I remember the coldness of early mornings, damp air and the ringing of church bells from not a time so far behind. My days started with a prayer, which in its due course, in an hours time saw me measuring the wine for the mass in church. ALTAR BOY i was.
It was me who arranged the table on which the feast was to be celebrated in memory of Christ. I rang the bells, lit candles, made sure the wine and bread were there. I prayed aloud, sang hymns and read the bible to the parishioners. My voice was heard all aloud, second only to that of the priest.
A hardbound bible, my dad's gift to me when young, which I still carry, bore witness to many of my nights. I was hooked with the old testament and the psalms. I adored David and was proud to be named Joseph. After father of Jesus & the chap in the old testament. The wise one, who lead Jews to Egypt, during a famine in Israel. I prayed the time I walked, the time I played, the time I slept. I truly lived a Christian.
The sound of a train passing by, made my mind travel to my first trip alone from the south to the north of India. I called it internship, for the sake of easy approvals. The first lie. Two vodka bottles, a pack of ten gifted by a friend & clothes made my bag and then the bible was there at the bottom. Dunno why, but i carried it. I remember watching the green give way to the plateaus in a dream woven with vodka and pot. The empty train was like my big private party, all the way from Cochin to Delhi.
No trace of the alter boy remains in me, not even the faintest scent of mass wine adorn my lips. But, the smell of lively spirits. The alter boy and the one who went on a travel are all me.
who all, am I!