Friday, December 14, 2007

RTF: Down The Memory Lane

It is Friday again and I am looking forward to a great weekend. You know, some weekends you just feel like resting. This week, I really need some rest. So I will savor my days off work.

I am not intending to bombard you with anything heavy either. If I have to relax, that has to start with my mind. So I’m allowing my mind to roam and wander around trivial stuff. It is not like I don’t have deeper stuff to muse on, but you would agree with me that life is not only about deep philosophical stuff. There are also minor, but relevant things that make life exciting.

Those minor things could be taking yourself on a journey through a memory lane.

So I couldn’t help myself but wander down the memory lane also. Man, how I miss the good old days! Trust me, there are things I couldn’t go back for in my childhood in Tanzania, but I certainly have good memories to make me nostalgic. How about those chandimu pickup games? You could temporarily shut down the street for a heated soccer game; occasionally being stopped by a passing beat up truck. What about going home all dusty after a long day at a manati factory?

If you didn’t make toy cars and trucks from old empty cans, please don’t think I am crazy. But I know someone out there can relate. Honestly, being creative is where I drew my childhood joy. I know some fellas who were so creative that the entire street soccer team depended on them for a bouncy, well manufactured soccer ball from rugs and old clothes. Of course, that didn’t go without some political power. Occasionally, this fundi would stop the game by threatening to take his ball, if he wasn’t allowed to play or someone, somehow, got them mad. Talking about power play!

Childhood, on the other hand, had its downside. I know older folks were teaching discipline by commanding strict rules on some areas, but I hated the idea that I was subjected to the obedience of every older man or woman in the village. That made me to desire growing up so bad, hoping that I would gain some kind of freedom. Of course I have gotten that kind of freedom now, but boy, little did I know that it was better for someone else to worry about my food and clothing!

Probably what I like the most about childhood is the honest ignorance that goes with it. Just like most of you, I wondered about those people talking in the radio. Just like you, I wondered how they were able to fit in that little box and attempted to open the back of the radio to see them! I also wondered if they even slept. I wondered how they looked like.

And talking about the radio, I always believe that when the program host announced that “Naona bendi ya Mlimani Park wanaanda vyombo kututumbuiza”, Mlimani Park Orchestra was actually in the studio tuning their guitars, trumpets and all that stuff. So when the song came on the radio, I was convinced that the band was performing at that very moment. Don’t laugh at me; that’s what I believed. I am sure you have your own secret stories, where you believed the universe functioned in a certain way, only to realize that you were innocently ignorant as a child.

I also got the idea of rain wrong as a child. In my universe, I believe that when it rained in my village, it was also raining across the globe! Fortunately, I grew out of that scientific theory very quickly. I learned that my theory was wrong as I listened to the conversation between my mom and relatives who resided in some other towns. They would talk about the weather, particularly the rain as it meant so much for the village economy, and in some cases they would talk about how it rained in their town and not ours. Something clicked that I needed to tweak my understanding of the universe.

I still don’t understand why the rainbow moves when you get close to it though.

My best childhood experience is when I learned how to read and write. That tops them all. I can remember vividly one day I was walking with my brother, who was by then in Standard Four. At the time, I had started to put letters together. So on this day, we passed by a dump with TAKATAKA letters on it. I remember putting the ta-ka-ta-ka word together into a marvelous takakata. You should have seen me exploding with excitement. I tell you what; it is like the world opened right before my eyes. I guess I never looked back on reading.

So what’s your childhood story?
Photo: Mjengwa

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the memory lane bros, It is surely refreshing. I do have many childhood stories if I start them on here I will not work today so I will pay a visit next time and share them with ya' all. Have a great week end.