Every Wednesday, last period was Bhagawad Gita class. My school was founded by a spiritual leader and hence a period each week was devoted to moral studies. In our primary school days, Gita class was mostly  story time with a cherubic teacher, who had a knack for telling awesome mythological dramas. Other times have the whole class chanting the Bhagawad Gita in unison. It was almost like a free period until we reached secondary school.

We were too old for stories was what we were told. A stern looking Biology sir took it on the burden of teaching us moral consciousness. His Bio classes were extremely interesting but Gita class – how interesting can you make spiritual conscciousness sound to  a class of 14 year olds? It being the last period was also not lost on us – if not for Gita class, we could well be on our way home! Anyways, we had to listen – Sir was strict and could send you to hell with his cold stare. I was a responsible student most times but in Gita class. I have this Endless Yawn Attack syndrome descend on me.

Every two minutes – one yawn! In a thirty minute class, I would have yawned 15 times. And I have a very peculiar Yawn side effect too – when I yawn, I go deaf too. Any noise at the time will not be registered at all! My father tells me I am not the only one with that side effect, but I m yet to meet another with the same peculiarity! Now back to the story – Our Sir knew we were bored out of our minds with all this consciousness talk, so he kept us on our toes err… ears with impromptu questions. If an appropriate answer was not given, we were dead meat! So you can imagine – me with endless yawns and deaf most of the time, chances are I miss more than half of what he says.

That led me to seek more creative ways to draw Oxygen. Keeping my lips tight and fill my cheeks, drop a book and when picking it up yawn quickly, when someone behind me is answering a question – turn to look back and yawn, wait for Sir to turn his back to us. 😀 It sounds so ridiculous and stupid, but what could I do! 😀 Mercifully, my yawns were never sighted and nor was I pulled up for questioning! Maybe my track record in Bio class had him confident about my classroom presence! 😀

Now I bet those who read this till the end, would have yawned atleast once?? 😉 Yawns, like the need to drink water when you see others drinking it, are extremely contagious!

Have a good day folks!

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Telling Tall Tales …

August 13, 2009

As I have mentioned in several posts earlier, my little sister is the living doll that I had always wanted. She played her part pretty well too. Every little thing I told her, she took it to be God’s truth. Well, being the affectionate older sister that I am, she didn’t any other choice.

Sometime in the X’mas hols of my ninth year in this world, our family friends dropped in for a few days. They had kids our age and days were filled with making merry. As is the custom in Kochi, holidays with kids are spent in Children’s Park. It was the amusement park of the 80’s. Show animals, gigantic globe that can be turned if all of us put our might together, rides, swimming pool, chaat guys, ice cream, cars/scooters that you can drive,  and even a traffc policeman!! The guests and us had a rollicking time doing all the stuff that kids do – letting our hair down and going nuts! Soon enough, it was getting dark and parents started herding us all back in. That is when I saw the bookseller with the latest children’s magazine! I got my dad to buy the book. I couldn’t wait till I reach home – no sireee, I had to read the book as I walked to the exit.

Suddenly I was gasping for air. Why, what ehh ?? Why the hell am I wet? Because the dummy was too engrossed in the book to realise that she is stepping into a fountain! Luckily the traffic policeman, pulled me out of the water. I don’t think I have to tell you what shade of beetroot I went. My folks quickly rushed me home. As mom was helping me dry off, my poor little sister, came in all concern writ over her sweet face. “Are you okay, did you get hurt?” By now I have had enough being embarassed at my stupidity. I thought some bravado should help me get back to normal.

So this is what I said, ” You should thank God that I am here, you know. When I fell, an alligator dragged me down and I thought I will be her dinner! Lucky for me traffic policeman uncle was nearby!” I can still picture my sister’s eyes going wide and round. And my dear mom, she got to add another story to the Book of Cookie’s Quirkiness!! 😉

A couple days back, my hands were itching to draw a potrait. So here is my little sister when she was 3 years old. When I sent her a mail asking her to guess who the picture is of – she replied it is of her drawn by me when I was in primary school!!  😀

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A few days ago, I chanced upon Savitha’s post on Ganapathy Akka. Her touching account reminded me of some  people who played a big role in my life. Its been years since I thought of Velayudha Chettan (Chettan means brother, also used to refer older people). When my sis and I were starting school, he had just bought an old auto. He had seen my dad take us and two other kids to school on his motorcycle -Yezdi, may I add? 😉 He approached my dad and asked whether my dad would allow him to take us to school for a small fee? My dad was obviously relieved. So began our life long relationship with Velayudhan Chettan-  short guy with long curly locks and a funny shuffling type of running style! In the early days, Pinks and I did not speak Malayalam (being Konkani speakers) so he would try his best to talk us in Konkani after asking my mom for the right words. He was a good person, fun to be with and treated us to ice lollies/ice creams after every exam concluded. And on days that we got stuck in traffic, his magnanimity was evident when he bought snacks for every child to appease the hunger pangs. (No, he did not collect money for this from our parents later. )

