I am leaving to office from home and it is 730 AM. I see a father start his bike to drop his daughter at office.As they went past me I realized the smell. The familiar smell of petrol and oil mixing up, from my childhood. That smell meant that my appa and chithappa have left for the days work and all kids in our street are ready for our morning meeting. We were 9 – 10 people of almost same age and same height. We would go one round in our long street talking about things I don’t even remember now.
If it had been a rainy day some special treats would be waiting for us. Those days grass was abundant and the beauty was they din’t come with the board “please.don’t walk on me. Let me live”. If it had rained last night there would still be few persistent drops sticking to the end of the flexible grass blades. My immediate reaction would be to remove my slippers and stand on them to feel the chillness spreading from my feet to head. This is something my father taught me.
After this small relation with grass we would be walking talking, talking walking when someone in the group would have pulled the low hanging branch of a neem tree. Then there would be a mini shower of rain drops. When a tiny smile spreads across our faces for few seconds there would be a sudden confusion as some insect would have landed on one of the not so brave person. Then follows the ceremony of chasing and sending the poor insect to heaven.
Sometimes there would be small pools of water here and there if it had been a little heavy rain the previous night. The group of 3-4 feet figures would be surrounding the pool to spot tadpoles. Topic of discussion would shift from fighter planes to cars to whales to diwali crackers but eyes would be following the tadpoles for reason unknown.
And sometimes suddenly we would hear a big group approaching us and on turning back we would see a big herd of sheep coming that way. From tadpoles spotting we would shift to who-is-the-leader-sheep spotting. There would be 2-3 with very big horns, one of them should be the leader we would have thought and then will come a man with a long stick shouting hha hah hoh hrr..hhh ..brrrrr.
If it is a lucky day, we would spot some bright red small velvet insects crossing the muddy road. We don’t know its name till today. One creative brat from the group would start telling stories that this is the insect used to produce silk . The other curious would ask how and Mr.creative would start spinning some horror stories.One example: They would collect 100 such insects and put them in one big kadai and .. OK the rest is censored! :D. We all would be looking at the insect with a sad face.
Morning sessions would be interrupted by one of the grandparents/parents asking his/her grandkid to come home for breakfast. The whole group disperses for a short time only to continue the next meet at someone’s house veranda 🙂
vroom.. vroom.. vroom…I returned to present with the sound of baj starting his bike. The smell is different, the mud pools are dirty and I can’t see any grass.
P.S. I want to share many more things from my childhood. The worm following, the fence breaking, plucking wild flowers, running behind garden lizards,holding wet sand in dress ,running away from frogs, slipping and falling in the mud.. much more.. I will do one more post I guess 😀