If I am to segregate my life into parts of 7 years the period reveal an interesting turn of events when I look back at it. Come September 2017, I turn 35. Which means there has been 5 phases and each episode have had enough and more twists and turns.
Honestly I can’t recollect what happened in phase I. The picture till age 7 is vague. There could have been lot of events, apparently what I can recollect are few moments while I was at preschool – an accident at the playground on the swings, the neighbor who used to pick up and drop in his Auto rickshaw, playing on terrace, riding Harry’s ( elder brother) bicycle, Anson (younger one) running round the house and trotting to the neighbor Anthapettan’s ( old way of calling an elderly Anthony) house. Uncles, Dad’s brother staying with us for his studies and hanging out with his friends and so on.
There are many things that pop up into my head during this period. Till 14. The same Anthapettan’s second daughter ran a after school tutoring place in their house. Lot of people used to send their children there to get their home works done, or if they are working in late. I was a part of it too. I don’t remember either of my brothers going there. When I look back at it, there was lot of scolding, shouting, repeat of words, punishments, impositions and loud reading. To mug-up was what she taught because that probably was the learning method she would have went through in her childhood. Anyway, I used to get grades in class and for few years my mother who came up with the idea of sending me there, seemed pleased with her.
What a child would go through in such a chaotic and disturbing chamber was not considered a topic to discuss 25 years ago. There was no child protection agency or child welfare society or other. It was all parents and children. I was the middle one among the 3 boys and I don’t usually create any ruckus or debate back on anything I was asked to do. Neither do I remember me being too demanding. I used to wake up to the alarm just because of fear of being scolded or punished. I was on the pathway out of her house on my knees with gravel as cushion. One way of punishment for an error. I don’t remember pain on the skin, but my heart was wounded and disturbed. There would be relatives and next to kin walking in to my home any time and they could probably see me in that state. The very thought tormented me, even now when I try to put myself into the state of that young boy. Me. Perhaps there are certain punishments that help a child be seasoned. Stronger. But not all.
The same women had a younger brother. The only boy for Anthapettan, and I am not sure what was his story, but quite certain of his perverted mind set when he forcefully wanted my hands on his mid section while trying to create an environment where in he is keenly listening to the answers against his query on what was taught at school. However, his horrid nature to me was very clear and I wouldn’t forget that. I used to skip his presence after that day and diligently made sure never to interact or any chance to be near him.
Dad was not around and I never knew what or how to talk to mom about it. I realize now that children needs to be talked to regardless of what they would say or how much they understand. My elder brother Harrison is about 5 years older to me and Anson the younger one, about 4 years. In my perspective it is a massive gap for children. I realize that now. Michelle my eldest child is about 4.5 years, Nathaniel is about 2 years 10 months and the youngest Abigael is about 15 months as of June 2017. Loy went through lot of struggle due to close pregnancy, I respective my woman. I love her. There was lot of struggle for her, but now we are happy and content. God has blessed us in his time and according to his plan. If there was a huge gap between children what if the same scenario of my life repeat?? Right now, I can see Michelle helping Nathan with clothing or sometimes helps feeding him. She loves to take care of Abigael. So there is a bond right from their childhood which will help us parents on bringing them up.
I had tried to forgive all my past in this episode, however at times some of them come back to poke me in the head. I don’t think it is completely forgotten, even though forgiven.
I was about 16 ~ 17 years old. Year 11. Dad resigns from his work in Dubai and decides to come back home in Kerala to settle down with us. Brilliant news. Because he never comes empty handed during vacations. What would it be if he is coming for the final round. And it was. Truck load of household goods, utensils, toys, clothing, shoes, study materials and his life savings till then. However, the excitement was all around materials. When I look back there was lot of things coming in. I never knew how. I didn’t know what was cost of anything. I couldn’t think of something of my own, but of things that has come to me. There are lot of damages that happen in our culture. Kerala especially. That period after higher secondary school till college involved lot of going out meeting new people a bit of understanding. Wanting to do lot of things. Achieve big. Live big and so on. What was life and how to live it, the boy in me didn’t know. I didn’t know my guide. I couldn’t recognized whom to look up to. How to grow. Whom to approach for anything. Is it healthy to do this or is that the better options. In that chaos, I started to choose what I thought was the best. Even if I didn’t know how to weigh something I consider it heavy if it looked heavy. That was, for lot of things in life and in lot of occasions. I was blind and couldn’t see me falling deeper and deeper into trouble. Challenge over challenge.
It is quite certain that regardless of what I was or what was going through. God was watching over me. He loved me. Even with all the disgusting things that was happening. Blunders that I made, perhaps every day for many years. He was watching over and making sure I was protected. I didn’t realize then. But I can see now.
Got a job at 21. Infact I celebrated my 22nd the same year about six months after signing for first MNC job. I was proud and made a statement of my achievement at any occasion, rather every occasion where I think I could project myself as impressive.