There was once a time when the clouds in the sky merged and pulled themselves apart into the shapes I wanted to see. When lines of ants scurrying with their burdens to their invisible hideouts evoked immense curiosity. When colours were associated with what the eye saw- birds, flowers and trees- and not with the meanings attributed to them by religious and party flags. Chocolate was just the kind you found at the neighbourhood store- white, 80% cocoa, liqueur would have been high-falutin terms for something as simple as a slab of pure happiness.
And then, one day, someone decided that a bitter concoction of reality and pragmatism, garnished with a distasteful lust for money, must be thrust down people’s gullets as they grew older. Hypothetical it should have remained, but it was incorporated with great zest into the business of life, and so we stick to it till we’re sick of it.
You cannot keep childlike amusement away forever, though, try as hard as you may. You have to marvel at the big-bellied fish under the rocks in the pond on your way back from lunch (and ignore the cell phone displaying your boss’s number) and draw the last of the lemonade out noisily with your straw (while a group of sophisticated people look down their noses at you scornfully). Not pure, untarnished pleasure, the kind that existed before you knew of life outside comic books and marbles, but rainbows will once again hold hoards of treasure at either end.
Hope is a beautiful thing.