Early Childhood Memories
I am the third born also last born child of my parents
Before me were born –
My Brother 1 st born
My sister 2 nd born
Me 3 rd born
The youngest of all
Mischievous – not very though
Just a little.
I do not remember my mother ever hitting me
Or beating me.
Basically I have seen that children start to get beaten after they enter school
For not doing their homework
For not being able to understand why 2 plus 2 is 4
For not being able to by-heart poem written by some great soul !!
For not being able to mug up General Knowledge questions like
Who was what? When? Why? How come? Why not?
Etc. list is endless.
You see my sister and brother
Have had the taste of scolding & even beating
By parents because of reasons stated above
Now you all may wonder how come I escaped being beaten
Did I say I escaped totally?
No – never !
I said I was never beaten by my parents
As they had allocated the duty of teaching me to my elder siblings
Cause you see when I came of age,
They were old enough to handle my education
Write A-B-C D
Okay now write the same in small letters
Specially my sister had taken more responsibility
My brother used to occasionally teach me
By the time I was born,
My parents had become overconfident
As far as child birth & management was concerned ie.
Their 1 st born being a son – they took son-like care
Their 2 nd born being a daughter – they took extra care – daughter after all …..
Their 3 rd born being me – they were over confident about rearing up children by now……so the reason why I became the way I am – hoo hoo ha ha ha !
She started her teaching career with me
I was her very first student
(in fact the other day I was asking her to give me Shishya dakshina
She is by-the-way a very sought after teacher in her school Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan
Very favorite among her students )
I know the reason why she gets along so famously with her students
She dramatizes everything – using esp. hand gestures & eyes …unlike me..
Whatever little drama-baazi I have learnt till date
Is mostly because of her initiation
And ofcourse the entire Follywood team is equally involved
Folly bole` to (meaning) – Holly, Tolly, Bolly, Molly..and now Lolly….etc. all together.
But everything said & done – they are Jolly good People
Showed me mirth even in supposedly painful demise or death of a loved one
She dramatizes things with sound effects in fact … like –
Process of Photosynthesis – Sun rays are coming Zoom-zoom-zoom
Chlorophyll reacting – trill-trill-trill
Oxygen Out in the morning – woosh.
Co2 –Carbon dioxide at night – tan-taraan-tan
The reason why one should not sleep under a tree at night
The droppings of owl and co2 will get you at night !
Anyways that was an example of how she taught me.
Well folks you all must be wondering by now
When – exactly when – I came to know of Gods and started to pursue them
Day in and day out…
The culprit – Amar Chitra Kathaas
And another Culprit – My sister – she read out those comics to me
And on top of the inanimate pictures – she told me the story with
Ample amount of animation
Now most of the comics
Were full of stories about Gods, demons and their relationship
One of such stories – I do not remember exactly which one
Well described that a saint did penance for so many years and then Lord Vishnu came
Stood there in front of him
Asked him what he wants
Blessed Him and vanished in a fraction of a millisecond !!
Now this is not fair !
I used to tell her why does he vanish so soon ?
The saint prayed for so many years – why are Gods in such a hurry?
To which she had said – Are you mad? Its his good luck that at least He came !!
These Gods don’t have much time – they have to look after the entire Creation !!
So one should better be prepared – He can come in any form any time…
This was It !
Indians do you remember Mungeri Lal Ke` Haseen Sapne` ?
Well we all know every human being has a mind somewhat like Mugeri Lal …
(For people who have not seen this tele-serial and for foreigners –
Mungeri Lal was a character in a TV serial who used to day dream a lot – his mind was full of fantasies – and on the slightest food for thought – he used to imagine himself how he would handle the situation if he had been in the same soup / situation – he often and obviously used to be heroic in his own dream – who is’nt?)
So I used to think a lot about how I would handle things..
When Lord Vishnu would come to me and ask me to ask for something…
I had this fear factor implanted in me since childhood in fact
I had also heard stories/ read in comics / Champak / Chamdamama
(We were subscribers of Champak, Chandamama & Reader’s Digest)
of how people regretted having asked for a wrong boon – but
Alas harm had already been done and he/she had missed a chance
A very rare chance of a life time !!
This tension used to worry me a lot
And I often used prepare myself – what exactly I will ask..
And I thought of a plan –
My Plan of handling a boon –
Lord Vishnu : Ask for a boon.
Me: I want you !
Lord Vishnu : But….
Me (not letting him finish) : No ifs & buts – You asked me “Ask for a Boon” you did not include the words “Except Me” – You are a God – You have to be mine now.
