Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The God of Small Things

I was relaxing at home last night, listening to Michael Bublé's new Christmas album when the recollection of a past incident brought a smile to my face. Now when I say past, it seriously was a long time ago, so you'll have to stay with me for a bit while I take you back in time. Yup, fifteen years ago, all the way back to 1996.

I was a twelve-year old kid (I know, the years have totally flown by!) living in a small quiet town in Kerala, India called Trivandrum. The incident I'm gonna tell you about is my first actual visit to the cinemas. Now don't go "Aww man I wasted two minutes of my time reading this?" Stay with me, its not your typical story. Being the youngest of three children, brought up by our mother who was a typically strict school-teacher, let's just say that I never had a lot of the freedom I wanted, which perhaps was good for me, looking back now. I was also especially envious of my older brother (six years older) whom according to me was always having a ball, hanging out with his set of motor-cycle owning friends who'd stay out late, eat out, do all the "fun" stuff. They seemed so cool to me. Me on the other hand was the nerdy boy who'd sit with his books all day and then was given permission to read his Tintin comics or Hardy Boys fiction books after I'd finished homework. Sometimes even that was too much to ask.

So imagine my excitement one day when my mom magically gave me permission (okay maybe I cried, screamed and threw stuff - but just a little) to go with my brother and his cool friends to watch "Independence Day", the new blockbuster starring Will Smith, that everyone was raving about. I remember wearing my favorite tee shirt and waiting eagerly for my brother to come home after college to pick me up. As usual the boys were late, but soon enough a bunch of six or seven motorbikes vrrooomed up to my front gate, with my brother shouting at me to hurry up. Imagine the scene, a 12-yr old kid finally going out with a gang of 18 or 19-yr old boys: this was my big day! I was nervous yet so excited, and I think it was evident on my face, cos all my brother's friends found it very amusing that I was tagging along as well. They decided to thus "set" me up; they told me to hop on the back of one of the Yamaha RX100 bikes, who's rider was known to be the most fastest and daring of the lot. I can never ever forget that 20 minute ride to the theater. I was clinging on for dear life as we zoomed in and out of heavy traffic, scared out of my wits yet extremely excited. I remember thinking, "God, this is the best day of my life, don't make it my last day though please!" My brother's friends made sure I had the ride of my life, all of them laughing jovially at my plight as they raced their way to our destination. As we made our way into the cinema halls and took our seats (we'd missed the opening credits), I remember my heart still pounding within my tiny chest. The movie turned out to be one of the best movies I'd watched till that day and I was smiling throughout - still overjoyed that I was actually living my little dream of hanging out with my brother's cool friends. As Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum punched and flew their way out of trouble to save the human race from alien invasion, I kept thinking to myself that this was in a way, my Independence Day as well. I truly felt like this was my first day of freedom and ended up beaming all the way to my house, rushing inside to tell my mom and sister all about the movie. I could not wait to go to school the next day, just to tell all my friends what an awesome day I'd had. Since then, I've had the highest gratitude to my brother's friends for that day, a day that was just another ordinary day in their lives, but not to me.

Perhaps it was not a co-incidence that yesterday, another fourteen year old kid had a pretty good day. I'd won Platinum tickets to the Maple Leafs' Fans night in a contest last week and gave them to the young kid (one of my favorites!), whom I knew was a huge ice-hockey fan, but had never been to a game in his life before. The fact that he had to skip school for it might not make me a favorite of his parents, but his thrill and excitement was extremely evident, once his elder sister said she'd take him to the game. Based on his texts after the game, it definitely seemed like he had a great time! Maybe, just maybe, one day, fifteen years in the future, he'll suddenly smile thinking about his experience yesterday.

Cos when its all said and done friends, it's neither the size of your pay-package nor the number of cars you own that will make you sit back and smile. It's moments such as these in life, that are innocent yet so precious in nature that will always remain with you. I'm sure the Almighty above us would love us to think the same way too. There's a saying that's so cliche now and has totally being replayed a million times but I'll say it - "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away..." Ouch, so cheesy but still kinda true. Remember that surprise party your friends threw for you? Guys, remember your first video game console? Girls, remember your first barbie? Remember that the day your parents brought home your first pet? Your first time at an amusement park? Treasure them, because as your grow older, your innocence maybe lost but the memories remain. It's up to us to just reach out to them.

Merry Christmas everybody!


Praveen G. S said...

Good one dude!!!

Anonymous said...

remember the time i broke the glass window by throwing a shoe? or remember the time moti came flying over the sofa like i was some burglar in the brings a smile nowadays thinking over it....

artis2kewl said...

You forgot about the Rain........drizzle actually!!
and the kinetic honda that you used for a while

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