Life is a journey; one cannot plan or reserve tickets.
Droplets is a short memoir of persistence and perseverance, derived from the culture shock of moving from the southern part of India to Canada. Ajay Nair shares how he survived a strict parental upbringing, why he hated books so much, and his struggles with running out of money, living in a railway station, and travelling without food.
|Publisher:||Black Rose Writing|
|Edition description:||First Printing ed.|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.24(d)|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
My first writing experience.
I am not certain; this can be treated as a narrative. My lack of experience in literature will radiate through this. People may identify this as a narrative, and for some others, this may be a parenting tool for their youngsters. Then the query may crop up, are you a parenting expert?
I am still discovering who I am...
Childhood days, we had excellent memories we hold dear. Today when I sat to record this, images flood through my mind. It is remarkably refreshing to recognize that craving for drafting a book was there from the age I was in grade 5. I did not understand that. I could never leave to play with my buddies when I was young. I am ordered to read or complete homework when my friends played just outside my home. There are occasions I participated when my dad was not at home, and I obtain approval from my mom. She constantly offered me chances here and there where I took good advantages. During summer vacations I was given next grade's book. I was summoned to review them well ahead. I never figured out why my parents were like that. I appreciate them, and I recognize the sacrifices they made when I was in school.
Going back to my writing experience, my neighbor house had 3 sisters. The younger one was 4 years older than me. But she was incredibly efficient in academics. So my parents have no objection with me spending time with her. Let's name her as Maya for easy reference to tell this story. During that time my aunt got separated, and they lived with us for a period. She had 3 children of her own. So we were indeed relishing the group. One day Maya challenged us to compose a story of our own. I craved to tell an excellent story. But I couldn't make it. My older cousin shocked us by creating a grand thriller. He read it out, and I was very much in awe at that point.
Maya picked up the story. She was bright and right away figured it out it was a story from a film. My cousin changed their names and some cases here and there. We all made fun of him.
This event shook me up a little. I was wondering why I had trouble composing a story. I craved to write. This diverted my attention from studies. All regular days I was woken up by my mom at around 4:30 am. I get up and stay in front of my works. Not learning but to make my parents happy I remain there every day. This urge for creating a story, all of a sudden made a purpose in my world. I scribbled things to build a story. In a few days' time, I had a general understanding of what I wish to compose. If you ask me now, I do not know what that narrative line was...
My dad was guessing why I am so engaged in learning. He was wondering, why I am not falling asleep on top of my notebook, which I did every time preceding to this sudden found enthusiasm. I took one or two beating every day in the morning for falling asleep while struggling to learn. He observed me. I seem to write a lot. So one time he showed up from behind and watched me work. He made no noise what so ever and I am in this so-called creative mind. I was engaged in writing that my mind was breathing with the personalities I designed.
A big thud ...
I got jolted
Next thing I realize I was not sitting. I am swaying in space.
I sensed something is gripping me in space.
I heard someone yelling at me.
I felt that gravity is no longer there and I am floating ...
It took a while to understand that the object keeping me in space was my dad's grip and the voice screaming at me was my dad's sound. I recognized that; it was not going to be positive what so ever.
He seized my concept and mangled them in few pieces, and he was so livid that he hurt my sentiments. Today in my forties, I even recall that day, and it was so unpleasant. Sometimes fate plays a portion of our time. Today my dad is retired, and he composed many poems and published them. I now realized, lust for drafting is in my blood. My dad is a poet himself now. But why he determined not to encourage my appetite when it appeared? No idea. Maybe parents of this day and age should cease and think ...
I never recorded further. I used to get storylines here and there. I never took an attempt after that. It ended there. My hate for books day by day had reinforced. I go to temple daily morning and afternoon. I prayed hard to take me away from my parents. Even the simplest subjects in school, I lost interest in them. For the first time, Grade 7 I started to fail in my class. Pressure from home and school built up. I hated books even further. I revolted. I continued to pray often to take me away from my parents. I never picked up the grits to break away from home. Today I am content I managed not to do that and remain to my household. There is a saying "Careful what you wish for." Today I miss my parents a lot, and I am away from them. I try a lot to bring them back to my life, but not happening. I believe those times my innocent prayers were answered by God. As a man I understand now, how significant is your parents in your world. You need someone to stumble back, and parents will forgive you with sincere hearts. They don't judge you with what we have done in the past. They always forget and forgive.CHAPTER 2
Rubber tree seeds and Ghost.
I addressed a lot about me in the preceding chapter. So for a change let's travel to my dad. He is born to a peasant's household. He had an extremely rough childhood. Even though he was meticulous in personality and was not very cordial with me, he had offered me some lovely memoirs. I always appreciated those times. One was his memoirs. He possesses such wicked humor sense that I have heard visitors showing up to my house laugh so hard. My colleagues always convey to me that my dad is so amusing and I am lucky to have him.
