Saturday, May 15, 2010

ChildHood Memories

Hong Kong remains another world in my head. The best days of my life spent there, care free with the soul brothers and sisters whom I bonded with. I used to live in a place called wanchai, on a small hill; and it was so far away from the maddening crowds of that little island. Secluded, my home used to look towards one of the remaining hills preserved for walking and jogging purposes in the tiny 18 odd kilometer island. Seeing my days pass in the humidity and the torrential downpours; the typhoons oh so often, and i used to hope that every typhoon would bring a day off from school for me. Not that I hated school like i did attending em in India, school was a reprieve. Studying in a Canadian school, with teachers from all over the world who came to HK to settle and teach from their wide range of perspectives, used to have a manic coffee drinking Frenchman who used to teach the subject called Mr. Chaussauriad, or simply Mr. C, though i used to flunk French but his benevolent attitude towards all and especially me was something i simply adored, the year i left back for India, he too left for our neighboring country- Pakistan~! and i was surprised what he would be in for, and i am sure he too knew, but he was up for adventure; so apt for teachers. Used to have an awesome English and dramatics teacher called Mr. Todd Blaney- under whos guidance I and others undertook a 2 year project of a national level drama. Trying to be modest yet truthful, I had a very interesting and difficult role in this, playing a Chinese grand papa, always ranting wisdom to the new generation... with the maximum number of lines to rehearse over and over; 2 years down i was a pro at being a Chinese grandfather, and we won 2nd prize at the national level competing with other English schools in the country. Too much intensity and fun i must say. There was my teacher Mr. Gribbon, an dyslexic who admitted it the very first day we had in his class. He was impressed with my sincerity towards studies and later in the year fucked my case when he confronted my friends and I for trying to bully a retarded sardar kid (and i must defend our bullying that surdar, who used to come up to his seniors-us, and mouth off curses and waited for us to retialiate, what a crazy race... in any place on earth)
I had the most adored friends in HK, my best friend (and i still consider him that, even though i dont know what happened of him after i left for India), Marcin Pawlak; the hot polish Canadian of our batch, and his twisted crazy younger brother.. have had my most freaked times with them, and of course my Indian counter part Sameer Babani, a sindhi settled in HK for his life, we made the trip trio (we were all around 6 feet by sixth grade, and quite obviously stood out lol), we used to enjoy each others company to the max, and the city being quite safe; used to get out after midnight and travel the metro or the trams (which used to operate before midnight) to travel anywhere in that little comfy island all to ourselves. Was something so special, marcin used to go out with my best friend Mia elizabeth flore henderson (lol.. used to take her trip something for her name), who was an American from Thailand and settled in HK, a beautiful woman even in the sixth standard and onwards, and they were the cutest couple even at that time. Mia's feminineness combined with her tom-boyishness made it so easy for her to mingle with everyone. I have wished her the best of this world whenever i have thought of her, she was sparkle for our age then, geeky glasses and the before puberty voice of hers screaming at my friend marcin on the phone while i sat and laughed my ass off time over, and had to always help them patch up like crazy. Many times over. Memories galore!
Though HK has no space at all, my school in Tai Koo had enough for our daily basketball routine, enough space to spend time after school talking till evening dawned. It was always magical with good friends around. Best friends around.

In my free time I used to goto the mainland, and have taken trips to macau, and sanctuaries on the border with china with my friends and my mum. The simple fact used to be, that you could be as young or old as you wished and you could travel wherever you pleased. It was safe, simple and adorable to be on a small island off the coast of China.
I used to go with my good friends hopping to the Christian cemetery of HK, built nestled between 3 odd hills, and the graves stretching on the hills, unlike India, people used to keep the cemeteries where the dead of their beloved were buried, extremely clean and spacious. A place where people could come to reminisce their lovers, and spend time contemplating life and death, it was something like that even for me. I used to take my camera and take photos of graves, the old and dilapidated and the new and the profound. We were a bunch of young fools always playing ouji board trying to bring out the spirits of the dead from the grave for us to talk to, so that we could get to know secrets of others and what not! days of revelry indeed.
The thing when we are young is that there is no stigma, no pressure or tension of any sorts, do your homework and live your life, and thats exactly what i learnt and did in Hong Kong.
On days when we were extremely bored we used to hitch random rides in the metro and play hide and seek in the massive underground stations or get off to some massive malls (HK was and is just made of malls, malls interconnected and people get off from metros to inside malls to other malls and what not), and we would drive people crazy running around like mad kids hahaha, My friends tried their best to teach me ice skating and i always exceeded their expectation by going and falling on the bare ice over and over, till my buttocks became numb.
Marcin and I were crazy for the Canadian rapper SNOW- with his famous song INFORMER, and we had i guess 2-3 cd's of his albums.. all that he ever made. But gotta tell ya, he is pretty cool rapper for a white man, and raps real bloody fast. my only tryst with rap music, but too fun none the less.
My first dates with my pretty girl friend  Elizabeth ahn(korean canadian mix hehe), and double dating with my friends, something new and exciting to me; and always so full of fun. There was a resonant fun factor within me always, and i was full on even before i knew what that word ever meant. Some how HK taught me way way more than India did, ever could or would. The 3 day trek trip from our class where we went to a beautiful natural secluded place near a river and mountain, on the china border is the first time i laid my eyes on Elizabeth, and it was the "party night" when everyone was busy trying to get a dance from the opposite sex where i stood next to the river watching the moon pass on by, and nature and the goddess provided me my visual treat par excellence when i saw her besides, laughing and being naive; yet with such poignant elegance, and with such care free stature, I was smitten the first time... It was a wonderful night, we walked like a meter away from each other, fearing someone would brand us a couple, and talking and laughing the night till we had to go back to our bunks. Something so special, I thank nature for placing the fool in the right place and time for the goddess to let her hair down and simply talk to me!
The most fun time of the year was the chinese new year, when i used to get and distribute lie-see gifts of cash to all, and when the government used to set the bay on fireworks, the night used to be awesome with continuous fire works for hours. People cheering and glowing in revelry, the small island used to come alive with camaraderie.
Hong Kong was peaceful, the people mostly kept to themselves and cases of racial abuse were non existent. I remember spending time with other Indians learning the Vishnu sahasranama (which i know till date!) or even meeting up with my mothers friends house which overlooked the horse racing stadium for the weekend gamble. my best days over and over without a doubt were the days I was left to my own thang, my own way.. in a distant island with high rises blocking always the golden bay. Hooray for HK!!!


Anonymous said...

I too have lost contact with Marcin and Maciek; does anyone have contact info, email addresses for them? Thanks

Anonymous said...

Please email me if you have any contact info for Maciek or Marcin. Thanks

Naga said...

hey who is this? Do I know you, from HK? I still dont have any clue regarding marcin... i will surely inform you; and please do the same if you get any contact. peace

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