Selective memory

Human memory confuses me. Rather, my memory confuses. I happen to have a very selective memory. I can only remember things that I don’t really need to remember. I can recall what I wore over a decade back on some particular occasion, without photographic evidence, mind me, but can’t seem to recollect what I read in the newspaper this morning.

My childhood to me is one such huge compilation of fragments of utterly stupid yet non-regretful activities.

The following are some of the activities that I used to do frequently as a kid and distinctly remember.

Tomato rasam for my father: Fortunately enough, for most of my schooling I got to study in a school that had working hours from 7.00 AM to 1.20PM and hence got a lot of time for all essential childhood activities: Playing! Also, we had 5 working days in a week, Saturday-Friday, in a week till 5th standard. This particular incident dates to much before that, my kindergarten days when I had school from 8.00AM to 12.30PM. Most of my time at home was spent scribbling on the walls, raiding my mother’s cupboard and calling up people. Yes, I was capable¬†of dialing up uncles and aunts and having long conversation with them. Something that I just can’t seem to do now. On Thursdays in particular, I would want to cook for my father. Many a times my mother would give me petty chores such as setting up the table or cleaning vegetables, but some other times, I was just too cool for such tasks. I would cut a tomato, tearfully cut half an onion shabbily, cut one green chilly with a pair of orange scissors and toss them into a bowl of water. I would ask my mother to set it on the stove and then add salt and one spoon of rasam powder. I had no patience to wait for it to boil either. Hence, in another minute my bowl of floating tomatoes in the name of rasam would be ready. Ta da! I would serve it along with whatever was prepared for lunch and sit right opposite to my father at the dining table, eagerly, to watch him eat and review it. Every single time he would show the super symbol with his fingers and say ‘ first class’. Oh dear father! Most of the times I wouldn’t even bother tasting it. What parents do to make us happy. ūüôā

Mangoes in a carton: Every summer, a wooden box full of mangoes packed in ¬†hay would arrive some day at home. The joy! Everybody in our house loves mangoes and were these mangoes amazing. The were our beloved ‘Pakistani mangoes’. I would always count the number of mangoes in the box to just forget the number instantly. My mother would neatly cut them and serve it to us and we would still end up eating with our whole bodies. Man do I hate washing off mango stains from my t-shirts now. Occasionally my mother would prepare divine mango milkshakes out of these. My sister and I would both want to attack the seed, one amongst the many many things I really don’t understand why I did then. My prominent memory out of this remains the white turned yellow clothes after the mango consumption session.

‘Tang parapara’: Visiting family friends was a frequent event and I wasn’t particularly fond of it, unless the other family had kids of my age. Within half hour or so I would become grumpy and start annoying my parents about wanting to leave. There was one of my parents’ friend whom I used to really enjoy visiting. He had a very big office in their apartment (I guess. Or their apartment was in the same flat as the office, can’t fully recall. But I know they had an office inside the apartment. Sigh) between the city and sometimes, we used to visit him there after working hours. There were huge chairs with wheels, which now seem like perfectly normal sized chairs to me, on which I would spin and move around. There were large windows from where you could watch cars zooming past. There were loads of papers on the table and many many black files with steel rings as holders. The family friend had a colleague from Jordan who was a very friendly elderly gentleman, whose face I can absolutely not recall. Our family friend would very politely ask us ‘Tang parpara’ (‘Will you drink Tang’ in Tulu) each time we would go in and settle down. After a couple of visits, the man from Jordan started trying to ask us the same and we would have a hearty laugh listening to him offer us ‘Tang parapara’.

Maybe I should stop for now. There are so many more such incidents that remind me that things that you do as a child are probably what you truly are. Even today I love to cook, I whole heartedly love mangoes and I so love looking at cars zoom past me. This selective memory I tell you.

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What do you remember from your childhood the most easily?

With love,

Shivali

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Morning Walk. Mental Talk.

Maybe I do not have anything to say. Maybe i have way too much to say and can’t figure out which of it is worthy of being written about. Oh whom am I kidding. I am outright lazy!

My apologies for not having been very regular here. (Not that you have been waiting, but still, i am going to assume so to please myself.)

