Design: RK Bellur / RwB [Click on the image to enlarge]
NOSTALGIA on RwB:
Design: RK Bellur / RwB [Click on the image to enlarge]
NOSTALGIA on RwB:
RK on KK (link 1)
In this link, you can see my entry to the show ‘Kannadada Kotyadhipati’.
(My entry between 04:03 till 04:50)
RK on KK (link 2)
In this link, you can see me get through the FFF round and on the Hotseat on ‘Kannadada Kotyadhipati’.
(From 0:49:44 till the end)
RK on KK (link 3)
In this link, you can see me sing, whistle and draw on the Hotseat on ‘Kannadada Kotyadhipati’.
(Beginning till 39:02)
Photos: RK/ Rambling with Bellur
Lunch time in school meant loads of fun. Lunch was between 12.10 to 12.40PM. While in Third Standard, myself, Arvind and Suresh Mani ate sitting on a small yellow stone, inside the ground, slightly away from the Back gate. Invariably there would be only two stones. Arvind and Mani would sit on them and I would have to sit on the fine red mud. That meant my navy blue shorts would become partly light blue shorts!
In Fourth standard, I don’t remember going out to eat. Most of us ate sitting in our designated places. Studious thy name was Yours truly!
In Fifth standard, our class was on the first floor. We still ate inside the class, looking out of the window. This was mainly because three teachers – Noor Fathima, Deena Ram Singh and Anwarunnissa came to our class and ate. The aroma from their huge lunch boxes were awesome! Biriyani, Palak Paneer, Veg Kurma…. All three teachers shouted at us when they ate, and felt we were BADMAASH LADKE! The reason for our noise was we played lot of BOOK CRICKET back then!
Sixth and Seventh standards were terrible. For others. Myself and Hanuman were notorious in pulling the chairs JUST before some one sat. We exchanged pencil box contents and ate from others’ lunch boxes. If we had PT period before the lunch break, that was it. We would be playing and suddenly vanish from the ground and enter the empty class. We would know who brought delicious lunch and opened their boxes. Mahim’s round steel carrier was our first target. He would bring yummy Chapati with Alu Matar, Idly Chutney, Palaav! Palaav in a lunch box those days was something very rare.
Priyankaraj was another guy whose lunch was much in demand. The presentation was what attracted us to open his box. Salad, cream biscuits, cakes, and juice in colourful plastic bottles…we loved it!
Chirag, Vinay and Ramadas would give a spoonful of Sweet Avalakki or Rice Bhaath. A spoonful of good food would only make us want more of it!
Myself and Hanuman would fight while eating others’ lunch boxes, as if it was ours. We would leave just a little hoping that we would not be caught, and ALSO out of humanity.
Arvind’s mom used to bring piping hot food for him everyday just before lunch break. Some of us, foodies in the making, envied this. We already knew the value of hot food! She would always take him to one corner of the Stage (on the Back Ground), and spread a pink towel on the floor. Arvind would be ready with hands washed. She would hand him the Happala and open the first steel container with Anna, next with Saaru, and third with either Majjigehuli / Kootu. Curd rice would be ready in a separate box topped with pickles. We would be playing nearby, and keep an eye on Arvind’s progress. We would only wish we were as fortunate as K. Arvind!
Some boys and girls from north would ALWAYS bring thick Chapati with alu/ baingan. One or two from the neighbouring naadu would only bring curd rice with pickle. Some would bring food wrapped in an aluminium foil. Sometimes, they would force us to have a bite, seeing our food fetish. We would ask for another bite, and they would start giving gaalis! Some would be very tough and not share even a morsel with anyone, nor would they ask for a bite. They would be despised by the foodie group.
Sometimes, some of our classmates would be ill, and sit inside the class during PT period (before lunch break). We would hate it. We would try to send him/her to play or threaten the person of dire consequences if he/she complained. Later we would forcibly give them a small bite, so that they would keep mum.
So lunch time in Sixth and Seventh meant more of play time, as we would have finished lunch. My lunch depended on my mother’s health. She was a class apart in whatever she made! (that’s another post)
L-R (kneeling): Parashuram, Gopal, Vinay, Arvind, myself, Praveen, Vijay
L-R (standing): Kalyan Srinivas, Preetham, Sridhar, Ramesh, Vivekananda, Priyankaraj, Mahim, Chirag, Hanuman, Manalan, Suresh Mani
Eighth standard was when we ate sitting on the 18th cross Bus stand Wall. Once, while sitting and eating Dose, an eagle snatched away my green plastic box, only to be dropped empty minutes later.
