Bangalore days and some more..

Deepavali back then meant my paternal grandma’s formula ‘legiyam’ or ‘lehyam’, my mom’s Mysore pak , rangolies, crackers, and tailored dress for the sis and I from the same cloth or at least of the same design but with different colors on them! The biggest work item assigned to us on this day would be to distribute sweets to all our neighbors in our colony, and that we did happily .

A few of my friends from our colony and I would collect empty ‘Waterbury’s Compound Red Label’ bottles and stash them away in a secret place to be used during Diwali. The open playground outside our row of houses used to be heaven. I was notorious back then too and have had very close misses with the abuse of crackers. My favorite prank was to snuff the narrow mouth of the Waterbury’s bottle’s with the rockets and pull just the wick out. The cracker would snugly fit in the mouth like a cork. The bottle would explode to pieces when the cracker burst.  I must’ve been pretty lucky because there were no accidents except once when a piece flew straight at me and tore my forearm slightly the last Diwali we were in Bangalore. Of course my parents were not aware that it was me and were busy heaping curses on some random rowdy kids resorting to such deadly pranks. I’d go mute too and so would all the partners in crime! Life since Bangalore days seems fast-forwarded!

Diwali makes me all nostalgic. Somehow, no Diwali after Bangalore ones have been the same. I guess growing up makes you all boring and serious at times J Crackers are not interesting anymore. New clothes are fine, but yeah, it is available more easily as opposed to the days when birthdays used to be the only other occasion that commanded the same respect. Sweets and savories are consumed with a touch of guilt too. Again, these are not restricted any more to occasions like Diwali or wedding. There are more special occasions now than the normal days, so much so that normal days start feeling special and you feel the need to celebrate!

But then, growing up also hurls you into another phase where you realize you are fortunate to be where you are, to be surrounded by your loved ones, to know that the other dear ones are just a call or email away and they’d be thinking and talking about you just the way you do about them, that you are free to be who you are than to be what the others expect of you, that you can fight tooth and nail to defend your thoughts and actions and not be judged for it, that you are blessed with a sense to accept your loved ones with all the dents, fractures, plasters, and their beautiful hearts just like how you are accepted..

Growing up also makes us (ok, at least me!) sentimental! Happy Diwali to you, all the wonderful people I’ve known. May this Diwali and every other Diwali light up your lives with good health, positive thoughts, and abundant joy. Always.

A nostalgic trip down the memory lane..

Several times in the last 2 weeks, I’ve been walking up and down the memory lane where the ultra happy moments and unimaginably sad ones lie interspersed.

A chance discovery and meeting with a childhood friend last year, whom I have not met in the last 2 decades resurrected many memories! This friend of over 2 decades has helped connect with few more whom we had lost touch with a long time ago!

The cool foggy Bangalore mornings, the early school hours, the teachers, my friends, the park, I can go on! Friends used to gather by a dozen at our house during festivals, especially during Ganesha Chathurthi and Varalakshmi Pooja, not to offer their prayers or out of reverance, but for the mouth-watering kozhakattais (modhakas) that my mom used to make.

Am amazed at how much memories and stories of that period my sister and I carry in our hearts even today and nothing comes as close to the lovely childhood as we shared. And those are our only memories of a ‘wonderful’ childhood and it seems like we were directly hurled into adulthood the moment we landed here, in the ever-warm Madras!

Life has been one wonderful, educative experience since then and am happy counting the blessings that have come my way. However (am not sure if it is right or wrong), I have been toying with the theory of a parallel universe and trying to visualize how our lives in the other universe is with some events of our childhood altered. Its nothing grand, but I like what I see there. I wish am in the middle of a dream and wake up to find myself having the best of both the worlds!! Utopia exists but in dreams!

Come summer, my sister, my friend and I have planned to travel back in time, to the places of our childhood. This time with our children and spouses, and relive those happiest moments, the stories of which we have narrated a thousand times over to our children and spouses, with all the colors, with all the contrasts!

Am happy I have people to tell stories to which nevertheless makes this Universe Utopian too! Pardon my rant!

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