Friday, January 18, 2013

i am one Gil Pender

When i think of that day, a few days before 14th Jan i feel that it was one lucky day for me and had i wished more i would have got it all. Someone who was listening really warmed me up on that extremely bone rattling winter morning.

The temperature had dropped to something nearing one degree Celsius and we were huddled next to the radiator discussing, cursing, sympathizing and last but not the least counting our blessings.

The topic was mostly related to extremes of weather that Delhi has and i was beginning to yawn. Then it shifted to comforters. My mother in law was appreciating the new comforter and the warmth it had despite it being so light in weight. She had to go on and on about the texture, the color...
Perhaps she was expecting me to be more vocal in my appreciation and not just give wordless nods.
The comforter was actually a gift. Given to me by my brother in law when i was moving from Chennai to Delhi.
Comforters today and Razai yesterday...that was how the warming up by the radiator conversation went on...
i was not participating vocally as my thoughts were locked rather glued elsewhere and i was nodding to some familiar words, sights and sounds...

My mind was transported to that television less era when winter Sundays were very special.
i was seeing images in bits and pieces. Of the roads and homes bustling with activities so typical of a holiday when everybody seemed relaxed and had different from other day agendas so far as home and hearth was concerned.
Uncles and aunties in the colony happily comparing notes with each others of their respective well beings...
Roads bustling with excited shopping of special foods for the day...Jalebi, Kachori,Samosa... for the Sunday breakfast, also Mutton , fish, chicken... for the Sunday special lunch.

We've just had a nice cup of mutton leg soup...
i am playing with my friends in the colony... i can hear shrills of thrills...
i see aunties knitting sweaters on the terrace...some on another terrace busy with pickling of the season's excesses...carrots, cauliflower, turnip...
Uncles having conversations about all. Politics, health, family, work and last but not the least about the weather and it's impact on the crops...
And Oh! i also see THEM...

i haven't seen THEM for ages now and i miss the almost like a folk instrument sound associated with the bow that they carried.
Twang twang twang...i was jolted out of my reverie.

i am sitting near the radiator. My in laws have finished their breakfast/ tea and are asking me something.
i am still oblivious to their question because my day dream feels more real and most indulging.

So i asked my in laws if by any chance they get to see THEM or just like so many of our times they too have gone extinct.
My heart was warmed with their affirmative answer and heaven alone knows why but i felt not only happy but warm too.
Finally felt the warmth spreading from my toes to the corners of my ears, face , cheeks and my ice cold nose.
Then, erupted a go to that small town of mine and see THEM once again. Hear their music and watch the entire procedure with some respect.
Appreciate THEM with this new eyes of mine and oh so eager -to- hear- twang- twang ears of mine.

Don't know yet if my longing was sincere or someone heard my longing laced sighs that wallah !! i turn the pages of my favorite 'The Hindu' and i saw THEM.

Thank you Genie for giving me something to look forward to not only for today but also when i visit my small hometown soon. And it better be this winter. If at all i want to hear the music once again. The music that heralded THEIR presence in the street and later some different tune that enticed us join in as enthusiastic spectators anxious to see the fluffy and soft end product of that music.
i'd better get back home soon or i'll miss the sight of the instrument and the music maker forever.

i ought to hurry or later i'll have to make do with sepia tainted images like this. yes they might endure. But what about the rhythmic sounds associated with those pictures. As if the sounds of sil batta chiseling was not enough. How many more on my list now...???

There was a dialogue in the movie Midnight in Paris where the pedantic and somewhat always bragging out aloud about his intellect character called Paul says,  "Nostalgia is denial - denial of the painful present... the name for this denial is golden age thinking - the erroneous notion that a different time period is better than the one ones living in - its a flaw in the romantic imagination of those people who find it difficult to cope with the present. "

i won't say i am finding it difficult to cope with the present but yes i do seem to be going down memory lane quite often. i do seem to be missing a few and wanting them back for instance the flavors, aromas, sights and the sounds associated with those sights. 
i am also grateful for today. i am grateful for all the comforts that today has got me but that does not stop me from missing what i found comfortable and most enjoyable few years back.

And i am not in any denial rather i am glad i have known  and experienced some of that which no longer exists. i just feel happy about that.
True it is what they say about absence making the heart grow fonder.
Also about the sil me on this. No Chutney can ever match the flavor of that which is done on the sil batta. And that holds for freshly ground spices too and all the dishes made using those spices.
My olfactory system knows the aroma and i feel on top of the world about that.

Thanks to i could hear the familiar click clack tap and did not have to pine for long.

i have to get back to the deliberations of the day now but need i pat my back for this routine of mine. For turning the pages of the newspaper even when apparently it may seem there's not much there that could warm you for more in those chilly winter mornings.
Need i express how grateful i feel to The Hindu for remaining thus and giving me some warm surprises to look forward to everyday.

Yeah i have to get moving now but haven't i thanked you enough Dear Genie...Thank You again not only for this time and also for all those other times when You heard me and fulfilled my wishes.


  1. Fond memories from our childhood, isnt it?

    I mean, in today's age of mechanization, these things have become rare.

  2. @Anupama thank you for stopping by. Felt really nice to meet u. Yeah! Fond memories of childhood as u say. Images from yesterday getting rarer and rarer. Glad u could hear me out on this. Hope to see more of u. :)

  3. Nostalgic sounds can be a powerful balm for the tired soul... sometimes fragrances can too.

    Have a peaceful week ahead.