In Eighth, we would also go out once a while for JB Bakery Bread toast (75 paise each), Agarwal Bhavan Masale Dose and Krishna Stores Pickles/ Nimbehuli peppermint (5 paise). Everyday after the school at 3.10pm, we would haggle with the guy selling Guavas and Mangoes. When we didn’t have money, we would act as assistants to the Guava guy in smearing salt. We hoped he would be impressed with our services, and give a guava/mango piece for FREE!
The Kulfi selling guy was dark and lean, always with a blue checked lungi. 25 paise for Kulfi and a Bread toast was too costly for us. Those days, to collect 1 rupee, it took days.
By Ninth and Tenth standards, some guys had lost the thrill of lunch time, as they had already started worrying about Life after 10th, +2, LIFE after SCHOOL! But some of us still were as bindaas and careless! We used to start having lunch right from the first period. And the entire row would be partners in crime.
Once during Vijayal’s class, she caught me chewing gum. She always addressed me (quiet correctly) as Paramahimsa! The reason she caught me was, she sat on the teacher’s table, and had a good view, (moving her neck like the jimmy jib camera) of the ongoings ‘under-the table’!
Well it’s lunch time now! Got to go and have lunch from MY box!
Would be fun to know your lunch time stories!
ಮೂರನೇ ಕ್ಲಾಸಲ್ಲಿ ನನ್ನ ಸ್ನೇಹಿತ ಸುರೇಶ್ ಮಣಿ ನನಗೆ ಹೇಳಿಕೊಟ್ಟ ಪಾಠ ಇನ್ನೂ ನೆನಪಿದೆ.
ಮಣಿ: ಕೋಳಿ ಕೂಗಿತು.
ರಾಮ: ಯಾವ ಕೋಳಿ?
ಮಣಿ: ಬಾತು ಕೋಳಿ.
ರಾಮ: ಯಾವ ಬಾತು?
ರಾಮ: ಯಾವ ಕೇಸರಿ?
ಮಣಿ: ತಿನ್ನೊ ಕೇಸರಿ.
ರಾಮ: ಯಾವ ತಿನ್ನು?
ಮಣಿ: ಏಟು ತಿನ್ನು.
ರಾಮ: ಯಾವ ಏಟು?
ಮಣಿ: ಗಾಂಧಿ ಏಟು.
ರಾಮ: ಯಾವ ಗಾಂಧಿ?
ಮಣಿ: ಮಹಾತ್ಮ ಗಾಂಧಿ.
ದಿನಕ್ಕೆ ಹತ್ತು ಸಲ ಈ ಆಟ. ಯಾವಾಗ್ಲೂ ನಾನೇ ಏಟು ತಿನ್ನಬೇಕು ಅಂತ ಅವನಾಸೆ. ದಿವಸ, ಮನೇಗೆ ಬರಕ್ಕೆ ಮುಂಚೆ, ಶಾಲೆಯ ಗೇಟ್ ಬಳಿ ಅವನಿಗೆ ಹತ್ತು ಏಟು ಹೋಡೆದು (ಒಂದೆರಡು ಕೊಸರು ಕೊಟ್ಟಿ) ತಪ್ಪಿಸಿಕೊಳ್ಳೋದೇ ಒಂದಾಟ!
Mom to son:
L.A.-ge hogi L-A- meerbeda.
Mom to daughter:
Erode-ge hogi ee road mareebeda.
don’t know about bengaluru-mysore corridor,
or mumbai-bengaluru corridor
but ನಮ್ ರೋಡಲ್ಲಿ ಇರೋರೆಲ್ಲ ಕಾರಿಡಾರೇ!
This morning, for a short stretch, to my left was an AUTO and to my right was an ALTO.
Remember those olden day taps with a long white cloth tied to it?
You’ve seen the I-PAD. Remember the WE-PAD (Wooden Examination Pad)?!
It’s that time of the year, when exam pads make a quick entry into every student’s life. During my school days, we would inherit the exam pads from our elders. Hence the wooden pad would have been used by our uncles, aunts, sisters, brothers and finally reach us.
The dark brown pad (with rounded edges) would have a smooth surface on the front and a rough textured surface at the back. The front would have a ‘SRI’, ‘OM’, names of some of the previous owners written in various styles, in blue or green ink. Black or Red ink was considered inauspicious! I had written “Da- 2 small vertical lines- Raj” in a self designed stylish 3D font in Kannada when I got the pad sometime in 3rd standard. Before that, I don’t remember using one. I had used blue sketch pen to write this.
I somehow hated to use the pad just for what it was meant for. Hence, as soon as the exams got over, I would use the pad as a cricket bat, a frisbee, a sword, a fan, a TT bat…. and thus the dark brown pad would have some broken edges by late April. I would also test my endurance levels by putting my fingers under the clip… 3 seconds and the fingers would be removed! The pad would have one small needle like thing near the clip. And this would scratch atleast one of my fingers during every exam. During 6th standard, I remember pasting a poster of Rajkumar at the back of the pad.
