Monday, July 26, 2010

Past Memories Revisited

Blog Question for the last week from my CreateCrochet Team was:
Tell us a favorite story from your childhood?
There's a lot of stories that I would like to write about my childhood:
There are some things that I don't remember. But my parents and people from my neighbourhood used to tell me and tease me with it. My elder sister Alpa says that dad made Sira(a sweet dish) when I was born. An elderly aunty( In India, everyone who is more than 20 and married, is an aunty if elder to you) once told me that whenever I used to see her as a baby, I used to bawl like crazy, but once she removed her specs, I became quite. She also told me that I used to have funny names for things. For eg: Rice bread in India is called "Rotla". I used to call it "Dokla". My dad used to say that sometimes my hands used to freeze and I couldn't open my fists. So he placed ice cream cones in both my hands and I used to start eating it as if nothing happened. Then my neighbourhood didi(Elder but not married is a didi which means elder sister) always teased me. She used to say that my elder sister Purnima used to take an empty tin box, took 2 sticks and made a drum like sound. I used to dance saying, "Bhalu nache re" "Bhaalu naache re" which means "The bear dances". I was a funny little child.

I remember learning gardening. I loved growing vegetables, fruits, herbs and weeds too. Once I grew 2 peanuts and got almost 20 out of them. But a few were empty. I couldn't understand why. So I kept a watch and saw that there were 2 chipmunks who used to eat them up. Aa ha and here I thought why there were empty peanuts. I remember drawing my 1st Rangoli( a painting done with colors and food grains on the ground during one of India's holiday, "Diwali". My parent's home is near to my school and we have a big playground. During the summer, they put the story books on a huge sheet in sunlight so they stay crisp all year around. When I was 8, I used to ask them to read some. That's where I got the habit of reading. Then, when I was 12, I read my 1st romance novel(Mills and Boons) and I've been hooked ot it ever since. I can read almost 3-4 books a day if I'm not doing anything.

All of us(siblings) spent most of our childhood near my grand parent's(not our real, The grandma was Dad's aunt from mother's side). But we remember them more as our grand parents than our real ones. There were a lot of kids in my grand parent's neighbourhood. So many, that when we played together, there were atleast 30-35 kids to play together. I remember how we used to gather around in the evening during winter, have a bonfire in the center and played "Chinese whisper". it was so funny. The real whisper turned into almost a different whisper by the time it was blurted out to the entire group and we laughed till our tummy's ached.

During monsoon, all the guys and gals came together and played football in the mud. We all looked a muddy sight by the time we finished the game. I also remember, when once a year, all the elderly aunties played a
game of human chains(again in rain) with us. Just think, an entire group of 30-50 people forming a human
chain. Whew, I love it and miss it sooooo much.

I had a small boy toy with a suit when I was a toddler. I had named him "Mr. Halls. I really don't remember why. But I'm sure, there's a funny story behind it. I have no idea where he went. Then, when I turned 8, my dad gifted me a doll on my B'day. There was "Dolly" written on the face of the package. So I named her "Dolly". She's still with me. That's the same time when I started performing great in school and I got a small Buddha fable stories book in my tution classes as a prize. I still have that too. I never understood till recently why Buddha left his family to attain Nirvana. But I now know the answer. An uncle who stays in US named Kirit Uncle brought a huge brown teddy bear for me. Again, I named him "Teddy Bear".

My dad went to Kashmir for a holiday and brought a thick woollen jacket with fur on it for himself. I never let him wear it and it became mine from the time I wore it for the 1st time. It was so big, it touched my ankles. But I didn't give it up till I was big enough that it reached my waist. Every summer, once a year, my dad made mango fruit salad. Hmmm, it was sooo delicious. I miss the time when our entire family of six people had food together. Pappa used to tell me and Purnima that there's a rat on top of the ceiling. When we saw there, he used to fund our prawns(I was a non-vegetarian back then). We, sisters used to fight like cats and dogs for a single place to sit and watch TV, Purnima used to peel each grape, fruit or whatever before eating it as if she had all the time in the world. Phew! she had great patience to do that. Milan(My eldest bro) had difficulty sleeping. I used to do head massage for him and he slept instantly like a baby. Both of them, Milan and Purnima are cat eyed and fair. I used to feel so proud when I walked with my sister Purnima. It was like walking with a princess. Why? Everyone had their eyes on her from wherever she passed and I just loved it. Alpa and me, we both are dark beauties and more on the nerdy side. Alpa is so talented. She learns everything in a jiffy, does awesome crochet, pottery, knitting, is an excellent cook. Ask me, what she is not? And she is fast. I've learned a lot from her and thanks to her because she was the one who introduced me to earning with my crochet skills.

I learned late to make Roti(Indian bread) and I think, atleast 20-25 people taught me how to make it. It was funny since I always was great at making shapes with mud, I remember imitating how my Ba spoke and how dad used to act when he was angry. My mom says I was the quickest to speak and walk. Hmm, so eager to be a big girl and go walk out of that door to learn. She had to literally tie my leg. My teacher in school looked dangerous to me. So when my pencil fell down on the ground in school, I didn't pick it up fearing she would shout at me. That happened everyday. My mom got so tired of bringing new pencils everyday that she started tying it to a rope to my school uniform skirt belt. Lol!

I had a habit of talking to myself loudly. I don't even remember since when I had been doing this. But I loved it anyway and don't question it. When I was 14, I wrote my 1st poem about me being a butterfly. I just remembered that I took a glass jar once, poked holes in the lid and breeded caterpillars. One day, they all turned into beautiful butterflies. I watched the entire process of caterpillars, cocoons to butterflies in awe. I was more of a boyish type of girl and so loved catching tadpoles in marshy water with other boys. Yuck! They're slimy. We had a long municipal gutter near my grand parent's home. We used to make small paper boats, take an umbrella and a stick and had a paper boat race. The one whoss boat reached till the end of the gutter, won.

Once, a girl in my school was acting mean with me and started fighting with me. So I bit her hard and excaped homewards. Her mom fought with my mom and said that my mom was a Careless Mummy. Ofcourse, my mom beat me. Since that day, whenever we speak of that girl's mom, we refer her as Careless Mummy.

I remember my Dada(My grandpa) bringing toys and potato fries after work and we running behind him like small puppies, not for food, but for his love. All kids loved him. Infact, everyone loved him. I was a cry baby. Once, I was crying the entire day. My dada saw it and gave me 2 Rs bill to bring "Pepsi". No, it's not the pepsi that you think. Pepsi is made of ice and juice. It's kind of an icecream but not an ice cream actually. Kids love it. I loved it too. My crying stopped immediately. I went and brought 8 pepsis and had them all. When I returned to him, he asked me where the pepsis were. I said that I had it all and he started laughing so hard and I couldn't understand why. When he said that he had asked to bring it for everyone, I started crying again. He had to make me believe that he was making fun and it was actually all for me to make me stop crying.

He named us all, grandma, his son and daughter, me and my sibling, my parents, everyone. He gave us all a different names and spoke with us all in Hindi. Even now, we siblings speak in Hindi and not Gujarati that is our native language. I sometimes don't believe that this past existed. But the memories makes me realize they are and love and miss it both.

Sorry to whoever is bored with my story. But, I loved every bit of writing it and thanks to Loosethreads2 for this question for letting us refresh some of our almost forgotten great memories.

1 comment:

  1. Mamta,

    No wonder you are so versitile! There are so many aspects to the person of YOU! I really enjoyed reading your story, Thanks for sharing:0)