During our early school years, we lived in an apartment on the 1st floor. Our school begins at 7 30am and so VC comes to our home to pick us up at 6 45am. With my mom  yelling  “Cookie, Pinky get ready soon. Uncle is waiting” day after day, we scamper down the stairs and then get settled in the auto and be off for another day at school. My mom’s “Cookie and Pinky” call must have sounded like “Kuppy and Puppy” to VC’s ears I think – why else did he start calling us that? In Malalyalam Kuppy translates to a bottle. Puppy as in a baby dog. My sis liked her new name. As for me, tell me who would like to be called a bottle?? I cringed when he yelled across the school grounds “Kuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuupppyyy, vandiyileke irrikku!!” (Bottle, Sit in the vehicle) Soon all my primary schoolmates knew I was the “Kuppy” – the horror of it all. 🙂 There was this boy, XY in our auto group. He was a nuisance then but is a sweetheart now. Thanks to his fussy ways, he was stuck with VC’s special name for him –Pandaram (Nuisance in Malayalam). Poor chap sobered down soon enough hoping that his new name would be dropped – no chance of that happening, not even now! 😀 Pandaram XY, if you happen to read this, please take it lightly and remember it is coming from a Kuppy! 😉

I was diagnosed with Myopia when I was in the 5th standard and was advised to wear correction glasses. I felt so embarassed about wearing glasses – nobody else had one in my class. I often told my folks I could manage without it. Nonetheless the specs would shoved on my ears before I left. Soon, I started hiding my glasses when I got into the auto and my folks were never the wiser. That is until they saw my notebooks incomplete. They told VC to ensure that I wore my glasses and couple of teachers too. For the next one year VC  always checked on me  to keep his word? 🙂

By this time, every parents wanted VC to take their kids to school. And thats when he got his auto driver buddies involved. Soon there were route maps laid out, which buddy would take which kids, what would happen if one of them goes on leave? All that ensued was a big mess. The other drivers weren’t as fun as VC and they had no attachment towards us, neither we to them. Besides, they also took kids from other schools which would leave us waiting at our school grounds for couple of hours after school. Thats when VC, decided to hire a van.His wife too joined him as a gatelady.Yay!! The fun and games began all over again. 🙂

Then our school dropped a bomb – they are moving to a better location with bigger grounds and all that. And another important announcement – school buses. Our school’s lack of school bus was the reason for VC’s thriving business. His business did sober down a bit and he started looking at other options. Entered Mani Chettan – he asked dad to help him start his school drop business by entrusting us with him. He was a young man and was pretty desperate. We along with a couple of nearby kids joined his bandwagon. In no time, MC too was getting offers from parents to drive their kids to school.  We didnt take too much to MC in the early days. I regret some of the things we told him in our foolishness. If there was a way to take it back, I sure would. Those were my teen years and I pointed out to my folks that one of the school buses pass our house everyday. I checked with the bus driver and he said he can pick and drop us off  at our gate. Irked with all my pestering to join the hip bus club, my folks soon gave up and I started going to my school on the bus. Pinks wanted to be on the auto but my folks insisted we be together, so she too was forced to “bus” to school.

I am never late for the bus. Not my sis – she is a sleepyhead. She will sleep till the last 10 minutes and then scramble to get ready. Her friend Harsha, who lived on the road behind our house, was also like her. I get in the bus and scornfully wait for these lazybuns to join me. In the meanwhile our driver uncle would rave and rant – why cant you teach your sister to be like you? why cant you give her a good shake when you wake up and all that. Inside the house, my mom and Harsha’s mummy would be on the phone discussing how much more “readiness” is left for the 2 brats. My sis almost always gets  ready before her but will hang on till Harsha comes shooting through the back road, jumping over all the hedges –  otherwise the driver uncle will leave without picking her up likr it happened days earlier!! 😉 The bus was like a big promotion for me – many of my classmates travelled on the same and we had a ball. Juicy gossips, finishing forgotten home work, group studies, weekend plans – all that happened here.

With the end of 12th standard, my Wonder Years came to an end and the Magical years began – with me moving to Mangalore. Years later, reading Savitha’s post brought the memories of these wonderful people flooding back and I had to share them with you. Velayudha Chetta, Mani Chetta and Driver Uncle (I am ashamed to say, I dont know his name *hanging my head in shame*) – thanks a million*infinity for your lovely and smooth rides to school and back. for all the invaluable lessons (with emphasis on punctuality and discipline), for all the laughs and lovely memories and for introducing us to lovely friends.

