All of us have to face the harsh realities of life atleast sometime. It was in my face a few days ago.
After attending Blogcamp at Chennai, I boarded the train back to Hyderabad. I happened to share the cabin with two other families. There were 3 minors aka half tickets along with their parents. I quickly ran & occupied the window seatso that I would while away my time on the train. But little did I know what was in store for me that evening, a rude awakening to reality if you would.
The 3 kids in question were -
1.Niharika - Age 6
2.Aman - Age 4
3.Nitin - Age 2
It was around 9 pm. We had just passed Nellore,it was pitch dark outside. The parents dozed off leaving these little devils awake on the berths. I was on the lower berth & was still sitting and gaping outside the window, with the wind in my face.
I was busy looking for Orion's belt, which happens to be my favourite constellation when I felt someone tugging my shirt. It was Aman, the little tyke had got out of his berth & climbed down. So being the immature brat that I can be, I started of a conversation with him.
We spoke of everything from "Why Tom could never catch Jerry" to "What we should when older kids bully us". It was an interesting chat I must say, I learnt a lot from the kid.
He got bored in a while and requested a story as if I was a jukebox or something. I guess these must have been tales that his mother told him to put him to sleep. I started off with my favourite,The Hare and The Tortoise. Problem was he did not know what a tortoise was.
This was when Niha Didi saved the day, saved the night rather. She explained to him that it was the creature that they had seen at the zoo some days earlier. I was inspired,I went on to add that these creatures are bigger versions of the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES. Thus I was now to entertain both the siblings.
An hour and 10 fairy tales later, the smallest of the group, Nitin awoke. He was on the opposite lower berth. He was all excited and waved his hand fervently as if to say,"Guys I want to join too". We were more than happy to oblige. We played a few rounds of Toss the milk bottle around.After he got bored of that game, we went onto the more mature game of "Where's the baby... there he is". Then after a while, Nitin's mom awoke and put him to sleep.
So I started off on another round of story telling, this time it was some story that I was making up as I went on. They seemed pretty perplexed. So I thought better of it & started quizzing the kids on life in Primary school. This is when I realised, I hadn't formally introduced myself. So I asked them if they knew my name. In unison they screamed " ADITYA UNCLE ".
They had probably heard my name when I was talking to their father. But aren't we missing the big picture here. I was called UNCLE for the first time in my life. It hit me hard, I was growing older. Crow wrinkles were appearing at the corner of my eyes every time i smiled. I was balding as if someone had been using a lawn mower on my scalp. But I somehow managed to convince the two kids that I was still in college & that I also wrote exams like them thus they should call me Anna.
Growing up means different things to different people, more responsibilities, more things to do in life, more wishes to fulfil etc. So Ladies and Gents, smell the beans, the coffee that is adulthood is around the corner. Grab it before it gets cold.