It was a huge inspiration for me!
My son’s plastic Ben-10 pad brought back these memories this morning.
Plastic pencil box always looked weak. And that too if it had a single opening. A magnetic pencil box was a fantasy. I was unable to come to terms with myself for a week when my first brother-in-law gifted me one when I was in 2nd standard. It had totally 5 openings – 2 each on both sides and one in the middle, that made the box look like a small diary book. My friends here were in awe with that box.
Friends in “far off” Cochin school also got to see my magnetic box. I remember boys asking in Malayalam: Idu evadannakitti?!
When I graduated from that to the powerful Geometry box, the main attraction were the Compass, Divider, Set square, blotting paper, and of course, if you managed to have a Hero Pen, then you looked a true HERO!
And then came the Ink sharing programme!
The only place
which has offered
a ‘level’ playing field
for a Shastri, Poojara
is ‘Test’ Cricket!
In some old hotels, even today, Bournvita, Horlicks and Badam Powder bottles are not inside the kitchen. They’re kept next to the Cashier.
Book Cricket, and other types of Cricket I played!
During 4th and 5th standard, ‘book cricket’ entered our lives. I remember playing it quite intensely with my pal Hanuman in 5th standard. As I contracted Jaundice during that time, I was not allowed to go out and play (missed school for quite some days). I used to play book cricket alone after writing down the names of the players (one team was always India, the other varied Eng, WI, Aus etc..) on two pages (it resembled almost a complete scorecard).
The runs were scored by flipping the book open at random and the last digit of the right-side (even-numbered) page was counted as the number of runs scored. 0 (and sometimes 8) were assigned to special rules, typically a wicket was lost when a person scored 0 and scoring 8 would be substituted for a No ball run and an additional chance. To give an example, if the batting side opened the book at page 26, then 6 runs would be scored. For the toss, what was generally done was that both the players open a page and the one whose last digit is greater wins.
Other types of Cricket that I played: Hand cricket and leg cricket! (self explanatory)
And one of my neighbourhood friends, Umesh, had this indoor Cricket board game, where wickets were placed on a green circular piece of clothing, toy fielders were positioned, boundary ropes were kept and the batsman (i.e. you) had a tiny bat to hit the ball which were, shiny ball bearings, that would be dropped from about 5cms height by another player. If the ball went into the small opening near the feet (V-shaped) of the fielder, it was out. If the ball bearing touched the ropes, it was a boundary.
“There was a bit of pressure on me. I just got married, and my wife was worried I should perform. We knew that the new ball would do a bit.”
- Double Centurion Cheteshwar Pujara while receiving the MOM award today.
“India deserve a lot of credit.” – Michael Clarke
(Most Indians nowadays are living only on Credit!)
ಒಂದ್ ಕಾರ್ ಇನ್ನೊಂದ್ ಕಾರ್-ಗೆ ಡಿಕ್ಕಿ ಹೊಡೀತು. ಬಂಪರ್ ಜಖಂ.
ಡ್ರೈವರ್ ೧: ಬಂಪರ್ ಹಾಕಿಸ್ಕೋಡಿ.
ಡ್ರೈವರ್ ೨: ಬಂಪರ್ ಪ್ರೈಜ್ ಎಷ್ಟು?
ರಿಕ್ಷಾ ಡ್ರೈವರ್ ಗಳಿಗೆ ಶ್ಂಕರ್ ನಾಗ್ ಬಿಟ್ರೆ, ‘ಸಂಜೆ ವಾಣಿ’ನೇ next favourite!
Wherever I see LAKME , I invariably read it as LAKUMI.
‘Yorkshire Weather’ since morning in Bengaluru. Perfect for Cricket, Frisbee and a long leisurely walk in the market.
The strong yet subtle smell that surrounds you in a petty shop – a unique mix of Banana (Pach Baale), Fresh Newspapers rolled between glass bottlles, Magazines hung on thin wires, Cigarette smoke, Chikki, Chewing Gum, Modern Bread, Notebook…. cannot be recreated/ replicated anywhere!
ಪೆಟ್ಟಿಗೆ ಅಂಗಡಿಗೆ ಜೈ!
Just like a Principal peeping into a class and walking away, the sun peeped once in Bengaluru disappeared.
After years of wear and tear, the Geometry box lid would start moving horizontally, a la Chiranjeevi while dancing! Once the Geometry box lid started acting loose, we would put a piece of paper and close it so that it sat tightly!
Blue & White Hawaii slipper and a ‘safety pin’! Made for each other (no more)!
I played with a short and fat scooter tyre and also a slim and trim cycle tyre… with which tyre did you play?
Ajji calls her grandson, who is listening to his i-pod, and asks him to buy get her a new Panchanga. The boy goes to a shop near 8th cross.
