It has been long since we had an adventure or did something crazy. The people who steal from others are called thieves but what would you call the people who try to steal from their home? It was Sunday and we were bored, watching movies and playing caroms. Oh! I forget to tell you about our caroms game mania. It was four years ago that I and some of the friends purchased a big carom board and that was kept for long in the store room. We recently discovered it and then started the round of competitions. Anup suggested playing cricket and we defined the rules for the game with one tip out, direct shot out, bounce to neighbor’s boundary out and four over’s match. We played two times with four of us one after the other. Finally, with a bouncer from Anup; the ball went to the roof top from where the return was impossible. We thus decided to drop the play.
In Ernakulam I haven’t seen children playing cricket or other outdoor games on the streets. Tripunithura has a cricket ground where Sreeshanth often comes to play cricket. He lives near to my home. Most of the Malayalam actors can be noticed in this locality who either come for a movie or for visiting temples. During the last Thripunithura ulsavam, Malayalam actor Jayasurya was seen sitting on a ground inside the temple. I also took couple of photos along with him.
It was evening and we started feeling hungry. Arun gave a suggestion to eat mangoes and he said that the tree behind our home has juicy mangoes. We decided that we would have mangoes to satisfy the stomach, at least for an hour.
The mango tree was high and we did not have a wooden stick to drop them, which was the safest way. There were two methods left; either to throw stones on the tree or to jump on the roof of the bathroom attached to the neighbor’s house. Throwing stones could result in hitting the glass window of the neighbor and thus we had to climb the roof.
(A video demonstrating the attempt of mango theft)
Arun is an expert in jumping and climbing… Seems he had some commando training in his dreams :). My friend Mayank used to jump the similar way on the balconies and roof tops like an athlete whenever our ball was stuck and we were unable to take it. Arun took a step back and with a jerk started running towards the roof. With a one meter gap between the wall and him, he jumped liked a Complan boy, placed his hands on roof top, swing his body “U shape” and he was on the roof, standing cool.
Though we were trying to grab mangoes from the mango tree within our premises but we were on the roof attached to neighbors. It was similar to a thief robbing his assets. Melvin referred us, ‘the mango thieves’.
Arun’s performance was interesting and thus I decided to try jumping. This was my first attempt and I was not sure to make it the “Arun way”. I ran and jumped to hold the roof but was unable to move forward due to the fear of falling down. Then Anup gave it a try and succeeded. He even placed his goggles as soon as he reached the top.
Hmm... It became a prestige issue for me, guy with gym body, six wala pack and no athlete… “thu hain tujhpar”(arnt you ashamed) said my andar wala Abhilash(the abhilash hidden deep inside me). Now I had to reach the top and at least get a mango. I folded my shirt, collected the confidence I had kept aside for the PMP exam and jumped like a tortoise and somehow managed to get on the roof. Hurray! “Abhi, now you are a star”
I waved my hands against the invisible audience and bowed to welcome their claps. I grabbed a mango from the tree. Putting your efforts for a mango make it taste more than anything in the world. The taste is still in my taste buds… “mmm…”
It is 6 Am and as usual, I was on the streets with a brush in my mouth searching for my friends to discuss the dreams I saw at night. The streets were empty and the atmosphere was cool with mild air passing, touching my ears and chin. I was studying in third standard and we were staying in Sangole’s house for rent. Sangole was a old Appuppan(Grandfather) who had a kutoosan(a villain character in Malayalam comic series mayavi) look with each of his sentences resembling Gabbar(Villain in movie Sholay). Sangole’s grandson rakesh was my good friend at that age and we used to do all the mischief together. I could not find any of my friends on the street and was worried as to what could have happened to them. Soon I could sense something happening around me and in few minutes, I was in a pool of coloured water.
I understood it was holi and that was the reason for none to be on the streets. My attire was full of colours and I was drinking the coloured solution. My teeth and brush were all red in colour. It all happened in few minutes and was shocking but I enjoyed the morning bath once I regained the details of the situation. Rakesh, Golu, Monu and Chinu all were the same colour as me. The big boy gang of Anshul, Munna, Gopi were picking people from the streets and dipping them in the coloured water. As you might know that, it is not pleasant to see ourselves being dirty but was enjoying watching others dropped in the tank. It was the first holi I could remember.
I was in Modern school Civil Lines and we would travel by auto. The auto wala bhaiya would come in front of the house and call “abhileesh”; he would always pronounce it wrong. Celebrations would start a day before the holi and we would be wet when we reach home. Children in auto rickshaw would use the water bottle and pour water onto the children in other autos. Most of the times this would happen on Saturdays when we wear white dress.
The holi when I was in fifth was a bit different. Now we were in our house in Wardhaman nagar and the locality was full of children. We would fill balloons with water, colours and would aim on the travellers. I remember the action sequence that occurred in front of the hospital with me chased by a gang of boys in a jeep. I was on a cycle and they were throwing balloons on me. I luckily escaped them and thus was happy on my driving skills. It was when I got my bicycle and we used to do all the action and stunts the machine could handle.
I would often visit my friends with their mothers serving chana and aalo poha on the holi day. We had big syringe shaped devices that required filling the colours with a pull and would shower the colourful water when pushed. Amma would not entertain people using colours or friends inside the house during the holi celebrations. She was not used to colours, liked enjoying it watching us play, and eat. The difficult part of any holi celebration was the evenings when we would try to remove the colours applied on the body. They would hardly leave the body and amma would put her complete effort to help us get rid of them.