I never felt that way. I constantly knew my dad being stern with me. I constantly wondered why he was not cracking jokes with me. One of the tales he shared with me is what I am going to record here. It might inspire the passion in individuals who are seeking to read this ...
His household was poor. He used to say that he had to struggle from the young age to get through. His parents never were capable to supply three times meals a day. One of the assignments he has to do was to collect rubber tree seeds and shells in the dawn. For that he leaves every day at 4:30 am. (I understand that was why I was also woken up at 4:30 am). All of them would think, Why 4:30 to collect? The reason is actually simple; everyone in the area does that. If you do not get up and go, you suffer. These shells are excellent fuel for cooking. Everyone depended on these shells. His parents made certain he worked everyday. He used to mention that it was not a simple task to achieve. It was intensely dark at that hour. Light is the luxury at that time of the day and cannot afford to have an oil lamp. So he performed this routine in the light they received from the environment, Moonlight, and Sun who is taxing to glance at.
Those days' individuals work out a number of pranks. One of the pranks they performed was to terrorize villagers so no one will reach out to gather these shells. My dad and his brothers managed to team up and stay in each corner of the field. Then they will howl loud. First one brother will howl. After a few moments, another one works the same task from the alternative point. Villagers do believe in Ghost. When they pick up this sounds moving from distant spots in a span of a few seconds, they become petrified. So the brothers were enjoying a wonderful time, and no struggle was there for a lot of months.
One time an aged individual from neighborhood watched my dad and brother going out together early dawn. This neighbor followed them without them spotting. Plan is to gather these shells with the brothers. Then he saw brothers howl from different areas to create this ghost effect. He chose to teach brothers a lesson.
Next day as natural brothers ran out. This day my father saw someone standing by the tree.
He called out asking
Who is there?
No reply ... My father sounds to grow tense. He was alone at that corner as his brothers went to separate corners for howling.
He demanded again ... Who is there? This moment the sound broke out squealing ...
No response then.
He struggled to pick up himself. He had so many anxieties. There is a place of worship near that corner where the villagers sacrifice animals. Likewise, a few weeks ago a man died there in the same locality. So he is shuddering with dread. He couldn't see straight.
He wished to run. His brothers will make fun of him. He strolled forward. He moved a little closer to this individual who is standing.
Asked, who is this? This time, a trace louder and sharp.
He carried his calm even though he can feel his heart is racing to hop out of its socket.
No answer came.
My dad kicked this man hard on his so-called "Right zone."
My dad went down with agony, and he hollered loud. His brothers rush to his side. He couldn't understand why his foot was so extreme in agony when he kicked this fellow.
They looked at the character standing there. They picked up my dad and went back to their residence. That day they preferred not to pick shells.
The morning after the sun-endowed mother earth with his greatness. They proceeded to that same area. They saw this tree there coated with white color tradition attire "Dhoti" to make it appear like an individual standing there.
My dad did not recognize in the dark it was a tree. So he kicked the tree. He stumbled for a few days. Later he got informed by someone in the suburb that this got planned out by the aged man to teach brothers a lesson. My dad had the deepest grudge with this individual. I am not sure whether he could excuse that fellow many years later.
There were loads of Vampire stories which flourished among the villagers. One was a towering giant walking in the rice fields smoking ...
How they made that was silly.
An adult will carry a 10-year-old child on his shoulder. From the shoulder of this child, they will place a white sheet to cover. Then they wander here and there. The child will have the smoke. The child will use the smoke to make it seem as if a giant is smoking.CHAPTER 3
Today, I am profoundly excited. Driving to work, I listen to radio As usual. Today's topic of the debate among three hosts was reading books. I am happy to listen from two of them they also hate books. The reasons they had put out was so related to mine. Many books got selected by Hollywood to make great movies. I love seeing movies. I agree with one of the hosts, "Why read a book when you can see the movie?"
There were lots of debates that, such as reading a book will give you more pleasure than watching a movie. It is not the same.????? I am still debating. I am sure those who have opted to read my book will disagree with me. It is because reading is a passion. I hope I am doing justice to your palate.
I had a small gathering at my home with my colleagues. We talked vividly on reading books, and I was outspoken on my hate for books. My colleagues read books. So they were opinionated. I remembered what the radio host said she always gets spaced out when she read books. It was difficult and challenging for her to go back again and read it over to understand. It happened with me many times. I revealed to my friends during the intensity of this discussion, I derailed and announced ...
Hey guys, I am writing a book ...
Pin drop silence ...
They couldn't accept what I stated to them. Everyone stared at me as if they saw a ghost. They glanced at each other. I sensed they were reassuring themselves what they gathered was right ...
"Really ..."? One of my colleagues asked.
You had too much of wine ... Another one expressed.
