I need some help. Read on.
Preserved by a dotting mother who doubles up as a collector of family memories, this chap remains. Many decades after he was slapped, thrown about, trampled all over and sometimes washed up and decorated ! Yes. This chap was my toy !
And i was reacquainted with him last week. And promptly clicked !
And what an aspirational toy ! At that time, there was desire. To wear those bell bottom trousers. For that long wavy hair. And yes. For that bright yellow shirt and sky blue trousers ! For that red guitar and lovely music, that i saw film heroes spew !
And this chap is symbolic of a time when there was innocence in the air and the thinking was as wide as the vast expanse !
As education seeped in, one after the another, the tastes changed. For the whatever remained, reality reared its stark face. The last on that list being ‘wavy hair’ !
More importantly, this chap reminded of a time when you were asked four questions. All the time. Many times over. By new people. Same people. Half people. At dinners. Get togethers. When people visited. When you visited.
a. Which school do you go to ?
b. Which class do you study in ?
c. What is your class teachers name ?
d. What do you want to become when you grow up ?
Of course, there would be a few more questions. And there were those who would ask the same questions all over again, in the same interaction so much so, that you wondered if could make the earth would part ways. Then and there !
The answer to question D, on that list, would vary. Many times according to mood. The intensity of the sun. Of course, on who was asking, and who all were listening. The answers used to vary from, ‘Pilot. Journalist. Prime Minister. Policeman. IAS officer’ and the like. These were my oft quoted.
The more libellous ones were, ‘Film star, cricketer, Astrologer..” Whatever the answer, without doubt, there would be those who would probe further. ‘Why’ they would ask. Or sometimes, smirk / laugh / nod head and say, ‘really?’.
There was one gent who used to be a master at this. He would ask me this question, over many years. And when he did ask me this question, for the 2,33,678th time, i remember, having my hands on my hips and telling him, ‘ Superman’.
The man’s eyebrows widened. And there was momentary surprise. There was a plan. That if at he would ask me ‘Why’, i would muster all courage and state that Superman got to wear blue trousers for underwear and read underwear for trousers. And of course, had a curtain cloth hanging on his shoulder.
His surprise had him mute. There was no need to muster the courage. I remember wanting to go on. And tell him, “Phantom”. “Tin Tin”. “Batman” and each had equally powerful reasons. Surprisingly the 2,33,679th time didn’t come.
This chap with the guitar reminded me of that time ! Now, If you spot a dark chap in a bright yellow shirt and a sky blue bell bottom trousers, with a guitar slung across the shoulder….well, spare a second look ! It could be me, wanting to recreate that time !
Many decades later, the toys have changed shape. Size. But hey, the questions remain too. Slightly different though.
a. Where do you work ?
b. Where do you live ?
c. How many kids do you have ?
d. How much do you earn ?
And this is where i need some help. Can you help me with a ‘superman’ kind of answer for ‘question ‘d’ ‘ !?!