Here, I wish to write a few of my early childhood memories. Most of us do not remember our experiences of childhood.It is difficult to remember them for several reasons. The most important reason is the perception in the childhood which is very limited; we are not aware of most concepts which developed in various stages of life. Childhood is mostly governed, controlled and conditioned by parents. Family members and friends and members of the community influence most of our thinking. Language is known only what is taught by the family; vocabulary is limited only with few words . Exposure is limited only to local things. Whatever is known and observed in early childhood is not understood; meaning of many things are not known and not clear though observed every day..
What I am going to describe here are my observations of early childhood, most of them before the age of five years or so. These observations would be described with my limited exposure and understanding of the whole life and in the language which I learnt only after the age of 15 years or so.
I do not remember anything as how I lived in the family upto that age . I do not have any impressions as what I was doing, eating drinking etc.and as who was taking care of me. The earliest memory, I have is my observations of staying with my maternal grandparents in Chandpur. I was perhaps about 4 years old. I very clearly remember the house where my nana ji was living; A corner house ( South East Corner ) in the Dharamshala near railway station opposite to Hindu Inter College; a very similar kind of house in South West corner; I can describe the whole design and geography of the dharamshala from my observations. My nanaji was a landlord who had farms in Chandpur and Shekhpuri. He used to store the farm products in the room outside of the house and used to sit the whole day in the varandah outside that room. He was a very handsome person and used to wear white Kurta, Pyjama, used to live in a very elegant way; used to love me a lot, would play with me and I used to be with him almost the whole day.
Incidents: I had a corn in my heel, he removed it with a nail cutter ( known as nehrna in those days) and kept watermelon for cooling at the bottom of the well. The well was almost in the centre of the compound. Once my bua ( my father’s sister) came along with Phoophaji (her husband) and stayed in the house at the other corner of dharamshala for her treatment of some ailment for a few weeks; A saint/poojari used to live in a small room near the entrance of dharamshala on the west side of the compound . In front of his room were some flower plants. I was fascinated with one with yellow flowers with nice smell (Kanair flower); After his worship and prayers etc. he used to do aarti. Each day when I will hear the sound of the bell, I will walk down to his room. He will offer me 2 sweet batashaw with tulsi leaf and a flower. That was my temptation to visit him every day in the morning after hearing the sound of his prayer bells, my naniji used to prepare very good sweets and I was very fond of them. Once she preapared sweet khoya peda and hid it from me; she kept it on the top shelf of the almarih of the living room + bed room. Noticing this, I got a big bamboo stick, which opened the latch of almirah, moved the sweet box which fell on the floor spilled all over; I was scared of the incident and expected scolding and beating especially by my mother but everyone just laughed on my intelligence and cleverness to get the sweets.
I have some more sweet memories and observations of that place and of that period but let me stop here for now.
All these are my observations of that time when I could have not described in words in any language but described here now translated those observations in the words according to my current limited perception and vocabulary.