Aliens and the seven year old

Discovery channel used to have this show on “Close alien encounters”. Being a space freak and having the usual curiosity of a seven year old, I used to watch these episodes with bated breath and half-closed eyes.
Although the show would be pretty enjoyable, sleeping alone at night would usually mean pulling the blanket over and pretending to be in a huge orb of “unkidnappable” steel. I was sure I would be safe, because people in the show who got abducted usually lived in some remote area or were alone at the time of being abducted.

 

AlienLogic
So everything was fine until that one freaky day when they showed the aliens abducting a kid of my age, right from her bedroom in a city. Then all hell broke loose.
I’d spend half the night staring at the curtains for the tiniest hint of light (which meant that a spaceship was landing) or glancing below my bed to see if there were fingers trying to pull me down. I’d eventually fall asleep and wake up cursing myself for not being more attentive.

After I fell asleep in class a couple times and got scolded, I decided to stop watching the show. After a few weeks, I’d forgotten all about it. At least I thought so.
‘No one has really seen aliens,’ mom told me when I asked her about it.
‘Yeah, that’s all made up stories,’ I chirruped.
And aliens always went to America anyways.

On an eventful night, just as I was about to fall asleep, I saw some lights and heard a rattling noise. I pushed myself against the back of the bed and waited. In the show, the aliens would sedate the people before taking them away. I pulled out a pencil and paper from the nearest drawer and wrote down “Aliens” on it as fast as I could. At least my parents would know what happened.

The light became stronger and stronger and I decided I had to scream.
So there I was, screaming at the top of my voice. My father rushed out from his room and opened the door with panicky hands.
‘What happened?’ he shouted.
The lights outside dimmed suddenly.
‘Outside!’ I whispered.

My dad parted open the curtains. A pickup van was parking itself on the lawn next to the house, making an awful lot of noise.
‘Are you okay?’ he asked me, closing the curtains.
‘Of course, of course!’ I croaked, pulling the blanket over my head again.

The aliens had deceived me this time by changing their spaceship into a van. Whatever it was, I now knew the trick to keeping them away.

I just had to call dad.

[Continue reading further adventures…]

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Swimming and the seven year old

I was a bit of a fraidy-cat when it came to swimming. To be honest, that wouldn’t have mattered much if my family had shifted to a landlocked nation. But instead, here I was on an island on a stormy Wednesday evening in my swimsuit. I stood at the edge of the ocean and prepared for the “Physical Education” class to follow.

The ocean might’ve been Indian, but I feared it wouldn’t waste much time deciding whether I was to die or just be “imprisoned”. So, as the thirty odd seven year old boys and girls waded into the rough waves, I avoided the teacher’s glance and tried hiding behind a bunch of rocks.

The teacher spotted me and called me over to stand in line (in the water) and swim from one rock to the other. Teeth chattering and stomach rumbling, I realized a few seconds later that my feet weren’t touching the ocean floor, and quick as a cat, I scampered out of the water. That was probably the one time I prayed with utmost reverence to whatever superpower was watching over me.

trajectory

When everyone started laughing at me, I sheepishly told the teacher that I couldn’t swim (let alone go across freestyle from one rock to the other). The Seychellois were born islanders who probably learned to swim before they could walk. It was no wonder then, that I was made fun of for the next few days over my “skinny legs” and “inability to swim”.

When my sister found out about it, she decided to teach me how to swim.
‘Do you know some swimming pool?’ I asked innocently.
‘Yeah,’ she said.
The next day we were at the beach, and I was half-crying, half dragging my ass out of the water for all it was worth. Eventually, my sister and I adapted to each other’s method of teaching and learning.

When I still didn’t get the hang of it after an hour, my mom called out from the shore, ‘Just let yourself float!’ Livid, with salt water in my eyes, I shouted out in frustration, ‘Well, if it’s so easy, why don’t you try it?’

