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Use Your Head To Save Your Skull, Musings

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Use Your Head To Save Your Skull

There are a few events in a person’s life which are remembered forever and remain vivid in the mind. These events of the past can help us to reform our future. My first life-changing moment occurred during my school days when I started going to school for education. It was at this time that I learned what are the best things to do when things get tough.

We were celebrating the Deepawali festival. I was surrounded by family, greetings, candles, lights and large presents. ‘Goddess Laxmi’ was being worshipped in my home. My father was reading Tulasidas’s Ramcharitmans (RAMAYAN) in the temple.  At the age of three, I was barely old enough to understand that the gifts themselves held much more excitement than their covers/packs. Any doubt that I may have had that the ‘attracted goddess’ existed was gone, I had become a legend. I was adamant to see the goddess that night, believing that the Goddess visits immediately after the pooja. Before I understood certain concepts like that of the time, person place and god, all this made perfect sense to me.

The next night I spent minutes, which translated into hours during those childhood days, staring into the mirror. As far as I could tell, my head was in proportion to the rest of my body with the goddess. I was to inform my mother about the goddess. Sitting in front of the Goddess’ picture with different currency notes, I construed the first experiment that I would ever conduct.  For several more minutes, I traced the outlines of the images of my faces on my brand new slate while I thought about my situation. All of sudden it occurred to me that I could prove my godfather wrong by conducting an experiment to calculate the actual size of my head in relation to another object. Unfortunately for the child-sized plastic toy in shape of bucket, the closed-in legs on the bottom of it were just the right size for my experiment.

With the infinite wisdom I had acquired in the first three years of my life, I picked up the toy bucket and stuck my head.  When my head slid through with ease, I was proud with same size head. My mission had been successful, and I had proved that my head could not be that big. The only problem was that ears only really bend in one direction; my eyes were pressed while remained open, so getting the toy bucket off of my neck was impossible. When it came to that situation, it was a catastrophe. I was totally fixed. My favorite present was holding me captive. Shaking in trepidation, somehow I reached the door. She had been standing in another room at that time, talking to her brother on the phone. This was perhaps the first call my mother made anywhere. I knew that there were only two conditions that would make it acceptable for me to interrupt.  The first was if there was a fire and second was if there was a ghost in the room. Since there was nil possibility of ghost in bright light, I certainly was not stupid enough to set the house on fire. Leaning against our grain container, I decided that my situation definitely constituted an emergency, albeit a unique one.

I sought my mother’s name.  She asked me if it was an emergency. We were moving closer. I’m still not sure of whether my mother wanted to laugh, cry, or take a picture. Still trying to understand what had made me stick my head through toy bucket, she did everything in her power to free my neck. At that point, my mother had to do the inevitable and call my father.  It was a Sunday night, and that meant that it was leisure time for him and he was standing on the street with neighbors.  There are few things that are important enough to make a man walk away from any kind leisure or game.  I now know that a loud call saying that his child’s head is firmly planted between the toy bucket will do the trick.

My father rushed home. Between my expression and the looks of the fixture of my head in the toy, it was definitely a moment anybody will laugh or regret. My father jiggled the toy this way and that.  It, of course, did not budge.  Thankfully, my father had tricks that I could not have imagined.  His tricks involved a saw, a flashlight, and a lot of faith in himself.  During this operation, he easily sawed away the toy. When it fell off my neck, I felt as if I had just been released from a week in the stocks. That day, I learned quite a few lessons. First, never underestimate the power of a man and his tools.  Secondly, tribute to toys are best kept as stuffed items rather than pieces of board. Third, I learned that when you don’t know what to do, it is best to simply use your head. Finally, I thankfully learned to never again do that in the literal sense.

Contributed By: Murari Chaturvedi, freelance writer – articles, short story, political news and technical. Email : mikertc@rediffmail.com

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