Tag Archives: Childhood

A winter memory


Misty mornings, cold days, chilly evenings and the frosty night. This is my sweetest dream of a windy day. As of now, it is not possible in Trivandrum, my home city because of the famous maritime climate, I always wish to wake to that beautiful dreamy winter morning. I believe that when wishes remain as dreams for long, it starts getting sweeter and sweeter. And for my snowy winter morning, its is the sweetest dream of mine now.

I have never experienced snow fall in my life time yet. The mesmerising white blanket is too adorable for me. I wish to play in that freaky soft white sand of frozen water. In my childhood days, I have experienced a hail stone night. It was a party day in the army camp, where I used to live with my father. There was no sign of rain in the evening. But all of a sudden, by around 8 in the night, I felt like stones were falling from the sky. Soon, all found out that it was big pieces of ice that was falling. Though that was not so good experience to boost about, it was and is only my frozen experience with nature.

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St Jude School and Memories – Part 1


Many say I am bit nostalgic about past. Yes, I am. I feel proud of all the memories I have. I believe, without memories, whether good or bad, the very existence of human race can be challenged. The memories are the key to our past, the cradle of our present  and hope of our future. And the school life has given me a lot of memories to share. Today, I am onto my first school : St Jude School, killipalam.

St Jude School and Church

St Jude School and Church

I joined St Jude school at the age of 4. The very first days of  the world experience outside my mother’s safe hands. I had my kinder garden for one year, before I joined St Jude. That was in Gandhi memorial pre school. At those days, I was quite afraid and cried a lot in the early days. I still remember the very first day at Gandhi memorial. My uncle dropped me to the school. At first, I was very excited about the prospect of joining the school. The excitement was generated in me by my mother who gave all the dreams of new friends, teachers, games, cartoons etc. But when Uncle left me in the school compound and the grilled door shut between us, it was too much for me. I joined the chorus of my classmates, crying at the top of my voice: My uncle still mentions about that scene quite often.

But when I joined St Jude, I was more matured enough for not crying on the very first day. But I knew the pain in holding that mild weep between the breath. I don’t remember much about the LKG or the lower kinder garden. All I remember is standing for the morning prayers and the after noon sleep on the bench. I was very curious then. During the morning prayers, when all stand, I used to turn and watch everyone’s faces. I was eagered to know how each one of them hold the hands during prayer. I wondered why everyone has their own way of prayers. Some folded their hands, some drew cross on their chest. Then, I didn’t know the boundaries drawn by religion. I didn’t knew I was not born as a human, but a caste and religious symbol. I didn’t know that more than recognising myself as a boy or girl or by my name, I was also identified based on the caste and religion by the so called society.

During my UKG or the Upper Kinder garden, I remember the name Jijo, who was the guy who sits adjacent to me. During the after noon mandatory sleep hours on the bench,we used to do all the kind of nasty stuffs possible without detection of teacher. We used to draw under the desk, play with pencil box, all I could remember off. Another stuff, I remember of that year is the small space in the wall at the entrance of the school. During the disperse at the evening, we form a queue at the school entrance. Near the door, there is this tiny space which could easily fit a small kid. I used to hide there till 2nd standard while standing in the queue. I enjoyed myself contained in that small space. After that, I no longer fit in that space. I also remember now, the Ayahs or the care takers in the school, who served the milk from our milk bottles in the colourful plastic glasses kept at school during the interval. But I prefered to sip my milk straight from the milk bottle, sent to me by the father who was in army then.

With the entry of Ist standard marked a new begining in the long path of my education. Keep reading the rest in my next blog post.

When is it better to be sorry than safe?

Music brings back the memories


Music has a charm. It could make you dream, remember and fantasise. This is the main reason, that for every celebrations,entertainments and amusements, we have the back ground score ticking, The essence of music fills the gap produced by the silence. And the melody that fills the air, just takes us through to another world.

We hear different songs, genre everyday. But some music heard at a right moment in life stays hibernated in the memory, for a very long time. When that song or note is heard again, your time just leaps to that very first moment. I had the same feeling today, when I heard the album’Colonial Cousins’ in the morning,

When I was 13 years old, I heard this song for the first time. Till then, all songs I used to hear was malayalam songs and often the rocking MJ and ‘Air Supply’. But the english songs never caught my attention. In Colonial Cousins, Hariharan and Lezzie Lewis has made good blend for Indian classical music, western beats and a well written lyrics. The teenager in me was caught up in the electric guitar notes, the natural sounds used in the album and the sweet lyrics. When the feeling of love blossomed in me for the very first time , I had the song “Looking to your eyes” from this album humming all inside my heart. I dont what was my interpretation of love at that age,but all I felt was I cared for someone at that time. But It took me to get more matured to understand that love is a mutual shared feeling than a one sided drama. I will go into it at a later post-“The first feeling of Love”. But for now, The songs of colonial cousins, dragged me back to the childhood and now cherishing the sweet memories through the melody that flowed from the cassette player of my uncle to my little heart years ago.

My favorite teacher is Asha Teacher


There was always something special about Asha teacher. During School days, she was the most respected for some students and for some, she was most unexpected evil during the most unexpected hour. Because she always drops in the middle of our troubled moments with the thin stick she used to carry. I still remember, she never used the stick much. But, it was her mighty tongue that really went right through our hearts. Her sound stands above all. She stills have that mighty sonority !!!!

