H for Home….
Generally, conception of good beliefs and faith in a person are an impact of the formative childhood years. It is believed that the family members, neighbourhood and places we live in, infuse a certain wisdom, culminating in a metamorphosis by which the adulthood is attained.
I grew up wanting to explore places, experience multiculturalism, learn different languages, meet lot of people. True to my desire, whenever I move into a different place and make a new home, I create new memories and love the new life. But my heart associates the word HOME to the house and place I grew up. The feeling is like, how much ever we fancy the Starbucks coffee or espresso, “that South Indian heart” of us relates the fondness for coffee only with the filter kaapi.
Coming to my memories about my HOME, I remember our early morning suprabatham, aroma of filter kaapi, sharp trill of our milkman’s cycle bell, Tulasi madam, kolam (rangoli ), fragrance of incense sticks, cooker whistles, water storage routine, scent of flowers from pooja room, slapping and flogging of dirty clothes on the laundry stones, rhythmic sloka chanting, pumping air in the cycle tyres using the manual pump, tying the schoolbag to the cycle carrier, filling the water bottles, hunting for fresh pair of socks and last minute shoe polishing.
There is a surprising yet peculiar sense of connectivity that our brain has, with everything related to our home. It could even identify the sound of our house’s gate latch, in-spite of if it being similar to that of our neighbours. We become an encyclopaedia of specially acquired weird wisdom, be it the handling the electronics at home, using secret storages, fixing broken things like a pro and many more. I still remember the art of realigning the cassette tape’s ribbon, maintaining the track of comics transactions with friends and storing it away from sibling’s eyes, recording latest cinema songs and playing it on loop, convincing parents to include us in grown up’s carrom board games, seeking their permission or rather nagging them for our play date and the list goes on.
The exuberant road side cricket matches amidst the fights that erupted every 2 balls, when the said batsman, coincidentally/incidentally gets tummy pain/cramps etc when he is bowled out. And the dispute settlements regarding deviation on some of the basic game rules like, the call of OUT or NOT out depending on the distance travelled by the ball from the boundary. If the cricket enthusiasts break any of the lights/window panes, there was more fun to hang on, for a week or for a month till the loss is compensated.
The hide and seek sessions especially during the power cuts were “out of the universe” fun and boisterous too. It was followed by Rs.3 kulfi icecream at the midnight. The power cuts, were blessings in disguise. We would play outside in the dark, till we were thoroughly exhausted and the minute we entered the house, impatience due to exhaustion and sweat due to lack of fan would irritate us. Thus forcing us to take turns to call the electricity board office every five minutes, to enquire about the resumption of power.
God must have saved that man at work during those days😃. I mean it. Because, the very thought of such nagging follow up phone calls every 5 mins at work gives me a high BP alert. I have developed immense respect for that patient man the more I grew up.
Our Sunday routine used to be the most exciting ones. The hair oiling regime was followed by shikakai hair wash, eating an elaborate breakfast and a bow-arrow playtime(inspired by Arjuna) and duityfully watching the Epic show Mahabharata. There were quite a number of elements that made the show’s viewership soar to great levels. Thought provoking dialogues and captivating Krishna(Nitesh.B) were the enchanting features of the show. I had conveniently fixed in my heart for a long time, that Lord Krishna looked like Nitesh or more to say I really thought Nitesh was Lord Krishna.
Summer vacations were the most exciting period we had eagerly looked forward to, We used to hire cycle for hourly rate and learn to ride it with the help of friends. Often, we fought for our turns with that teacher friend. On the pretext of teaching, the Teacher would go for frequent Test-drives more than the student. At times such fights prompted adult interventions, investigations and some strong warnings to both parties. One good thing was that, those fights never lasted any longer than a day or 2.
There were hardly any grudge. Our neighbors were a kind of extended family.
Dolling up ourselves on birthdays, and skipping up happily to everyone’s house to distribute chocolates and the bouts of smiles and warmth that the pen or pencil/small toys/books brought us were the examples of how uncomplicated and unadulterated childhood we have had. In fact those gifts were treasured the most.
Diwali was one occasion we all Came together, shared heartfelt festive greetings, sweets, savouries and compliments regarding the festive dressing, every year. The competition to buy crackers, the enthusiasm that ozzed while preparing and distributing sweets made it festive season. Programming the mind to gather all the data regarding celebrations just to stay abreast with neighbour’s plans, sun-drying the crackers and the joy that bubbled, when we took lead in the race of “number-of-crackers that actually busted” when we won even by one single bijili(needle sized cracker). Not to forget The James Bond effect and feel we demonstrated after possessing that roll-cape and toy gun. We do it the same way now, but the enthusiasm we had those days is beyond words.
Probably it’s because we bought new dresses only on selected occasions. So, wearing a new dress and looking forward for good comments was equally exciting too.
I can go on and on. But concluding this, I am thankful to all those friends and neighbours who have created such an impact and given us more beautiful memories to cherish for our lifetime.
Puc Courtesy : Google