Boy: Uncle, Ondh Panchanga kodi.
Shopkeeper: Ontikoppal kodla?
Boy: Bisi idre kodi.
(Boy thought the shopkeeper was offering him tea in a cup).
MET Dept. is getting a clearer picture on the Weather in different places through FB posts than the INSAT-1B* picture!
*FB posts are also a kind of IN-SAT…coz we sit inside and write!
ಬಾಗಿಲಿಗೆ ಹಾಕಿರೋ ಬೀಗ ಸ್ಟಕ್ ಆದಾಗ ಗಂಡ ಓಪನ್ ಮಾಡಕ್ಕ್ ಪ್ರಯತ್ನ ಪಡೋದು ನೋಡಿ ಹೆಂಡತಿ ಸಲಹೆ ಕೊಡ್ತಾಳೆ:
ಎಣ್ಣೆ ಹಾಕ್ ಬಿಟ್ಟ್ ಟ್ರಯ್ ಮಾಡಿ!
While in school, doubts would crop up on a Sunday evening, a day before the exams! Some of us would study late into the night. Seeing this rare occurrence, one or the other member in the house would invariably utter this phrase: YUDDHAKAALE SHASTRAABHYAASA!
On the last day of the exam, we would frantically run behind our seniors, asking, begging them to sell their textbooks to us, for half rate. The condition of the textbook would decide the final rate. Dirtier the book, lower the price.
By 9th and 10th std., even the GUIDES would be in demand! Remember MBD Guides (Malhotra Book Depot)!
ಗುಂಡಾಯನಮಃ. ಗುಂಡೋಪಂತ್. ಉಂಡಾಡಿಗುಂಡ. ಗುಂಡಪ್ಪ. ಗುಂಡನ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಜೋಕ್ಸು. ಗುಂಡನ ಇಟ್ಕೊಂಡು ಗಾದೆ (ಎಲೆ ಎತ್ತೋ ಗುಂಡ ಅಂದರೆ…)
ವೀ ಲವ್ ಗುಂಡ!
ಅಡ್ಡ ರಸ್ತೇಲಿರೋದು ತಪ್ಪಲ್ಲ. ಅಡ್ಡ ದಾರೀಲಿರೋದು ತಪ್ಪು.
Photo & Design: RK
Click on the image for a larger view
Having met a few teachers, friends and seniors last year, I was looking forward to meetin many more today. And the meet did not disappoint today! I could meet ever cheerful B.Vijayalakshmi ma’m, ever humourous Keshavamurthy sir, large at heart Manjunath sir, ever smiling Syeda ma’m, ever thoughtful Leelavathy ma’m. It was a real bonus to see my classmate A.Ramesh and his sister Prathibha. The regulars were there too: Satyanand sir, Kusum Talwani ma’m, Suryanarayan sir, Padma miss and many others.
The meet started with te Prayer. There was a minute’s silence to pay respects to late Shivanna sir. Also got to know that my classmate Royal is also no more. Sad.
Teachers were felicitated. There was some cultural events. The programme ended with the national anthem. Lunch was arranged for everyone. All in all, it was fulfilling to see teachers and friends with whom we share such lovely memories.
RwB special: Posts related to ‘Kendriya Vidyalaya Malleswaram’
The timetable suddenly looked so creative when two periods were assigned for the same activity. The last two periods on Friday had CCA (Co-Curricular Activity) while the first two on Saturdays was for Mass PT (aka MPT)!
CCA was both good and bad. We could make a lot of noise, hear some jokes, perform ourselves on the stage and play games off-stage when some uninteresting talk was going on. Or some of us could continue fighting with Sajith and Sureshmani which had started during lunch break over a slice of bread-jam or a few ball-bearings.
The flip side was your navy blue shorts would become ash white sitting on the floor. A patta-patti carpet made no difference as it had the same amount of dust that the floor had. Sometimes this dust came in handy when we would drag our enemy so hard as he was sitting, that it left an indelible mark on him at the base camp!
Mass PT was the time when we saw how the world looked after the assembly finished. Being a Saturday, you could learn how many shades of WHITE existed. There were some students who were always impeccably dressed. White uniform and white shoes and socks were EXACTLY WHITE. Not blueish white, or yellowish white or brownish white. There were some rare species who wore pinkish white. Maybe the white dress was washed with some red saree or shirt. But these colourful whites stood out than the actual WHITE!
As soon as the assembly got over, myself and Mahim would go to the PT room and bring the drums out. Shivanna sir would go on the stage, blow the whistle which meant everyone to take position. One boy and one girl would be on the stage, to lead the show. The boys and girls on the ground would stand with a two-arm distance (side and front). Any crooked line, anyone seen talking, Sir would come to the edge of the stage and shout with glaring eyes – “Aye, Aye” which was enough to send shivers down the spine! And if he just said “Aye” and didn’t slap, that meant he was not in his elements!
