In this life, nothing is more beautiful than seeing an uninhibited laugh on a child’s face. That infectious, unabashed laugh. Without concerns, without any embarrassments. Without any care of who is around them, or not. Is anybody observing them – hardly matters. Only a continuous stream of an uninterrupted laugh. Pure gold. Childhood days.
There is an innate sincerity in how we did things when we were young. How we approached things. How we got lost in that zigzag of lines that we drew on paper. For us, in those lines was our entire world, in those lines was whatever we ever wanted to be.
We drew. We sang. We danced.
We did everything we felt like doing, what our hearts called us to do. We made faces like monkeys, cuddled like pandas, snugged onto our beds like puppies. We did everything with a truthfulness that was as clear as the fresh-water of a running river.
And I miss that.
This holi, I was with my cousins. They’d come to our home to celebrate Holi, the Indian festival of colors. They are mostly pre-teens, some even younger. I, my brother and those cousins went out on the porch with colors, water balloons and water guns. Seeing us there, a few more children from our neighborhood joined us. And boy, we had an amazing three hours of fun.
The kids started playing holi, hurling colors at each other, throwing water balloons and shooting water guns. It was a bliss watching them enjoying every moment of their life.
I was mostly taking care of logistics. Refilling the water canons and supplying water balloons. Mixing colors with water. But such infectious was their spirits that I pitched in time and again, spraying colors on them, becoming the target of their water balloons, and in the process, becoming a child with them.
After all the celebration with colors and balloons was done, we packed up and went back, bathed and slipped into clean dry clothes. Then we all sat around the dining table, in the room filled with the aroma of home-cooked delicacies. And we laughed at the innocent remarks of those little high spirited kids who were still under the affect of the colors of holi.
And then I realized it is the moments like these, moments when we shed our clothes of maturity, and give up the rigidness that comes with age, living the life the way it is meant to -living each moment as if it was a lifetime, that we truly live our lives, find a meaning in it, find satisfaction that is a source of true happiness. A real bliss.
As I listened to them talking, I realized, that I may have washed myself clean, rinsed off the external colors of holi, but it will take sometime before the real colors of holi, that I got from being with these children, will rinse off of me. And I resolved to strive to embrace this child in me more in the future, in stead of running away from it.
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Hi, if you liked the work above then give a read to this short story – Noises of the night, about childhood dreams of a boy amidst a broken family and his budding love for a girl in his class as he weave dreams of a future with her.