{Of all lies, art is the least untrue - Flaubert}



Thursday, May 25, 2006

Happiness

Hari was 6 years old. With his twin sister, Harini, he has created a world of his own with his mother at its epicenter. Mother used to sing, she used to dance and she used to make the kids laugh, sometimes loud and the other times just a sumptuous smile that fills the small heart of a child with happiness and forces the teeth out. She used to tell the funny stories how she was refused the vocal classes when the teacher heard her sing 'Mera Saaya Saath hoga' in raag Anandi and how she never wanted to learn any other instrument except tabla where she can beat her life off, thump her palms on it. After her marriage, twins came, and her dowry tabla was beaten by them till they broke it. Hari used to play, his sister used to dance, imitating her mother, although she can never smile that way and hence Hari was never satisfied my her performance and as a return gift, she was never with his. Mother managed to teach them 'Teen taal' and 'Kaherwa' or they just picked it up by listening. They laughed when she laughed, later they wept along with her, everything about her was infectious. She never kissed Hari, if he ate onions at dinners, those slices that are dipped in salt and lemon, he liked those but kiss was precious, he was lucky to realize it so soon in his life. She danced in some vague kathak form, some steps which she had picked up from her elder sister, the more beautiful one, the more admired one, she showed a respectable sibling vanity towards her. Her Kathak was funny but the children never used to laugh on her dance, or on her songs, the fact that she is laughing makes them laugh, the fact that she is happy, made them so, the sphere of influence of happiness. A child's power to be happy when he sees happiness. The stupid child's mentality of being happy just because someone is. That someone was their mother. Later she stopped smiling and moved more towards god and his glory, daily chores, children's education and their career and the usual social stuff, children moved to maths and physics books, now the stories are not told but read from story books. The smiles were occasional, the talkings were more rational, any laugh has to be accounted for, why are you laughing .., should there be always a logic to life is repeatedly asked by them, but as kids they were never able to frame the full question and never been confident enough to ask it out. She seemed to be at peace inside but happiness doesn't show outside, a disconnect that a child can see and be sad about. Hari started to eat onions at dinners.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey dude...back with a good post. You have described a child's "innocence" aptly. But sometimes I wonder, is it the innocence or a lack of conscience ??

-- Rushikesh

Indrajith said...

Hari or Anurag?

anurag said...

Rushi, I too wonder the same but I think I would like to call it innocence even on the risk of romanticising childhood.

Indrajith, Good Question :)

Alok said...

*scratching my head*
ummm, can you give a few lines background for these cryptic posts? :)

kundalini said...

anurag, i really like your writings. found myself coming here all the time, first through v's and now through my own. keep writing.

anurag said...

Kundalini, Thanks a lot for the nice words.

Thanks for adding me on your blogroll :)

anurag said...

Alok, I realised later that this post looks like a fragment, incomplete in itself. I will take care in future.