A Hangover Too Long

It’s just amazing how some of your best memories are from your childhood! And I so wish someone returned those days back to me. All my summers in Itarsi, a dehat (a type of village) in Madhya Pradesh during my days, how liberating were they!

Mangoes, board games, food, berries, watermelons, melons, cricket, sleep and repeat it in any order everyday. That’s how we passed our days then. Some cartoons too along with video games but mostly outdoor sports! Running around the houses, madly in search of the balls, players, riding bicycles, mopeds, jumping! In those days, we didn’t have homework for summer. No pressure like these days. I genuinely feel, the childhood that we lived will never be lived again. Interestingly though, I don’t remember a single night!

Friends and brother were all I searched for in my summer days. My mother took care of the heat. Mango juices, shakes, Aam Panna (I don’t know what else to call it, my Indian readers will understand it. For everyone else kindly Google it. It’s a raw mango cooler) kept me away from any stroke. The trees, the cold floors and the coolers doing their bit too!

And food and food! I just can’t forget the smell of the rotis with ghee and sugar sprinkled on them. I can’t forget the roti’s torn to pieces and milk and sugar. My mother has had me so fallen for her food, I’m still to wake from my dream. I’m since hung over!

How did you celebrate your summer

  1. Summer Dreams | The Mirror Obscura
  2. The Match (Part 6) Oh, Brother | The Jittery Goat
  3. Summertime Sadness | Life Confusions
  4. Dark Wings and Peacock Hope: Daily Prompt | ALIEN AURA’S BLOG: IT’LL BLOW YOUR MIND!
  5. Daily Prompt: In the Summertime | The WordPress C(h)ronicle
  6. DP Daily Prompt: In the Summertime | Sabethville
  7. Daily Prompt: In the Summertime | littlegirlstory
  8. DAILY PROMPT: In The Summertime | Melissa Holden
  9. the party stayed up | y
  10. Daily Prompt: In the Summertime « Mama Bear Musings
  11. Summertime Sadness: I hope not « psychologistmimi
  12. “Kinda” Excited to Have a Baby | A Crohnie’s Classroom
  13. Beyonce Songs That Speak to Me [Part 1] | She Writes
  14. Daily Prompt: In the Summertime | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice
  15. Daily Prompt: In The Summertime- My Future and Past Summertime | Journeyman
  16. Summer | Kate Murray
  17. Stop, Summer Time ! | Knowledge Addiction
  18. In the Summertime – (Daily Prompt) | Roving Bess
  19. Daily Prompt: In the Summertime, HOT Summer and Reading Summer! | seikaiha’s blah-blah-blah
  20. Fascinating Bird | wisskko’s blog
  21. Daily Prompt: In the Summertime | Nola Roots, Texas Heart
  22. Summertime Hiking|Remind Your Mind | Remind Your Mind
  23. hot fun in the summertime | eastelmhurst.a.go.go
  24. My Fav Season… | FREE BIRD
  25. In the Summertime | Purplesus’ Blog
  26. Daily Prompt:In The Summertime | My Other Blog
  27. Seasons and Lessons of Life and Faith | meanderedwanderings
  28. 7 Reasons Why We Love Summer | Never Stationary
  29. when they told me that | y
  30. Daily Prompt: In the Summertime | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  31. Summertime Truth | Vanessa Elliott
  32. Summertime in Montreal | That Montreal Girl
  33. In a nutshell… | cockatooscreeching
  34. On deck… | Muddy River Muse
  35. When Summer Comes | Triumphant Wings
  36. Past and Now | Flowers and Breezes
  37. In the Summertime | Dragon Droppings
  38. In The Summertime. | emma blogs
  39. Daily Prompt: Remembering Summer | Mama Cormier
  40. Let’s Start a Band | Thinking Diagonally
  41. Daily Prompt: In the Summertime | My Atheist Blog
  42. Summerfest Adventures | RECREATION | WANGSGARD
  43. Daily Prompt: In the Summertime | Finding Life
  44. Root Beer | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  45. Warming « Averil Dean
  46. Summertime Blues | Just Visiting This Planet
  47. Guzzling sweet tea, noshing on peach pie, training up a storm and making new friends: All in a summer day’s work | Institute for Hispanic Health Equity
  48. Daily Prompt: In the Summertime | thoughts and entanglements
  49. When you are waiting for life to start | Boundaries and Edges
  50. Summertime is Luh-uh Lovin’ | djgarcia94
  51. DP: SUMMER, GIVE IT TO ME!!!!! | Scorched Ice
  52. Daily Prompt: In the Summertime | Dreaming of December | undefined by design
  53. Daily Prompt – In the summertime…. | myjourneyeveryday
  54. Sweet Summertime Yoga | eat less sugar you’re sweet enough
  55. Summer | Love.Books.Coffee.
  56. Daily Prompt: In the Summertime | Ramblings of a Midwest 20-Something
  57. Summer beat | Miss Moody
  58. Fast Forward to Summertime | The Fairy tale Daydreamer
  59. Bye Bye Polar Vortex
  60. Summer’s Around the Corner | 365 Days of Thank You
  61. Daily Prompt: In the Summertime | NOWHERE TO RUN
  62. Holding back the dark. | Trucker Turning Write
  63. Daily Prompt: Summer is Forever Love | La Dolce Vita
  64. I just hope to stay out of jail. | The Land Slide Photography
  65. Summertime | B.Kaotic
  66. Summer Time: No | Barbara Pyett
  67. Summertime Plans: Teaching Summer School | . . . Furthest Sense
  68. In the Summertime | Lisa’s Kansa Muse
  69. My Summer | Captured By Kylie Photography
  70. Daily Prompt: In the Summertime | The Overwhelmed Undergrad
  71. Daily Prompt: In the Summertime | SIM | ANTICS
  72. I miss summer. | Always Expressive
  73. Daily Prompt: In the Summertime | Basically Beyond Basic
  74. Summertime! | Laughing Through Life
  75. In the Summertime – The Move | Breathe away
  76. Little Ones | Overcoming Bloglessness
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A Trip Down Memory Lane

