Previous- My early childhood memories
I was fond of wearing saris. That was my sari. Uncle bought that for me from his village . I had two of those cotton ones. Mom had cut- up her own silk sari confirming my wearing that regularly. I still have that in my box bed. I now wrap my winter quilt with that length. Twice a year: while taking that quilt out and placing it back; I become nostalgic.
Masi had gifted that Orange frock in Durga Puja (Dusshehra for others). Yeah, she bought those a size bigger so I could wear them for a couple of years. Thoughtful. Masi had once asked mom to give all those back to her, after they no longer fitted me; so she could exchange them for utensils. Ever since, I never “changed” after I used to go to her place at Lakshmi Nagar (where she still resides). I had promptly replied that what was the fun of wearing Runa’s frocks and take them home, if mom were to give them back after a couple of months. Dad had almost jumped out of his chair; poor him, he was peacefully grazing on the newspaper..!! Masi promised she won’t ask them back. The frock I wore home back was a light green colored. The blouse in that pic, is a cut- up of another one of my masi’s gifted frock. She gifted one every year, till mom had once asked her not to. Even then, she continued giving away some cash for me to buy “cosmetics” of my choice. Until, mom died.
That brown frock that I am in at the Satluj shore, was also masi’s gift. Years later, the bottom half was converted to a trendy skirt. Mom never wanted to spend on dresses while growing up. She said that most of the waking hours we wore school dress. At home, I didn’t need as many outfits to survive. I had been disciplined to change immediately after reaching home from any travel- no matter how exhaustive it may have been. I am now conditioned in a similar fashion. I wash and change the 1st thing upon reaching home. That’s another story that since December- 2007, I haven’t been out even once a month. Yet, even after grocery or veggie trips, I do change and shower; and the ditto with me veggie too.
Every weekend a huge basket was sprawled with colorful veggies sitting inside, washed and sparkling with glaze. My modular kitchen doesn’t allow me to place a dripping basket on the floor, so I do that at the side of the washing unit beside the sink 🙂
The orange jacket was bought from Mussourie. It had a friendly “giant” face machine embroidered on it. Since it wasn’t with a “defined” shoulder stitch, I wore that one too for years later.
That multi- colored skirt was my fave. Bought readymade, mom had sewn that to fit my measurements. After a few years, she had joined the rest of the portion to fit fine on a grown up daughter. With mom not around me, I don’t get to make any adjustments anymore; but definitely have problem discarding my wearables. I wash and store them in a manner that they tend to last forever. I have a huge wardrobe to myself :), but no place to wear them to 😦
There seemed to be a conflict between my parents about everything. Dad liked a centre parting of my hair; mom- side parting. Dad combed hair side by side; mom- from front to back. Dad folded a hankerchief in box pattern, mom- in rectangular folds.
Half my growing up years was lost in getting torn between their different set of expectations. The rest, in understanding the reason behind that and then living up to their different set of expectations. When with dad, I adorned centre parting; with mom, side parting. Dad taught me to run a check- list before leaving home; I still have that ingrained in me. Mom had taught me to stay focussed once out of the home and judge strangers before they come too close; that’s now embedded in me. Infact, I have taken that to a different level altogether. I have been able to save myself a zillion times because of that one peeve.
Mom had a patchy birthmark on her right shoulder; and dad had one black mark around his navel. I have “inherited” both. I don’t have thick, shiny and coarse black hair, like either of them; instead, my hair is silky, straight, light and brown………….!!
The only time I had been thin was when I was losing my “milk teeth”, no sooner the 1st two sets were gone, I was back to being the chubby baby..!!
The Shimla, Chandigarh trip was the 1st one. The Mussourie one, next year. I went to Calcutta the next year. I had traveled to Calcutta a previous time too; of which, I have no memory- STRANGE- VERY VERY STRANGE!!
Dad had bought a “lehanga- choli” from Jaipur; red in color. I have no pics of that one. Mom had teased me so often that since it was low cut at the back; i took special liking wearing that….. I mean; I was only a kid..!! Mom, chill. I wore that at the Shimla trip. Those are all I have and remember being clicked.
A few movies that I had watched were Super- Girl and King- Kong. Don’t remember the one that was based on a (later to become) couple, lost in the jungle. The actress wore such skimpy dresses, only covering the bare minimum that I had practically questioned about their covered state, when they had returned to civilization. LOL 😀 I had so wanted mom to watch Super- Girl. She did. Years later; we had sat watching the movie on Star TV. She had loved it: the movie and my gesture. I had done nothing except for harboring a desire for mom to watch that.
My first encounter with the stapler- I had punched right on my Index finger; and then passed out..!! Dad would switch on the Radio the 1st thing in the morning- mom commented that that was as if of a local tea- stall. I now say the same for the early morning music- be it Bhajan too!!
We did not do the Laxmi Puja at home. Reason: my grandmother’s name was Lakshmi. I had wanted to- not that I knew anything about how to. I had collected those empty Pepsi, Fanta and 7up cans that my uncle often bought from his office. Oh yeah, I have sipped the original drinks even before they were released in India. Fanta in purple color was my fave; it was a black grape drink and tasted like currant..
Oops, back to Puja.. I had utilized the space- next to the TV, where I was clicked. For the “ceremony”, I had made Alpana on floor. I could create pretty ornate Alpanas. I had even made a set of footprints, un- identical “walking” from the main door till the Puja place. Mom had gone out of the kitchen from the main door to enter back to the house; since that was not supposed to be jumped upon. She had exclaimed in utter amazement since nobody had ever told me that that was to be made in Lakshmi Puja. They were the Goddess and the owl walking in mom; I had replied when mom had enquired upon in great bewilderment. I had not attended any Puja ceremony in Bengali family- prior to that. Yet, I had painted the set of feet exactly how that is denoted in such rituals..!!
The Marigold that had (over) grown at the terrace garden; were offered in Kali Puja in a form of a huge garland. The centre “locket” flowers were as big as 5″ in diameter; I had a few sprung up last winters in my bedroom terrace too. People had visited in plenty to “witness” the event. Thanks for asking- I had not clicked them. C’mon, I didn’t know that I would need that for my Blog. I would this year..
My Puja flowers were Oleanders, yellow Oleanders, Brush flowers. There were shrubs just across the street in the adjoining linear park. Oh.. since dad had lost a few tooth, mom had told me he had become old. Since then, he was my “Burho” (oldie). I screamed “Bye Oldie” right from the top floor while he left for work in the mornings on my off- days.
These are all I have-
Next- Childhood Pics- II