I am doing many things and trying to do many other sundry things, Life at its autumn years feels to finish so many important things , which seems trivial things for others, but for me these are so important because these things I could not find time in my Spring time. And they lay deep in my sublime ringing day and night. I am counting my years, wondering when I would get a call to leave for the Heavenly Abode, to hear the trumpet , and see the lover of my soul in a given second.
Yes I have been busy still stuck up with books and papers, Spiritual as well as Secular engrossed deeply in meditation filling the appetite of brain and soul. Robert Frost in his beautiful poem laments, ..”The woods are lovely,dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep”
Even my life look like dark and deep woods, yet lovely.”
How I wish I could go far far away to the beauty of Nature to devour it, to contemplate in it, to enjoy it, to sit quietly to meditate, to express my thoughts on paper !! But this feeble body would not cooperate, I find unknown fears encompass me of the travelling which I used to cherish so much for all these previous years, even to meet a nearby friend it takes my toll, even to see my beloved kith and kin my feeble knees wobbles away, I feel the whole world outside is not trust worthy, unnatural, and fearful.
Oh what happened to those beautiful expeditions of my lonely wanderings to the back of my home into the mango woods, and beyond to the little pool where I used to sit alone and enjoy the sweet smells of little flowers blossomed unnoticed? where those little small red and black seeds Guru Ginjalu,( a type of seeds which were funnily compared to the people who all ways point out to the flaws of others forgetting the very dark flaws in their own life. the adage goes like this “As the Guriginja forgets its own black colour underneath it and shows pride in it thick red on the top of it. so also some people just smirk the blunders they committed, forget the darkest past life they led, but takes pride in their present glowing red of life, They are keen to point at the dark patches of life in the other’s lives. )
I was sitting there while the beautiful morning and evening sun rays fall on me, while pretending that I was reading a class text book , away and away from the sounds of the kitchen or the rumbling noises of the daily routine around. My whole being was in the nature, the little frogs jumping hither and thither, the tall grass swaying and dancing with smiles to see me, made me madly in love with the nature. My used to send my younger sister or the attendant in the hoe to spy on me, to check me what I was actually doing there. I used to laugh at them and shoo shoo them with some funny joke.
I had other expeditions to far away into the mango gardens along with my sweet close friend, Radha, she and me literally fulfilled the adage,” of one mind and one soul, like eating in one plate and sleeping in one bed,” Why we used to go forth and come back in the same bus from one terminus to another end, after we were exhausted with travelling we both used to sit under a mango tree again near by a big pool of water in front of us, while eating the coconut pieces which we used to take in a little steel box, What we were doing there? NO fear of fear, no worries of worries, no past haunting, no present bothering, no future threatening, Sweet teen aged, 18 years old, life looks like a beautiful colourful rainbow, expectations are many but no way to plan to make them come true, joys are many only to express in louder giggles for no cause, enjoying every minute seeing people puzzled over our sweet friendship, now and then the old Mali of the grove used to check on us, puzzling about our presence over there.
Her name is Radha, she was so loving and too faithful in our amity, she was so jealous of me if I spend a little more time with any other friend, any where. she and she alone should be my prime event day and light. We both did Telugu Literature and enjoyed every moment while we study the great classics of MahaBharatha,Bhagavata and Ramayana, we both used to lingering in dreamy literary world, personifying every character in the books we studied to some one we met either on the bus, or on the street, or in the cinema theater. There was none to escape our sight, we both used to get the same thoughts and same funny ideas to giggle loudly making people to puzzle over Those were the most innocent days, harmless days, beautiful days, where the girls were protected by every one, never can imagine any harm would happen to us even in such lonely tours into the mango deep woods. Adventure was our aim. No boys No other friends, only we both. We used to go to the sea shore where the long stretches of the fields were filled with survi plantation, Even heat of the summer or cold of the winter never bothered us. A holiday to college, or sometimes dumping the classes after the literary classes is all that matter, jumping into a bus and travelling to the far far places was giving us gooseberries all over., I do still remember how her name inspired me to write a poem on her resembling her to the ancient Epic heroin Radha, for the college magazine. Among the white stretches of sea shore, we stroll side by side, laughing, taking photos of each other, posing ourselves as some cine heroins photo in the magazines in front of us, .
