Saturday, July 28, 2007

New City, New Friends and 3 cute girls

Faridabad was not a good experience for me. Cause I dont have much memories of the place. I left faridabad when I cleared my 2nd standard. I spent the next three years in Hissar. Hissar is a place in Haryana. Hissar is the heart of the Jat Land which Haryana is. Aggressive people and even aggressive Bulls. We will come to the story of the bulls (saand) later. First about the three cute girls.

Mona, Gullu and Shallu were daughters of Khanna uncle and they lived in the house next door. Mona was the eldest , gullu beech mein and then shaalu. Mona was a hottie :-). Though I was in third standard, it did not take me long to find that out. She had what do you call that Boy cut hair and had an air of confidence around her. I would get conscious of myself when I saw her. ummm may be because I wasnt smart enough. And I was not the only one. Gullu was also a cute girl. Very cute girl. The only thing i remember about Gullu is that she was hit by a water balloon during Holi. One of we three brothers were behind it but not me. So it was between Raju and Kalu. She was hit pretty badly by the balloon and her skin turned red. I felt bad for the lil cute Gullu. I tell you , where ever she may be these days, she must be a very pretty girl. I think she was older than me so she would be married by this time. But still she would be a very pretty lady.

Shallu was a kid and we did not really think much of her. She would hardly come out of her house and I dont even remember how she looked like.

Khanna Uncle had some kind of a side business. He would sometimes call all the kids over to his house and we would pick individual grapes from the bunches and put them in a tub. I dont know what he did with all those black grapes. Even now when i drink Tropicana grape juice, Gullu comes to my mind :-).

Incentive? He would kids some grapes to eat. But as long as mona and gullu also picked grapes, I had a nice time.

Uncle would also never send the charlies angels to hang around with our bunch. But we were very young (I was in third standard) and I dont understand how we could harm them. And specially Mona. Never.

Mona was a sanskrit student, so she would have been in atleast 8th standard. How I remember that is once she asked me this question "sanskrit mein legs ko kya bolte hain". I was a shy boy and could never answer Mona.

But that was my first brush with what we call as crushes. So i started pretty early :-) .

The last time I met Mona was towards end of my stay in Hissar. It was another day and another incident to which I will come to later.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Mithun Da ka Jawab Nahi

Mithun Da is something of a cult figure at IIM Calcutta. Due credits to Bhatti on IP for coming up with these.

Priceless gems from the Man himself.

for all those Mithunda fans.............
this is a small collection of his preachings.........

Main hoon Do Numbri, ek se jyaada, teen se kam

Dikhne mein bevda, bhaagne mein ghoda, aur maarne mein hathoda

" Bheegi hui cigarette jal nahi sakti
aur yeh tay hai ki teri maut ki tarikh tal nahi sakti "

"Apun ka naam hai HEERA,
Apun ne sab ko Cheera..."

Mithun da: "mai hun tum jaise logon ki nafarat karne wala, garibon
ke liye jyoti, gundon ke liye jwala"

"tuze banake maut ka niwala, tere sineme gaad dunga mai maut ka bhala. dekh lenga salaa tereko."

Kyunki ab mein Indrajeet nahi......chandaal hoon

Tum chaho toh mera program note karlo
...Tum sab meri diary mein mar chuke ho!

Mein chahoo toh tum sabko abhi mar sakta hoon
Magar abhi maarne se tumhe maarne ka credit meri bullet ko mil jayega!!!!

Mantriji:- "Ye kanch bullretproof hai. tum mujhe chu bhi nahi sakte"
Mithun Da:- "Ye kanch bulletproof hai magar patthhar proof nahi"


"Mere seene mein itna lava sunoge to tumhare kaan ke parde jal jaayenge..
tumhare haathon se hosh ke kabootar ud jaayenge"

"Truck Driver Suraj !! Raasta mera baap aur truck meri maa"

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Mom was the Chip

On a talk show in america, the host asked the guest that now a days we have tools like Netnanny, Cybernanny and all other kind of electronic nannies and there are some companies who are even coming out with anti-porn semiconductor chips, what did you have in your time?

