Tuesday, 21 February 2012

I love kids. I was a kid myself, once - Tom Cruise

My colleague's sister gave birth to the most adorable baby girl yesterday. I visited her today and turns out, I can be very emotional around newborns. The baby looked at me with her twinkling eyes and my eyes welled up. On the way back I began reminiscing about my own childhood. I lived with my grandparents till I was 3 and those were the best days of my childhood. I moved to Pune with my parents soon after, but I often travelled to Mumbai to be with Aai and Dada. Evenings were spent in the neighbourhood park where one could sit on a horse and do some 'riding'. I still remember how I'd bounce up and down on the horse's back when the handler made it trot faster. I could feel my heart trying desperately to jump out of my mouth. It was a beautiful park in Mulund (E) and was sufficiently large with cool fountains and the works. It is still very much there but the horses have gone. On the way back from the park, Dada would buy me a film container full of soap bubble water. I'm very sure my love for equestrians began in that very park. I developed my love for food at a very early age too. Aai was a brilliant cook and nobody made fish fry the way Aai did. Sunday was usually reserved for this special delicacy and it began from the trip to the nearby fish market. I'd troop along, holding Aai's pallu as she haggled with the 'Kolin' and taught me to differentiate between 'paplet' and 'surmai'. Vegetarians often complain about how much a fish market stinks. I couldn't disagree more. For me, at that age, the fish market was a plethora of smells. The fragrance of incense and fresh mogra flowers that all the 'Kolins' wore in their hair, was interspersed with the smell of the sea. Yes, I could smell the open sea in the overcrowded market. Moreover, there were dozens of cats and their progeny milling around and more often than not, I'd pick up a stray kitten and cuddle it, only to be admonished by Aai. When we got back home, she'd marinate the fish and then fry it to a golden crisp. I was always served first. Not because kids ought to be fed first, but because I'd be milling around her like a kitten myself, waiting for the first piece of fish. I don't think I've awaited anything so impatiently ever again. Ma and Pa had their own ways to entertain me. Pa would take me to Thane lake and rent a boat which he'd row himself while Ma sang softly to me. And that is where my love for music began. Ma was and still is a fabulous singer. She can really carry a tune and thanks to genetics, so can I. Today, when I look back I realise how much these early experiences have affected my life. What if my grandparents never took me to the park with all those horses? Maybe I'd be afraid of horses like a friend of mine who actually runs like a horse when she sees one. What if my parents had raised me as a vegetarian? I'd have missed out on some succulent and crisp fish fry. I owe them so much....


  1. wow , really nice!! liked it lots , keep writing :):)

  2. So sweet of you to drop by again! Thank you ananth!