The Future Beckons

It was a lovely Saturday evening in Pondy. Mum and her friends were walking down a 'Salai' that I can't remember the name of. I'm not sure if they were shopping or were going some place. I was tagging along, a six, probably seven year old. We stopped at a crossing, waiting for the light to turn green for us pedestrians. There was a little jostle for space at that corner and I suddenly found myself standing right behind one of mom's friends whose braid fell way beyond her waist. In fact, I reached only up to her bum and the curling end of the braid was right at my face.

I stood there captivated. The way the locks of hair seemed to slide into each other, without tangling, was nothing less than a ballet of the tresses for me. At that moment, I felt such a pang of anxiety as I had felt only a few days ago.

I wasn't allowed tea or coffee as a child. But sometimes, mom would let me have a sip of what she was drinking (always non-alchoholic! Mom's a teetotaler!). So, on this particular day, mom asked me if I wanted 'garbled sound' to drink - I said yes. The drink - warmed to my liking, arrived. I took a sip a another and another and another and was overcome with a heavy heart. A feeling that I could relate to an incident that had happened only a few days ago.

I loved Sundays more than any other day. Of course, no school, no piano practice - no Sister Judith. It meant a visit to the bakers after Sunday mass and a non-vegetarian meal. Being the coastal girl that I am, fish and prawns are and have always been my all time favorites, but the family preferred meat, so it was usually chicken or mutton. So, on this particular day, lunch was quite delicious. Though, after my meal, in that state of utter obliviousness to reality - when you're almost asleep, but not quite, I had a thought that distressed my still growing brain - what if I am never able to tell the difference between a chicken dish and a mutton dish?

Which brings me back to the lukewarm drink. I couldn't tell if it was coffee or tea - it was just a brown, sweet liquid. How was I to grow up and offer people coffee or tea and then make it?

Which brings me back to the braid. How will I survive this world without knowing how to braid my hair.

Looking back, I can see that I worried a lot about my future! What a trying time it is to grow up, huh? But, as I look at myself now, I am filled with gratitude for the knowledge and friendship of God. The future beckons, but doesn't scare anymore! 


S. Susan Deborah said...

This was so sweet, Anne. What can surpass through a child's head, only god can tell. So many thoughts and fears - all made up by the mind. I guess in every stage of one's life, there are different kinds of fears to make peace with. Fears, in a way make us fully aware of the different things in life and also gives us memories as the fears are overcome.

Loved this one.

Joy always,

mkris said...

A different take on a child's mind... I truly now wonder If I used to worry about future or bask in the beauty of the unknown! :)

Vadapoche said...

Quite a walk about, but good one there Ash!!!

Ganesh Puttu said...

Madam....you eat a lot of fish? Reason i ask is because you remember things which happened when you were 6 yrs old and all...long long ago, so long ago, you drank coffee or tea'a? and all...i dont even remember on sunday morning...what i drank on sat evening...so jealous and also hi-5 to your memory plus...

!! Oxymoron !! said...

@Susan: Thank you, Susan! Appreciate your comment :) We always think of children as transparent. But, I think that is a misconception.

@mkris: There was a lot of basking too ;)

@Clement: lol! Guilty as charged!

@Ganesh: Ya, I'm a very big fish piriyar! Even my mom is surprised when I ask her questions about something that happened when I was like three or four that she can barely remember herself!

'Stung by the splendor of a sudden thought!' said...

I still maintain it is all a product of an overactive imagination!! :P

!! Oxymoron !! said...


Hahahaha! You know me well, girl!

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