About 6 years ago when K was in school, he asked me to help out in writing an article for the school magazine. We discussed his idea; I made him write out what he wanted to say and then re-wrote it. Words might be mine, but the thought is his.
In a corner of the drawing room in our house, one can see faint pencil marks on the wall. It starts at about 2 or 3 feet from the floor; short dashes against which, if you look closely, you can see some dates. 15-7-1994, 15-7-1995, 15-07-1996, etc. It ends at 15-7-2002. Not that I have stopped growing up, but my mother would have somehow forgotten to do it anymore.
I look at my parents' wedding album. My father has black moustache and thick black hair and is trim. My mother looks very young. Both grin at the camera widely. But now after 15 years, they look so different from that old picture.
From sometime in January 2000 till 30-6-2004, my grandmother ( father's mother) was with us. She lay on a bed or sat propped up on a chair. She had Alzheimer's Disease and she couldn't walk because of a broken hip that never mended. She had forgotten everything. For hours she used to lie, staring blankly at the walls. Sometimes she would look at us and smile. Then one day she died;quietly.
In the family photo album, there are pictures taken when I was a little baby. There are so many photographs taken throughout all these years. I look at them and see how I am changing. I am in my teens now. I will be an adult in another few years ; I will get a job, marry and have children – and one day I too will be gone like my grandmother.
The toys I played with when I was a small boy is of no interest to me now. I hardly watch cartoons in the TV. Instead, I listen to music or play computer games. I guess I am growing up. As I realize that, I realize that I have growing responsibilities too. I realize that along with all the fun and joy, I also have to learn to bear pain and suffering.
There are many things I would like to do, many places I would like to see. I have to take one day at a time. But I have to look ahead too, so that I can plan my future. Whether things will turn out the way I want or not, I can always plan and think on what I am going to to do with my life. Because this is my life and I have to decide. I am sure my parents, my teachers and my friends would help me out, but the final decision has to be taken by me. It is very serious. It is very exciting also.
Like the lines of one of my father's favourite poems by Ernest Henley, ' I am the captain of my soul, I am the master of my fate'...
Balachandran V, Trivandrum, 05-07-2011