A couple of days back, a friend of mine and I were walking along the roads of Nitte on our very irregular morning walks. We a;ways make it a point to choose any random direction and move in that direction for about 20 minutes as briskly as we can and then turn about and return. Luckily for us the weather has been just perfect for a morning walk; not very cold, neither hot and hence no feeling all gooey and sticky (Or maybe we aren’t walking quick enough. Whatever may it be.). So yes, we walked in the direction of Belman for about 20 minutes and explored the interiors of Halekatte when we looked at our watches and learnt it was time for us to head back. Trucks loaded with jelly stones were heading towards Belman, making the road dustier than ever and there we were, complaining, being absolutely helpless while bathing in the dust. As we moved ahead, the dust cloud cleared and were able to breathe comfortable again. A few dogs we barking in our direction and my friend began walking quickly to escape from them. I giggled as I always find it funny, to a certain extent stupid when people are afraid of dogs. I asked her to slow down and said that walking quickly would only worsen things for her if the dogs were to do anything. She slowed down. Within a minute or so, a few other dogs began barking at us, louder this time. My friend was petrified and began walking quickly again. Upon asking her to slow down, she held on to me like how a squirrel would cling on to the bark of the tree. It was then that I said her, “Relax, they won’t do anything. they are dogs, not humans.” . At that moment, the intensity of what I had said so casually didn’t strike me. After a few minutes when my friend and I gave it a thought, we did stare at each other with a hundred virtual question marks revolving round our head.

It is ironic how our fellow humans are our best friends and can be our worst enemies too. People do not belong to each other and can be so cruel to each other. Can we just be good to one another? Harm isn’t a pretty word and is a worse gesture.

 

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Till Next Time,

Keep Smiling.

Shivali

Karma

¬†I haven’t been the most not-busy person lately, but I have to get this off my chest and my little virtual space is something I am very grateful to. ¬†Fair warning, this isn’t going to be something more intellectual than a crib fest.

People are certainly not my favorite kind of beings on this planet. I do not generalize, but I wish I found more people who made me like people, in general, better. I am indebted to forces of nature for having gifted me with gems of people, whom I will be treasuring with me for good. I just do not see that number rising and it is very disheartening. In fact, the number did stumble and roll down a couple of stairs, all the more disappointing. By good people, I am not being judgmental or terming them so by the fact that they abide by my opinions or not. Your opinions could be an antonym of my views and you shall still be viewed as a great human, provided you do your part right. I do not claim to be Miss. Perfect either. I am flawed. And so are you. I maybe flawed by a greater magnitude. I do know that being flawed doesn’t make me a bad person.

There used to be a time, not too long back, when any debate about the scenario of the nation or a political issue would provoke me to put forward my own views. I do not any more. At this point of time, anyone could stand in front of me and go on for hours together about the state of the poor in our country or the dominance of corruption on the leaders. I could listen to them and pretend to not have heard a word. 

This isn’t an epiphany out of the blue or a very recent realisation. This is something I and I am sure, even you have been observing from ages. Preaching and not practicing. We are all loud speakers and news papers when we have to bad mouth our politicians, but how many of us are a 100% corruption free? At least 1%? You can do things the right way, but you obviously won’t. You know, it’s not fun. And hey, do not forget, doing things the wrong way is cool! Whoever may you be, tell me you abide by the rules and do not consider mending ends to meet your own profit, you will earn my utmost respect. You speak about wanting to get all corrupt politicians and rapists behind bars, have you never ‘made money’ or ‘scammed’ someone or something, or at least have planned to do the same? Have you never seen a girl passing by you inappropriately? Have you always paid your bus ticket? Have you always corrected your teacher if by mistake he would have awarded a couple of marks extra in the exam, where you didn’t deserve it? Have you ever considered being truthful and honest, for one whole day at least?¬†

I might sound outright naive as I say this, but why oh why are we giving into exactly what we all claim to avoid? Whatever happened to principles and values. The world may not be a piece of cake, but I still do so not see how that should stop you from making it a pastry!

I guess I have come to a stage where it is becoming very easy to give up on people. I simply do not care any more. PS: Not that I did previously. Earlier, similar acts would enrage me, now they do not. Maybe they make me giggle, mentally, as a matter of fact.

But there is something I still do not want to give up on; Karma.

