Sign Up    /    Login

Growing Up

Growing Up

 Sunil was new to our colony. He was a few years senior to me and so naturally, I looked up to him for teaching me how to be a big boy. He wasn’t a kind one could take as an icon but he was all that was available to me. The bigger reason for getting closer to him, which could mean and unquestioned free access to his home at any time was, his sister. Yes, that was more pressing reason for me to seek his friendship. She had golden streak in her otherwise unkempt hair and now when I look back at the memories of those day, I think, she wasn’t much to look at, but when there are not many to choose from, one can’t be finicky.

I would like to get drunk on the thoughts of her beauty or whatever that was. She possessed all the powers to possess me. Uncontrolled like lava flowing from a volcano, all the dirty thoughts which often could be so dirty that feelings of sin would rise in me, needing me to say small prayers for absolution, would flow in my mind. Those thoughts were so powerful that there seemed to be a constant need of saying the prayers, such that I often feared that I may not become a saint, an avowed celibate, donning saffron robes, going from house to house, including that of Neelam, begging for alms.

It wouldn’t have served me any good to go to her door and beg love like “Ranjha” and I didn’t have the guts of kidnapping her like Raavan, so I let her thoughts torment me to the point of near total breakdown of the order Majnu suffered at the loss of Laila. She had green eyes and her school uniform too was predominantly green (She was in St. Thomas). There’s a saying in Hindi “Sawan ke andhe ko sab hara hara nazar ata hai”   (A man who has become blind in the month of Shravan (rainy season) sees green everywhere- This is the literal meaning of it) and the phrase actually means that a person who has seen good times cannot see the impending dangers. You see, I knew this phrase had something to do with dangerous thoughts I was nurturing of wooing her. I wasn’t blind in her love and had not seen any good times but the green that I was seeing was real. Although I confess that back then, I didn’t know that Green meant- “Go Ahead”. In those days there were no traffic signals in Simla because there were no vehicles on the roads.

She wore skirts to the school and I must admit, I was seeing more in those than my guilt conscience would permit me to. You might be seeing more of what I could imagine to be seeing then because, although I was impelled by the hormonal changes taking place inside me, I possessed the brain of a dud. It could picture nothing that I had not seen and I had not seen anything in all those twelve years of seeing, to aid it see things my heart ached to see being drawn by my mind on the mental canvas. All it drew there was a green stiff pleated skirt, not even swaying enough to toss ideas. So to ‘uplift’ my thoughts, I needed a knowledgeable friend.

I had never had had a friend older to me, who could tell me all the untold stories I so lovingly longed to hear and so Sunil came in my life like a boon. On my own, I wouldn’t have had the courage to approach a senior and given him a chance to sneer at my innocence.

We have reached a stage in the story telling, where dumping Sunil for learning more about Neelam would be as bad as ignoring Neelam to know more about Sunil’s adventures. I wanted to know more about girls from Sunil, while holding in my little heart a picture of his sister and being conscious of the fact that this not only amounted to treachery, it was sacrilegious.

An old bawdy rhyme Lister O lister … has crept in to my mind. I hope you have heard it. I tried to look for it on the Web, but I think nobody has yet wasted time on silly rhyming couplets that perhaps originated in some dirty minds of the school boys in Shimla but could never get carried beyond Boileau Ganj. It went like this

Lister O Lister, I kiss your sister, said John to Lister

John O Jhon I f $#** your wife, replied Lister.

But it doesn’t rhyme said John. Maybe it doesn’t said Lister but it is true.

You must have heard many depraved doggerels in those days, when there were not many ways available to us sinners, silly.

when every urge couldn’t be answered by wanking the willy.

So, then exchanging such jokes would become handy. While searching for it, I came across some other old forgotten limerick about the hermit named Dave who lived in the cave. Well, if you didn’t hear even that while growing up, the internet can answer your search and leaving you at that, let me return to my story.

Sunil told me great stories about the secrets I was dying to learn. His embellished narrative held me in awe then but looking back I wonder how big a liar he was. He could have been a great story teller had he honed his abilities but now it’s all left to me to tell you about the great knowledge I gained from him.

His stories were pretty long and engrossing and full of bullshit, but they needed to be lent a good ear, especially if the one who was eyeing his sister, for I wanted to win his friendship and focus was my objective. My ears were not useless then and neither was my pursuit. They would stand up on mere utterance of the words used for feminine gender and prohibited things, to cause similar motion in another part of the body which too has suffered the same fate as my ears now have.