Well that reminded me. Mom was the chip. Remember when guests would come home and they were treated with soft drinks and other nice stuff to eat. We brothers wanted our share but mom would look at us and we usually got the message by the way she did that. Ofcourse once the guests were gone we were like hyenas on meat. Sometimes, when we misbehaved, dad would make us spend a night outside home. To stand outside the door throughout the night is not such a good idea. You can not sleep and then in Faridabad, cockroaches were a huge problem. They would come out at night and made merry while the sun did not shine. I have never been able to understand what cockroaches do when they are just sitting at a place. If you see most of the animals they usually are walking or sleeping or doing something. But cockroaches are unique in their behavior. They would simply sit at a place and dont know do what. Can this be the reason that cockroaches have survived for this long. See they are at ease with their environment. Whether below the earth or above, a cockroach is an example of a creature trying to live another day :-)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Magic Stone

This is something which doesnt happen in the life of most people. Tell me if I am wrong. The place where I used to live in Faridabad used to have some shiny stones in the soil. They looked like crystal. I was quite curious about them as a kid. Those were the days of the Panchantantra and Chandamama etc and the story about "Paras Pathar" was well known to me. I would keep bugging my mother to get me a Paras Pathhar. One day she said that in the Crystal look alike stones lying around, One was the Paras Pathhar.
For some time after that, I would be found picking the stones and testing them with a metallic object. I did not find the magic stone but I guess it again went into my unconscious. Now whenever I fall sick and have fever, I see the same stones falling on me in my dreams and it happens every time I fall ill. Only with a much bigger size. But now I am used to them and rather look forward to the experience :-)

Our Tenants were real nice people. Aunty would make wonderful Raajma Chawal and we were invited often. It was from then that Raajma Chawal became my National Food. Me and My younger brother can eat as much as is cooked for the entire family. We would eat raajma chawal late at night and even after getting up in the morning. Dad would be mad about it but what about free spirit ha ha ha . He scolded us often but he could not stop us. Raajma Chawal was never thrown away if it was extra. We took good care of it.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Bunk Brothers

Thats me on the right , my younger brother on the left and my elder brother behind us. Vidyanand Public School was a pain. It was very far away from home. The school bus always smelt of diesel. The teachers were more like butchers and on top of that my mother had given them Standing Instructions to them to be as liberal in their attempt to make us study hard.

When was the first time you did something for the first time. There were many firsts, however I remember when all three of us bunked school for the first time. We sat in a nearby park and I dont remember this right but I guess we played cards. :-) Kafi Maja Aaya Tha. But this memory is hazy and I am not sure if we played cards or kanche.
My elder brother hated school more than us. He would bunk more often and was caught one day.

Side effects of National Anthem: It was a bright sunny morning and like most schools we used to have our share of PT and then National Anthem and some prayers. The national anthem was going on when it started to itch badly in my head. It was pretty hot and I just couldnt hold . I itched and got my first One Tight Slap in school. Some how being slapped always used to be more embarrassing for me. You know to tolerate a beating with the scale on hands was kind of a manly thing to do. Something you could boast off with friends. But One Tight Slap was never a nice thing to discuss. Kids would even tell the teacher to punish with scales rather than slaps. Some times they relented some times they did not. I do not remember any friend from Vidyanand Public School Faridabad. May be I hated school. I stayed there for two years (1st and 2nd) but cant recall any thing other than that.
Schools later on were more fun. Will come to that later.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Madrasan Aunty

Well I was never really one of those kids who would try extra hard to come first in the class at the tender age of 7. Still mom felt that we needed tuitions. Well not really. She got friendly with our neighbor who was a nice woman from Madras and so the name Madrasan Aunty. Nobody knew her name. Mom would often sent us to Aunty for studies. Aunty was good in english and coming from a family where the national language was Haryanawi, our English was as good as our Tamil. Aunty was really nice and to teach us English she learned Hindi. She would also make cakes and other goodies at times and we looked forward to that. Thats all I remember from that and another incident which with the benefit of hindsight can be termed as a rather embarrassing one. I think I felt guilty for the first time in life when out of anger I made an allegation that she was doing all this hard work for the money she would earn out of tuitions. But that day Dad didnt thrash me. Rather it was very subtle. But I got the message. Very often from these very incidents we learn our way in the society. We forget these small stories but they remain. In what is known in the Behavior Science discipline as the unconscious mind.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Stages of Life

