Good old bicycle rides.
Day 4 February 1971,aftermath of an internal violence [Not the ethnic War but something similar,against the government and Che guevera activists]. Amidst an island wide curfew things were not so normal at my Mother’s ancestral house in Colombo.Seconds turned to minutes and minutes to hours of growing anticipation and accelerating heartbeat on each and everyone at home.Some with Fingers crossed and some counting prayer beads.Awaiting the arrival of the first ever Grandchild of the family.
As the whole country was in total chaos,The coinciding Independance day celebrations too was in total darkness.No one could attempt to go outside since emergency law was implemented. Luckily my father’s friend, a gynecologist and his assistant were present at my Mother’s side.And after a few hours of labour I was born.Filling the entire house with festive vibes “Its a girl…its a girl proclaimed my Gran with tremendous joy and excitement chanting prayers of blessings and thanking God constantly Mom would say.
Few days after I was named.They named me as the ‘Possessor of light'(as per the definition of my full name states) taking note of all the significant events and also according to our community a Girl child is considered as Noor or the Light that illuminates the family.In other words a blessing to be precise.
We lived in my grand mothers house for nearly two years until my brother my only sibling was born. By then it was time for us to shift to our new house in Makola a small town in the outskirts of Colombo a faraway place for me at that time.
My father was attached to the Petroleum Refinery healthcare as a Pharmacist and this house was in it’s close locality.Now I realize that it takes only thirty minutes drive to Colombo. Our mode of transport was public and the only vehicle we had was my father’s bicycle. Life was way too different at that time. My father used to drop and pick me from school everyday. And I would get ten cents from Dad to buy two caramel toffees for brother and me.For I knew that was something my Brother adored most and would be waiting for.I still could recollect those bicycle rides with Dad, where he would keep me on a pillow tied to the center bar. As I grew older I was transferred to the carriage behind and my brother would sit on the pillow.We’ve travelled a lot in the bicycle passing paddy fields, villages,farms and towns. It was never ending fun for us.
My mom would finish all the household chores and wait for us in the garden reading a magazine or a newspaper with the radio on,listening to evergreen hits.
We played a lot , ran a lot and of course walked a lot when compared with my children now. Had dinner by 6.45 and lights off by 7.30 p.m. At times there were occasional power cuts and this was the time we come out in the dark to catch fire flies into bottles.
Life took a different turn after a few years when my father decided to go to the Middle East in search of greener pastures.Again we were back with Grandma.Not in the same house though. In a separate house in the same ancestral compound .This time it was fun since all my cousins were old enough to play with me.
Days turned into years.And we were in our adolescence,it was then when Gran took her last breath peacefully in her sleep right next to my Mother.Having lived only for sixty five years,and half her age as a widow with a strong personality.Most of her time was spent with us since Dad was abroad and Mom was all alone with us.Her sudden demise caused me tremendous heartbreak time after time.We had to move on, From then on it was only mom, brother and me all the time.Dad would come to visit us once a year on a month’s stay and that’s it.Life went on and on but it was never a rollar coaster.We had enough time to accomplish all the day to day activities peacefully.But this was the time the Country was beginning to lose its Peace and harmony.Communal riots were taking place in some parts of the country.
Day by day as we grew older we were busy with school work,classes and exams. Limited play time but visiting the library and swimming lessons never failed,Life was full of fun with no TV , Computers, play stations or any other electronic gadgematics.Having cousins and friends around.Spending our leisure with them chatting or reading playing board games or listening to the radio was indeed heaven.Telephone was a luxury and the procedure was a long wait after applying this took a long time for us to obtain our first connection,till then and even after we had the habit of writing letters to Dad,friends and Pen friends.Visiting relatives,entertaining visitors hosting and attending family get togethers were given priority at that time sadly which is now considered a burden among the present generation.
And a decade passed.Life took a different turn when our first TV was brought in. Starting off with kids cartoons Followed by local and foreign programmes the onset of a new era was gradually setting in within us.With the invasion of the Television even our day to day lifestyle had a slight change though,limiting ourselves from going out and meeting friends to staying at home and watching TV.This made our people to gradually adopt to the Sedentary lifestyle.Increased number of hours watching TV was on the rise among adults,although we children were permitted only an hour of TV during Weekends.The usual play time was replaced with Cartoon shows.Life was changing drastically from then onwards.Dad brought all new Electronic appliance that was available each time he came on vacation, to make life easy for Mom.Kerosene stove was replaced by Electric stove,Mortar and pestle by Kitchen aid and our most devoted Dhobi was replaced by the Washing machine with time.
Gone were the days of childhood, yet after another decade,upon reaching adulthood my brother and I were old enough to think and take decision on our own.By now the ethnic violences had turned sore and part of the country was declared War.And the entire Nation had felt the pinch of Bomb blasts and Terror.
I chose my career as a Teacher and my brother chose Chartered Accountancy.
More to follow…..
Above was a part of a description from my childhood memories.I do hope to bring out more in time to come on my journey of blogging.Although I’ve been waiting to do an introduction about myself for quite a while now.
I don’t know how many of you would like it by the way!!
As I have stated in my bio,Although I write I am not the descriptive or elaborative type in writing articles or poetry.All I do is scribble something short and simple then and there in my own style on whatever comes up my mind.
This was indeed a task for me.Hope you’d enjoy going down my Memory lane.Loads of Thanks to all those wonderful Souls out there who take the time to read,like and comment on my posts.THANK YOU once again.
Much love until next time💖💖