Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Lost World

 
It must have been around 2 O' clock in the noon... All the people around me were enjoying their mid noon siesta... I was waiting with baited breath among the foliage... Soon, I could hear the voices...and the stealthy footsteps coming closer. I remain hidden behind my favourite mango tree. My heart was thumping... What would happen? Will the plan backfire? Will someone find fault with me? A thousand questions seem to crop up in my mind in a matter of seconds... With the heart beats sounding like drum beats, I waited for the right moment. As soon as the stealthy steps sounded near enough, I darted out from behind the tree and shouted at the top of my voice (believe me, I can be heard by the whole village when I shout!) "Who goes there?'' 

The shock and terror on the face of my unsuspected victims were inexplicable. They screamed to each other 'Rrruuunn...' and scampered here and there. Soon, most of them were not to be seen, except a small boy, who wasn't fast enough to escape my grasp... He looked baffled and ready to break down. Looking around for help from his partners in crime, he found himself all alone with me. I was happy that my plan worked out and soon began questioning the boy, who began to answer me, even before I finished my questions.

As I had suspected, he and his friends had come to pick (and pluck) mangoes from our compound. As all were taking their afternoon naps, no one would know about their rendezvous, or so they thought. Soon, I gave him a lecture on how he should not jump over the fence and steal the mangoes, but some straight through the gate, ask permission to pick the mangoes. I assured him that if they ask, no one at my home would say no. But if they try to steal them, next time the consequences would be real bad... I send him packing... Soon I could see him beaming up to his friends (who were watching my cross-examination of their friend from a safe distance) and showing the mangoes which I had allowed him to take with him...

Come mango season, this was a regular event at my ancestral home. The kids from the nearby school never lost an opportunity to jump the fence and to take off with the delicious mangoes. Many a times, we turned a blind eye... But sometimes, there were some mischievous fellows who throw stone at the tree and ends up breaking the roof tiles of our house or of the cattle shed. We were fed up with these and it was my plan to catch them unawares. Soon the word spread that we were permitting anyone who asks to pick mangoes  from our compound, the few condition were that they should ask one of us in the family for permission and that they should not throw stones on the tree. They could pick all the mangoes that fell from the tree, but felling them by throwing stones was absolute no- no. And peace prevailed...


I've spend many a summer lying at the shade of the mango tree (the one named 'Chakiriyen', my favorite) with nature as my soul mate. I often talked to the tree and each time I felt like eating a mango, it would drop one or two on the ground. I never bothered to wash it or cut it... All I had to do was to rub the end of the stem on a stone to get rid of it and lo! the fruit was ready to be eaten... Such delicious, fibrous, sweet ripe mangoes that even today when I think of it, my mouth starts watering! 

As the world around me was napping, I spent the hot summers under the canopy of the grandfather tree, sometimes writing my stupid thoughts in my diary or scribbling something in the name of a poem, or even trying to sketch the nature around me. I talked nonstop to the trees and plants; the birds often fell silent to listen to my ranting... the butterflies danced around me and teased me that I can never catch them. The squirrels sometimes tried to steal my mangoes from me and scampered hither-thither on my slightest movements...As I lay on my bed of dry leaves, the ants and mosquitoes made merry...

The family pond was another favorite hiding place of mine... Many happy days were spent on the steps of the pond watching the kingfishers in action. The frogs, tortoise and the fish were skeptical at first, but soon discovered that I meant no harm... Many birds like the Golden Oriole, Black Drango, Cuckoo, Owl, Seven sisters, Myna, Tree-pie, Common Coucal, Parrots, Crane and Magpie Robin came there to quench their thirst. I became an avid birdwatcher soon... 

Other times saw me wandering through the bushes and wild growths that surrounded the home (It was often called a mini-jungle). As the rains poured in, I smelled the unique fragrance of the earth and watched the muddy water gushing through the grounds like a river breaching its banks. I loved splashing in the muddy water and was chided many times for playing in them... As the drizzle turned into torrential, I used to go out in the open to feel the raindrops... as the cool drops hit the body, the mind danced of joy and a wonderful feeling of peace encompassed me... Oh! How I miss those good old days!!!

