As I walked around the house that I used to call ‘Home’ a few years ago, something familiar caught my eyes…yes, there’s no error here – just that the ‘familiar’ seemed so unfamiliar now.
I slowly walked towards that red door…well, I remember it was red, but now, only a few patches of faded red were visible. In those few steps, my inner eye saw a time-warp of a few years of my past, when I had played around there, some little plastic-bat cricket, some hide-and-seek, and some small-level LARPs.
It was the area in front of the motor room – the constant baritone of the motor’s buzz, perfectly harmonized by the splashing water from the pipe outside kept echoing in my ears, only to be broken by the mild squeak of the rusty hinges of the door and I pushed it ajar.
Silently sleeping in the corner of the poorly lit room was a rust-pimpled blue tricycle. The metal seat would no longer provide the comfortable seating it used to. The pedals would not budge from their long-fixed positions without an extra force. The tricycle lay awkwardly perched between boxes of I-don’t-know-what-memories-they-contain.
I thought I will, with some carefully-strategised steps, reach out for the tricycle, carry it out and clean the rusts and probably sit on it for once at least. The stench of wet and untouched-for-ages rotting wood took over my olfactory senses. I missed my step a bit and landed my bare sole on cockroach-eggs strewn around the floor – not a very comfortable or pleasing feel.
The once-pleasant buzz of the motor now was growing uneasy on me. Battling all the disturbances in my head, and discomforts for my body, I reached out for the tricycle’s bar with the tip of my index, and the rust gave me a sharp scratch on my finger, not enough to draw blood, but enough to hurt enough to withdraw my hand.
Not very pleased with the outcome of my attempt, I retreated to the threshold. The stench began to fade, the tricycle was not that visible and my feet were safe on cement floors, and the door-hinges still emitted that squeak.
I took a breath of some fresh air, latched that red door and moved a good distance from there. The motor sound was heavily muffled, overpowered by the sound of the splashing waters. Everything was in stark contrast to what things were moments before – bright, fresh and comfortable.
But again, somwhere deep in the only-accessible-to-me corner of my heart, there lay a tinge of regret that I could not get what I wanted.
This is exactly what happens when I try to recollect my childhood. The memories are evergreen-yet-rusted, so near, yet so far from reach. The path I tread to access them is not so pleasant. I find myself deafened by the disturbances around, and sometimes it hurts…seriously hurts!
However, all that I can do is, as practical people call it, ‘snap back to reality’ and bask in the pleasure that I have such memories to treasure, knowing that trying to regret over not being able to live them again will only increase the hurt and inconveniences.
So what!?!? I might never get to ride on those three wheels again, but I can drive on a snazzy 4 wheels and ride on a macho 2 wheels! But I will continue to miss that old rusted tricycle!!