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Dipesh Majumdar

Blog and Paintings

Childhood Pond

January 25, 2013

Childhood PondI remember those days when I used to jump into the cold waters of the pond adjacent to our home in Liluah. Before going to school, we used to bathe in this pond - me and my brother and then we would get ready and go to school - Rising star in a rickshaw van. 

Sometimes they used to catch fish here in the Sundays...and then sell fresh fish to the residents of this place. The profit earned was in turn used to maintain the pond. Occasionally the pond would be cleansed by pumping out water. There used to be collective efforts to a healthy and cleaner surrounding... people used to take pride in that. 

We have migrated long back. We have migrated to more urban areas. Here we don’t have ponds. We have swimming pools. The water is maintained crystal clear - we pay a monthly maintenance fee for this and people come and clean them regularly. But the urge to jump into water and swim is no more there. In some occasional weekends the residents here flock around to swim and bathe. For most of the time though the artificial captivation of water stares into open blue sky, undisturbed and lonely. 

Now we have grown up... My visits to my native land have dwindled. But whenever I catch a glimpse of the pond I feel bad. The pond has remained there for such a long time... neglected and uncared for. It has gathered a lot of garbage - human waste, excreta, plastic bags, sewage leakage etc. It's water is rotten. It stinks. 

As I stood there in silent introspection - about the good old days of childhood, I heard a whisper. It was from the village pond that stood near me, still and silent... the whisper repeats once more, 'How are you friend? It's been long time. Where were you?' I am amazed at the ease with which it manages to transform its grimace into a smile.  A satisfaction. No complaints or regrets. No shame. No accusation. I feel helpless and meet its eyes. They twinkle and shine. Those eyes still have so much affection for me. My childhood pond welcomes me with open arms but I can't hug it - it's water is rotten. It doesn't react... it smiles and keeps looking at me.  

My village pond is a reality. A reminder to the ongoing journey of life. Things that we leave behind - animate and inanimate - relationships that grow old and start fading. Anger and feelings that dwell in old relationships - sometime get manifested in various forms - good and ugly, sweet and bitter, painful and soothing...but those that manifest out of love always come forward with open arms and warm hugs. And those that hurt you never loved you in the first place. 

So while my village pond gives me solace - I can't help but ponder in silence - What use is a relationship of - if it's not based on love? And love being unconditional frees you of all pangs of sorrow and distress. My village pond will always love me no matter what I am, what I do or where I go. I feel a silent tear-drop rolling down my left eye. I touch it to see if it's real. I can't hold myself back to the open arms any more. I give in. I plunge into the rotten water suddenly. Splash! The ripples travel outward and spread on the vast surface. 

The adjacent trees and the cloudy evening sky bend low to witness the union of two old pals. My tired body and heavy mind dip into its sweet nectar. I am refreshed in the lap of boundless love. My body shivers in cold but my soul basks in warm affection. No bad smell. Pure joy.

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A real magnum opus!!



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