Teary eyed, I stood in front of the house where I lived my childhood days. I wanted to step in but it wasn’t my house any longer, belonged to some other family and I thought it would not be right to disturb them early morning. So I just stood there on the road glaring at the garden that my mother once had so well curated, the rose bed on side of the garden still remained intact, though the other side of the garden, the Bermuda grass lawn cried out for maintenance. The Cobra Saffron ( Naag champa), Hibiscus and Palms around the lawn which were once plants have strongly rooted themselves over the last 18 years. And the bougainvilleas in the corner of the house were in full bloom.
Everything seemed to be the same, almost. Just one thing which wasn’t the same about the place. The garden I stood in front of seemed to be much smaller as I thought it used to be when I was a child. The roads now look much shorter and narrower than it used to be. The school corridor which seemed like an endless alley is a short walk now!
Why were objects appearing smaller than what I remember them to be?
Quite obviously the place/object hasn’t shrunk in size. So, did I develop a refractive disorder?
We all must have experienced this at some point in time and wondered why did we feel so.
Children and adults see the world differently!
Here’s my attempt to reasoning. As a child, I viewed every little detail that came between where I stood and where the garden ended. These interesting details put together, formed a much larger image of the garden in my memory.
Experts state that the brain of a child relies on individual sensory systems to form an estimate, where as the adult brain integrates multiple sensory information (vision, touch) to make better sense of the world around. Adult can suppress the noises of the surroundings (flowers/people/other things which are of interest to a child) and processes the place/object in view faster. With “fused sensory information” and higher processing speed of an adult brain, brings the realization that the estimate drawn in childhood is at conflict with the present.
As we grow up in height and age, our angle of viewing the world changes. Our vision is not restricted to just that place/object, but our memory space is invaded with lot of other related information, which helps to form a comparison and subsequently draw a judgement of what we see.
A thought that resonates here, is how our own perceptions change over time. On meeting someone new, our adult mind rushes to form judgments about the person, quite unlike a young mind which only perceives a new friend. The time when spontaneity was not considered risky and the time when being simple didn’t mean being foolish. Life was far beautiful when we lived every moment of it.
It’s strange to think that we grow up to learn and gather so much knowledge, overburden ourselves with work and thoughts, only to trace back and strive to live life from a child’s perspective. Clear unfiltered beauty of life.
Standing by the road, I yearned to be a child again.