My favourite dress was a hand me down from my sister. It was sleeveless and had blue cars drawn on it. I could sit any way I wanted wearing it (not that I would have followed any propriety as a child) and there would be air coming in through all sides.
One of my many nannies was a young girl named Sonia. She was only one feet taller than me and wore her hair in a high pony that resembled a palm tree. She used to take me out to the lake in front of my house and we would throw stones into the water. Hers would always go farther than mine.
Kanta Singh owned a lot of bulls. His hut was a short walk from home. He was quite fond of me and would let me get on his bulls. They didn’t seem to mind either. Quite on the contrary, one of them (named Kalu) licked me across the face once.
I never liked Barbies much. The only thing they seemed to be fit for was to be chewed on. My first act of violence would be to cut their hair, then remove their clothes and head simultaneously. Then, I would spend a good half of my afternoons lying in bed, chewing their limbs till you could make out the fingers from the hand no more.
Dadan was my favourite white haired adult. He used to take me on his lap and feed me rice while my eyes remained stuck to the TV screen. It was Sunday and Tintin was chasing some bad guy across a little island.
Ma had to always run behind me to get my homework done. Being the defiant kid that I was, I had once shoved an eraser into my right ear so deep that the doctor had to jet spray my left ear.
I could never get the tables right. Why did five have to multiply with five at all? I didn’t see any use.
Baba would put me to sleep by running his hands through my hair. He would sing the same song every time. That was oddly comforting. Ma would come next and tell me the story of Tuntuni pakhi. Everyday.
Once I got hit on by a cricket ball because I had dared to play with the boys. Never again did I go near another.
Between the once and the now, many years have passed; years I don’t really remember. Some I choose to forget too. But today when I woke up and looked at myself in the mirror, I wondered when was the time I started taking my own decisions and deciding what to wear to school myself?
The answer left me feeling lost!