PS: From recent times there is increasing antagonism towards auto driverss ferrying kids to school. Understandably so – packing too many kids in such a little space is horrifying. Our chettas were very careful back then and wouldnt even think of extra bucks by endagering children. To end on a funny note :

Most people find excuses not to exercise. Oh I have a headache, I m really tired, I will start from tomorrow and so on. Well none of that works for us. If your walking route is like a dream, what would stop you from going? Check it out. (All photos courtesy my sweetheart)

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This is the pond on our walking route. It is not the only one, there are two more such beauties. Sachin and I walk for two hours and this is where we catch up with each others thoughts, ideas, kid each other, run together and basically have fun. These are the best two hours of my day.

We also meet this cute family who never fail to greet us as we walk past them. They see us off till we turn around the corner. Their little babies are a treat to watch, so playful and full of beans. Today we took the liberty of taking pictures of this lovely family so that I can show you guys how sweet they are. They were kind of shy though. They send their love for you all. 🙂

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For those of  you looking out for human beings in the above photo, I was talking about the geese and their chicks. The chicks are really tiny fuzzballs and the geese are awfully camera shy!

Sachin also took a picture of the sky at its orange best. Here you go. (Can you believe this is at 8:30 pm?? We have daylight till almost 9:00 pm!)

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Remember how I said my walk is like a dream earlier? It reminded me of something that happened 6 years ago. At the time, I was going for multimedia classes. Everyday I would walk down a little lane and turn left  to the bus stop to catch the bus that goes to the computer center. One day as usual I turned, but I reached London! Yes, you got that right, I said London. Boy, was I upset? Meant to go for class and here I am in a different country altogether! I find a phone booth, call my folks and tell them what happened. They show no surprise though, as though I have told them I am going to the market and they neednt bother to pick me up types! They tell me – no problem dear, just call your Peethukka (yes, the very same one that I spoke about here) I do the needful. She is very happy and said she will pick me up after work. Waiting for her I walk around, taking in the place and I see this beautiful pond. The whole feel of the place is still fresh in my mind. Overcast rain bearing clouds, a cool breeze, still waters, lush greenery. As I admire the beauty of it all, I hear a noise behind me. It was a guy. He asks me whether I am new to the place. I tell him yes. The he tells me I will show you around and grabs hold of my hand before I could get a word in! Claaaang! (The curtain rod fell, I swear I am not making it up!)  I wake up with a start and my heart thudding madly! Thank God – it was just a dream!! 😀 What did you think it was? Anyways it was a couple months after this dream that I met my love. Amma still teases me about how my dream was a sign of things to come!

On that note I sign off for today! Have a great time folks!

Who Moved My Aunt ?

June 11, 2009

At the risk of making me sound like a complete idiot, I wish to recount another “incident” which happened when I was about 12 years old. (Yes, amusing people gives me great joy! )

We had a sturdy white Ambassador car then. One day my parents, sis P, aunt B, her baby and I were going someplace in Kochi. On the way, we stopped to get some stuffs from the bakery.  So all of us except Aunt B and baby got out of the car and headed to the bakery. After buying loads of stuff, mom told me to take it to the car and wait with Aunt B. So off I went, struggling to hold all the plastic covers. I open the door and get in. Pushing her, I tell my aunt, “dhoor sar” (Move to the side – in Konkani) She doesn’t budge a bit. I tell her please move, so  that here will be enough place to keep all the packets. To this, she responds by giggling. This is not nice Aunt B – oh no! I look up to tick her off and I see a total stranger sitting there! I was wondering where Aunt B went and what is this lady doing in our car when the kindly lady (suppressing her giggles!) says in Malayalam “Molle … idu nammude caara. Taniku caar maari poyi.” (Dear, This is our car. You have gotten into the wrong car!) I was so horrified! To think I was pushing a lady out of her own car and talking in a strange language on top of everything else – what would she have thought? I start apologizing but the dear lady brushes away all my apologies and sends me on my way, after all I was just a child. So red faced, grabbing all the covers again I flee back to my car (The lady kept looking to ensure I dont get in the wrong car again). My folks, by then, figured what had happened. I was the butt of jokes for that day and never heard the end of it yet. By God’s grace, I am now totally desensitized. 🙂

Well, hope you had a laugh too. Like I said, I am desensitized, so the joke is no longer on me. 🙂 Go ahead, you can laugh all you want, no one is stopping you, least of all me! 😀