This post will depend a lot on imagination. Your imagination. I so wish that I could narrate the first house that we lived in but I can surely remember a lot of our second house and it’s the one I remember vividly. But to narrate the complete picture of the house you’ll have to jump into the eyes of that child who remembers this house, because for an adult, this post will be a three-liner post.

Child says – wear your blue and white rubber slippers.

He takes you to an enormous iron gate, with two misaligned sides. The latch on the top doesn’t fit in properly, so the gate gets locked using chains, heavy ones. The child has the key, he opens the gate that squeal and open without even a push. He grabs your hand, slowly walks you on the cement pavement in the front yard. A huge yard, laden with nearly all types of flowers, a huge mango tree, next to a small play area neatly bordered by lines of roses and multitude of plants, some really interesting ones. It has one whose leaves fold when you touch them, it has one that grows flowers the size of half his hand and they don’t open till they are ripe. They open with a POP. The boundaries are covered by money plants and some plants that grow a tiny berry like fruit that has a crunchy center. The child loves it but lately found that he is allergic to the fruit.

The play area connects to a square part that grows vegetables and grows guava trees, the ones with red fruit. The produce includes gourds, tomatoes, water melons, variety of pepper, and anything that dad decides to grow. Oh such fertility of the land! Turn left and you see a huge berry tree covering half the terrace of the house. Between the vegetable area and the tree was a small gate that led into the backside of the house connected by another cement pavement. This pavement received guard of honor from a set of guava trees and ended at the door next to a cement water tank on one side and wash area on the other.

Now boy decides to take you from the backside itself for his mother has called in for lunch and hurries you in and asks his mother to serve you lunch too. But not too much, for those “ALOO KA PARATHAS” are way too delicious to let go. He wants to eat them all and so won’t share. Mother smiles when she looks at you and secretly lets you know, there’s enough food for 10 people. Now that your food is fixed, you relax and take a look around while the boy hogs his lunch at the huge dining table right beside the door thru which you entered the house.

As you face away from this door and into the house, you see the master bedroom neatly done and cleaned up. Take a few steps forward and through a hallway you see another room at the end of it. The room is messy, full of toy cars visible from below the curtain. The hallway also leads to the loo and bathroom which are both separate.

Take a look left and you see the guest area, with TV at the far corner safely tucked inside a brown casing. A huge yellow Almira right beside it and two huge Philips boom speakers on top near the ledge. A sofa set, a center table, and very oddly a scooter, that greets the front door of the house, parked at the guest room’s entrance. Step into my parents bedroom and you find a bed (quite obviously) at the center of the room and another yellow Almira overlooking the bed. The windows on the far wall opened into the garden on the front. Oh what a view! You hold you breath, inhaling the sweet smell of the roses and slowly releasing it…

As you enter the boy’s bedroom, that is also his play room, you immediately know that these are his summer vacations for the number of toys laid on the floor in the afternoon and an unsolved puzzle on the bed with pieces missing. You wonder where they are.

The boy though is now done with his lunch and it’s your turn. Go hog before the parathas go cold!