I imagined that Lord Vishnu has to be with me for life and reluctantly He is waiting patiently for me to ask for further favors !
Now folks when I was 6 – 7 years old – a movie had been released
Named “ Raani aur Lal Paari ”- story of a small girl and a Red fairy.
There was a scene in the movie where there were
Houses made of Biscuits
Doors made of chocolates
Toffees hanging on trees kinda stuff
(yeah! story of Hansel & Gretle copy-pasted)
And I imagined that I asked Lord Vishnu to take me there
And I lived there happily ever after – having the best of things life had to offer
Well ,a child 6-7 years old in the year 1976-77 used to think this
My kinda child at least – there are many like me btw.
Oh! Me and my sister used to play a lot – lot – lot with dolls
What have we not done in the game !!
Got them married
Celebrated their birthday
Made them go to parties
To dance parties
To Pujas and mandirs which we used to pseudo-build
With packing materials and other thrown –away –by-mother things
We really used to freak out collecting such stuffs
And reused them our way
We used to make Cupboards for our dolls by cutting Rum or Whisky packets/ package
Made of card-board
We (sister esp.) used to sew clothes for our dolls by dress materials – pieces left from our clothes
My mother used to make dresses for us – she had bought a sewing machine
We used to knit woolens for them (not me much – I was small – my sis used to do such things mostly)
In fact we used to play God-God also
We actually used to buy Gud-ki-patri (sweetmeat made of molasses with peanuts)
Revdi (made of sugarcane & sesame seeds …actually its TIL – I do not know correctly whether it is sesame seed or not – pardon me please)
Candles & Incense sticks
And create a small Mandir (temple)
With the help of bamboo sticks and card-board etc.
Decorate it with Flowers etc.
Our friends used to come – neighborhood friends – all girls –as boys were always ….
…..And as usual busy with cricket – my brother and other neighborhood boys ie.
And to be very frank we never were interested in inviting these males who only know how to create danga-fasaad (ruckus)
Boys – as far as I remember used to destroy all our endeavors of decoration etc.
The list of invitees also mandatory-ly had –
Our helping – mates – also called helping hands (previously referred to as maids /servants etc.- now that people are aware how indispensable they are – they are being given polite names)
In fact our helping-mates used to be very helpful – they are the ones who used to get
Flowers from gardens , chisel bamboo sticks, cut card-boards according to the right size
Knife & blade required here
make sweet meats and other goodies that required fire
Mother never allowed us to go near fire
As she was very afraid of home accidents
And daughters & fire – is a big NO-No combination
As – if we accidentally burn ourselves – we might never get married
As we would become ugly and scarred for life
Kind of Satyam-Shivam-Sundaram…..(a hindi movie)
Neither did she let us play with sharp things
Blade or knife – we might cut our fingers
Suffer from septic…
Over & out for life !!
My Mother is very particular about such things.
So our childhood was pretty normal I would say
Just as it should be
My sister obviously always had an upper hand
She was bossy
If ever I was not listening to her
She knew exactly how to make me work according to her wishes
She had taken over my studies remember?
So in case I disobeyed her while at play
She suddenly used to ask me the most difficult of spellings …
Like “Okay? Really? Fine – spell Aeroplane ,… elephant..
Recite the poem “Baba black sheep”…. – oh yeah !? six times nines are ?”
So in order to avoid these locha prashnas (crises /hitch questions)
I used to obey her…a lot…reluctantly though!
Actually there were many reasons for listening to her in fact.
She has been a very handy sister –
All my Project Works (Pariyojana Karyas)
Have been made by my sister !
I know it wouldn’t come as a shock to my Kendriya Vidyalaya Teachers
If they still remember me ie.
They must have guessed it anyways !!
For the kind of a girl that I was –
I couldn’t even draw a straight line
Even with the help of a scale
I never liked Geometry
Oof ! the sight of that orange colored geometry box !!
And the scolding of all my Maths teachers
I never liked Maths !!
Never had the brains for it actually !!
Maximum hatred I had for “Commercial Mathematics”
Commercial mathematics : An honest view – whew !
Cost price = Falana.(whatever)
Selling Price = Dimkhana (again whatever – dear foreigners, hindi language is full of such sweet nothings – so too much of sweet nothings have made us very sour)
So now that you know the CP & SP, calculate his loss or profit statement for he entire year !! – Is this really fair ?
Why should a class five or six student calculate on his behalf ?
What is he/she learning ?
It is not necessary that all hes / shes will become a baniyas (business man).