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I Must Stop

Yesterday seemed to be a decently pleasant day. I wouldn’t define it as joyous, I would go with the word sweet. My day began to wrap up when I was waiting for my bus at the bus stop to ¬†head back to my PG Room before our deadline. I had been waiting for about ten minutes and my bus showed no signs of showing up. I noticed a little boy, say 3 years old, walking towards where I was standing holding hands with his father. I noticed that the kid was cribbing about something and the father tried to console him in a voice as soft as possible. As he came closer, I could hear what he was saying. Not that I intended to listen to their conversation, I just could hear from where I was standing.

They were conversing in their (and my own) mother tongue Tulu.

“Appa. Bajel aapundu”, (Father, I am thirsty.), said the kid.

“Itthe bus barpundu. Jatthi boka parka.” (Our bus will be arrive in some time, once we get down, lets drink something), the dad consoled.

“Appa mast bajel apundu. Onji juice.” (Father, I am very thirst. One juice.). For a minute I thought the kid was making it up, kids do have a tendency to exaggerate to get their way through. But this guy sounded very genuine.

The father noticed that people around were now noticing the duo and stepped a little away from the crowd. 

The guy began stomping his feet and continued, “Appa, mast bajel apundu. Onji juice detth korle.” (Father, I am very thirst. Please buy me one juice). By now, I had began to feel for the guy. He sounded very restless and somehow, I knew he wasn’t making it up.

The father kept his calm and said, “Maga. Malle ijji. Itthe muttuva. Adha parka.” (Son, don’t work. We will reach in a while. We’ll drink then.”, though their bus hadn’t arrived yet.

The father lead the son and moved further away.

“Appa. Mast bajel apundu. Mast bajel apundu. Daalandala parka.” (Father, I am very thirsty. I am very thirsty. Lets drink anything.)

They father for a minute lost his calm and yelled, “Paniyatha, boka getth korpe andhu? Hata malpodchi. Manipande unthula!” (I told you right, I will be buying for you later. Don’t be stubborn. Stand quietly now!)

I had an urge to go buy a bottle of juice and give it to the boy. I was feeling that bad for him. But that just wouldn’t be right. It didn’t appear like the father was denying to buy the boy a bottle of juice because of financial constraints. At least that’s how it looked. But I am sure that the father would have had some reason. Maybe the guy wasn’t supposed to drink juices, health issues maybe. Maybe the guy was making it up. I couldn’t recognize it, but who am I? Obviously his father knows him the best. Or maybe it was financial issues after all. The one thing I learnt quite early is that never judge anyone by their looks.¬†

I continued to stand there as the guy continued to whine and the father kept consoling him to have patience as he moved away step by step from the crowd, becoming conscious that the kid was loud enough to be heard midst the racket of the national highway and chatter  of the innumerable people rushing around. 

I saw my bus coming round the corner and moved ahead to board it. I looked back for one last time to see the kid. He looked up with pleading eyes to his father and the father looked outstretched in the direction in which the bus they were waiting for would be coming from perhaps.

I boarded my bus and got what I refer to as the ‘Side seat’, the one beside the driver. The entire episode ran in my head again. Deep inside I felt very bad, for no apparent reason. It was then that I realized, I sympathize too much. Maybe, I sympathize unnecessarily. I must really stop that.

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Till Next Time.

Shivali

Thought Twinkle

This little thought has been running in my head for over a week now. From the 15th of August, 2013, to be precise. Independence Day of India, when the patriot inside our guts takes a high jump and lands on our Facebook status. Oh well! It wasn’t quite the same this time. We had a Mega Sand Painting Event at College, which of course was amazing. Besides that, a certain thought struck me, Deep!

Our dear Country is running in the 67th year of ‘freedom’ (If you missed it out, do note the single quotes). I don’t quite feel very independents though. Set apart the external forces, it is more from the inside. Isn’t independence a state of mind? Yes, I do feel very liberated mentally, at least most of the time. But that isn’t the same case with every other Indian, or for that matter, every other person around. Wish yourself Independence first.

 

I came across this picture some days back. I have discussed on this matter with quite a few people on many occasions and they had similar opinions. Is it me who is too naive to not agree with it? I do not know. 

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I hate being confused like this. 

I guess I need a bowl of Gulab Jamun.

 

Till Next Time,

Keep Your Mind Open.

Shivali