Recently I saw a few of my classmates in another course had some project work involving chart papers. The curious side of me wanted to see what they had done. The first person who showed me his chart was B. They had to draw pictures on the chart to depict their entire life till December’08. It was very interesting how he remembered the address of his first quarter, how he came last in a race but still stood first, his commitment to his GF, his first bike. I liked the idea a lot and so I moved on to see a few more. These folks had to also name their charts. S called it Different Strokes whereas 25 called it “Chitrajeet”(forgive me 25 if there should have been a hyphen between the two words)
This made me think what if I had also decided to spend Rs 500/class for this drama. What would I have drawn and named it? I couldn’t think of a name for this chart. So I moved on to think of the pictures that I would have made in the chart. There are things that I remember and there are things that I have been told about my childhood. The memory just forms Siamese twins of these two.
I would have first drawn how I got to get my name. When my mom was expecting me she was reading a novel where the lead protagonist was named Parna. That kind of took place in my mom’s heart and when I was born and my grandma named me Rituparna my mom was happy coz she thought my friends would shorten and in future I would be called Parna. It’s a different thing all together that no one in my entire life has ever called me that. But somehow I imagine my mom at 26 reading a big Bengali novel, and then I somehow picture her thinking about her still unborn daughter and calling her Parna. I consider it as my first bonding with her. Though I didn’t see it my imagination doesn’t stop me from picturing it.
Then I would have drawn a picture of a childhood photograph of mine. There’s a snap where I am probably a few months old and my dad is wearing a white kurta. He has lifted me high up and is flashing one of those rare smiles of his at me and I am still giving my toothy grin there without my teeth of course. I remember this snap out of all others cause that’s the only snap where I am in my dad’s arms and we both are oblivious to the picture being taken. I would rather say we were oblivious to the entire world. That snap has always made me feel secure. I feel that must have been the happiest moment in my life till date.
Next I would have drawn leaving the city of Burnpur and moving to
I then would have drawn a picture of a very common thing – My first school. The image would have been a big cream building with
The next picture is of me sitting in a bus and crying with my mom and dad beside me. D has a new life starting for him. He had moved to his hostel and we are returning back home. That was our first journey as three of us. It marked the end of our childhood. I somehow kept playing the song “Phoolon ka taaron ka” in my head I remember. And the last line “Saari umar hume sang rehna hai” would always bring tears to my eyes. And I don’t know why but it still does.
I would then draw a picture of my first scooty which I got in Std. XI. It marked the beginning of my approaching adulthood. It gave me a taste of what adulthood would really be like. I guess it gives you the freedom to go anywhere you want but it also comes with responsibility and accountability. And most importantly you loose out on the security that you had till then. But it also said that no matter how late you are and any wrong path you take somehow all roads always lead back home.
The next picture shows me sitting on a bed with my mom and we both are crying and my dad is standing near the window shedding silent tears. I am in Pune and this time the train would only take two people back home.
The next picture I would draw was that of my nainihal. The first place I came to after I was born. The place I called my home after the one where I lived with my parents. I had made better friends in this small place than I had made in Rourkela itself. The people who looked forward to see me once every year, who remembered everything about me in spite of being out of touch with them for an entire year. But most importantly it’s a place where I saw my grandfather retire, my grandmother crying over her mother’s death, I saw them jubilate their son’s wedding and the birth of their grandchildren. It’s a place where I saw my grandparents growing old so gracefully. The house which was not just perfect location wise (as my grandfather would so painstakingly explain it to anyone who questions it) but it was a perfect home too. As they finally moved out of the place and shifted to Kolkata it hurt. Change, people say is good, maybe this one was too. As they say when you grow older you learn to let go of things, things which don’t fit, things which are of no use to you anymore. But it hurts the most when you let go of something which was none of them. I guess I learnt to let go, maybe not gracefully but I did. I don’t wish to buy the house in future anymore coz I learnt, it’s not the houses which make it home it’s the people and their memories which do.
After this I would draw a picture of a girl and a boy sitting in Bamboo house with the guy trying to propose in a very matter-of-fact manner after having a glass of beer. When the girl gives her consent the guy gulps down some more beer and says, “So we officially start going around now.”
I would then draw a picture of A and I sitting in a bus stand on a dusty Sunday afternoon waiting for his bus which would take him away from Pune forever. We knew our lives would change from that moment onwards. We would now have two different lives. Our hopes, fearsand despair was written on our faces and all around us. A lot of things changed but we fortunately just grew up.
I would then draw the picture of the entrance to XIMB, No other picture can define this phase of my life better. It has so many emotions involved that it is very difficult to list them down. It not just gave me lessons of life but it also gave me friends for life. And of course how can XIMB be complete without my pseudo name given to me. The picture would have the word KAKI written in big. I guess it defines me as a person perfectly.
At the end of all this finally a name struck me for the chart – Images of Life. I guess it is perfect this way.