All About Me And Life Through Rose-Coloured Specs
I never knew I had them on – they were always so much a part of me. I suppose they’re a part of my gene inheritance. And I always thought others had a pair on too but I learnt that wasn’t so and I began to realize that some are born lucky and I was one of them. Ever since that self realization dawned, I’ve tried not to take life for granted but be thankful for all I have.
Most of our childhood holidays were spent with our grandparents, Christmas in our family home in Kerala and every other holiday up in the tea estates where my grandfather worked. We were four and when my cousins came along too there were eight of us – left loose on the hills, sometimes with packed sandwiches and we were cops, robbers, pirates, knights, whatever we wanted to be. The hills were alive – with elephants, panthers, snakes, centipedes – Heaven really did lie about us in our infancy. We collected more wild raspberries and strawberries than the cook knew what to do with and we came back with more – leeches. Huge fat ones that grew huger as they fed on you. They clung to every part of you and only salt could shake them off. We counted as they fell off – the winner was the one who’d managed to collect the most. ‘Mum, not fair – he has more than me!’
Those rose-coloured specs got me sailing through school and college – along the way, there were friends made, books read and digested and pondered over, sometimes argued over. Wonderful happy days that culminated in a great opening in advertising and a career I wouldn’t have missed for the world. Working with and interacting with some of the best minds all over the world just pushes you beyond what you think you’re capable of and it kept me on a perpetual high at work.
Gilbert O'Sullivan - an unsung musical genius
The vibrant power of Queen - unmatched!
Work was punctuated with travel and I’m glad I did so much when I was younger. Someday, when my husband retires – maybe that should be ‘if’ – we mean to take a long, leisurely tour through Europe, drinking in the sights, poring over the art, watching the world go by as we laze with a drink in hand – but this time round, not roughing it!
Music has been a part of my life too – no, I’m not a music buff like my husband or my daughter – but I grew up loving the Beatles and two more names that made an impact on me back then were Gilbert O’Sullivan and Queen. When your world’s one pink haze, music in the background makes it complete.
Marriage? I got my first formal proposal when I was sixteen. Oh, no – not the down-on-one-knee kind of thing. This was purely an ‘arranged’ affair. My mother who hadn’t lived too long in India laughed. (She’s also known to giggle in the middle of a serious Sunday morning sermon but that’s her!) My father was aghast – he wanted us to study till we reached the level of our incompetence. ‘She’s just a child!’ I waited a long time before I did say Yes to marriage. Because I didn’t want what the others were settling for. Because I wanted more, much more. Because I wanted someone I couldn’t live without, not someone who I could tolerate living with. I was lucky because I got what I wanted – and a wonderful daughter followed. My cup runneth over. Especially with two dogs to add a bit of mischief to spice things up.
We moved some years ago (I still miss Bombay soooo much!) and there was one small cloud that marred those sunny days. The attic where we stored our stuff while the house was being extended got flooded and I lost a lot of my old photographs and almost all the bits of paper that contained all my writing through my growing up years. (You’ll see some of the watermarks on those pictures!) I miss some of the poetry – you never feel the same way to write the way you did back then. But the memories are all there – some things you just can’t erase. Like memories of a brother who died so suddenly. It was always the four of us – it’s still tough to say ‘Three’. My mother’s eyes never smiled for a long time. My father hid his pain. Today, the grandchildren have eased the loss somewhat. To lose one’s child must be the worst pain in the world.
Just when you think you’ve hung up your working boots, there opens the door to a great new world. My foray into cyberspace has meant three happy years. I’ve learned so much – and it’s been the young and sometimes the very young who’ve taught me. Strangers, sometimes with just usernames – and they are so free with their advice and suggestions. For some of them, I’m an Agony Aunt – they’re on my gmail chat and they know I’m always around to console them when they have girlfriend trouble. It’s the least I can do for all that I’ve got. Add to that a handful of really wonderful clients and you’ll see why I’m so grateful for the cards that Life has dealt me. And it was one of those clients who introduced me to HubPages…..
Those rose-coloured specs – I’m not taking them off, ever!