Friday, August 19, 2011

Early memories

The earliest memory that I have is waiting at the verandah of amma’s ancestral home for Anuchechi to return from school. Her school was just few buildings away and I could hear the bell ring and almost immediately the flock of kids filled the small lane in front of the house. I’ll be patiently waiting there to get the first glimpse of her and used to jump with joy when I could spot her in the sea of similar looking kids. Anuchechi is my cousin 7 years elder to me and it won’t be wrong if I say I idolize her (even now :P) So I used to feel jealous when I see her with her friends. At least my 2 year old self was conditioned to think that she is MY chechi(yeh private property) and no one should come near her :P In fact my possessiveness towards her was a means for Kuttettan (her younger bro) to pick a fight with me. He knew I will be unfazed whatever he does to me but the moment he does anything to chechi, I’ll be all charged up to fight with him :)

This house which I used to call ‘avva veedu’ (I have no clue why I gave it this name) is in a small village and is very special in my memories. I spent most of my infancy here and later most of my school vacations and even now is ready to give up anything to spend a day there in the same old environment. Amma was working in a school there and we were staying there for the ease of baby sitting I guess. Same was the case with Anuchechi as mema (mom’s sister) was also working and it was not so easy to manage two kids without help. Then there was Acchacchan who was always serious (I have only vague memory of him). I do remember him sitting in the front verandah in the evenings and some or other person will drop in to exchange pleasantries. Some days I used to sit in his lap and listen to their conversations. Amma had told me later that he was a follower of Advaita philosophy and many people in the village considered him quite knowledgeable and used to come to him for advice! Ammamma was always busy with one or other chores – cooking, cows, hens, harvests or making medicines (Acchacchan was an ayurvedic practitioner as well). Valiyammavan was also staying in the house. I can’t remember whether the other two ammavans were also staying there at that time though they used to come there very often. Rather I think they were not staying there as both of them were working in other districts. Can't remember the younger cousins as well. So mostly it was only these many who stayed there :) Acchan used to come on weekends and Anuchechi had told me that she used to long for his arrival as he always came with some goodies to eat. I used to love his arrival coz whenever he comes he used to take us to the paddy fields near by and I used to be so charged up seeing the vast fields. A walk on the muddy and slushy ‘varambu’ was bliss for me :P

The fun time was always in the evenings when the entire family gathered in the courtyard and chit chatted. This courtyard was kind of buzzing all the time. During harvest season,it’ll be full of ladies doing the katta methikkal(the process of removing grains from the paddy by stamping or beating the straw), cheral (removing dirt and stones), nellu puzhungal(boiling the grains before removing the husk), uralil idikkal(manual way of hulling, or removing the husk from rice in a stone gadget) and all such activities related to it. I don’t know if these things are still done anywhere in kerala :( It was such a delightful experience. This was also the place where we used to play and our stage for the extra curricular activities. I still remember the dance that Anuchechi taught me n Kuttettan and she used to make us practice it here. I even remember one step in that where all three of us were going in circles holding a lotus mudra : D Unfortunately only she pursued dance later and we were no where near ;)

PS: I was half way through this post when I got a call from chettan (my brother in law) saying Anuchechi has delivered a baby boy early this morning. Since she is mentioned many a times in this post I thought I'll share the happy news here as well :) I so much yearn to see her and the lil one but unfortunately we are half a globe apart :(

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Memoir

Yesterday I had a phone call with a school friend after so many years. We were talking about our class, teachers, different gangs, incidents etc from that time and I realized most of the things I have already forgotten :( Putting down my childhood memories was always in my mind, but it never materialized and this call did give me the much needed trigger to do that. What if I'm following suit Suresh Kalmadi ;)

And when I decided to pen it down ASAP, the first thought was 'where?' and I almost went back to my personal diary as whatever I’m going to write will be relevant only to myself and doesn’t make much sense for any of the readers. It’s just my way to go back to my past and relive those memories. But then for quite sometime I was feeling guilty about abandoning this space and many of my friends were asking me to start writing again. So here I am coming back to this space hoping to stay here for some more time :)

I am planning to write things as and when I remember stuff and so cannot guarantee any sort of continuity. If someone does read this series do forgive me for that :)

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Travel companion, anyone?

It’s really long since I have paid a visit to this space and I know I don’t even deserve any apologies :( And considering I was someone who was addicted to internet at one point of time and had to struggle to discipline myself to distribute my time and energy to other activities, it is very weird that now a days I hardly switch on the comp after I come back home. Strange are the ways of human mind!!! Btw I have a feeling that something has hit the whole blogworld - except for a very few consistent ones almost everyone in my blogroll seems to be silent… So it’s not just me after all (you need some excuses right) ;)

I know I failed to keep my promise about the VoF trip travelogue. I don’t know if it makes sense even if I try to complete it now as the continuity is totally gone :( In the meanwhile I went for two more awesome long trips – one was Delhi-Madhura-Vrindavan-Agra-Dehradun-Mussorie during March-April 2010. It was more of a leisurely trip just to break the routine. Next was Rajastan during Oct-Nov 2010. That was a hectic but very enjoyable trip and we covered Jaipur-Pushkar-Chittaur-Udaipur-Mt Abu Ranakpur-Jodhpur-Jaisalmer-Sam Dunes camp-Bikaner(Phew). Now if you are wondering why I am suddenly in a trip mode – yeh I am planning my next trip ;) This time it is Europe and I’m planning to cover Amsterdam (Keukenhof gardens which is the main motivation for this trip, Volendam, Marken and the Windmill village), Swiss(hopefully all of it), and south east France (Nice, Monte Carlo, Eze, Cannes, CHAMONIX, Annecy). Planning to leave by May 5th 2011and will be back by around end of May. So the purpose of this post is to check if I have any readers who are as crazy as me who would like to join this journey (whole or partial) :P Do mail me if you are interested, but soon :)
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