Evenings invariably saw me catapulting into the cool waters of the pond, and many a hours were spent swimming, diving and splashing in the pool often causing the inhabitants of the pond a headache (if they can have headaches..) 

As night sets in, certain calmness also sets in... Lying in the quadrangle of the house I had gazed at the stars, and often got lost in their twinkling beauty... On moonlit nights, the moon charmed me to no end... As the night progressed, I sat at my window and got lost in the sheer beauty and calmness of the night. An occasional hoot of an owl or song of a nightingale reminded me that I was not alone. If I was too depressed, even the crickets tried their best to give me company and cheer me up...

It was often the song of my favorite Robin that woke me up in the mornings... Soon, I could hear a hundred different chirps and songs. The sun was slowly coming up in the horizon and the dew drops glittered on the colorful flowers like diamonds!!! The peace and tranquility of the mornings are best enjoyed in the company of nature..... Soon, I found myself on the steps of the pond, gazing into the waters and lost in my own world with only nature as my company, until someone came in search of me and took me back to the daily routines.

And I awaited for noon to start all over again...to spend my time with nature (after getting rid of the kids in search of mangoes), on the lap of mother earth, in my own world with only birds, butterflies, squirrels and my dear old Chakiriyen for company!


 PS: This is an entry for the Kissan 100%  Real Blogger Contest, a contest by Indiblogger.

32 comments:

  1. Wonderful..took me to a magical place.!

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    1. Thank you! Feel free to join me there anytime... The place has retained few of its charms even today! :-)

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  2. Will surely come..The pond is particularly enticing :)

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  3. Hi Nisha....thank God its not me in your Mango orchard...because in childhood we all use to pick mangoes from the nearby orchard and you know we have three huge mango orchards...but dear..MEHNAT KA FAL MEETHA HOTA HAI.....AUR CHORI KARNE ME BHI TO KITNI MEHNAT LAGTI HAI...hehehe:)
    nice post...all the best for the contest

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    1. Ha ha Ha! Dont worry Seema, even if it had been you, after the initial shock, you'd have been rewarded with ripe, sweet and juicy mangoes...

      Yeah, I know that 'Chori mein he hein mazaa'... We never denied them the mangoes, and many times turned blind eye towards the 'chori' but I guess 'chor ko pakadne mein bhi Mazaa hein...' :-D

      Thank You very much for the Good Wishes!!!

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  4. There will be no replacements for such fun and thrill :)
    Beautifully said and photos added glamour :)
    good luck with contest ji !

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    1. Yes Deepak, what you said is very true..nothing can match the fun and thrill of those times...I am saddened by the fact that the younger generation is missing all the fun...

      Thank you very much for the Good Wishes!!!

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  5. what a detailed, interesting and a simple post. So well worded.. loved it and the pictures go so well with the pst. Loved it.

    Glad to have found you at INdiblogger. Your newest follower and regular visitor now
    Cheer,
    Kajal

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    1. Thank You Kajal! Glad to have you here @ Random Thoughts. Happy to know that you liked the post..have a wonderful time here!

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  6. Lovely post Nisha, full of the memories of innocent years

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    1. Thank You Rahul! You've correctly put it- innocent years - when all one had to think was how to have fun and live life to the fullest... missing those days....

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  7. I was having two visits to your place during 2008 February and November when I was working with Apco Hyundai, Calicut. Firstly it was a test drive trip of Hyundai Sonata to Ottappalm and back. I was accompanied with two of sales staffs also. It was in the evening. Lekha and kids were also eagerly waiting for us (Kids were waiting for the Sonata). I was entering into the premises of a "Mana" first time in my life. I couldn't forget the reception and the hospitality we were experienced by your parents and the taste of good coffee, your mother made for us still remains in my tongue (I wonder why her elder daughter didn't get that "kaipunyam"... I'm not sure about the other two daughters also!).

