While redesigning the interiors of our house,we decided to do away with all those old and not so old photo-frames along with the pics they contained from all our walls, shelves and tables.Thus giving the place a look more contemporary.Today after all the place for pictures is only on the Facebook or albums.
I seated myself in a comfortable corner with a steaming cup of tea…trying to admire the new look of the living room…searching still in the depths of my mind the reasons to pat myself for the job I just accomplished. After all a lot of efforts had gone into giving this fresh look to the living room…carefully stealing ideas from Google…putting in all the in trend hues and tones to the furniture and upholstery….Some thing deep inside me was constantly whispering something lacking still…
Watching my seven year old running here and there in a strange jolly mood…his unexpected sudden bouts of joy often confuse me…providing food for thought to my reasoning…How such little things fish out so much happiness out of NOTHING!
My thoughts went back to the days when I was his age…When a visit to the old ancestral house in the native village was a must for the passing year to be called complete.The home was like any ordinary peasant’s abode,nothing special to write pages about…Two big rooms to accommodate all the household stuff …from grains and beddings to the cotton and old agri tools and cycles….everything had a respectable place there…an open kitchen encirled with the frill of bricks and a more dignified adjoining closed one….But my thoughts seemed to be fixed,lingering around the most colorful room nicknamed baithak some few generations back.It was small square room with a palang and four chairs.Resting on the palang, my noons would float by…I had a strange obsession with the room.It’s not that the mattress there was any more fluffy or the fan gave out more cooler air than adjoining rooms.My small eyes used to remain busy with the walls of the baithak. Those walls contained pictures…all framed up nicely and hung next to each other in rows…Some were really ancient one’s….Those from black and white era while others were in monochrome…But a few were coloured as well…It seems my grand parents never kept any album at their place…The four walls of their baithak served that purpose…There were group photos of my father,uncles and aunts.Even some school pics of my grandfather where he looked my age…Some pics of the departed souls also found place there…Those I had never seen flesh and blood myself…I used to enquire about a few faces clicked at strange lands from my Biji,which she would candidly reply were the relatives living abroad may be Africa or England…Even she herself was not sure….perhaps they sent her those pics and she dutifully got them framed and honoured on the walls.
Standing on the palang and watching all the faces on the wall,one after another,carefully scrutinizing each was no less than going through the pages of a colourful magazine those days…I can today equate that…(But keeping that joy on a slightly higher pedestal)with scrolling of the news feed on Facebook these days…..Those were the living and communicating walls…full of life in a home housed by just two old people….The feeling of being alone in the room could never overtake me or them….. A beep on my cell,lying next to me on the carpet indicating some notification landed me back to the world…where mind was still hanging somewhere between the strange sudden joy attacks of the little one and my constant hunt for it’s reasonings…For now I could sense my inability to admire the corporate look of the room…Life was missing out of my living room may be…We can’t rationalise the role of small things here and there and the happiness they r capable of imparting to the souls residing in the body and some little joys are meant to be felt by small little beings leading pure non-designer lives.