Lets see how others are doing –

  1. New iPod | Crazy Markovich
  2. of raging wants | Anawnimiss
  3. Daily Prompt: Our House- The impact of family to our psychological mind | Journeyman
  4. Streaks in the Darkness | Exploratorius
  5. Home: Tankas | 365 days of defiance
  6. To London For Love & The Daily Prompt | The Jittery Goat
  7. Daily Prompt: Our House | Under the Monkey Tree
  8. Cumbraes, 1962 | ALIEN AURA’S BlOG: IT’LL BLOW YOUR MIND!
  9. Launching Pad | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  10. Daily Prompt: Home | The Wandering Poet
  11. evergreen | yi-ching lin photography
  12. My family are huggers, and it’s always been an awesome part of life. | thoughtsofrkh
  13. Daily Prompt: House | seikaiha’s blah-blah-blah
  14. Daily Prompt: Our House | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice
  15. Short Plat – A Short Story | Kilbo – Chris Kilbourn
  16. The House in Middelburg. | Hope* the happy hugger
  17. BE IT EVER SO HUMBLE | SERENDIPITY
  18. Home, Sweet Home | Home’s Cool!
  19. Daily Prompt: Our House « Mama Bear Musings
  20. The Gray House | A Sign Of Life
  21. Childhood Memories of Home | Unload and Unwind
  22. Home | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  23. 272. My Childhood Home | Barely Right of Center
  24. Children Must Be Seen And Not Heard | Lisa’s Kansa Muse
  25. My Childhood Home | A mom’s blog
  26. Chained Childhood… | Haiku By Ku
  27. Minutely Infinite | Is home where the heart is?
  28. House of Haiku | Finale to an Entrance
  29. An Ode Full of Home | L5GN
  30. Formerly known as home | Le Drake Noir
  31. The rising of the Sap Nymph: an erotic poem | ALIEN AURA’S BlOG: IT’LL BLOW YOUR MIND!

Unforgettable past – Jabalpur

There’s a lot of your past you wish you could forget – like erased blank… swish… wiped off of your memory slate. Then there is your past that you just can’t forget. Not that it affects you but its a huge burden on your brain to carry and you wish you could just write it off onto your blog for good. The latter is what this post is about.

Cues:-

Summer vacations.

Trains.

Food.

Stations.

Forests.

Rails.

Rivers.

Toy cars.

A huge house.

Lots of people.

The compulsory siesta.

Playful evenings.

Watering.

Food.

Kulfi (Sweet Indian summer delicacy).

Rains.

A lot of people around will find these dots really easy to connect. I want to write it out ’cause I don’t want to retain them yet remember them forever – kind of memoir to myself – only for my personal use. These are recollections from (last) – a 13-year-old fat boy who diluted a relationship on a very bad note and will regret it forever for he never got say the final adieu.

His summer vacations would last for about 75 days as these were the hottest months in his part of the country. All he knew was it was time for indoor afternoons and fun & frolicking evenings with no homework, coolers, mangoes, lychees, lots of sleep, lots of cricket, ludo, carom, puzzle, TV, cartoons, video games. Just him and his brother enjoying and playing with each other. It was a time for all heavenly stuff. Things he never knew, he would love so much but that he would get berated off forever. These days often arrived after he had received his gift for his stand-out performances in school exams – HotWheel cars, cycle, carom board and many others like these. He would be very happy to board the train for that familiar destination. No matter how many times he had been there, it was always fresh for he knew no other world and these represented the only two worlds that he spent his childhood in.

You gotta give it to the place – Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, India! Place which gave the world one of the most beautiful scenery in Bhedaghat on the river Narmada. A river bank located purely on marbles! It’s beautiful – the air itself is pure – rather was pure (just been to the place after 11 years and felt a bit let down).

Lets start off with the journey to the place. He couldn’t wait to get inside the train. To get the smell of puri-sabzi at the first station and to feel the wind on his face. To look at the train engines which according to him were a miracle that he could watch everyday on his drive to his school. The rails and the train itself were such a mystery for that small, young mind that he couldn’t (till he got Google) ever fathom how the trains even turned!! The sound of the wheels chugging below his feet, the smoke from the engine entering his nostrils (no matter how gross it would feel to others, he would forever relish that smoke), the sight of the trees passing him by at the speed of light, occasional huts, fields and rails cutting each other running along his train. And then would come the sight he still dreads – a bridge on the river Tawa. The bridge apparently had been labelled dangerous by Indian Railways standards and he would always feel that the train would fall off especially as the bridge had no rails on both the sides. Nothing but a very tall height to fall into. And in between this, a far away sight of a dam. He would always wonder what that dam would look like when in full flow. Never to be experienced though. A lot of stations would pass through for that young mind to remember but he would remember things that made a direct impact on his coming life. He would remember each bridge, each platform, each fort and the smell of each one of them distinctly fresh.

Once he started to near the destination, the air of anticipation would raise the anxiety in his heart for what new and novel would surprise him this time in his second world. Nothing, nothing ever. For nearly 9 years or more on a trot, he would see no significant change. The same route always led him to the same house. The same marketplace, the same buildings, the same under-bridge greeted him. A perfect example of sustainability and persistense.