Satyanand Sir would be at the back checking the white shoes and uniform. He was not as wild as Shivanna Sir. After hearing Shivanna sir roar, Satyanand sir scolding anyone sounded so friendly. At the most, he would say: Lo, yaako polish maadilla?” Only a student can understand the relation between a white chalkpiece, a few drops of water and white canvas shoes.
Myself and Mahim would be stationed at the very back near the compound wall of the back gate, with Shivanna Sir. Sir would be on the bass drum while we were on the side drums. He would hit the first beat: DHAMMM. Then it would start:
Us: TAKK TAKK
It would end with:
He: DHAMM DHAMM (pause) DHAM!
[Yes, you got it! Now I am sure you can remember the faster version when the drill would have the hand on the hips, legs going front, side, front, position].
Amidst all this, one or two would faint. Shivanna Sir would shout: “Why do you all come to school, I Say!” Some delicate darlings would have sat near the window sill even before the drill would begin. We would see them giving a letter to Satyanand Sir, and him telling them to sit.
During really hot days, myself and Mahim would search for a shade to stand. If our beats went wrong, Shivanna sir would whack our hard head with the Bass drum stick, which had a soft head!
Minutes before the bell, we would be let off to drink water and keep back the drums, or just relax. We had to go back to our respective classes, as MASS PT was for A,B and C sections during normal days.
Before the ‘Sports Day”, Mass PT would be for at least 2-3 hours with classes VI to IX participating and practising. The two arm distance would become one-arm distance to fit all the classes, and students of all shapes and sizes. The ‘back’ ground would look like a small matchbox.
On the ‘Sports Day’, which would take place opposite our school, on Government High School grounds, the drill would look magnificent while Shivanna Sir would look magnanimous towards the students after the drill. He would give us sweet packets at the end of the show and pat our backs.
Just when you thought he had become god, he would slap you the next Saturday for not polishing your white shoes, and make you run 25 rounds after the assembly!
During my schooldays, by the time our Summer holidays started, a month of fun and frolic would have been over for my friends studying in other schools with State syllabus. When their exams got over, our school (Kendriya Vidyalaya) would still be completing the last chapters or would have just begun ‘Revisions’!
Now by the time our exams started, there would be complete chaos opposite my house, where the matches would be played or the sittings and discussions would take place – in short, opposite my house was our ADDA.
Mine being an old and small house with a huge empty space in front, which ever place you shifted base to study, it made no difference as I could hear the score after each ball. This was all the more frustrating because only my body would be in the house while my mind was on the street – I would be under ‘house arrest’, made to study forcefully! In this atmosphere, I would be made to spend one whole week. In the morning, while going for the exam, they would be playing. While coming back from the exam, I would see them pouring water over the head and still playing. Until 7 in the evening, they would be cheering and booing each other. Then they would sit till 8pm and only then go home. It was sheer torture to sit and TRY to STUDY while the main action was happening elsewhere. I was not allowed to see my favourite CHITRAMANJARI on Thursday. I prayed god (not for my exams) but for the only reason that no Rajkumar movie should be telecast on Saturday till my exams finished!
By the last day of my exam, I would have been tamed by the four letter word – EXAM. But just as we came out of the school gate, we would enjoy the 10 paise Guava, 25 paise Joy Ice Cream stick, throw stones at the Mango tree in the opposite house and eat one or two and hit each other with the rest, buy pickles from Krishna Stores or GK Stores opposite the bus stand…. Wow! We would act as if we had really achieved something great by studying, attending, writing and coming out of the exam hall intact, in a single piece!
This thought in mind, someone would suggest we ought to treat ourselves with Veg Sandwich at the nearby JB Bakery. That would be 75 paise for a double sandwich. We would have a by-two! The assistant boy whom we all knew quite well, would be more than happy to give us hot sandwiches and Dil Pasand, just out of the oven. I would suddenly feel an urge to have a Masale Dose at Agarwal Bhavan, diagonally opposite our school back gate. But sipping a Torino, I would literally feel ‘fullfilled’ in life!
We would walk near the Sankey bridge after playing some cricket inside the school – the exam pad acting as the bat. After the exams, our mind would remember just two dates – the day of the results (usually May 2nd or 3rd) and the reopening day (usually June 26th or 27th). To complete the final rites, we would bid adieu to our close friends, while tearing the exam sheets into pieces and throwing them on our year-long rivals, who would be chased out of the school front gate, only to be seen hiding near the back gate!