Having a girl friend of one mind and one accord is wonderful, no demands, no obligations, in fact what were we talking whole day…I wonder, we used to go to Town Hall to study the literature, we used to exchange notes and do combined study, many a times, some times we both discuss a novel or a cinema and criticize the characters wondering why they have behaved in such and such manner.For every conversation there used to be a great roar of laughter. People never could understand why we both were laughing, The literature influence us both so much… and we enjoyed to study it of its every iota.
Actually I started this blog post here, today, to write any thing which comes in my mind, and which my fingers could type here. Suddenly Radha appeared at this early hours of the day, I still remember her face, visage, her small thin short figure. We were used to be called by friends by our nick names resembling some cine heroin, she was very particular to dress up as Telugu girl, whereas me used to dress up as Hindi heroins, she was named as Chandrakala, a Telugu heroin, me as Babitha Hindi heroin, both were having slender bodies, whereas me taller and more fashionable.
From 9:30 am to 7pm we both would not leave one another except for one hour, in college, she used to go to Music classes and me to Economics classes. In English hours I used to sit in front row, and in Telugu hours stick to each other to the core.
She used to wait for me in the evenings while I finish my N C C classes, sometimes I bunk those classes because she used to become impatient. ..
So sad, we both did not keep track with each other after my dad got transferred from Kakinada, to Vizag. I joined in Andhra University preferring Social work to Economics, she got married to a lecturer in Rajahmundry. Those were the days we did not have phones, (1973) The postal letters used to reach one another very lately.. I still remember what she wrote in one of the letters, she wrote about her husband’s name tallies to the Epic Hero ,Gopal,, she being Radha, she said it suits her very lovingly. she said in another letter she saved some money to buy pearls, her long unfulfilled wish.
By that time I was serious about my studies, travelling to Kakinada alone to attend her wedding was out of question in those days. I had new friends, like Pamela, Mangavalli, Nirupama, and Andal, Now Andal and me became thick friends like Radha and me. it was again lasted after an year, she got married and left for Gujarath. Later I never had such close friends again. Having one mind and one soul is very rare…. .I never loved any other friend as I loved the company of Radha and Andal….Now after I got job, and then got married, there is no place for friendship, ..
.Wish I could have one friend like those two once again to chit chat and talk any thing under the sky. After all, friendship is boon from God, only He can give such selfless, ever loving friends..Wish this could happen again in life once more in ,my lonely expeditions into the serene beautiful nature, and having a sweet friendship with a girl friend again.
after I accepted Jesus as my personal saviour and redeemer, my thoughts have been changed a lot, I started to see the world with new sight, even the small blue or pink grass flowers on the ground looked so pretty, and I used to praise God for His lovely creation.
Ocean has become my dream place, I used to go to the sea shore many times in my favourite saree with blue and white flowers, with white blouse and white earls hanging to my ears. The thick wavy hair was my plus point. I was enjoying the beach air while my saree was waving …. I used to write letters to Radha describing the scenery with all my art of writing in Telugu literature.
Now I do not remember whether she stopped writing or me stopped, but the connection between was cut off.We both used to get into Local diesel engine train at kakinada town railway station to go to Port station, there we used to have a long walk to reach the rivulet and climb into a sort of boat to cross it, to reach the road leads to college gate. In this long journey of ours we used to enjoy life to its utmost, joking, laughing, answering others curtly, nick naming etc etc. What a carefree life, what a wonderful youthful life without fearing any one, exploited by any one.
Her brother, and my dad tried to find what were we doing whole day, finding our innocent laughter and stories of novels, they could not rebuke us. because we both never took studies lightly, combined study and preparing for exams was never neglected. Telugu literature made us roam in dream land, of love and language.