The house which still stands tall and huge – it reflected the late 80’s Indian modernism. It has seen various colors – white, pink, green and at one instance, he could also remember yellow. Six rooms on the ground floor divided by a wall with 2 doors to connect the 2 sections built with 3 rooms each. The first floor, built quite late is a replica of the section below from the ground floor with rooms that were larger. But no matter what you did and where you were in the house, it always gave the same feel everywhere every single time (wish I had some pictures).

Their welcome was always the same – Nani (maternal grand-mother) would shower them with holy Ganga water and then the entry. Keep the luggage at the proper place and room. Then go about the chores in the house according to time you make an entry in it.

Coming to the chores, a typical day in that household would be something as follows:

Wake up… roll up your bed… place it at its proper place… brush the teeth and freshen up… then it was a choice to either sit with Nanaji (maternal grand-father) and Naniji or go upstairs and have tea with a younger group which included Mama (moms bro), Mami ( Mamas wife) and their children. It was a happening group and he would prefer spending time with anyone but would prefer a place where his mother would prefer to be. Then after a heavy breakfast would be time for a bath in the cold water in the Indian summer… somehow the water always suited him more than any place else. A very clean feel after a bath. Then was the time for indoor games played between all brothers and sisters. This would normally be the time women around would engage in their household works, men would leave for office and Nanaji would spend time reading the newspaper. Games would often include Boggle, ludo, carom and sometimes if the noon was cooler, some cricket as well. He would never forget the days when all of them brothers and sisters would play together in the small porch and the sisters would just cower into corners so they don’t have too get involved in the game. Fun times they would stay. The afternoons comprised of a mandatory siesta. No exceptions for anyone in the household. No sounds. No lights. He hated that period. For he could hardly wait for evenings that would include a heavy dose of cricket, dust, dirt. No matter who would play against him, he would have had to face the boys wrath with the bat. Then return home, for now would be the time for watering the garden and the plants using the water from the hand pumps. This was the best part of his days. The freedom that was allowed to him to perform this chore would be something he would sorely miss all through his life – but he didn’t know it then. All he knew was porch was hot and plants needed water. Water the plants. Then would be turn to get drenched in the same water. This was time to get wet. To get wild with and in water. Unforgettable freshness. Change and then would be the time for dinner. Supper supper supper… super super super… nothing could beat that food for it was his mother that would cook the rotis, dal, veggies and rice. This was normally the time when Mama would return home and after dinner, he would often buy us kulfis. This would also be the time when the entire family would come out into the porch and walk for a while all the while laughing at jokes cracked. In the mean time, the siblings would find time to swing in a swing. It was built to carry at max 4 people at a time, was sturdy and brought with it the feeling of a drowning night. An awesome day was over. Now was the time to show the mosquitoes the power of Baygon. Complete house would get a dose of it. Satisfied with the results, each member would bring their bed and would face absolutely no problem in laying down and sleeping but not before Mama would make his presence felt again. He would make each of the siblings kneel in line on the beds and make them repeat the mantra – La Ila… Il Lil La… Mohammed-e-Rasgullah. Fun it was and it would repeat 60 of the 75 days he would spend there.

He particularly waited for Sundays. They were usually the days when Mama would take them all for a swim in the river Narmada – Gwarighat. Back then, the way to the river was through a jungle, a sparsely populated area. Upon arrival they had to cross the river on a boat which was an absolutely out of the world feeling. To feel the river on his palms would heighten his anticipation of how water would feel like. It was truly amazing! Take off all your extra clothes, get down to your bare essentials and jump into the river. This was where he learnt to swim and he would forever respect the man who taught him to swim (Mama) and the river for letting him learn to swim in it. A good 2-3 hours of frolicking in the water would barely leave him with any energy and when out, they would all dress again and cross the river again on a boat. The sinking feeling of the separation from water would forever lure the boy. But life had to move on and to the next shop upstairs on the ghat. The shop where Mama would make each one of them indulge into Bhajiyas and laddus. He would then be totaled. Even with absolutely nothing left in his body to endure the remaining of the day, he would remain jubilant and never know that he was tired to shit pieces. The first foot on the bed when home, would cover his body with the most tantalizing freshness of a sleep so richly deserved (or thats what he thought).

There had to be days when he had to go and meet his father’s family members. It was normally a day worth of affair and spent peacefully. They were nothing special except for some cricket that he would get to play with his elder brothers.

He loved it and would forever love it. Those days would define his character for the rest of his life. He would learn a lot from those days but the best lesson was – hard work always tastes bitter but reaps sweet rewards.

The child has grown up to be 29 now but nothing would make him forget his longing for the water and he would still dream in red!