Back home, we would behave like KINGS! “I want Thums Up”. “I want to watch TV from start till the end”. “I want to see Rajkumar’s film in Geethanjali TODAY ITSELF, and again tomorrow!”. “I want to go to Janatha Hotel”…
On the day of the result, we would again see our classmates. Our Princi would tell us to read useful books and do some projects during summer holidays and then announce the reopening date. He would mention a couple of names and everybody would clap till the said persons would come on stage and shake hands with the Princi. Our class teachers would distribute the Report Cards (one year Pink, the other year Yellow, or Light Green or Blue) While some of us would get a stern look while receiving the Report Card, some others got a ‘Keepi tappppp’ or just ‘Gooooooood’!
Mother would start making my favourite Kobri Mithai once the results would be announced at home. She would be able to see the marks card only by late evening, when she would be slightly free after entertaining several visitors while cooking, serving and also making sweets. She would wipe her hands dry and hold it so very delicately and read every letter on the marks sheet. She would give the sweets after telling me to do better the coming year. I would say a quick “Yes, Yes” and would be more bothered to eat the sweet!
Although I never attended any Summer camp all my life, Summer would simply fly! Me and my friends would have loads of activity lined up, when we were not wielding the willow. If we got bored with Cricket, we would switch to any of these -Hide and Seek, Lagori, Soor Chand, Kings, Ghost stories, Gate-Gate or Tree-Tree, Tennis (using palms) – lines drawn using a brick piece on the road… There would be doubles games also while playing Tennis. Some of the smashes would take the ball down to the edge of the road or to the empty site full of parthenium plants. There was also a game where we would shout, “Crocodile Crocodile, which co-lo-r dooo youuuu choose?”
When some friends would go out of station, then our dear Ajji would always pitch in by playing Chowka Bhara or Pagade with us. I have never understood how to play Ali Guli Mane – too complicated! Always had this notion that only girls were better at it.
Mango smell and mango dishes would over power you during summer. Manvinakayi Chitranna, Mavinahannu Gojju, Mavinahannu Seekarne, Mavinakayi Uppinakayi, Mavinakayi Chutney… and apart from these, just eating the raw mangoes with chilli powder or ripe mangoes till the ‘Vaate’ was bald and white was sheer fun with my cousins, who would loyally visit us every summer!
Overnight, our house would become the destination for Carrom or Chess matches. These games were, to begin with, not in my favour, as all elders would say “you are young, we’ll take you in the next match”… and that never happened. Sometimes, I felt like getting rid of the Carrom or Chess board!
Rains would have started, thus bringing end to Summer. And my friends would have already finished a month of schooling, as their classes would have begun by May end itself. I would still be absolutely unaware that it was a week into June!
Suddenly, I would have a desire to buy a new bat. I would wait for months for my father to fulfill this wish. My father would one fine day make a bat himself using some old wooden plank. An old cycle tube would be the ‘grip’! I would play with it only inside my compound, not very happy to take it out for the matches on the street, where branded SG bats would be in demand. [Only once did my father buy me a bat from a shop in Malleswaram. My misfortune that the handle and the blade got separated a week later! It would be back to the old bat.]
Rubber ball – Magenta or Red or Blue, with an ASIAD APPU logo printed on a yellow patch would be bought for two rupees from Popular Stores. Tennis ball was a rarity. Still don’t know how much one costed then (in the early and mid ’80s)! Would ask my uncle in the US to get used tennis balls when he visited. That itself was a luxury.
Having lived in a dream world for over two months, I would one day see my father dusting my old school bag – the military type – yellow color with two pockets at the front and two buckles which had sharp metal edges. I would ask him – “Can I get a new bag this year at least?” He would look at the bag once again and reply, “This bag can last till your college… and if you keep it properly, even your son can use it!”
That was enough to bring you back to this world. And that meant it was time for school!
Will be fun if you could share your Summer Holidays flashback with me!
Some of the below mentioned activities are advisable for children, some are not, while some are fine with parental guidance.
It’s time for more nostalgia on RwB. Wherever you see or read today, the one word that hits you is REUSE and RECYCLE! Just remembered a few things that we used to reuse as kids. So here goes:
Empty Cigar packs : This was between 1st standard till 3rd standard. Me and my friends dutifully hunted for used cigar packs on the footpaths, roads and near any petty shops. As soon as we got a few, we threw away the torn or soiled ones, while the OK looking ones were wiped and taken into the ‘secret production chamber’, that no parent knew where it existed! The packs were carefully made into a walkie talkie phone, which when you held in your right palm (between the index and thumb fingers facing you), would open up. The main tools used were a strong rubberband and a ball point pen (blue and red) to customise the phone to your requirements!
Any cousin or relative to visit the home would be shown the proud possession! And when they asked to give our phone for them to hold, we wouldn’t let them touch it,and we would run away to our production chamber to make some changes, lest our enemies duplicates the hi-tech phone!
