First Five years of my life we spent at Nurse’s Quarters at ‘Black Rock’ . It was a small town which had a huge black rock and a Huge naked man Stood on top of the hill for thousands of years. Every 12th year they held a massive festival and bathe him with milk . People would come from all over the place to see him and worship him. We went there every evening as we lived at the footstep of the rock. It was fun at Black rock, even better when either me or my sister had to go to the dentist. We would be dancing if the tooth is shaking and had to visit the dentist because Mom had made it a custom that every visit to the dentist must end up with a huge ice cream at the one and only ice cream parlour of Black rock.
I don’t remember much of Black rock other than the Tippu Sultans Fort , which we were strictly told to avoid going or even pass by because people thought the evil spirits of the soldiers who died there and the souls of Christians they slaughtered would throw sand on people passing bye . Friend of mine used to swear that his dad had seen hands coming out of the earth and throw sand which caused skin allergy. So we always took the longer path to the school .
I also remember the day when i was swept by a flash flood . I was coming back from school and there was a small canal we had to cross . Mom had crossed already , just as i was crossing the water flooded over the bridge and i was swept away and i was miraculously trapped inside the umbrella which got stuck near a wall, it was just matter of few seconds that i would fall in to the canal and be no more But that was not mean to be , i can still remember a farmer rushing towards me like a mighty warrior and holding my hands just before the umbrella would crumble and fall in to the gushing waters below…
I had a bicycle which i had inherited from my sister who had finally switched to a girly toy , which in fact is the only toy i ever had in my entire life , i roamed around the hospital where Ma worked in my bicycle , I was like a king on his Majestic horse , and one day it broke in to two . So did my world . I cried for days for a new cycle but there was something else happening ,Ma looked depressed all the time . and i had no idea that my world was going to change forever . I couldn’t understand why she would cry alone.
And soon we were at Pa’s Photo studio at ‘West Shire’ . There were many bags packed and Ma was crying , I was told that she got transferred to a hospital at a hill station very far and she could not take us there because there was no accommodation available . When she sat in the Rickshaw i realised that anymore i have to live with my Father , I went mad , this could not happen to me …… i ran with all my strength behind her ,crying , screaming begging her to stop ……. but she was gone , the one who loved me the most was gone, the one who protected me was gone , and i have missed her ever since . I envied the every sons and daughters who grew up with their mothers as i grew up . Even now i do sometimes , I pray that when i have children i would be there , thier mother would be there … my children should not have a life i had…
We moved in to my fathers studio at West Shire . It did not have a bathroom , We had to change school as well , Once we finished school we would sit in the studio to study along with the customers who came there to take thier picture . We took bath in the dark room but had to go to a ‘Beer Bar’ for toilet , after a month finally my father gave up , he could not see my sister suffering as he loved her the most and agreed to keep us with our grand mother at ‘St Lawrence’ ….. It was freedom at last… St Jester would give me some of my best memories which includes my first sexual rendezvous with Lizzy at the age of six…… To be continued