I read some where about kids and the way they should be brought up.
1-5 years - Lalan
6-10 years - Palan
11-15 years - Taran
15+ - To be treated like friends

Now if you dont understand these hindi words dont ask me. If your hindi is not good enough its your problem. Of all I agree totaly with the Pitai Concept. Kids should be beaten up sometimes. My father would often make a bundle of three of us and the person on top would bear the brunt. Its always lonely at the top. I knew this from when I was 6. Had I born earlier, I would have given the quote.

Har ghar kuch kehta hai, ki andar isme kaun rehta hai.

If I was not thrashed by my Dad from time to time, I would have picked up some of the good things in life like Vodka and Fruit Juice a bit early in life.

The third phase started a bit early for me and my two brothers. We moved on to Faridabad from Gurgaon. I did my first and second standard from Vidyanand Public School, Faridabad. We moved to a bigger house in faridabad. We had tenants living on the first floor. And uncle had three daughters :-). Not that I thought about that.
I think a move from KG to 1st standard is a seminal event in a person's life. Its the first step into formal education. I dont know why my mom always said to the teachers "agar bacche padhai na karen to pitai kar dena". And teachers did listen to my mother. My dad never really came to the school to check on us. And unlike movies where kids feel bad when dad doesnt come to school, I never had that feeling. I think my mother was enough to tell teachers to beat us up. And dad took charge at home.

Of "Sam, Dam, Dand, Bhed" my father employed the third tool to its maximum use. But we never really complained. It was part of our upbringing. These days kids know how to dial 100 or 911 in america.

Infact when I went to UK for a project, I was told that parents there dont beat up their kids. ever. Must be true.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Rosedale Public School Horror Show

Rosedale public school was my first school. It was a badly painted yellow and red big house which was converted into a school for kids. I never liked school. When my mom was making me ready for school the second day I asked her if we have to do this everyday. If you remember the old Matador Commercial Vehicles, one of those would pick us up from home. Monu did not join the same school.

We used to have movie screenings in the school where typically cartoon movies would be shown. But that was different. May be it was mistake or by design, the school peon got a horror movie for the screening. By the end of it, most kids could not hold it and we had the teachers telling to the parents that your kids peed in pants. Boy that was one horror filled day. After all we were just 5 or 6 year olds. I would nt tell if I did it in my pants :-). That rather had a strange effect on me. I was quite scared by the serial Vikram Betaal and other such horror. I would also sit in the same TV room when the serial was being aired but when some horror scene came I would secretly close my eyes so as to avoid bad dreams later at night. It continued for some time and I could not enjoy horror movies for next couple of years to come. Infact I even missed all time bests like the "Kile Ka Rahasaya", "Veeraana", "Khooni Darwaja" etc. Later on I did watch all these classics but then it wasnt the same thing as watching as a 6-7 year old.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Vaccination Blues

I think most of us have those vaccination marks on our upper arms. I dont know how many of us remember how we got that. Well I do. Like most kids me and both my brothers were shit scared when it came to facing the needle. Though these days my mom has put on much weight and till some years back she would be the winner in arm wrestling with her sons, those days she was very slim and weak (If u didn't know, many Indian Girls/Women are anaemic). And it was difficult for her to take three evil kids to the hospital for vaccination. I remember she would somehow make a bundle of three of us and haul us to the hospital in a rickshaw and even the rickshaw wala bhaiyya would laugh his way to the hospital with three kids piled on each other. The hospital was nearby. The moment we get our opportunity, all of us ran back to home. Getting us vaccinated was an exercise of sort for her. I don't remember if my father ever helped her in this regard.