Cycle tyres : Around the same time, it was a pastime to play with thin cycle tyres (Some boys would have small and plumpy scooter tyres, which made a ‘tob-tob- noise when you hit them). Cycle tyres were quite easy to get, as the nearby cycle shop owner would happily get rid of unwanted tyres. When Amma used to send us to buy a soap or when we suddenly found a 25 paise (on the window sill, with which we bought a Double Bubble Gum), we would hit the tyre along side (either with our palms or with a smooth chota stick), and as we turned so would the tyre, which obeyed us only when we had that small stick). As we stood at the shop, we would hang it on to our right shoulder, and would be back home in a jiffy if the house was down the road! Where most of today’s cars are parked on the roads would be our rightful lane to play the Tyre aata!
Magnets and Ball bearings : When with the cycle tyres, I remember collecting a box full of ball bearings (again this came free and easy, as there would be plenty of them lying in and around the cycle shop, some visible, some hidden in the dark soil, some shining, some black and out of shape…)
There was nothing as fascinating as seeing the ball bearings stick on to each other (similar to 3-4 people holding on to each other on a cliff, one holding the other’s leg) when a Magnet made its presence. The ball bearings would wobble when the magnet moved near it. Magnets would suddenly be in so much demand, that the round badge like things that Amma had purchased from 8th cross Rayara Gudi, and pasted on the metal window frame in the kitchen (or later the refrigerator) on which were Krishna, Rama, Raghavendraswamy, Lakshmi, Ganesha, Saraswathi etc. etc. would all be left to pile up on each other in the shelf as the magnet behind them would have been robbed!
Coloured Glass pieces : This was a very short lived hobby. Maybe during 2nd standard till beginning of 3rd standard. When we used to play Mann-aata, we would suddenly get dark brown glass pieces, while digging. While walking to the bus stand with Amma, I would chance upon a yellow shining glass piece. I used to collect these and watch the world through them. Such a surreal feeling!
Film Reel : Lengthy film reels would be thrown on roads, which we would collect and try to see if we could see the characters moving when we moved them really quickly. Negligible movement! Unless I found a reel with Rajkumar in it, I would not bring these into the secret production chamber. And I never found a reel with Rajkumar in it!
Scud Missile : These were clearly during the Gulf war, when I was in 9th standard. All that was required to make the scud missile was a small wooden plank (as big as your palm), 3 small nails, a rubberband and some matchsticks. The 3 nails would be partially hit on the plank to make a triangle. Two nails would be wound by a rubberband. A matchstick would now be placed, ready to be shot. When one of the nails having the rubberband around it would become hot (due to the heat transferred by another matchstick), the scud matchstick would fly into the air, to the enemy’s camp!
Hand made Cork ball : When in 4th standard, me and my friends spent considerable time in the summer trying to make our own cork ball. For this, we would go in search of Gobli mara / Rain tree (Acacia).
Once we collected lots of pods from the tree, we would then climb on to the parapet of my friend’s house to crush the pods (Why there? Who knows!). We would suddenly realise that Oil was missing - so we would ask our friend Umesh to get some oil really quickly – he would sometimes get cooking oil, sometimes coconut oil. Now the grinding would start until it became a fine paste with a smooth texture. We would then make a ball, pouring oil on our hands and rolling the stuff in our hands in a circular motion. Then, it was the turn to keep the ball for drying on top of our house for a week.
After the exercise, we would wash our hands usually with 501 bar soap (used for washing clothes). However long we washed, the smell of the pods would stay for atleast for a day!
Grandpa’s Walking stick : Every house would have a walking stick -either Thatha’s, or your father’s Kashi Yatre stick, which would suddenly be more important than the cricket bat… because the stick would turn into a hockey stick overnight!
Magnifying glass : Commonly called Lens, we would keep it in our small pockets, take it to school, not to use it for what it is actually meant for, but to burn paper or dry leaves during Lunch break (January till March.) I think this was during 5th standard.
Matchbox : Collecting and sharing different matchbox covers was a hobby between 1st standard and 4th standard. But by 6th standard, only men of steel would learn the trick of using the ‘striking surface’ in various ways. Firstly, we would cut the piece and paste it onto the shoe heel. A match would always be hidden, unknown to the opponent. During a face off, the stick would appear out of no where and be rubbed on to the shoe… the lit matchstick would be put off by blowing it in a very stylish way, with the eyes seeing the opponent and only the lower lip moveing (as close to what we had seen our hero doing in films!)
[Got caught doing this during SUPW class... made to paint 15 more chairs than others as a punishment]
Another use of the matchbox was to put small insects into it and release them in school / classroom!
Peppermint cover : This was one of the earliest tricks that humans learnt. After the chocolate / peppermint is totally chewed and swallowed, the cover would be pulled tightly by both hands and held close to the lips and blown. Beginners would get a ‘tussss’ sound, First graders would get a screeching noise while the Experts would be playing with the whistling sound!
