These are a few of my favorite .. err.. memories?

WhatsInAName tagged me to write about 7 childhood memories. Since, I've been reading a lot of these posts and didnt want to pass off someone's memories as mine (ya I'm that impressionable) I thought I'd approach it largely from the food angle and throw any other memories in between. I noticed the tag just says childhood memories, no good or bad, and that's just fine. Some of my memories I have no idea whether I'm fond of them, sure I laugh at some, but also cringe at others and so on and so forth. I'll try putting the pleasanter ones down here ...

  • A long time ago before I was worried about calories or acne, my fondest memories are of peeling little sweet wrappers and popping a delectable treat into my mouth. Available at any price range from the 10p lemon, orange slice shaped bakery sweets, the little Ravalgaon lemon and orange round sweets, to the pricier 5 Star bars, Cadburys Dairy Milk and Fruit and Nut bars, Nutties, Eclairs, Coffee Bites, I ate them all. And evenings and tea-times saw me munching happily on Britannia Bourbon and Jim-Jams. I loved pulling the bourbon biscuit apart, licking the chocolate cream off and then eating the biscuit. I still do it if no one's watching while the Jim-Jams, a fabulously sticky cream biscuit with a jam center, sprinkled with sugar crystals I can still eat anytime. Recently, I bought a 5 star bar, hoping to relive my childhood, all i realised was i'm old now, booo :(
  • I love certain food traditions my mom setup for us as we were growing up. So, every Sunday the house would be redolent with the smell of a traditional chicken recipe and fish fry. Festivals, picnics, birthdays saw various other food customs being set which I still looked forward to even amidst all the other stuff going on. If there's one thing I ever pass on to my kids, it would be a Sunday lunch tradition. Even though the menu never changed, the anticipation and fulfillment of eating a familiar delicious meal combined with family bonding made Sundays extremely special for me.
  • We werent huge movie buffs. However there was a time when the drive-in theater in Bangalore just opened and every Friday night saw my parents bundling us into the car with blankets, food, drinks irrespective of the movie playing. Neither LilBro nor me lasted the entire length of the movie, we just loved the mini-picnic feel of watching a movie under the stars part of a crowd, yet alone in our little car, the tinny sounds emerging from the speakers hanging over the car windows, eating samosas and pooris on paper plates. Even the rapacious mosquitoes were just minor irritants. We'd settle down happily into the back seat ensconced in a blanket, play or chat if we were bored and would be driven home completely and deeply asleep when the movie was over.
  • Summer vacations saw us going back to my dad's village. I loved the train journeys esp the food that used to be served. It might not have been the most hygienic (we saw them place the trains outside the loos in the second class compartments :), but until I ate that tray filled with dal, subjis, spiced chicken if you wanted it, sweet yogurt, pickle, pooris/parathas and rice I never felt as if my summer vacation had quite started. The rest of the time was spent reading comics like Tinkle, Chandamama, my stash of Enid Blytons and Carolyn Keenes, while munching on clandestinely stolen pieces of drying mangoes, salted and spiced waiting to be pickled, playing cards through the day with cousins and sleeping on little khatiyas under the stars if it got too hot to sleep indoors. Summer vacations also saw me reading all the prescribed literature books for the next school year, except the poetry books that is. I hate poems!!
  • We used to play the most amazingly corny games in our all-girls school. First was the hopscotch which I dont think any girl ever got tired of, then there was this game where an elastic would be stretched between 2 girls who acted like bookends holding the elastic in place and the rest would take turns hopping and twisting the elastic into the most fascinating shapes. And lunch times often saw entire snake-lines of giggling, pig-tailed girls in a strange marching-dance manoevre to the uninitiated, mouthing the mantra 'There was a girl, so thin and tall and fair .....'. You had to play it to understand :) I wonder if it was some strange Bangalore tradition or everyone else played it too? Living in an building with 52 flats meant there were always tons of kids to play with, we used to play dodgeball, lagori, chor-police but the one game we never got tired of playing was something inventively called tackling - our variation of another game. The compound of my building had huge concrete rectangle slabs (probably 8 ft by 5 ft) with tar fillings in between, and these became our tackling rectangles. The objective was to position the 1st team on the rectangles so that they could only move perpendicularly on the black tar lines, while the other team would try to run across 5 of these rectangles and back without getting caught by the 1st team. We even had complicated strategies per team, let the slowest kid across first to catch them while coming back, the fastest kid would man the last rectangle etc. Loads of fun!!!
  • We've been going for early morning walks most of my life, atleast for the time I lived with my parents and wasnt allowed to be a lazy papaya. We used to walk around MG Road and Cubbon Park. At that time of day, there would be no cars around and on MG Road, the stretch between Brigade Road and Cubbon Park, you would find kids practising roller-skating on the road itself. When I was older I walked with a friend and we had the most amazing encounters - from the uncle with the military haircut who wished two silly, giggling girls every morning, to the sophisticated women who walked with weights in their arms, to the aunties stopping for a gossip after every chakkar, to the men who blared music from their cars while doing their weird versions of sit-ups only to get back in and find they couldnt start the car, to the lovebirds who setup clandestine meetings before school, Cubbon Park was a fascinatingly busy place early in the morning. (I didnt mention the flashers but if you are a parent reading please be aware that it happens).
Ok social conscience appeased, and I think I'm done. I just realised I'm terrible at writing about myself. Why have a blog I wonder? Before I dwell further on my existential angst, let me pass the tag (remember it's 7, people, SEVEN memories) onto a few others Avdi (ms. avdi please tell me which blog you will put it on), Samir and Angel's Flight. Do with it what you will :D


avdi said...

wonderful jee.. thanks for the tag.. here is my response

oh yes !

Bouncing-Bubble said...

:) I used to have 10 hot jamuns within 10 mins. Can u beat that ? hehehe..
btw u gave me a complex by saying that u used to walk a lot as a child.

Smita said...

That leaves me bole to am yet to complete the tag...I have so many reasons (not excuses) to save myself

- I had lost my memory at 15
- Am I writer how can u bind me in a tag :D

Thank God WIAN is not here yet :D

You know when we were Kisd me n my school bus frens had made major plans of making chocolate at home, it never materialised :D Childhood!!!

couchpapaya said...

avdi - yeh kaunsa naya blog :( will check it out !!

bubbles - that was a laudable feat .... i wont even try that record :) tho i used to eat 1 kg of grapes in a single sitting :D isnt it funny how the parents spend all that time trying to instil some good behaviour in u and once ur all grown up all that is long forgotten. i havnt done that since i started college ... i give myself a complex :(

smita - well after my sad attempt u can try atleast :P chocolate fudge was the first thing i ever made in the kitchen .... u dont have that sweet tooth which was why it never happened :)

WhatsInAName said...

Not just Bangalore!
Elastic was a craze in Delhi as well :) Can never forget those times. I used to bribe my bro to stand at one end and placed a chair at the other!

10 on 10 to you too! We all share them, similar memories!

couchpapaya said...

WIAN - lol u sure had a sweet helpful bro. i imagine mine wld have jumped out just as i was making the most crucial hop landing me in a pile with chair, elastic and my dignity :) yes i agree, the memories are so similar arent they !!!

Mama - Mia said...

awesome psot!! loved all the dhamaal memories!



samir said...

p :
Sorry for the delay, still have not written it yet. Started, but got sidetracked. Hope to finish soon.

couchpapaya said...

abha - thanks :)

samir - oh goody !!! i tagged u just so u would start that blog *evil chuckle* ... i want to start reading abt gourmet food & wine :P

samir said...

Finally posted at
Next one will be on your request Gourmet Food & Wine.

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