    My second visit was with my wife. We were coming back from Manjeri after attending a marriage function of one of lady staffs. It was a sunny day. When we made a call to Lekha's mobile, she was asking us anything special we need there. I replied we need a heavy Rain a when we reach there and immediately she has agreed. It was in the afternoon we reached there and with in few minutes we were experienced a heavy rain. Your father blocked the water exits of the naduthalam and with in a short time the naduthalam was full of water and Appu & Kannan started swimming. It was a thrilling experience which I never forget...

    When I was going through your narration, for me also it’s a nostalgic memoir....

    Keep on Rocking...

    Regards, GK.

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    1. GK Sir, Though I was not there on both occasions, I recall how happy my folks were to have you there. I got a detailed account of your visits that I feel was there too when you came there...Glad to know that you have also enjoyed the visits

      And yes, the kids absolutely love playing in the "nadumittam" during rains... We never felt the need for that as we used to rush to the pond to have fun during the rains...

      BTW, Amma's Kaapi is the best in the whole world. Many a times, I have had 10-13 cups of her kaapi (on a single day)!!! Even now, that is one thing that I always ask her to make for me when I go there...

      Looking forward to your visit to Illam again.. (hopefully, I will also be there)

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  8. Very nice Nisha..........nostalgic memories did come back rushing for me too.....

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    1. thanks Priya... I am reminded of how we used to run in the rain to pick mangoes @ Chandini and how ammayi let us have loads of fun!!! those were wonderful days...

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  9. Nisha, you narrate very attractively. But from my own experience, let me disclose that stolen mangoes tastes great. ha ha ha

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    1. Thank you Ajith! yeah, many people have told me that :-) and I am sure that the thrill in getting those mangoes is equally sweet!

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  10. Beautiful post and the title is so appropriate. The magical places like the one you described is now slowly becoming extinct. Reading your post brought back nostalgic memories for me too. I still remember my grandpa taking me around our house and introducing me to the various flora. How he would tell me which bird makes which sound. The grounds would be strwen with squirrel eaten mangoes,which irked my grandma to no end.I better stop here,other wise I might write a blog on ur comment section.
    Anyway, thank you for bringing back fond memories and good luck for the contest :)

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    1. Zach! Welcome to Random Thoughts! Delighted to have you here...

      Thanks for the good words.. I agree with you that such wonderful moments are becoming lesser these days. Those were really wonderful days! Glad to know that you had your share of fun..I can understand your grandma's irritation very well..

      Thanks for the wishes! I feel already a winner with such nice comments coming in! :-)

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  11. Very nice... Nostalgia! the word itself brings tears :'(

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    1. Thank you Ankit! Glad that you liked it... sometimes we never know how much we miss everything until Nostalgia hits!!!

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  12. Oh Nisha, I miss my childhood. Those lovely days at the village side. These days, life has turned so busy and things are moving at such pace that we hardly get time to sit back relaxed in the soothing trance of the nature's beauty. May be I should do it soon.

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    1. Yes Leo, One should take some time to pause and enjoy the nature. There is nothing more rejuvenating than some quiet time spent with nature for company... Hope you'll be able to find some time from your bust schedule to do that! Enjoy!

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  13. This really brought back memories of those days when we used to spend the two month summer vacation afternoons wandering across the thodi (I could not find a better word), huddling with our baskets to collect the fallen vellarimangakal, enacting small dramas under the banyan tree, and rushing to the pond after 5 pm and spending 2 hours in the water. Missing those days.
    All the best for the contest.

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    1. Yes, Summer Vacation was the lifeline... time spent with cousins under the mango trees, splashing in the pool, living life to the fullest... all are sweet memories of growing up! Sadly, the younger generation dont know any of these pleasures...

      And thank you for the wishes! The contest is closed now.. Waiting for the result!

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  14. nice narration of old days.
    There is madhavikutty style in your
    presentation. reminded me of
    "neermathalam pootha kaalam "
    very observant and detailed description
    with an effortless flow of words.
    kudos

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    1. Raghu!
      Thanks a lot! That is indeed a big compliment - to be compared to Madhavikutty is the ultimate compliment that one can ever get! I feel so honoured!!!
      Thanks,
      Nisha

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  15. very observant with minute description.
    with effortless flow. a madhavikutty touch
    in it. reminded me of "neermaathalam pootha kaalam"
    kudos

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