On a whim, today I decided to wear a saree, Mi. I know you would be thrilled to hear that. I had to do the Navratri hop and thought, why not a saree today? So, I checked for the color of the day–grey–and picked the […]
Memories from another day . . .
So, inspired by all the Navratri spirit around me, I decided to clean out the living room cupboard, Mi. Remember how, when we first moved into this house, it was half decorative stuff and half toys? Then gradually, over the years, two shelves were taken […]
Today, while channel-surfing casually–I was waiting to open the cooker–I came across DD airing MS Subbulakshmi’s Bhaja Govindam, Mi! She would have been 100 years old today, you know. Oh, that dear charming face, the gorgeous voice! How wonderful it was to listen. As the song played I quickly got lunch ready and sat down to enjoy it with the music filling my ears and my senses and of course, I couldn’t help but trail down memory lane.
I remembered how, during my childhood, on Sundays, we practically had a music fest after our brunch. Kondu mama would literally light up the place with his cheerful attitude, cleaning, cooking, triggering laughter and conversations, joking about all the people we knew.
We’d expect Bore mama to come over sometimes and while we were quite fond of him, we would love to tease him. I loved it best when Athai came over. I have such fond memories of Paati and Athai on one side of our huge “hall” aka living room, while others were scattered around, in their own favorite spots. I loved the window sill best, with a few of my toys and books.
Once lunch was wound up, and the kitchen cleared, we would all settle in the hall, in anticipation. What fun it was to have Kondu mama bring out the record player and the records, while Gopmama lounged with his crossword. Kittu mama would get busy browsing through his mental list of tiffin options for the afternoon, after we all had tea.
Then Kondu mama would start the musical fest with some Cliff Richard songs and we would sing along. Remember what fun it used to be, Mi? Summer Holiday was my favorite then! That would be followed by some KL Saigal, some Juthika Roy . . . And then, MS Subbulaxmi. How heavenly it was! Then at 2.30, tea would be made and enjoyed, sitting on the floor in the middle of the hall.
I especially recall those sparrows chirping–they had a little nest in the corner of the room near the window and they’d keep flying in and out through the window without bothering anyone. Such nice live and let live times!
After the last MS record, we’d listen to MLV and it would be the cue to start making tiffin. Kittu mama always voted for bajjis or pakodas, while Kondu mama would root for sabudana upma! Sometimes there would be a tie and both would be made and about an hour later, we would all assemble again in the hall to sit and enjoy it together.
It is funny to think that after that, later in the evening, we would go for a walk or to the temple nearby and come back for an early dinner before getting ready to start the week the next day. Around 9 the kitchen would be closed and we would listen to the radio as everyone drifted off to sleep, slowly. I loved how Gopmama told me stories, stretching those fairy tales with his own versions. But I loved your stories best, Mi! Hugging you and sleeping, as you stroked my hair, making me believe I was so very special.
Do you remember how I searched high and low to get that 5-tape set of MS’s songs? Still have it.
Fast forward to decades later, and we would play these on Saturday mornings and let the musical notes lovingly caress us before we decided to get up and start the weekend.
Yes, I still like to believe that when a leaf or flower falls on me from a tree when I am out there walking, it is a blessing. It is nice not to grow up in some ways. Because that’s how we create our cozy place–that place we can retire to, feeling the cocoon of love when we need it.
I wish you were here to listen to this song now. But come to think of it, you can probably hear it live up there, Mi.
Yeah yeah yeah. I know that’s not a day of the week, Mi, but nevertheless it feels good to fantasize about the things I’d love to do, some day.
Now you might raise an eyebrow and ask what or who is stopping me from converting fantasy to reality. Easy enough no? Except…sigh…I am my own worst enemy when it comes to so many things. Even though I sincerely believe that true happiness lies in the little things, the truth is…it actually lies. I often end up following the two-minute principle. Thinking of P here. Remember how she’d say two-minutes and one time, that turned out to be several hours? Funny how we put up with just about anything with someone we love and laugh it off. The same thing from anyone else would grate on our nerves.
So wait, where was I? Oh yeah–some day.
There are days when, just as I go to bed and let my mind wander after mulling over the good points in the day, I wish I could just wake up in the morning, finish the kitchen stuff and settle down with a book until lunch time, then continue reading, with breaks for tea-coffee-food.
Or maybe, after the kitchen stuff, because food is important, eh, make a list of all the places I want to visit in our area and set off. That wish list of want-to-visit is growing and growing. I want to go roam 8th cross to find a nice big tote bag because that lovely faux leather handbag has begun to peel. And of course, I helped it a bit during a long bus journey by peeling off more than I meant to. Don’t laugh! I know you are thinking of those days when I’d save cute labels and stickers–aided and abetted by the infant in our house who seemed adept at peeling off stickers from his diaper, and his diaper–especially when it was full.
Or visit Kiran stores. They have four floors now with just about anything a household might want.
Or walk down to the bazaar to browse stuff. Yep, window-shopping is therapeutic.
Oh by the way, Nilgiris has totally revamped itself, after making the residents in our area wonder whether they are shutting down. Each time we went there, one aisle went missing. And then one day, voila! Brand new store. Very nice indeed. Which reminds me, I want to go to heritage fresh to check what’s there. I guess no matter what, I’ll never get over finding the best price. And why not, I say!
Weirdly, though, online shopping has spoiled us for actually getting out. Thing is, pricing is also far better. For example, yesterday I went to the local veg shop and found that veg prices were twice that on our usual online grocery store. Kundru was rs.80 a kilo while in the online store, it was rs.38. how can there be such a disparity? So I got back with just 2-3 things and decided to manage.
Oh, remember that hopcoms in 15th, Mi? It is glorious. The cauliflower there is so-o-o-o-o huge. A bit pricier but the produce is great. You know, I am just stunned that without rs.500 it is difficult to buy enough veg and fruit. I recall those days when our joint monthly income of rs.1500 ran out during the last ten days of the month and we’d somehow manage until it was pehli taareek. You would buy rs.1 or 2 worth of veggies from the cart guy who worked our area. One onion, one tomato, a handful of beans, one potato and 50 paise worth of greens. We’d manage to make a delicious subzi with that and also have neighbors over to eat.
You know, I am glad I had the privilege of that experience. Humans are so clever at survival. Did I tell you I still have the “oxygen” purse where you used to stash rs.1000 for emergencies? Gosh, that also reminded me of that time when one of our visitors stole it from our drawer. Brrr!
Some days, I tell you!
And yes, still going to actually implement what you kept urging me to do–just do it. Life is too short.
Okay I have a load to do. Famous last words.