Saturday, April 05, 2008

CHILDHOOD - LOST & FOUND

Taare Zameen Par brings back many uncomfortable memories of his childhood. He wasn’t suffering from ADD (Attention Deficit Syndrome) or dyslexia, but was coaxed in a similar manner to stay at a boarding school. He was told by mother that he had been very naughty & had to go far away for disciplining. The actual reason to send him there was the paucity of good schools in his hometown. The young child did not understand that, nor did he know what the prospect of enrolling in a boarding school held for him. He assumed it bode ill and threw tantrums, begged, pleaded – any childish tactic that he’d learnt could tug at the heartstrings of an elder. It doesn’t always work - he learnt it the hard way. Within no time, items got ticked off the list of things to take along. The bags were on the verge of ripping at the seams, unable to contain the massive contents inside, much like the enormity of tears he was holding back. Dad stayed stern & stone faced through the ordeal. The child tried looking for some emotions on mother’s face, his last refuge, and was heartbroken to see none - none more than that of a silently weeping statue. He reasoned with dad, from when they left the tiny but comfortable home to the time they reached the huge, uninviting metal gates of the hostel, thousands of miles away, but to no avail. As he watched his parents leave him there & their vehicle dissolving into the distance, his world came crashing down. He withdrew into a shell for 8 long years, every moment of which took its toll on him, and his only refuge remained in his songs & his sketches…

The present: to the movie he’s watching, he realizes he’s not crying. Memories have cornered him & stifled his cry. His emotions soar high on the song “Maa”. He chokes and suddenly realizes - his feelings have gone beyond words……..


A visit to Kids r Us in Dhanbad brings with it some joyful moments. The splash of happy colors across the nursery hits him in the face & socks the early-morning haze off him. The kids look vibrant in their colorful sweaters, but their faces narrate a different story. They are dazed, sleepy, with runny noses. Some are utterly bewildered by this strange & different looking man. Some are weeping silently, some bellowing aloud. Their vacations having just got over, many are missing their parents, their cozy beds, their playthings. They’re at that early stage of life when no burden of grades, awards or expectations clouds their young minds, and their close ones are all that matter to them. He makes it a point to make them smile that morning. He sings, dances & recites rhymes for them. They follow in their own innocent manner and make everything more colorful. The chorus of little voices, some childishly innocent, some interrupted by sniffles ring out in the corridors. A one & a half year kid surprises him by singing tear-jerking songs replete with emotion. Soon, they’re all prancing around, dancing with gay abandon. Frowns start changing into smiles – some morbidly shy, some unabashedly broad. He struggles to capture the kinetic children on the little frame of his camera but finds an indelible picture of them embedded into his memory. He had come to add joy to the childrens’ morning. Instead, he finds himself going away with the gift of mirth, courtesy God’s little angels. His mouth curves into a smile…

“Dekho inhe ye hain, oas ki boondein

Patto ki goad me, aasmaan se koodein

Angdai le phir, karwat badalkar

Nazuk se moti, hans de fisalkar kar

Kho na jaye ye, Taare Zameen Par………”



10 comments:

  1. U make the reader FEEL for the character/s you write about!!. . teach me to write like you!! :)

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  2. Hi Meiyang,
    Great to see your new post. I keep checking regularly for your blog posts. But let me tell you whenever I am down, and I watch your II3 videos on youtube, and a select few other contestants from II3, it makes me relax. Somehow, even after so many months, II3 has its spell on me.
    Some of your songs are terrific, rutu aagayi re, chale chalo, etc. etc. But I have never again watched your elimination or your last performance on II3 on youtube.

    Hope you have all the luck with F4. What are your future plans for singing career ? what is F4 up to recently ?