I was growing up, like all boys do. I could feel it in my bones and in my funny bone too, often. That’s the beauty of the company of big guys-you can grow up rapidly. Big talk makes you feel big, really. His many or should I say all, stories revolved around the skirts. I learned many things about them from him including that they had pockets too like our shorts called knickers then, had. It was simply heavenly to imagine the benefits of pockets in the pants and their proximity to pleasure and that similar pleasure could be there for the asking for anyone who possessed them in the garment. He told me that there wasn’t much in the skirt that could be told to a child. That was a bold revelation from a knowledgeable big guy. It was like listening to the adventurous excursions of an explorer of North Pole that there was nothing but snow all around, but still people go there in search of something, that, maybe they don’t find elsewhere.

And then one day, he did the boldest thing, I could imagine a big guy of his age could do. He pulled out a pack of cigarettes from his pocket. I was stunned. Smoking was a vice greater than any sin known to me. My grandfather used to smoke but for my father it was the foulest of the habits one could have. But Sunil’s father smoked. I don’t know where from he got the prohibited stuff but he asked me if I would like to draw a few puffs and feel like a grown up man, instantly? I refused.

Actually, my courage left me. I could feel it escaping from the escape route, it inherently uses, when it leaves the body involuntarily to dissociate itself from the sin even as it is caged in as it is destined to use it as a vehicle for its penance, during its stay on this planet, but I couldn’t have left him in the middle of his dare and the absorbing story he was telling, so he puffed and he coughed and I walked along, tormented by the thought of being accomplice of a sinner. But the process of becoming big needs one to cross big hurdles and  meet big challenges, I hushed my complaining heart to silence. All the roads from the cluster of houses sitting like flower beds in the suburb where we lived, joined a common short stretch of road that led to the only market in the suburb. That is where Sunil had tried to show me his feat. The tape of prayers for absolving me of the sins had started running in a fast forward mode. I wanted him to get and be over with his blasted puffs as fast as he could but it’s rightly said that “God helps those, who help themselves”. My act was certainly contrary to this adage and I was sure to run in to trouble.

Far at a distance I saw something that was fast transforming from what I thought was my illusion in to a reality. Yes, I wasn’t seeing someone approaching us in a dream but in reality. I wouldn’t have liked to see then, but strange are the ways of God for teaching lessons to poor growing up boys. I saw our neighbour Mr. Tilak Raj walking towards us. All blood drained from wherever it had gone to, for causing excitement in me from Sunil’s actions and stories and my mouth became dry.

Sunil had perhaps seen Mr. Raj approach earlier than I had as he exhaled the smoke from his mouth and nostrils fast and smartly made a cup of his palm, tucked the cigarette in it and put them both in the pocket of his pant. It was natural for Mr. Tilak Raj to stop and talk to us for a while that seemed like an eternity to me. I was shaking like a live wire had been stuck up my Pajamas to where from the spirit at such times escapes from the encasements of its sinners.

The smoke of trouble can’t be suppressed easily we all know it and so was it then because, I saw from the corner of my eye, the blasted smoke was coming out of Sunil’s pocket. Mr. Raj didn’t ask the question which was so obvious, maybe because he himself was a merrier man who enjoyed many vices. He said bye and went towards the market. We started moving faster towards our homes. Sunil threw out the cigarette that had nearly run out of telling its story.

I swore to myself that I would never accompany Sunil to the Bazar. Mr. Raj didn’t speak of the incident to my mother, if he had noticed it, which I am sure he had. Sunil’s family lived in our neighbourhood for almost a year and I certainly grew up fast in that year because now I had the knowledge that all that captivating stuff in the skirts was actually nothing that could be spoken about to the little boys was a smart reply to silence an inquisitive kid and I could tell it to the other curious boy who could in future befriend me to learn what was so magnetic about them. I even knew what grown up boys did with stolen cigarettes when suddenly they came across the people who could report to their parents. I also had learnt that it was OK to dream about friendships with girls as it wasn’t a fornication nor a sin and that crime was the only act punishable by law. I could not muster courage to tell Neelam about what all I had learned from her brother, so I sinned in solitude and repented and prayed and sinned again. I had really grown up.

Note:- All pictures are from the internet and have been posted here for reference purposes only. I have no rights over them.

Share with:


0 0 votes
Article Rating

Navneet Bakshi

2 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ushasurya
Ushasurya
1 year ago

So…ultimately you came out unscathed!! Saved by the skin of your teeth!!

Random Posts

Placeholder Image 90

Thewriterfriends.com is an experiment to bring the creative people together on one platform. It is a free platform for creativity. While there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of platforms that provide space for expression around the world, the feeling of being a part of fraternity is often lacking. If you have a creative urge, then this is the right place for you. You are welcome here to be one of us.

