Oh! The Sweet Old Days
Delving into the past one gets a veritable storehouse of anecdotes, incidents bringing sweet memories while learning salutary lessons for life.
Introduction to the co passenger
“You are in the disgusting habit of harking back to the past once you write anything .You need to forget about the past and begin to live in the present ?” I was advised by my fellow passenger in the train. ”But everyone has the habit of going back to the past to bring back sweet memories and draw good lessons in the long run . Futher being older than you I even have far more memorable experiences.” I quipped.
I had struck an acquaintance with the middle aged man travelling like me to Asansol, a coal mining and industrial metropolis and one among the busiest centers in India. It was a four hour journey from Howrah by the train . Besides, since I was travelling alone I sought to strike up a friendship in right earnest with the passenger who was browsing through a newspaper. Looking closely at my laptop, he introduced himself as a chartered accountant who loved to read books and travel frequently. When he came to know that I was a writer, he said “Oh: I even have read your few essays. they’re good but………” .
One sided dialogue
He rattled off criticizing my delving into the past but I , however, couldn’t convince him why everyone looks back fondly on the events which are all past history. So rather than trying to waste my time on such a futile exercise I changed to a different topic asking “You have an honest job which is far in demand these days”. “my grandfather had different opinion on my career. He was a barrister. He had many properties and also donated tons . He had a fervent wish that I should take up his profession”. “So you’ve chosen your own career”. I chipped in.”That was another old story. My father was a really strict person and almost an autocrat. He wanted me to become a doctor since we’ve not many doctors in our close relations. You guess, what he did? When he had heard that I wont be not sitting for my medical entrance test he flew off the handle and wanted to oust me from his house.”. “So you want now to be very proud of your chosen line of activities” I attempted to console him. “ Then my grandmother appeared as my saviour. She was so nice a lady that when she heard the evil news she directly summoned my father and threatened to go on a fast for an indefinite period if my own choice wasn’t accepted.” “You seem to be very rigid in your stance. Does this stand you in good stead?” I sought to shift to another topic. “Oh, I have not yet told you about my mother. She was an ideal housewife and her grandfather had amassed huge properties within the town and country side. But the robbers decamped with most of the valuable ornaments and cash. Subsequently they faced litigation over the properties and thus became penurious.” I was getting bored stiff and in a bid to have a respite from his shameless prattle I opened my laptop and logged into my official site. “Your thoughts must now be beginning to drift back to the incidents which are better forgotten. You’ll now be busy jotting down some useless old tidings to write stories once you are back home”. He tried to draw me in his one sided conversation. He continued ignoring my urgent business ”My mother, a really intelligent lady, accepted my father as husband who was a businessman. How he could recover some properties of his in laws was another story”. it was an excessive amount of a mental torment which I started to convey by signs of indifference and eventually made a quick exit on the pretext of trying to seek out a betel roll vendor. When I returned to my seat ultimately he again began “Talk about betel leaf! I do know many stories I even have heard from my great grand parents.” I was on the verge of telling him “Don’t nag me. I have important jobs to do” when he received an urgent call from his office advising him to directly proceed to a another destination by change of route.
I ultimately got a respite from his continuous chatter recollecting old events. When he waved at me goodbye I thanked God telling him “Thank you for your company.That will make a good story next time.”