish I was wrong, we could have seen a whole lot of people trotting along the streets smiling happy smiles. If I were wrong we could have seen unknown people playing with each other and there would have been no disgust or bias based on colour, race or faith. Every evil is the work of an adult, the child is not tainted, the child knows no distinction, and for a child all are one and the same. With age we learn to bias, discriminate and demarcate!

Let me tell you something that happened on my train journey yesterday, I was travelling on a train to home in a relatively full cabin. There was a young couple, an old man, a middle aged professional and then there was me. A rather weird mix of people that under no circumstances would strike up a conversation with each other but it so happened that in this particular journey we were meant to be more than just polite  in our conversations but friendly enough to play together. There was a girl, A sweet, cute angel with a flower the size of a lotus stuck to her hair bow and a smile that could melt the world away. She talked to us every one of us and before we knew we were cracking jokes playing at each other’s expense and mocking each other. What had happened for such a remarkable transformation to occur to a very strange group of people?


The truth is, the kid happened, her innocence transcended our hearts and heads, her innocent melted away any discrimination and disgust we would have carried, it annihilated whatever it was that prevented us from talking to each other. In her presence we were becoming children poking her, making faces, mimicking her stories and acclimating to her emotions. She made us able to see through life with clarity, without prejudices, an ability that we have lost in a very distant past. It’s a shame that we can’t live the life of a child always. Wouldn’t it be amazing had we been able to remain a child forever, an age of mind where your biggest sadness was not getting candy and your days always started with sunshine and ended in fairytales? An age when we were willing to believe in magic, fairytales, magic and fairies. An age characterized by an ability to trust and love unconditionally.




I believe we need to reclaim our childhood if we are to live life to our fullest. I believe when we lose all childishness and child-likeness in ourselves that’s when we really become old. It is possible and it is achievable, to be like a child, it is possible to keep an open mind and it is possible to love and trust unconditionally. We need to understand the child in us and keep it alive inside us. Life is too short to be not a child. Ask yourself if being in the presence of  a child is enough to make you childlike then would it be hard to be childlike all your life if you tried.




Photo Credits: Children Playing in Rain, Bangladesh© 1996-2012 National Geographic Society.

The Little Big Things


Every journey is a new experience, no matter how often, no matter how short they tend to be. It’s not the journey that matters, not as much as the people we get to meet and life we get to experience. Every dawn and every dusk brings along with it a hoard of experiences that are just waiting to be discovered. This is the story of just one of the many interesting people I got to meet in my numerous journeys that made me realise that life is not something sacred; it is what happens right in front of our eyes, everyday. Don’t for one second think that I am an adept traveller, the sad truth is that I started travelling out of necessity and though I prefer the familiar comforts of my writing desk it has given me a chance to experience life as it is, raw and unadulterated.

It must be in one of those dreary Friday evenings that keep coming up every week, offering a strange intoxicating mix of anticipation, relief and happiness that this happened. I was supposedly going home after a week’s hectic schedule and it was literally killing me that I had to wait further for it to happen. I have had a practise of going with a couple of really goods friends; we have been travelling home together since we were travelling home at all. But today they had to pack and they were late, late enough to let me fend on my own. The necessities of the travel insisted that I find a suitable mode of transportation, an autorikshaw ( for those of you unfamiliar with the word, it is a three wheeled public transport vehicle in black and yellow or either, refer any Bollywood flick to know more . It’s easy to spot and hard to forget, for us it’s just a way of life like taxi is to New Yorkers.) is what I had in mind. It was not hard to find one, certainly not on a Friday.

Okay! That matters too!


Soon I landed a certain driver who was more than just willing to take us to the railway station that we needed to get, but since my friends were still packing I had to wait for them to come. Poor chap readily agreed to wait along with me; I must say he was a jolly good fellow to spend time with. Now just for the record I had to wait a good 45 minutes for my friends to come and hence being late for all the right trains. But then again that gave me this rather valuable lesson in life.

The little ones knows much more about little things than us!
The long wait let us on the streets with nothing much top do but talk, though a practical lover of silence I would always like some company at times. He insisted on talking as he would occasionally blurt out some random question or the other (like does every one speak English in the campus) and so and so. I did take a liking to him. Things didn’t get any interesting till a friend of his dropped by and they got talking. The truth is I never intended to eavesdrop on those guys as I was happily trotting away in my own imaginary world. The startling reminiscence of innocence in their routine chat drew my attention to them and their conversations. He was talking about his luck and I was instantly interested in knowing what lady luck has bestowed upon him, the truth was it was me, rather us. I realised then how much it meant for them to have the weekly trips that we made, our travels were more essential to them than it were ever to them.

In their casual conversation lied an unmistakable scent of innocence that is otherwise unseen and unheard of today. He was talking about how lucky he was to have gotten customers that day and how he and friends were celebrating in their free time yesterday and so and so. Its not what they talked that made it important, its how is said it, how with a smile and a attitude to match he made it seem that the very basic things in life were something else entirely. Its how his words and the sentences they formed transcended what would have been just a ordinary life into a story worth talking about, a life worthy of mention. In the simplest sense he taught me how life is in every little thing we do. And what I learnt sitting under the bright evening sun on a concrete sidewall by a rather crowded piece of asphalt.