This article belongs to Sweet Grace column.
I am sure you too would have harboured some desires in your heart some time or the other but felt helpless to execute them.
Take me for instance: I had itched to chop off the pony tail of a girl who sat next to me from Std II to Std IV because I had an urge to see what her head would like minus that pony tail. But Alas! I couldn't do it for the fear of getting thrashed by the class master.
New secret desires developed as I grew up and entered into higher classes. Our Drill master was a terror. You made one comment this way or that way, he made you run round the football ground three times. It was my craze to make him measure the perimeter of the same football ground with just one single foot ruler, half broken. But no. It never materialized. Whereas, every time he succeeded in ordering me round the football or hockey field.
Before the corporal punishment was abolished in schools around 1935 A.D, our school headmaster was a ruffian to the core. Our class teachers would send us to him either for not submitting the homework on time or for being absent more than one day. The HM showed no pity whatever; he asked you to stretch your hand and he whacked your palm with his huge stick mercilessly. Often I felt like grabbing the same stick and strike him at his hindquarters left right and centre. But I hadn't the verve to do it. Next, the Headmaster was too hefty a man.
During college days, I had joined the NCC (National cadet corps))to see what a disciplined life felt like. The first thing they taught us was how to obey the words of command during Drill after giving a small demonstration. The NCO was so strict with us that he insisted upon drilling us in the mid-day Sun, heartlessly and watched by a Major . I used to wonder if these Army chaps had ever experienced the existence of what is called a ‘soft heart'. They didn't care if we gasped or breathed through the mouth. It was then that I developed a fad to get hold of all NCOs and officers up to the rank of
Whenever I visited a circus I came back with the feeling that you are almost a feather and you can throw yourself up and down or even fly safely from point A to D.
"If the circus fellows could do it, why can't I?" And I ventured to climb a pole and dived down some 8 feet. I was in the hospital for two months with a broken ankle. I had the consolation however that at last I was able to perform a circus act. I was hurt, so
I had one more yearning. - to try my throat at singing film songs. When some of my classmates sang, they sounded melodious. They were ordinary persons without any training on music. Surely, my throat couldn't be all that far behind. So, one day, I chose a lonely road behind my house and let the flute in my throat at full throttle. I liked the sound waves of my own music; it was great, I thought. A man who was walking behind me speeded up next to me, tapped my shoulder and said, " Sonny boy, I was under the impression that only donkeys brayed but you … you ……. He didn't finish his sentence.
"Was it that bad, uncle?" I had the cheek to ask. He turned round and walked off without a word. From that time onwards, I had told myself strictly not to put my singing throat to any kind of audition test.
If you also have some fancy desires, don't put any restriction on yourself; go ahead and do it. At best, you will be abused or pulled up or perhaps bashed up by someone. So what? You had done what you wanted to. That's all that matters.
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Israel Jayakaran [Sweet grace]