That sent both of them into fits of laughter. I waded out of the knee deep water, angry at being so slow. It took a few days of decent practice and I eventually went from “Hey, I am floating,” to “Look at me, swimming on my back!” And not just me, my mom learned too.

A few weeks later during a Physical Education lecture, I waded into the water to the surprise of my classmates and “butterflied” around them. When the strongest swimmer in class joined me to swim around and talk, I realized I wasn’t just a “skinny Indian boy” anymore.

I was one of them.

[Continue reading further adventures…]


(Here’s what happened when I first landed in Seychelles…)
Seychelles And the Seven Year old

Seychelles and the seven year old

When I was seven, my parents decided to move to Seychelles. Seychelles is close to Mauritius, which most people know as a tourist destination. Mauritius is a lone island in the sea. Seychelles however, is an archipelago – which means the country comprises of a total of 115 islands of which Mahé was the principal island – the place where most people went.
Compared to the other islands, Mahé was the largest, spanning 11 kilometers wide and 27km long. And that was where we went.

islands115

When we landed in Seychelles, the first thing that struck me was the smell of salt and fish. That was natural since the airport was right next to the ocean. The next thing that struck me were the people. They were different. To call them relaxed would be an understatement. So let’s just say they enjoyed life.

The third thing I noticed were the shops. South Indians had taken the “responsibilities” of feeding the nation into their own hands.

Being a boy of seven, I wasn’t going to find it hard to adapt to the new environment.
Exotic green lizards in the house? Alrighty.
Brown, striped lizards crossing your path as you walked on the road? Alrighty.
A mammoth golden beach 50 meters away from the school you were going to? Umm…Alrighty?

Most people find it fascinating that I went to a school that was in front of a beach. Trust me, being the “realist” that I am, I would spend half my free time wondering what would happen to us if a tsunami were to strike. Turns out the tsunami of 2004 had killed a grand total of 2 people in the whole archipelago. But still, one must be cautious.

ButTsunamiBro

Indians in Seychelles were infamously called “Malabar”. Apparently, the first Indians to land on the island had come off the coast of Malabar in India. The name had stuck. And it pissed me off to no ends when someone would ask me if I was a “Malabar” or a “Sinwan” (Sinwan meant Chinese).
‘Indians and Chinese are very different,’ I would say.
‘But you Asians look all the same!’ would be the reply.

So, there I was. A seven year old with thin, round glasses and a mistaken Chinese identity, in the midst of one of the most beautiful places in the world. With all the different languages being spoken around me and the word “new Malabar boy” flying around wherever I went, I resorted to the only thing a seven year old with thin, round glasses could resort to.

I started reading books.

[Continue reading further adventures…]

Why I deleted my old blog…

The last two years have been radically different for me. No blogging, sleepy morning lectures  and the constant rush of exams. The no blogging part sucks the most though.

When I started my blog, I was twelve years old, barely a teen, baffled by the simplest of things, affected by the tiniest of inspirations. So when I took the time a few days ago to see the job I’d done with the blog as a kid, I realized there was so much I could’ve done better.

FutureDilemma

 

So there I was, backing up the old blog, with all its posts and comments. Once that was done, I pressed the delete button remorselessly and removed the 191 blog posts I had published over 3 years. I wanted a fresh start.

We all love fresh starts. Fresh starts mean clean slates, new opportunities and a way to express yourself better. It’s like that opportunity that many of my engineering friends seek…to drop out and pursue something they’d always wanted to. This fresh start though, was much simpler and rather easy on me (since I could backup all that old stuff).

That being said, I don’t know where this goes from here. Of course, there will be short stories and poems, fun quotes and personal “research”. Maybe even the occasional puzzle. I love puzzles. I love watching people struggle. I love watching people succeed after they have struggled.

Whatever it is, I hope it is different. I hope it is inspiring. I hope it is beautiful.

Here’s to my fresh start. What about yours?

-Saunved