Later when I visited IOWA where the snow was poured out in heaps on the roads, houses, and cars, and where my childhood dream of making snow balls was fulfilled, I was happy all together. I was sitting in my bed room and peeping out of the window , if I could see one mortal any where, only a little chipmunk used to run hither and thither, to tell me that there is still a sign of life over there. Hours together I used to sit in that room looking outside, dreaming, and writing all that comes in my mind, not knowing what to do. Life was much more lonely and darker in the room though the outside was shining white snow in the day time.
The curch was too far, the people were simple and smiling, but I did not see any human attachments, during my 4 months stay over there. Only one American friend , an engineer , made my life a little bit colourful. she adopted two Indian girls, one girl was left at the road side in poona, by her mother, who was later taken care by an orphanage over there. another girl had 6 fingers to her toes so the Indian family thought it was a curse for them and left her in the orphanage. So she and husband brought those girls from India and gave them wonderful american life, education. This engineer lady had breast cancer and she was operated and cured. It was 2006 she was warning me to get checkup mammogram, this I could do only recently in 2015…
One day she invited me to lunch, I expected great flavours and smells of tasty cooking from the kitchen, but , there was no trace of it. at 1;30 noon she said its time for lunch and got up and took some cheese, bread from the pantry and fridge and served on the plate along with some lettuce.. and strawberries. I was shocked, and came home completely hungry. American ladies do not spend time in the kitchen like us, everything was ready made, and they do not prepare for the family. Each one is having freedom to eat whatever available in the fridge or pantry.
They were planning to have a Thanks giving prayer for the arrival of Jessica. me and her husband went to a conference hall to decorate, he even does not know how to fill the balloons with air, we found some instrument to fill the air and some how decorated it. There our family served Indian food , at last, like biryani and chicken curry etc. They suddenly asked me to speak a few words, about the celebration. I did not take my Telugu Bible, where I could identify my known verses for the occasion. so I just opened the Bible asking God to give me an appropriate verse for to speak..The Bible opened at “The grand children are like crown to the grand parents.”Proverbs 17:6
Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of the children”–This verse lifted my spirit from gloomy atmosphere, and I spoke a few minutes.
I was so scared about my daughter’s delivary time. she told me that she enrolled herself in Mercy Hospital, that they gave due date on 31st of March, the rule of the hospital was the mother would not be given a berth in the hospital until and unless she is on labour pains, till then she has to wait out side in the car.
They planned to visit the hospital on 31 after she got the pains. I was praying, and fearing that I can not bear to see my daughter crying with pains, what all that i prayed i don’t remember now, but I prayer for her. On 29th both of them went to the hospital to get a general check up and surprisingly the staff asked them to come and join on 29th night itself. Actually I was fearing, how to comfort her etc etc, but as it is the regular habit of american mother, she was ready with all the dresses, and swaddling clothes, in bags already. we three went to the hospital in the middle of the night. we feared we will be asked to wait outside, but they gave permission to have a room and lie down. along with mt Tracy, the engineer friend also came so we both waited till they settled, james told me that I need not wait any more and I could go home with Tracy and come in the morning again. I had half dozen hand kerchiefs with me carefully folded in my hand bag, to wipe my eyes from tears if she cries.
so we both left for home , next morning Tracy came to pick me up and both went to the hospital, but nothing happened till then. Later she got some pains, but immediately she was given epidural injection to relieve pains of the labour. so whenever I went to check her up she was reading a book or looking at tv, so much relieved Tracy and me went to canteen as we both did not have breakfast till then. Church friends, Indian friends all came to assist my daughter, and they too were waiting in lounge along with me. Suddenly by 3 pm nurse came and told me that Jessica was born. In America, if the baby is a girl, all pink attire will be pooled out to use. If it is boy all in blue colour. There in American the parents are informed of the sex of the baby, to get prepared with ward robe, not like in India. The name of the baby also would be selected by the time the baby is born to be entered in Birth register.
Tracy was another very good friend in my lonely days in IOWA. she was so kind and compassionate, and friendly. Who loves Indian and the people from India.