Though I was afraid of the needle, I nevertheless was fascinated by the shape and the size of the needle. Later I did a deal with the doctor. He would give me a syringe (without the needle) and I would come for vaccination. So after each insertion, I would come back crying from the hospital with an empty syringe. I was going through some old photographs and realized that I carried the same syringe in many photos. Old photos are fun. You can recall so many things from them. I have always preferred the old film camera to the new digital ones. I have always been able to associate more with the photos when some hard work has gone into it. But things are changing. More than the hard work involved what should matter is the content and the subject and it does actually.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Deepali and "Tuteja" Connection

Yeah now i remember. The first girl in life I knew was Deepali. She lived in a house opposite in front of ours which was 120 - Housing Colony. Deepali's father was a scary man. He was very tall and had big moustaches. Almost as big as his cute lil daughter. He was also not very friendly with the kids. Deepali's mom would decorate plants with Empty egg shells. On asking, she would say that its an egg plant which grows eggs. Of course I believed that. I was 5. And I think me and Monu played our first game of "Posham-pa" with Deepali. We made a good team. We were young and Deepali was cute :-). I think Deepali got me hooked on to Comics. I was a "Billu Pinki Raman Krookbond" kid. In fact parents tell me that I learnt language by reading Comics and telling other kids. I could read and write much earlier than rest of the kids. May be because of the Comics. That brings another random thought to my currently disillusioned mind that if we could find a work we like , life would be so much fun. I do not know if I would have learnt language so fast with regular school books.

I do not remember much about Deepali, but she came back again when I was in college to haunt me. Thats another story which will feature later on the blog when I reach that stage of my life.

The Legend of Bogay Bhaiyya

When it came to playing "Pai" Bogay Bhaiyya was a legend. "Pai" is this game of Marbles where a player would try to hit marbles lying at a certain distance with another marble. He used to play in the Local Pro Tournaments. Bogay would win loads of marbles and every three or four months he would have a big bag full of trophy marbles.
When the bag was full, Bogay Bhaiyya would stand atop his roof like a King and throw the Marbles to his followers ie the local kids. The kids would run all around to loot maximum number of marbles. Now that was free lunch. May be it gave Bogay an incentive to place bets again and win the local tournaments again. Now since we were three brothers we were able to collect large number of marbles. Papa would often get mad at us for coming home with pockets full of marbles. But kids are kids and so were we. I wasn't too bad at the game of marbles but wasnt too good either. These days kids do not play kanche anymore. Or may be they still play but we have moved from lower middle class to an upper middle class status and I guess its only kids from below upper middle class who play marbles now. Kids these days are real fast. They speak English from the day they are born and playstation and xbox come naturally to them. Well I a nuisance when I was a kid. Mom tells me that they would find me lying on the road outside with a bottle of milk in my hands . I do not remember that if I did that. May be.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Pappu the parrot boy

Sometimes its a strange feeling. Short little memories come to you when you least expect them. I was thinking about childhood in the night and so many memories came across. Pappu was the son of the local Dhobi (washerman) and he was a climber of sort. There was not a single tree in the colony that he hadnt climbed. Pappu would often climb the biggest trees and he would come down with parrots in his hands. All the kids used to try to be in the good books of pappu as he would get them the parrots. Not that we ate the parrots. Ofcourse we released them. But it was a nice feeling to have a lovely green bird in hand. They are very light I tell you , they hardly have any weight.

I went to the same colony a couple of years back to find a big wide road in place of the big trees. The parrots and pappu are no where to be seen. And kids of the future may not be able to hold the parrots in their hands like we did. Rather good thing to do and great memories to have.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Of Halley Comet and Butterflies

The first thing i remember from my early days is when on a dark night sometime in the eighties I watched Hally Comet fly past the night sky. I was playing marbles (kanche) with my childhood friend Monu (And he surely was a champ when it came to putting it in the right spot) when we spotted the comet. We used to call it the "Pucchhal Tara". If I remember right I was around 5 or 6 in those days. So thats the first thing i remember from my childhood. I had a rather happy childhood. All that comes to my mind is playing around with the local kids. We also used to catch butterflies. There were lots of them. Dont remember the species but they all used to be yellow in color. We would get up early in the morning to catch more of them as they used to be there in great numbers in the morning. The butterflies have gone since then. Now its all money and those simple joys of life have been replaced by bigger desires and unfulfilled ambitions. I wish childhood could come back and I could catch butterflies with Monu.