Many years have passed since all the big fun in my life has ended. But one can’t simply let go of such recklessness once harnessed. I was mostly mute outside my classrooms and with strangers. Those who have known me for the evil I really was, are my closest childhood friends. Class topper, every year in primary, so I always had this ‘good girl’ certificate also because I was silent and obedient around elders. I was sick to my throat because of my asthmatic condition that almost took my life but I wasn’t much bothered except for the endless nights, without any sleep, I had spent at the hospitals and at home, my father carrying me on his shoulders. My stupidity had known no boundaries those days.
Amma was quite strict that I don’t stay outside after School much because I was a fragile sick child. Mother had other responsibilities about grandparents hence, it was mostly me and two brothers in the house. It wasn't our own house, Dad’s official Quarters because he was a cop in the city station. Always busy and away with work was his status so basically it was my ruling at home. Amma had seen to it that I don’t mess with my younger ones; I was a cruel elder sister that’s how I personally recall those days. I had very little interest in my brothers since I was supposed to be their saviour whenever we were outside playing with other kids.
I can’t tell you about the girlfriends I had; they were mostly boring not my ’type’ really. I was very fond of guys’ kind of games, like playing Police and Thief and anything that involved some adventure. Apart from the regular boys-gangs I used to play with, there were two other wicked kids (almost of my younger brother’s age) who later turned out into my beloved crime partners. These guys were the kind of headache every parent would warn you to stay away from. I managed to befriend them both; I had it in me at such tender years, I must be 4 or 5 when I decided to be friends with them, to feel for trouble makers.
These two guys were extremely aggressive that they mostly had fights in a format that of a mortal combat or something, I don’t know, I think one of them was way out of ‘normal’ those days. Both of them had one thing in common they were big fans of Sherlock Holmes stories, one even had his mother working as a U.P class teacher so he was sort of a nerd too, but he was popular with the name ‘Mowgli’. This guy loved Jungle Book and would sing the theme song aloud all the time but people thought he had so many similarities with the character Mowgli even in appearance. Tell you the truth, I hated everyone who teased him with that name; he did even put up some real fights with many kids, I remember. He used to beat shit out of other kids, even my brothers had gotten into trouble with them both.
I have no idea why these kids treated me nicely and were ready to listen to me, so I was their guardian or the other way around I don’t know. Everyone was relieved that they listen to at least one of the kids, which was me. For me, they were fearless they would allow me to walk over the tallest of the walls and help me to climb over biggest of the trees. I was not supposed to do all these were a different story; I loved to mess around all the time.
Living close to the jail, we were always anxious to know what was going on, on the other side of the wall and what the convicts would look like in real, so we had spent a lot of time trying to break in to that part of the city station from where we could have a glimpse of the jail and also the huge animals (our imagination) they had been feeding there, later we saw, the two fierce dogs which became these guys’ friends, I only liked them from far!
The best part of my friendship with these two guys was the big Tree by the temple nearby. It was the tallest and biggest tree around, a Rain Tree which must be really very old. It covers a huge part of the upper portion of our buildings; it had its branches bent towards our terrace. We three had learned that we could actually climb over the tree from terrace but it was our secret. They had stolen some heavy ropes from their homes and we made knots to bring down the branches to the terrace floor and then 2 of us would sit over the branch while one controls it from the ground. We took turns to pull down the branch and then to suddenly get rid of the rope so that the others would be released with a force into the air. It was a dangerous game to play because such force could either break the branches or could simply toss us into the air and finally to the ground. We were insane; we never cared about the possibilities of any accidents that could happen. Every day, we used to get the rope, tie it and take it down while we left. This went on for months and months and one fine day one of their parents came to know about this; apparently somebody reported this to their parents I still don’t know if that was my own brothers because we had publicly declared it as our property when they found out and many were angry and jealous at the same time. Hmmm.
It was a horrible incident, my friend’s Dad rushed to the terrace one evening, just to see two of us over the tree and one standing down at the end of a rope. He was so furious, I never really had a good relationship with that person in general, and again he saw me with those boys. He started scolding us like anything and as the eldest and being the girl among them he blamed me for everything, he then threatened to go to my parents and complain, before leaving he had beaten hell out of his boy and the other as well in front of me. I was called home and my mother could not believe her daughter’s wickedness. I got more than enough from Amma and when Dad returned he also gave me just fine. My friendship with them had broken, I was asked to stay away from those guys thereafter, not only that our parents got into verbal fights and everything turned out to be an utter disaster.
When we finally grew up, thank god I was sent away to the hostels, one of them later joined me only to run away from that school while the other was shifted to new house. At the moment one is in Thailand who is so fond of me and my brothers are among his best friends and the other he got into Police Service just like his father. His mother often visits Amma and they’re good now.
Oh, I even had taught our ’Mowgli’ Bharathnatyam, when the only thing I knew about dance was Shobhana’s ‘Nagavalli’ dance! :D