Broom stick : Ramayana made us desperate for bow and arrow. The lucky ones would get a nice and strong stick of an unknown tree which would act as a bow while we (cursed souls) would have to be happy turning a broom stick into a bow and another broomstick for an arrow. Highly dangerous… we never managed to cause any accidents, but always heard someone tell us that some one in Rajajinagar/ Yeshwanthpura / Subramanyanagara lost an eye… we never believed it…but still we were scared of hurting each other!
Edges of the footpath towards the road : This was where we sat after playing cricket, and drank ‘Chombugattle’ water!. We would discuss about the game, rag, tease, eat bubble gum… While playing, if the match was ‘single side fielding’, then the batting side would sit usually on a compound wall behind the batsman (Usually there is one everywhere!).
Empty Bottles : These were used mainly during Deepavali, to light Rockets. In our days, we used to send some horizontally on the roads, what with such less vehicles.
X-Ray sheets : To watch the sun during Grahana, we would hunt for Ajji’s Xray sheet (that she had been given after her recent visit to Jayadeva Hospital near City Market). Once we started asking for the Xray sheet, Ajji would think it was being asked to discuss about her health, and she would quickly and obediently give it, taking it out from the bottom-most part of the ‘kabbinada pettige’, only to be later told that her Xray has become a toy for the young brutes!
Newspapers : Some of us would use newspapers for various things – to bind books, to make kites, hit flies, light the kerosene stove / hande-vole-uri, as a chart sheet to make collage, to fold and keep a piece of the newspaper under the shaking part of the Godrej bureau / shelf / almirah…
Soap cover : After taking out the new soap bar, the cover would be opened and kept under the clothes, for a few days, so that the aroma spread across the clothes.
Dairy Milk Foil : The aluminum foil one found in a Cadbury Dairy Milk, would be neatly kept in a school notebook, after rubbing out any crease on the foil! The metallic sound it made every time we held it was music to my ears. Even today, when I eat a Dairy Milk (which is the BEST chocolate in the world), I cannot forget how many foils I must have preserved in my childhood!
Bangalore Press Calendar : “The empty space behind the Bangalore Press calendar was where we wrote and practiced our tables, handwriting…” father used to tell this. For me, any empty space is worthy only to be drawn. And draw was what I did behind the calendar sheets! (Good, there was no back to back printing then!)
Old socks : This was after we came back from school, and without removing the school uniform. 6th and 7th standard. The tennis, rubber, cork or leather ball we had would be put into the socks and tied to a high beam / grill. Kept hitting the ball with SG bat to get the perfect shot, feet movement and posture!
Used Dalda / Farex Tins : Rangoli powder in my house, neighbour’s house, or any one’s house would all be kept in either Dalda or Farex tin only! And these tins with Rangoli would be stolen to put the crease on our pitches i.e. my house compound!
Cleaning the comb: Bottom portion of any used Agarbathi would be used to clean the comb. Later on, used and dead toothbrushes would be used to clean the comb. Another typical sight was seeing my opposite house Ajji using a matchstick to clean her ears.
Old Ball point pen: We would love to fix the small pencils to the bottom portion of the ball point pen and write our home work faster than normal. Got a kick out of this simple act!
Winding the Pencil : We would twist and wind the pencil box using a rubberband and a long pencil. When left alone, the pencil would rotate, thus making us feel our pencil box is a helicopter! 3rd standard project.
Another activity was piercing the eraser with the pencil and hitting the table or the friend unecessarily, with our new tool! 1st standard assignment.
Eraser / Rubber as a seal : We would write our initials in reverse on the ‘rubber’ and print it on our text book /note book, hands, thighs, sometimes crazily on our forehead…. thus sealing our fate literally! 2nd standard.
Exam pad : Invariably, every boy’s exam pad (brown color with metallic clip) would be broken in at least one corner. That was because it would be used as a cricket bat after the exam!
Cardboard in the Agarbathi pack: would be used to as a make-believe telescope…which would be used on a hot summer afternoon as we stood in the middle of the road to see if the Joy ice cream gaadi is coming or not! Seeing through it, we always believed ‘objects looked closer than they appeared otherwise’.
Blade and Compass : To make carvings on school furniture (Some of my teachers follow this blog…so no more details)
Tamarind seed : We would have this in our pockets anytime of the day. We would rub it on the wall or the ground and keep it immediately on the cheeks or necks of those who would annoy us.
Notebook Cover : The hardbound covers of our previous year’s notebooks Lekhak, later Vidya Lekhak, would have the pages torn out, and the hard cover would be used as a table tennis bat.
This post has become much much longer than what I actually thought initially. If you’ve read it fully , thanks for getting till here. Hope you have enjoyed this post. Let me know even otherwise.