And my marks used to get cut coz’ I failed to calculate this stupidity !
I used to get 3 out of 10 sometimes even 2 !…out of 10…..
And then there was Simple Interest and the confounded Compound Interest !
Ratios, fraction, trigonometry ….no wonder why the song “we don’t want no education”
By Pink Floyd…or is it? was so famous – only thing was – grammar wise it meant…
“we want education” !! – so no significant change in Education system came to our rescue (sigh)
Geometry – Hence proved !!
The education system only knows why we had to prove whether a triangle is Isosles or flat…..whatever !
No wonder why the backbenchers, weaker students ..like me
Love to make & watch serials based on triangular relationships !
He loved her but she loved the other him – could not confess & committed suicide !!
It happens in real life too !!
In spite of so much calculations & geometry
People are so weak hearted & minded !! amazing education system I tell you !!
But somehow I liked Algebra !!
Actually it was not somehow – there was a solid reason for that
Seeing my miserable performance in school
My brother & sister were very good in studies …
We were in Hasimara that time – Kendriya Vidyalaya Hasimara
And my brother had been declared All-rounder that year !!
Anyways since it was a small Field area (opposite of Peace Station as said in Army)
My father requested the Master Ji who was actually kept to educate the Army Jawans
To teach me – Maths only !!That was the first time in fact that a tutor had entered in our house – as my elder siblings managed all of it themselves.
Masterji used to come at 4 pm I remember…
I used to go to sleep purposely
He used to teach for 1 hour – 4pm to 5pm
I used to pretend to be asleep – wake up somehow at 4.15 pm thinking that at 5 pm he will leave – so today I’ll study for 45 minutes only (this much calculation I could do )
But Masterji was very clever – on such days he used to teach till 5.15 pm
I found him very wicked for this reason..
Anyways one good thing that happened is that with single minded concentration he taught me – as I was the only student
He started with Algebra
Lots of practice I had in Algebra
Probably the reason why I could manage to like this portion of Maths…
a 2 + b 2 +2ab = (a + b) 2
hmmm…have forgotten all about it now.
Anyways I deviated for the subject – well not really
Telling you all about my childhood remember ?
Okay – Let me start from Nursery..
Well I was not very close to my brother
Probably cause of age difference – some 6 years
He used to teach me Maths – sometimes..
He used to tell me stories from Chandamama etc. – a bed time story for me – well to put me to sleep was his responsibility.
He used to watch cricket, collect stamps, read lot many books, comics etc.
He used to leave home – to play – at around 4 pm and used to be back only after several calls from mom – all sweaty and perspiring !
After that sometimes he used to foul the doll house arrangements me & my sister had done !
We used to scream – “Maa , dada ke` dekho” (Mom look at brother !)
In reply to which she used to scream back from the kitchen “I have seen him enough – you see him now”!- actually she was barely in her early thirties – and already taking care of 3 children !
Gosh ! how did she manage I wonder sometimes !!
A thief at the age of 4 !
A bit further from our house were our friends – Neelima & Vikas
Vikas used to collect stamps as well – one day he had received some foreign stamps by mail…both he and my brother had requested for those stamps.
Vikas had received but my brother had’nt !
I must have been 4 years old at that time – seeing my brother’s disappointment after he checked the Letter box of our house – I was pretty sad for him…
I stole Vikas’s stamp envelop and ran back home to make my brother happy !
My brother was shocked – he then made me understand that it is wrong to steal someone else’s property!
I remember him telling me “I certainly wouldn’t like to be known as a Chorni’s (thief’s ) brother” !
We both then went back to Vikas’s house and stealthily kept the envelop back !
Vikas never even came to know that I had stolen his stamps – but by that time – at such an early age – I learnt the lesson of a life time “We should not steal !” (sob-sob)
My brother was not very keen to teach me:
My brother did not have as much patience with me as my sister. Occasionally he was asked to teach me Maths….and he used to get very exasperated while teaching me ! He used to bring the whole house down while trying to teach me. He used to call my parents or take my copy to them to show how dumb I was – and asked them how exactly they expected him to teach a girl ‘how to multiply’ – the same girl who had even forgotten addition !
My parents looked my way with a lot of concern ! My sister used to be more patient with me though. She did pull my ears occasionally but then at least she did not go to report every small thing to my parents ! I think it was a method my brother had fabricated in order to escape teaching me ! He was very clever since childhood – the reason he is an MBA now !!
Anyways he was given the rsponsibility to put me to sleep. So every night he used to tell me a story and put me to sleep.