    Any plans to come to the USA for a performance ? I think you should, one idea would be to talk to the Universities in the US, and visit them around Sep/oct/nov. All universities here have a desi club and around that time, they have a get diwali get together. So you should do a F4 tour or just you with Parleen and others on a "II3 Diwali USA tour" and do come to Chicago.
    Also, as you will soon know from my name (southie), though I speak good hindi, I hardly understand any urdu especially once it gets into shair, but great to see someone from our generation write poetry, so why don't you compile poetry and render it online in video on youtube it will be good.
    Meiyang, I totally love your voice and your personality, and most of all I am impressed your intellect that is evident when you write these blogs. I will have my blog soon, and if possible do write to me.
    Sudarshan

    Ps: check out india.purdue.org/
    and you can talk to the ISA for organizing your tour. They will also give your contacts in other universities.

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  3. Meiyang,I thought boarding schools would b fun.........except d togetherness of their parents.I really thought I should put my son in boarding school in India for studies.........Our only thought to give him a good studies with moral values for his wonderful future.But after I heard u, I don't stumble anymore,I surrender n withdrew...........thanx,luvya lots.U really do talk to us all thru ur words,sooooooo glad for tht.

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  4. you went to spread happiness there and u spread happiness by your writings too. keep up the good work.

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  5. It seems that you like children. It was realy relaxing to read. I have always been going through your blog and it makes me fresh and happy. Thank you for that and I request F4 to visit Nepal.

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  6. Hi Meiyang,

    Nostalgic.......

    Life is a series of one............no one knows when some strings in the sub conscious starts buzzing....its good to know that you can speak......still feel.......your emotions.........and write about pain.......

    some pain......can bring big realizations and that is perhaps the only gift we get in return........

    but there are many unscathed hearts, which when I see around............

    these words ring amidst all storms in my heart..........for them..........

    'Tu Dhoop hai chum se bikhar,
    tu hai nadi o bekhabar,
    beh chal kahin,
    ud chal kahin,
    dil khush jahan,
    teri to manzil hai wahin.'

    and perhaps thats when the subconscious gets some peace.

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  7. Well,
    there are some movies we feel connected to, directly or indirectly...
    And there were stale tears and similar experiences when I watched the movie.
    Agreed to the fact you expressed out and when I see them; I feel the same - kho na jaaye yeh taare zameen par!

    Love,
    niyati

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  8. Once upon a time there lived a girl. She was sent away from her family when she was still a young child. Even though she was told that it was for her own good she could not keep her tears from flowing. It became a routine and she forced herself to live with it as there was no going back. She learnt to keep all her emotions to herself and never complained about anything as she was afraid her parents will think that she is weak and they will be ashamed of her, she was determined to show them that she was brave and not in the least weak!. Timed passed by and little girl grew to become a young women, now her life is no more the same. She has a new family (it’s still a strange word for her!!) and new responsibilities no one remembers the tears the pain and the loneliness that she went through. Its all merry a new beginning of another ‘happily ever after’!.. Scratch the surface of the mask she is wearing, see for yourself –she is still the child she used to be, same emotions same longing… tears still flowing they never stop… she still goes weak every time she hears the song ‘ mei kabhi batlata nahi, parandhere se darta hoo mei ma!’… Every work in that song is the emotion she went through…. But was never able to put them in words…

    She wants another chance, another childhood… not the one that she had…

    For her it’s “ Childhood –Lost n Never found”!

    any guesses who the girl is?!

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  9. Hmmmm..that song did tug at many heart strings!I'm not gonna comment on your writing skills here.Cause that's not whats on my mind right now.There's something more important that I'm thinking about...and you know what that is..
    "He withdrew into a shell for 8 long years, every moment of which took its toll on him, and his only refuge remained in his songs & his sketches…"
    These words said it all!

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  10. Aahhh yes... that was one fantastic movie but I wonder... how my life would've been if I was put in a boarding school. Of course there were many threats that I would be sent to one but at the end of it all the decision would've been changed because the water works would start, promises of behaving and being a good girl would follow and then everything would be alright.

    But now I wonder if I would've been a better person if I was put in a boarding school. My dad always used to say that his life in a boarding school made him the man he was. And I completely agree! He was a great guy!

    I guess it's just a lucky few that get such a chance. You're one of them C... take care!

    - Farah

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