Friday, March 02, 2007

The Secret in the Attic.!

In a normal young boy`s mind, anything dark and eerie is not just scary. It is also his need, his complete fantasy and the answer to his quest for adventure, for he sees in it an opportunity to explore, an occasion to become an hero and perhaps discover deep secrets of the past.

I was once this normal young boy, who often went dreamy eyed to his ancestral house in kerala, with a great craving for that discovery in the most darkest and dangerous corners of the house looking for secret doors and traps, hidden treasures, or documents with details of unknown property. There is no limit to a child`s imagination. The stories read, the tales and experiences heard from elders are often the main fodder for this great exercise of the mind and body.

In that huge ancestral house, there was a place of primary interest though. It was called the ' Thattumpuram', in other words, the attic, where there were old furniture, books, plenty of dust and above all, a multitude of stories linked to it. Unnerving stories of ghosts, murders and scheming spirits which were embedded in it`s walls and were ready to throw stones at you. It only took a gentle breeze to knock down something, and this normal young boy and his band of pirates and explorers would shriek and scream in unison and rush downstairs.

The stories and secrets remained smiling in the dark...

Years passed and time kept rolling and the once young boy was now in his college reading things much more advanced or rather suiting his age as his friends had instructed him to. One fine day, he however did walk up to the attic, just to look around. He wasn't scared, nor was he intimidated by the dark walls and once heard stories. However nostalgia is a strange feeling. One tends to relive the past, and so he kept walking around, looking at things.

And then he saw that beautiful thing, an added surprise which set his heart light. There upon a small ledge below the roof of tiles sat this wonderful creature, a pretty barn owl, with it`s cute eyes closed as if sitting in penance.

The attic had done it again, It had performed magic once again for his uninterested soul. He brought all the children of the house and showed them his discovery, happy in looking at their smiling faces, admonishing them, when they made a noise. But children make a noise and there is no known solution for stopping that, because their excitement, is something the world stops to relish.

The barn owl flew away in a few days, leaving the attic behind. Children however kept rushing there every day awaiting the visit of the barn owl. They knew he would come. Their wise big brother had assured them that it would.

Years still kept rolling, time never stopping to wait.

The once young child had by then, grown up into a young man, ready to face life in all seriousness, ready to bear the strain of all family responsibilities and prove himself worthy of his difficult upbringing. He had no time to spare and was always busy with his life, but certain encounters are preplanned by nature and there`s nothing one can do about it.

And so one fine day, this young man found himself at the same ancestral house again and as if by effect of some unearthly interference he found himself walking up to that dark attic again. He felt stupid for doing so, but like we already discussed nostalgia is a strange feeling. He found himself searching for something..

perhaps for hidden treasures, perhaps for a barn owl in penance..

or perhaps he was just seeking to rediscover the child in him, to relive the past and become that normal young child again.

I can only tell you that he left in tears...


iamvisheshur said... you believe in ghosts-have you seen one or what would you do when you see one?
nostalgia in deed is a strange thing...hearts and life..

mystic rose said...

in tears..ofcourse! I do that too.

Beautifully written post, loved reading it.

mystic rose said...

That music is soo unique and soothing.

priya said...

Unni: You brought back my memories in my granny's home. I used to hide safe at attic all piled up with vessels and unwanted stuff. I can see the spider web and still its silent and calm when you hide and eat wat you like.

starry nights said...

That was a very beautifully written post.I think in our hearts all of us are like children, searching, wanting some adventure and it was nostalgic,took me back to when I was growing up.Just huddled in a corner telling ghost stories was an event in itself.

passerby55 said...

***perhaps he was just seeking to rediscover the child in him, to relive the past and become that normal young child again.

Attics ...... Every grandparent has one in his huge house.We were never allowed to play hide and seek or even enter this place.

Grandpaa, used A big Axe like knife to shear the coconuts.He often kept it, in the attic. I guess, he always feared we would try this art of shearing coconuts, with that mini axe.

Today the attic is empty. Its kept open for everyone. Grandpaa is no more. I wonder where he hid the axe? I never saw it again!

A lovely post, Srijith. I enjoyed reading it. Thankyou.

Sreejith Kumar said...

Wah, another striking one! Love these posts that bring back good memories. I believe in ghosts, by the way. ;-)

Hoooo... completed your tag too! :-)

Srijith Unni said...

@Vishesh: No Vishesh, i dont but all children do.. I guess :) Yeah nostalgia is a strange wonderful thing..!

@Mystic Rose: Thanks a lot..! Happy to know that you enjoyed it.. :)

@Priya: Wow, priya, you really do miss your attic dont you.. me too.. :)

@Starry: Yes telling ghost stories were perhaps the greatest environment children really have.. :) Nice to know that i made you nostalgic.. i hope to continue to do so.. :)

@Passerby55: I do hope you find it.! We are sadly losing out on the older generation, history and perhaps in that process a lot of other wonderful things.. Thanks a lot passerby..

@Sree: Thanks a lot, mate.. that was a tag well done..

Seema said...

Srijith - The narration was realistic and yes could relate to it so well !!

Nostalgia...i just read of it on Sreejith's space...n here it is...beautiful..that search those etched memories remain with us forever...we all hold on to it our quest of life !

Enjoyed going down the memory lane !

Ash said...

Beautiful post!

Srijith Unni said...

@Seema: Thanks a lot, Seema!, Those words of encouragement will keep me going a long time.. I`m very happy that you enjoyed reading the post.!

@Ashwathy: Thanks a lot!, Do keep coming..

Ajay said...

wow. man. id sit in that attic for hours if i wer u :)
very well described . brings it all alive in the eye of the mind :)
i guess there r some places from where one draws strength.

Deepak said...

Beautifully written. In fact, it brought tears in my eyes too, because I too thought about my misadventures in the attic of our ancestral house when I read this.

Childhood is something which I miss so much, that, whenever someone says I'm behaving childishly, a part of me is overjoyed.

Srijith Unni said...

@Ajay: I did sit a lot, there ajay.. But then as children, we never sit long in one place.. But today if i go there i will definitely spend more time, because as you said it gives me a lot of strength.

@Deepak: You know what? I can completely relate to your feelings. Childhood is simply awesome, a gift which we lost.. :)

Sudha said...

beautiful. in the most amazing way, this post pays homage to your childhood house :)

Hip Grandma said...

Your post took me back to my chilhood at my thatha's place.And what memories.I could write a hundred stories if only I tried.Thanx for taking me back in time

Srijith Unni said...

@Sudha: Thanks, Sudha..! Yes my hoage to my childhood house as well as my childhood..!

@Hip Grandma: I would love to read your hundred stories..:) Anytime..:)

co^th said...

Absolutely loved reading this piece of yours! Brings back a lot of memories :)

Good one!

Shankari said...