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Thursday, July 26, 2012

The strolls I cherish

There was a large dusty ground in the middle of the small town, a majestic church over its circumference and lanes of houses on the other side opposite to the church. I remember running across the ground to the church with a scarf over my head. I used to occupy the front row religiously and sometimes rewarded  with a chocolate by the parish priest during Sunday class. I used to have fun in that town where my grandfather worked. My dad had to go for a training and so me, my mom and my sisters were there in my grandfather's house, for 6 months if am not wrong.  I was studying UKG in Kodai when we had to go to that town. I attended school in the town for the time being. It was the only school in that town, with the  medium of instruction being Tamil . I was put in first standard and enjoyed being there, as I was ahead of the local kids and the teacher would always ask me to keep my mouth closed whenever she asked some questions to the class. But I used to answer mischievously every time and then she would ask me to stand outside! I was ahead not because I was a smart kid, but maybe because, techically that was my second year going to school (UKG after LKG) than my classmates there. Sometimes the teacher used to ask me to stretch my hand and give one with a long stick, for answering, what an irony!  :-) I can't say I was  mischievous, but I enjoyed to the fullest. I remember many things from that part of my life. I was famous as my grand father's pethi (grand daughter) and a good pious girl. :-) Its true, believe me! :-)

Well, our house was in one of the lanes perpendicular to the church. The front door opened to one lane (lane 1) and the back door led to a open space which then descended like a small hill to the next lane (lane 2). My appayi (grandma) would take me through the front door, drop me in school and go back home through the playground and then through lane 1. But I think she must have gone crazy seeing me back in the house. Yes, I would climb the small hill from lane 2 and I would be in the house even before she could reach home!
I remember shooing the crows away from the dry fish spread in the backyard. I remember my grandma cleaning fish with saambal (ash). The thread-cot, the chickens and the baskets used to cover them - I remember all of those well.

I remember a few more things but I cherish one thing more than all the above. Yes, my time with my great-grand-father (பூட்டன்)! He lived in a different village, but was visiting for some days, I think. He would take me out for a walk - from our house to the petty-kadai at the corner of the lane. He would get newspaper for him and a banana for me. This was our ritual though I don't remember the number of days we did that. It was a small walk and a banana, but the memories it had carved in the depth of my heart- that matters most. I loved my great grandfather and still love him a lot. He had even visited us in Kodaikanal and we went for walks there too. And one day a nail on the side of the road poked his foot and it was bleeding. I was very sorry for him. I also remember visiting him and my great-grand-mother in our native village. He used to have a box of candies known as 'thaen mittai'. hmmm yummm :-) He gave me the bottle-green hand kerchiefOnce I tried sweeping the courtyard with a broom made of sticks taken from coconut leaves. I must have been in my 3rd or 4th std. I gave one big sweep and the dry leaves from one side flew all around. Then I gave another big sweep in the opposite direction and the leaves flew in different direction. My thatha came and scolded me and taught me to bend low and sweep gently. Even now, sometimes while sweeping my house I remember him.

Then one day in school, during my fifth standard, my Social Studies teacher asked our class who all had great grand parents. I raised my hand so proudly and happily. The very next day my great grand father went to the heavens. :-( I don't remember why my teacher asked that question but I started hating him for that.
I cherish my time with my 'poochandi thatha', yes we used to call him like that, but again don't know how he got that name. Those little strolls with him are cherished fondly in my heart!

11 comments:

  1. Good sweet memories....I also remember my great grandpa, who was living with my Rail Thatha..but I don't think I will be able to narrate it so well.

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    2. :-)Thanks dear! I can write the story for you at some reasonable rate/word :-P

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  2. Hey grace.. this is lovely.. I felt I was with you.. such a lovely narration. Dint feel bored.. just enjoyed it and read it full. You are good "Creative Holder".

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    1. Thanks lots Shaby! I was thinking about the length as Albert told me it was long :-)

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  3. Mallarum ninnaivukagal :-).. "I gave one big sweep and the dry leaves from one side flew all around" -- Lekha does this kind of sweeping everyday oru idathil irukka kuppaiya she will distribute all place and get 'chella' thittu from her thatha..probably this is girl kid's trademark chettaiyoo :-)

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    1. haha but I don't think I did that when I was as young as Lekha :-)

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  4. lovely memories! :) hmmm :( i missed all these things.. all i remember is our own grandpa and the way i used to play cards with him when i was 7.. ;) and those yummy egg puffs!

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    1. You were a small baby dear. yeah I too remember the cards, thaayam, you and thatha's 'fights', egg puffs etc..will make a post on that too! :-)

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  5. your memories are wonderful ma. You remember things those happened in your very little childhood as I do. nice to read

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I appreciate your valuable comments, Thanks!

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