Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A few of my favourite (forgotten) things...

It’s been over a month since I said I’d do this one for my favourite glam celeb journo, Ramya Kannan, who is off gadding about in Oz at the moment. (Rums, I may not always be prompt, but I do eventually deliver.)

So here goes:

- Early morning pre-sunrise walks on Marina Beach with my friends. (We learnt the hard way to stick to the prettily laid out sidewalk rather than go down to the water… because instead of seeing the sun rise, all we got was a LOT of moons. We should really have known that the local slum folks use the shores as their open-air lavatory.)

- Breakfast at Karpagambal Mess after early morning walks. The old waiter there made it a point to bring me badam halwa absolutely DRIPPING with pure ghee, which my friends would scoff once his back was turned. (I don’t like sweets that much.)

- My first trip to Pondicherry with my friends on our Kinetic Hondas and motorbikes, down the (then new) bypass. We simply FLEW down the brand-new, smooth, wide, wonderful road – one of the best trips ever.

- Trips to Kodaikkanal where we invariably stayed one of the CSI Cottages. I can’t remember the cottage names now, but I do remember the beautiful but oddball collection of furniture there. All antiques, I’m sure.

- Going to school on a windy morning, only to have the first hour free and then be told to go home because of a hurricane. Oh, the excitement of an unexpected holiday, walking home in the crazy wind, with the dark clouds gathering – thrilling beyond words!

- Going out for a walk after the worst of the hurricane was over, while the air was still cool, to see how battered the neighbourhood looked!

- Being grateful to have Star TV and Star Plus programmes to watch even if the country (I mean Doordarshan) was in forced mourning for some dead politician or the other.

- DD’s signature music at the start of the day’s programmes.

- The title song of the TV serial “Subah” – one of the most memorable tunes ever, I think. Also a very watchable serial, IMHO. I guess I was at the right age to get really involved with the characters! Still remember Salim Ghouse’s bad boy portrayal.

- Watching Chitrahaar around Independence Day or Republic Day, KNOWING that “Nanna munna rahi hoon” would figure on the list!

- Getting a stack of Archie comics (apart from other, more solid books) from Senthil Lending Library and always pestering the guy for new ones, then feigning shock-horror at the borrowing fee in the hope of having him reduce the total money owed. Very rarely worked, but I went through the rigmarole anyway.

- Playing carromboard endlessly with my cousins and uncles and aunts during the holidays.

- Eating nellikkai from the tree in my friend’s house, even though they were way too sour and made my tongue feel funny.

- This goes back many many years, when I lived in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania. Walks down to the seashore which was fairly near where we lived, just to pop the buds? bulbs? on the wildly tangled seaweed that washed up on the sand at low tide. There was always competition in the form of local kids but on the whole, popping seaweed was a peaceful affair.

- Scavenging little ceramic or tile squares from the ground around our house, in Dar, to use as markers when we played “tikri” – hopscotch, in other words. Paandi, in still more words. Strangely enough, tikri was the name of both the game and the marker. Also, I cant explain why little perfect square bits of patterned ceramic were to be found in the sand/dust.


If anybody wants to add theirs in the comments section, please do!

8 comments:

brinda said...

oh lovely, shyam! karpagambal, beach, pondy, kodai.... gosh! ok, i hadn't forgotten them precisely, they were um... in the backroads of my mind :-) thanks for bringing them back!

Pretty Woman said...

I wanted to add...the anticipation and thrill of the 2 month summer vacation...especially in the last 10 minutes of the last stupid exam you have been answering...awesome feeling! :D

KiwiLax said...

gosh, i am so far gone, have to really think of what to write in this!!!!oh, the joys of adulthood;-(

30in2005 said...

What a lovely list! And how I envy you living in Dar!

perspective said...

Hey... long time no see...
Its been really long isnt it...
I've obviously missed a lot here...
:) that's a really nice pictures you've put on the profile... hadnt seen one until now

just came by to say hello to an old friend...

hari said...

Hi Shyam,

Serial "Subah" and Republic Day/Independence Day Chitrahaar, very much part of my nostalgic memories too.

hari said...

Hey let me tell you sunrise at Marina and early morning breakfast at Karpagam is a luxury I still get to enjoy once in a while.

the mad momma said...

Subah... I so loved Salim Ghouse... you just cost me half an hour away from work.. just daydreaming. ..