Years passed and holi changed its nature from dry and medium allergic colours to varnishes and clay. People changed the meaning of the celebration using awkward ways and alcohols. Holi celebration was no good when I reached engineering and left with namesake. I am missing holi since few years after I come to kerala. My father called me on the day of the holi celebrations of 2011 and said that it is not LIVE as it was years ago but still they gather in gang and celebrate their way.
I was planning this for the day of Holi but you know this lazy jack will not do this when required :)
I am trying to write a post and read a blog but all tries and no success. I open the compose window of blog and close it, start browsing blogs, reach them, read them and never post comments. Last week I decided to wake up daily at 6 Am regardless of when I sleep. I continued this and I could notice insufficient sleep as a reason to my hesitation in reading/ writing. I believe sticking to this schedule for long would enable to manage the “signals to mind,” indicating they need no sleep. I understand that a predefined schedule/ routine are necessary to lead a better life and thus I am working on it. I did no phone call to my father, did not attend Mayank’s call, did not buy new toothpaste :) though I bought three different types of “Pears soap”, and attended the gymnasium once or twice this week.
12 March 2011 made me one year older than the age I had before that day. Phone call from friends followed by Facebook messages and mobile SMS started my day. I did not inform the roommates about my birthday and skipped the party and celebrations. Anjali and Anju were the second to wish me with Atul being the first. I was conversing with Atul at 12 AM discussing their after marriage life in Pune and new food habits. I was surprised to hear that Aditi would prepare food for him and they would take dabbas (Tiffin) to the office. He used to eat outside even when he was with parents.
Amma called me to wish, followed by a loudspeaker session with wishes from her students and the neighbours who gathered at home. It was the best gift I could receive for the day. My eyes were filled with tears (khushi ke aasu – tears of happiness) and I responded to their wishes with a thousand thanks. It is on your birthday that you realize of getting older... but not that old to be worried. I grew moustache to create an effect of getting older but friends asked me to remove it as it looks odd and I am not too old to grow it “their comment”.
When I was with parents, the birthday would start with visiting temples and payasam. It has been months since the gods saw me in their pavilion or I wished them a morning. I have some idols here at the home in Ernakulam and I worship them daily and apply the bhasm considering it as a Prasad by the temple. You will not believe that this post is in the draft zone for nine days with me deciding whether to post. Laziness has no medicine though baldness could have one.
At 9 Pm, my friends asked me to come in the hall and I saw a big black coloured cake with writings in white “Happy Birthday Abhi”... They somehow came to know about my birthday and gathered to celebrate it. They concluded the day with celebrations that I would remember for years to come. Followed by video sessions ended the day.
5 March 1992, was the day when my sister was born. That was a nice morning and I was too small to express joy the way elders did with hugs, shaking hands, laughs etc. I could only show a mere smile on my face watching my sister in the hands of nurse. I was alone at home and it was good to have a partner in creating disasters. I have seen her grow from the day she was small as a mouse until today when she has reached my shoulders. I called her on Saturday night at 12 to wish her birthday. She was very angry last year for me forgetting to wish her. History is the subject that I hate the most and so are dates, which I never remember or say do not wish to remember. Not a big gift this time, she requested a headphone for her nokia mobile. “She never demanded any gifts and I have never given any” that would be an apt description for the birthday synopsis.
Ah! I forget to tell you her name... she is Anjali. She is fond of colourful clothes and travelling. She would never be satisfied even if she buys the costliest attire in the city. The moment she sees anyone wearing a dress being admired then she starts realising hers as a wrong selection. I hope this would be applicable to majority of women. When she sees a new movie, the actor becomes her favourite. She would change favourites every day. :) Oh! That is my favourite song, that is my favourite cake and so on...
We would do everything from stealing the dishes prepared by Amma to destroying house with drawings and scattering things. She would break glass, remote, toys and parents will reproach me. I was happy at not letting her have the scolding though I was never in the background where the incidents would happen. During celebrations, many sweets are prepared and packed in big boxes, hidden to avoid children reaching them to finish. We would plan on strategies to acquire them. We would take turns and move in and out of the rooms with pockets filled with sweets and nankeens. Amma always complain about the “till ke laddu” vanishing from the day they are prepared.
Not everything was a laugh and play. We would fight for television as my interests were action movies and hers were cartoons and serials. The cartoons I hate the most were “dora” and “shin chan” (I do not remember the complete name). I still remember the girl with bob cut and small hairband always murmuring “hamne kia.. hamne kia...” she was called Dora. Shin Chan was a boy whose mother would always scold him. Our Quarrel would start with words and end in fight. Amma later implemented timings that we have to follow where each one would get schedule for watching his favourites.
I was asked to teach her and clear doubts. I would always hit her with a scale or hand (gently) to make her concentrate and study. She would react to this with long hourly cries and decision on quitting my classes. We were not the study maniacs and thus most of our time would be spent in games, mine with cricket and outdoor games whereas hers with hide and seek, lagori etc.
With food and eating habits, we both are opposite. I like crispy and sweet recipes whereas she likes salty and spicy dishes. We would always exchange samosas for gulab jamun and jalebis. Amma would equally distribute the dishes on celebrations and she would look for the portion that has more volume. It is nostalgic to remember our childhood fights and quarrels.
Amma was always complaining about both of us being together at one place but now she misses me at home. Now a day I feel hard to find words for writing and thus am away from blogging... small or large post does not matter right? What matters is expressing feelings :)
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