I grew up a coward who did brave things, never could punch some one on the nose or anywhere, I mean box. It need a particular level of anger to hit someone, I had anger, not enough to hit someone. One of my goal in life is to never get my face fisted, not just face, any part of the body because I will not be able to take it.
Bhupinder, a kutty sardar ji was a friend, when I was an 8 year old. On our way back home in the school bus we used to get into an argument, cannot remember on what, and wait for the drop point to settle the issue physically. Once we were out of the bus, we would put our bags aside and Bhupinder would come swinging his fists at me. Since, I cannot hit, my strategy was to wrestle and pin him down. We were sporting enough to know when the fight is over and we would go home. Within an hour, either I would be in his house or he would come down to my place and start playing, height of childhood. This was a regular happening between us.
I was on a bicycle, saw a dilapidated building, thought of having a piddle. Dusk was setting in, stopped the bike and walked towards the building. A pleading female voice to leave her alone and a threatening male voice to keep quiet and agree to his demands stopped me in my track. With a racing heart, I picked up a stone and threw it in the direction of the voice. The reaction said the guy got hit , saw a girl running away, I ran to my bike and frantically pedaled away. This happened during my school days. What happened there was anybody’s guess, whereas my guess and interpretation led me to pick up a stone and throw without even waiting to know the truth. Bravery of a coward.
Many invisible whistle blowing instances, cannot go into details, don’t want past to catch up and change my future.
Not sure, when the complex of being dark skin crept in to lower my self esteem. It could have been a comment or a behavior or an imaginary self inflicted wound that stayed with me while growing up. To rub it in, during the visit to our native place , the wise old relatives welcomes us, ayyo what happened, you have gone so black (dark skin, karuthu poyee). Racism begins at home.
To be on the safe side I had more friends with matching skin color, looking up at the fair and lovely ones with envy. Luckily, never made any attempt to change into a white.
Then there were the crushes which got crushed within, due to the belief that they are not for dark skinned. At least it prevented the unnecesary distractions of life of that period. As the age passed by, a realisation dawned, looks don’t matter, its your potential to help to meet other’s wants and needs that makes relationship. The real ones are the ones who are with you when you have nothing to give.
Basic things in the society are the same, then and now like crime, selfishness, eve teasing, rapes,racism, drugs, caste, religion, jealousy ( you can add to the list). At that time population was half in number of what it is now, the percentage rate may be same, communication and its reach was limited unlike today, you click the post button and it zips across the world.
The schools should have education, every year, on values until it becomes a habit. Respect for other religions, gender, profession, everything should be inculcated, the nation should have a uniform code of conduct. May be things will improve in 50 years time or is it the way the world is suppose to run ?
In 71 you were 21, in 21 you are 71. This formula works for all those born in 1950 until you are 99. I am a week away from touching that number.
So far, 71 not out has been a fairly satisfactory innings as per my appraisal, no complaints, not sure what others think. Then the major change happened for the better when I stopped thinking what others think about me.
15 thoughts on “The invisible whistle blower”
Those were good old days with Rajan and Prema.
A very soulful writeup…. a cowardly brave person…. I can relate to that…. when I hear neighbor couples’ fight go out of hand, I start giving missed calls continously to them from my corp no…..
After Your first 71 years if you are able Introspect it and can dissect your character with honesty and humility then you have lived it well…… which is what this post tells about you Menon…..asussual loved your post
I am touched, Poornima
Good one Rajan well written and truly relatable
After reading a post I do feel like making a comment.I hesitate and then drop the idea.
I will be 77 in about a months time
Thank you Mr Rajgopalan, grateful for your visit
Well written, 21 in 71 & 71 in 21 is a marvellous explanation of – at one time young and now not too old.
Years gone are treasure, years ahead are going to be priceless, no worries, no rushing for mundane things.
Rajendra, your blogs always cheer up many, I find myself very much ahead in this cheering Q.
Thank you, Col for your encouraging comments
What a retrospection!
A very honest confession of a value bred upbringing…While the order of the day is to knit tall stories how sweet of you to portray a self styled coward, dark skinned boy….But believe some of the true values, I have imbibed early in life is from a soft spoken extremely mature person like you…So doesn’t matter whether it is 71 or 17…it’s all in your DNA….Cheers Rajettan
There is a beautiful story line in the stone throwing incident; spin one.
I think, I can open up a competition asking readers to spin a story. 😉
So engrossing, had to finish it in one breath. So beautifully captured. The childhood innocence, seeing the world through the eyes of an adolescent and the growing up years. Brings back my own childhood memories.
I am sure, Ani, you will have your own unique experiences to share
We generally feel awkward in those growing up years, bcoz of our skin,caste etc but the purity of the heart always wins . It is indeed a pleasure reading ur blogs. Tq sir.