God has keys to doors for you, in unexpected ways.

         Life, after all the complexities of varied forms of sojourn, is sometimes, exasperatingly stressful. When one is relieved of his or her responsibilities from any job, in public domain or from private enterprises; sent off with a warm or cursory “Thank You Note”, a lukewarm farewell Tea & biscuit; One may suddenly encounter either of the two situations – A painful sigh of relief that there’s No Burden on one’s Head; Or that the path ahead is …….blank.

        There are no more official chauffeur to usher one into the cushy car seat. There’s no one around, to call out to &  fix a flat car Tyre, when I need to rush up; Not to the swanky office suite, but to the fish & vegetable market & get our supplies; Lest I get a diet plan from my lady. There’s No more smart salute or the  sharp ‘Jai Hind’ Greetings at dawn & dusk. Only the very familiar mumbles in a feminine voice, repeated over 3 to 4 decades, may be heard. The children, mostly, have taken their flight tests. They have begun their own journey of life.

          If one is lucky, one can hear the cries of  a baby; Heralding the beginning of a new assignment in & of life – A Wonderful bundle of joy called – Grandchildren. A new Journey, another adventure to begin, holding the tiny hands & feet of the toddlers. To teach these gifts of God, how to sail along in life, beginning with those wobbly first steps to skipping with wild exuberance & freedom of childhood.

            God ensures, there is always another door, to take one away from the agony of retirement from jobs & work. But he doesn’t let you retire from life, till the calling comes. That’s the never ending  Ferris Wheel of Life’s Adventures. From gates of Kangla, the wheel began its upward swing, all the way through the cold deserts of Ladakh to Sub Saharan & Thar deserts, ready to begin again at the portals of my home, Imphal.

 

The Journey Begins

Its been forty nine years, since  I left sweet home, as a young lad, holding my father’s hand, on a journey, which I never knew would turn out to be such enriching, exciting and full of Life’s Lessons.

Till then, life was wonderful in the valley of Imphal. Days would begin with school; dotted with indulgence in childish pranks with friends; if not so lucky being in a strict school like the Ram Lal Paul High School, a school of repute those days & even now, I would be back home equally enthusiastic;

What waited was a super quick ‘Nungthil Chaklen’ (quick afternoon bite of rice….as noon snacks) & the freshly beaten ‘Nobab’ fruit (The pomeloCitrus grandis). This poor fruit, size of a small ball, had to be softened up, to be used as Football for the day. We, handful of boys of the leikai (neighborhood), would find it the most invigorating, exciting period of the day, when a three or four  katha size grassy ground of leikai,would be turned into the super league ground. We battled it out fiercely, as little cubs, till the Nobab cum football was done to pulp with the sturdy feet of us boys, in those 1 hour of blocks, tackle, swings, curls & kicks. Ronaldo, would’ve envied those days of our enthusiasm & play. The fading lights of approaching dusk, only could compel us to sound the bugle of sine die. We would limp back to home, with the top of foot aching with swellings & itching with scratches of the grass. Well, we would all retire, with dreams of another day and plans afoot as to from which tree to pluck the next ‘Pomelo’.