Saturday, June 07, 2008

The Treasures

The broken video game symbolized many things.

I was ten year old and had gone to Bombay on vacation. The Video game was being sold on a beautiful shop and it became irresistible. After desperate persuasions, blackmailing and many tears I succeeded in getting it bought.

Today I found it. It took me back to a different world. It was the world of a kid whose worries were limited and desires small. And his world began and ended with his family.

To utilise my time at home, I was trying to clean it and the buried treasures kept coming back to me; or rather taking me back along with them. They meant a lot then; today they mean much more.

I found a picture of my parents. They were young and happy, and smiling too. My mother had put make up and my father’s face was serene. For me they would have been the prettiest couple, better than those of any fairy tale.

Why don’t you two look same today!

I found a statue of Buddha. There used to be a Dussehra fate in our town. I haggled with the vendor and bought it for one fourth. For next month or so, it was a must drawing room topic. Jaiswal uncle praised me a lot, Shukla uncle teased me in his familiar manner and my mother kept reassuring me that I had done a good job.

The statue was in good shape…………. but the dust had set in. An effort had to be done to see it properly.

I found a broken transistor too. To me, it was always broken. My father kept teasing my mother that it was the only thing he got as dowry. Enjoying that banter gave me absolute pleasure and I kept changing sides.

I was never allowed to open it and inspect; and my parents always thought they will get it repaired. Perhaps they forgot one cannot go back in time!

Everything that kept coming back had inscribed on it, people and places, and events too. They were happy and sad, dark and bright but they all greeted me with warmth. I told them that I loved them too; and many a times in my dreams, or when I am awake too; I desperately pine for them.


Shailesh said...

Fond memories always remind us of the beautiful time that we had in the past.

"THE BANGLES" though seem to have lost from your "treasure.!!!!"

JULIE said...

Rudyard Kipling wrote :"Smells are surer than sights or sounds, to make your heart strings crack". Smell that Buddha and that broken transistor, it will bring back more strong memories. It works for me. Always.
Keep writing. I like to read them.

Saagar said...

Reminds me of my childhood memories ...

peter said...

Sir, may I have the audacity to ask for a favor? I would like to read more about the life of civil services officers through their blogs if possible. However, the links from your website they all seem to be ending in a 'cyclical recommendations'. May I ask if you can list the blogs by civil services officers botht the young ones and the older ones. Kindly forgive me, if my demands are objectionable. Thanks and regards.

peter said...

Reading your blog always gives us a shivering feeling, almost the same as we would get when we read the autobiographies of great people, the feeling compounded by both 'surprise tinged with happiness' and 'our own inabilities to be the same' and yet a disbelief resonating with and arguing against the reasonings of the author as if to portray that we are not very different from these great people. You form the steel frame, you are the all-powerful saheb of us. My father and many people like him have felt the ultimate tense moments standing in front of you waiting for one word of yours upon which he wold return home with reliving face or anxieties ultimately all being shared by us, the rest of family members. Sir, personally, I could never become the civil services officers, infact could never gather the courage to try for these formidable exams, and least of which resulted in a continued 'awe' in mortals like us seeing you writing your memoirs and your stories. Do you know that we feel quite unpleasant when we find you constrained by some rules or bureaucracy in unleashing your potential or we find you being chained by the media or worse blackmailed by them, and we have the ultimate belief somehow you would win. May I once again remind you of the immense responsibilities that lie on your shoulders for you are the one on whose feet we are going to put our heads and your one word would determine if they remain with pride or they are bowed by the bureaucratic loads. Thanks.

Anurag Srivastava said...

@shailesh: Perhap the bangles were destroyed the moment they were returned :)

@julie: Very true. Many memories are associated with smells. I have tried to smell a winter morning, the misty rains or old greeting cards. And thanks for reading the blogs, it motivates me to write them :)

@saagar: Then I hope the blog achieved its aim :)

@peter: I do not know if I can help you. The truth is I have linked all civil servant who blog and I know it. Very few civil servants blog. You may go on 'The other side', he has linked more blogs than me. But hardly anyone writes his/her professional experiences.

You second comment is probably for Anurag, IAS. Anurag, the blogger may not be very different from anyone else.

Thanks for undertanding the pressures on us and I shall try my best to live upto the expectations :)

Prabha said...

>>I found a picture of my parents. They were young and happy, and smiling too.

Aren't they happy anymore Anurag? Aren't they smiling now anymore? you know what, when I went home recently after a long gap, my parents looked old at first glance. After a while, I felt my mom is as beautiful as ever and my dad, the most handsome man on earth.(I remember, when I was a small girl, he was the first and only handsome man I great hero and my guide)

>>My father kept teasing my mother that it was the only thing he got as dowry.

I too remember similar instances. To that, my mom used to reply, 'you had nothing when I married you and you have everything now. So all the credit goes to me.' :-) It used to be so much fun watching them teasing each other.

I remember...When I was a kid, I always wanted to wear uniform and go to school. I love uniforms! When I was in primary school, I used to look at the seniors and thought that I should also become big and popular in school. When I was in high school, I dreamt of going to college with all that style(i hate uniform by then) and spend lot of time with friends and have fun,esp after watching the song 'purani jeans aur guitar'. When I was in college, I wanted to work, earn money, become independent, strong and popular..blah...blah...blah. When I started working, you know what, I really felt like going back to childhood...a small girl in frock...always giggling ,with no worries...eating and playing in daddy's lap. :-) MAY BE THIS IS CALLED LIFE!

Cosmic Voices said...

"I found a picture of my parents. They were young and happy, and smiling too."

That must have surely been before your arrival into this world!!!

Karun Bir Singh Sandha said...


Just bumped on to your blog by chance when I was searching for publishers of YD Mishra (History) Book.

But to be frank, I liked your blogs. Although read all your blogs related to civil services The Tresures was really heart touching ..I also started thinking about my parents and various things which I did during my childhood days ... Kaafi maazedar kaam tha ...

Earlier when elder people used to compare older times with the new ones, the conclusion always ended up as ' Wohi time barhia tha ... Gali ke logon mai bada pyaar tha .... 1 Rs main 6 garvi doodh aata tha ... joint family etc etc' and I used to wonder ... Now the time has changed I am in my late 20's and among us we discuss older times ... like Chandrakanta, Ramayan, Kanche, Guli Danda, how we used to stand in front of scooter and cherish those moments and now again the conclusion comes older times were better today's children don't play games are spoilt for choice etc etc ... and yaa in those time buying even a kulfi was a big thing after all money had to be borrowed from Matashri :)

@ Cosmic Voices - I really liked your comment :)

shankar said...

Hey,was going through your blogs. You write very well. Shankar