They chuckled. I mentioned it then. "No, fellows I am working on a book. And I am on my 3rd chapter,". I can interpret their faces. This guy hates books, but now he is claiming he is writing one. Any sense in it ...
One commented. He is composing his autobiography. No one will read it. They giggled.
Then loads of reassurance came with it. Yeah, you never know, you might be the next big seller.
Well, not a biography. This is a pursuit for discovering me. I am not clear what ... Hope I will identify what or my readers can advise me what I am looking ... Creating so far is making me want to read books. The creation and the gratification of creating something are now hitting me on the spot. More like getting hooked to narcotics. I never had the appetite for this Prior. Now I seek forward to invest time writing every day. Something to expect forward!!! ... Is that what I was considering bearing out? Who knows! We will find out.
We can now get back to my dad. Who appeared to be the star of this story series so far? Did that happen just out of luck? Maybe not ...
You must think who can pen a story about a shirt. What is so significant about this one? Well, this is a true narrative from my dad's childhood. I laughed a lot when he narrated this for the initial time. I am not confident how effectively I can express it again so that those who are reading this will have the same impact. I anticipate I will carry out my part well.
As I have said in my earlier chapter, my dad was born in a family who were battling to meet ends daily. He is the youngest brother. So every year he gets shirts from his older brother. Usually a third hand down. He got 3 older brothers. I am positive this generation will find this hard to accept. But it was a common tradition in those days. Even the books were shared like that. The oldest one in the family will get the new ones, and then every year it gets handed down to the siblings.
My father was constantly wondering when he can wear something new. He had a chore weekly those days. Bring the grains his father produce to market and sell them. He had strict orders, such as how much money he should get from the buyers etc. Every day he did that and bought vegetables for the family. He thought about how to make money out of it and use it to buy a shirt. He plotted this idea for a long time. But he never got the courage to do so.
He couldn't sleep for days. Constantly he was thinking. Whenever he goes to school, he saw his friends wearing new clothes. His mind sinks. He always had to wear patched shirts. He asked his parents, but they consistently had legitimate reasons, why they couldn't provide new shirts. That didn't ease his pain. He did something.
Mother asked him to sell grain, and she also advised him to sell it for 3 Rupees. He walked to the market with the sack of grains on his head. He saw the cloth store. His mind prompted him.
Don't you need a new shirt?
He looked at the shirt materials hanging in front of the store. He saw one exactly as the movie star wearing on the poster. He couldn't resist his mind.
He touched the material. It was so soft. He never felt new material like this before.
He dreamed standing there ... How his classmates will look at him when he wears this shirt on the first day of school after his summer vacation.
What you doing there? Shop keeper shouted at him
He got startled and got back his sensibility.
He trembled a little. Then he gathered his courage and asked the shop keeper how much that material cost. The shop keeper gave him an understanding of how much cloth he will need, and how much cash he should bring in to purchase it. He told the shop keeper to keep him some material. He will be back by evening.
Suddenly he rushed to the sewing shop. He asked the shopkeeper how much he will charge to make a shirt for him.
Now he got a sense how much cash he required to make a new shirt.
The market was rough that day. It was challenging to deal with crowds who choose to purchase grains. The struggle was ferocious. He sold his grains with the profit he preferred to establish. He purchased the vegetables and oil for the household.
He was animated and proud at the same time he had pulled off his task. He was yet frightened.
What if he gets caught?
What if his parents punish him when they find about the new Shirt?
His thoughts had no end to it.
He separated his cash and counted a million times to make certain he got it all right. He went to shop and picked up the material. His heart was pumping, and he could feel it. He strode towards the sewing shop. Remember, he was from a small suburb. People noted what others did. He was scared whether shopkeeper will inform his parents about this exploit he was doing. He fled to the sewing shop. He looked around and made sure no one there. He handed over the material.
Shop keeper asked how he wanted to get this material stitched.
He yanked out the poster of the film he had it in his pocket. He explained the shopkeeper
"Just like the hero here," The shopkeeper smiled.
He ran home after giving the measurements. He was not walking. He seemed like he was floating through the mists. He was so delighted that he had a short hop on his walk. He was not paying attention to his neighborhoods. He was in his LA LA land as we say ...(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Droplets"
Copyright © 2019 Ajay Nair.
Excerpted by permission of Black Rose Writing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Droplet 1 - My first writing experience.,
Droplet 2 - Rubber tree seeds and Ghost.,
Droplet 3 - New Shirt,
Droplet 4 - Money Order,
Droplet 5 - First Cricket Bat,
Droplet 6 - 2 Rupee Savings,
Droplet 7 - Younger days,
Droplet 8 - College Day Seniors,
Droplet 9 - Rented House and Troubles,
Droplet 10 - Sky train stories,
Note from the Author,
About the Author,