Friday, July 22, 2016

Rehab for the Sixties

The late forties was a great time to see the first light of day on this planet of ours. Many are those who popped out during that time and are now grappling with their sugar levels, hypertension, and cholesterol fighting their way through the mid-sixties crises. Many have moved on to the other side. Bless them wherever they may walk.

So, all you mid and late sixty baby boomers, who lived through country music, pop, rock, the twist, radio, and the Beatles, have you ever tried to figure out the journey, all its ups, downs, good, bad, and ugly moments? Have you thought about what life may have been if you had taken a different decision or turn, made alternate choices, at various points in your life? Ever analyzed why you are what you are now and what made you turn out into this animal now? Did you think about the brain washing that yu may have been subject to as a growing child?

So, in the beginning, there was Mum and Dad. In some cases even good old Dad was missing. In some, Mum chose to hand over her baby to an orphanage, Church and run away. Many are the complications and issues that a poor innocent child has to face at birth. Life in the womb was so cosy, warm and nice. What the heck now? Why did we have to come out of our “home”?
Well, life had to be lived. Mummy was warm, gentle, kind and always ready to feed. That felt good. Dad was in and out. Possibly, he was busy making the bucks to buy the diapers and all that other mother jazz that we need to have to survive through the coming days.

And then there was grandpa and grandma. Neighbors, friends, relatives, all flocked in and smiled and celebrated. Each one taking their time to hold the new born baby in their arms and making those crazy sounds that even a baby could not comprehend. Never mind!

And the baby started to grow. One day at a time. There was music on the radio, news on TV, sounds of cars, buses, cats and dogs, and people arguing, fighting, and discussing. That’s a whole lot of data to digest. Yet, the hard disk in the child’s brain was spinning at break neck speed storing each and every fragment of information that was floating around.

Sunday morning was Mass in Church. On Friday’s people went to pray in Mosques and light lamps and offer flowers in Temples. Full Moon days were for Buddhists to spend time in meditation and alms.

Crawling turned to walking and speech developed automatically. “Mamma” was usually the first word. She was the big boss. And before you knew it the time was right for KG school.

The hard disk was running non stop 24 hours a day. There was never an issue of running out of space. Anything that was seen, heard, and felt was stored. Friends became a part of life. They came in all sizes, colors, heights and weights. Some were nice. Some were nasty. This was also a learning process. The teacher was tough. She is not at all like Mummy. At least she doesn’t make me eat and drink like Mummy does back at home.

The brain washing goes on. Gods, Prophets, Messengers, Fairy Tales, Myths, Stories, fear, reward, punishment, fire, paradise, hell, nirvana, phew! Why so many things to worry about?

Not forgetting anger, hatred, love, kindness, pain, and pleasure.
And then that old man, who ran the corner store near our house, looking at me in a strange manner as I passed by on my way to school every day. He gave me sweets and chocolates. He must be a nice man. And then he invites me in to see the rear of his store, where he sleeps, promising me more goodies. That’s when he touches my body. It feels strange but also weird. I am sure he likes me like Mummy does. Yet it feels funny. Those parts are not meant to be touched or seen by everybody, as Mummy has made me understand. It feels good sometimes. The sweets and chocs are still delicious. So I come and see him every day. He touches me all the time.

Time moves on. Primary School is fun. We have so many friends, games, and activities to engage in and manage. Then come homework, studies and exams, all piling up, one on top of the other. My room is a mess. Field trips are interesting. We travel to many interesting places and see and enjoy many new things. Learn about the fauna, flora, people and society. Life is not the same in all places.

The information keeps piling up inside our heads. There’s no limit to how much it can hold unlike the storage on a mobile phone. Friends come and go. Some get close. Some are distant.
Secondary School is heavy stuff. The transition from primary is more like growing up. Adolescence blooms. Hormonal changes are happening inside the body. Hair grows in unusual places. Emotions are aroused. Feelings become mature. Personal needs increase. Life can still be lonely even with Mum and Dad and siblings around at home and friends at school.

The attraction to the opposite sex is surfacing. Relationships begin. It’s a different kind of feeling. There are do’s and donts based on the teachings that were poured down our throats as kids. Rights and wrongs. Good and Bad. Moral and Immoral. Is there really a God up there? Why does he watch all this madness that happens on the ground and do nothing about it?

University is here. There’s a degree to be done. That’s the only way towards a decent career path, spouse, kids, family, house, car, dogs and cats. So we march on like soldiers in line. More like bricks in a wall that build a house.

Through this passage from KG to Campus many are the intrigues and events that have passed. Were they all good? Not really sure. Were they all bad? Not really sure of that too. Were there other abusive and oppressive events? Bet there were. How have they played out? Not really sure. Who is good? Who can be trusted? What is life all about?

And then we move on. Graduation, jobs, marriage, kids, family, travel, career.  Yet, al the events of the past are still clinging on to us like leeches although we may not see them. Do they harm us? Not really sure. Do they make us think and act the way we do? Still not sure.

Relationships outside the marriage crop up. Some hetero, some even same sex. Why? What is the calling? Where does it come from? Who is really pulling the strings? Cant be God, surely?

And the children grow up, go to school, get married, have their own kids. Now we are grandparents. The sixties have now caught up with us. Have the wounds healed? Not really sure. Will we ever know? How can we tell?

Was it worth the ride?

So what next?


July 21 2016