Random Posts

A Black Dog

By Navneet Bakshi | August 10, 2021

A Black Dog, Mummy, Dinoo ko kale kutte ne kaat liya ‘Mummy, the black dog has bitten Dinoo’, I said. She drew me close and putting her hand on my head and showing great interest in the news that I delivered said, “Be careful of the dogs in these dog days.” What are dog days?…

Share with:


Read More

About NADAs and Izrar Bunds

By Navneet Bakshi | January 23, 2021

About NADAs and Izrar Bunds Why is it that thoughts on Nada just don’t stop coming to me? Is it a symptom of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder? Nah! You can’t call it that unless I keep tying and untying the Nada of my Pajamas repeatedly. Am I a “Nadaphile” then? Hahaha, or I am just a borderline…

Share with:


Read More

India President Signs, Approves Farm Bills… they become Law of Land

By Suresh Rao | September 28, 2020

BAR & BENCH Sep 27, 2020, 7:06 PM IST https://www.barandbench.com/ President of India signed the farm bill, Farmers Act comes into force. The three legislations regarding farm reforms passed by the Parliament has received the assent of the President. THE THREE LEGISLATIONS ARE 1) Farmers’ Produce Trade & Commerce (Promotion & Facilitation) Act, 2020 https://images.assettype.com/barandbench/2020-09/6e78bf15-b906-4750-92e5-63aac6f0988c/Farmers__Produce_Trade___Commerce__Promotion___Facilitation__Act__2020.pdf…

Share with:


Read More

First Monsoon Rain

By Navneet Bakshi | July 9, 2020

Picture from internet 100 Words Story Challenge First Monsoon Rain- By Navneet Bakshi “It’s about to rain”, Papa said. “Make me a boat Papa”, I said. “Make one for Daisey also”, I said. He smiled, I giggled as if caught with the emotions of my heart exposed. Daisey, Daisey, shouting, I ran out. We sat…

Share with:


Read More

GALWAN VALLEY ACTION OF 15 JUNE 2020 !

By Rajinder Singh | September 2, 2020

GALWAN VALLEY ACTION OF 15 JUNE 2020 ! Aksai Chin In the fog of war, a lot of misinformation flies. Ill-informed but self styled defence experts and politicians always push through home made theories . Some of these so called experts had perhaps never ever seen high altitude terrain in their entire life or service…

Share with:


Read More

Navratri Begins

By Suresh Rao | October 17, 2020

(pic) Download from Bangalore Press Calendar for 2020 First Day – Shailputri The first day is dedicated to the Goddess ‘Shailputri’, the daughter of the Himalayas. She is a form of Shakti, the companion of Lord Shiva. Shailaputri literally means the daughter (putri) of the mountains (shaila). Variously known as Sati Bhavani, Parvati or Hemavati,…

Share with:


Read More

Mysterious metal monolith pops up in Warsaw!

By Suresh Rao | December 11, 2020

  (photo) Mysterious metal monolith. Credit: AFP Photo, my source: DH Dec 10 2020, 21:13 ist updated: Dec 11 2020, 08:04 ist A mysterious metal monolith has popped up on a riverbank in the Polish capital Warsaw, the latest in a string of similar objects that have recently appeared in Europe. U.S. Joggers noticed the…

Share with:


Read More

Growth of India in future lies in 5G

By Suresh Rao | August 31, 2020

INDIA’S  FUTURE  ECONOMIC GROWTH  LIES IN IMPLEMENTATION OF 5G TECHNOLOGY FAST Why 5G? To put it in simple terms, mobile phones using 2G, 3G, 4G technologies bring mobility and connectivity to do voice, data, video transmissions for human to human communications faster and better from 2G to 4G migration in technology. The big difference with…

Share with:


Read More

By Govind Panta | September 26, 2020

Old age is a beautiful time of life. It is as pleasant as the evening is. Imagine strolling at the beach with a sun setting a yonder across the expanse of the ocean in the backdrop and a cool breeze sweeping ruffling your hair. A light music playing at a distance and a smell of…

Share with:


Read More

US Naval Guns to Indian War Warships to modernise… make them combat ready this year

By Suresh Rao | January 7, 2021

Military ties between Indian and American defence forces are growing further in the middle of a conflict with China, as the US Navy has agreed to provide three 127mm medium calibre guns from its own inventory to urgently equip warships of the Indian Navy as part of a Rs 3,800 crore deal. This is in…

Share with:


Read More