Asha Teacher was always calm, happy faced and more importantly had the command of obedience among the students. I can’t recollect even one student of any grade disobeying her words. Though some hated her, even they did respect her from their heart. But at the time, we were kids, she was content and insisted on discipline. She had the strict habit of making us talk in English. Though we rebelled against it at our very best in those times, I still believe that her effort is what made the base for us to speak the language in the way I do now,

I won’t say she is the best teacher in the world. But she always had her own way of looking at things. Otherwise, how come she would have discovered in me a good speaker? I was good in writing at my school days, but was very reluctant to come out in front of audience to speak up.It was she, who made the first attempt to make me participate in a elocution program. Though the first attempt was an unforgotten tragedy for me, it laid the seed in me to improve upon myself.

After we completed schooling, my classmates and myself used to visit the school often. Each time, I met her after the school life,I sensed the love she had for the students more and more deeply. I understood from her that being an acceptable teacher is a simple logic: Love the students and teach them as a mother. Who could teach you better than a mother? And best teachers in our life always stand equal as our Mother.

Onam Thoughts


Another ‘Onam Days’ are at the brink. The celebrations has started all over the city. The people are busy emptying their wallets and buying goodies with the ‘Onam’ Offers. I feel like all were waiting just for this moment to buy new things to their home, to make the best out of the ‘Onam discounts and offers’.

For me, Onam picture from my child hood days often had more colors than today. I still can collect those fresh memories from my school days. My Grand mother ,whose house is adjacent to my house, used to decorate the front of her house with “Atham”, an arrangement with flowers. The Atham is decorated on all ten days of the Onam festival, the last day being the grand one. The D day also known as ‘Thiruonam’, features a superb ‘Atham’ a.k.a ‘Pookkalam’ on the courtyard. My uncle buys more flowers , in different colors. The final result is an elegant flower pattern.

Atham

Atham

Beautiful moments in Onam cannot be remembered without the walk through the city night. During Onam festival, Government decorates all the buildings and the palace grounds at ‘Kanakakkunnu’ . The road will be fully crowded and the people will be moving like a slow stream. I will walking holding my uncle’s hand, face angles atop the building walls and the amusements arranged along the road.

Painful moments also occurred twice during my Childhood. I was aged 3 or 4 then. I was riding on the carrier behind my uncle’s bicycle. We went to the junction where big guys in our locality create a big ‘Atham’ . It was a massive flower decoration with lots and lots of flowers. It was a great treat for eyes. After that, while we were returning home, the pain of Onam happened. As we were about reach back to home, the cycle fell to a massive gutter, I was standing on the back carrier of the cycle and holding on to the Uncle’s back. The violent shake made my foot slip and my ankle got twisted between the cycle rim. The pain lasted for the entire Onam vacation and made it the one of the worst Onam ever of my life.

Let me come back to the present. Now, the Onam time has shifted from the celebration of equableness, fullness and the prosperity. Now, the entire celebration is shifted to celebration of money. The age of commercialization and the spendthrift society has moved away from the old ethics. Now, Onam is a time to spend money and the city is full of options to spend it. The textile, electronics, all kinds of commodities that we can imagine is available with lots of discounts and offers associated with it. The offers draw people and a great deal of business happens during this time. I think this is the peek business time in Kerala. Even I too became the part of the Shopping festival. My wife and myself strolled through the stalls in palace grounds and was really fascinated by the handicraft works by the rural people and the material collections made out of bamboo. I too made a few purchases . The collection of home made pickles from Rajasthan was irresistible. I also bought a pair of Sony rechargeable battery and its charger for my ‘Canon cyber shot’. My week end plans for a cross Kerala trip do demands the camera to be ready.

For the non Indian’s readers for the blog, let me include a brief description of the Onam festival and the legend.

A long long time ago, an Asura (demon) king called Mahabali ruled Kerala. He was a wise, benevolent and judicious ruler and beloved of his subjects. Soon his fame as an able king began to spread far and wide, but when he extended his rule to the heavens and the netherworld, the gods felt challenged and began to fear his growing powers. Presuming that he might become over-powerful, Aditi, the mother of Devas pleaded with Lord Vishnu to curtail Mahabali’s powers.

Vishnu transformed himself into a dwarf called Vamana and approached Mahabali while he was performing a yajna and asked for alms. Pleased with the dwarf brahmin’s wisdom, Mahabali granted him a wish. The Emperor’s preceptor, Sukracharya warned him against making the gift, for he realized that the seeker was no ordinary person. But the Emperor’s kingly ego was boosted to think that God had asked him for a favor. So he firmly declared that there is no greater sin than going back on one’s promise. He kept his word.

The Vamana asked for a simple gift — three paces of land — and the king agreed to it. Vishnu in the guise of Vamana then increased his stature and with the first step covered the sky, blotting out the stars, and with the second, straddled the netherworld. Realising that Vamana’s third step will destroy the earth, Mahabali offered his head as the last step.

Vishnu’s fatal third step pushed him to the netherworld, but before banishing him to the underworld Vishnu granted him a boon. Since he was attached to his kingdom and his people, he was allowed to return once a year from exile. Onam is the celebration that marks the homecoming of King Mahabali. It is the day when a grateful Kerala pays a glorious tribute to the memory of this benign king who gave his all for his subjects.