Previous- Childhood Pics- I
That old lady on the cot is “Dotto Masima”- as mom addressed her. Now you know- how well I have remembered my early childhood days. We had shifted from Lakshmi Nagar to Kalyanvas when I was admitted to Nursery in GreenFields Public School.
The specy old woman was my grandmother- Thakuma. Father, mother and uncle; and that other lady was my mom’s friend Ratna. No she did not keep in touch. That air filled duck was red and white. I very well remember having played with my toys. A red plastic train, ball and that duck. I would tie a cord and move around the house making that train run behind me.
That’s the same Lungi my uncle’s wearing that he taught me how to drape a sari with. Dad would often take me upstairs (like in the pic) and tell me about the constellations. I had learnt to identify two major ones; before joining my school. Wasn’t I really intelligent 😛
In Kalyanvas, I loved peddling the neighbors’ tricycle. I didn’t own one. There was one Baby’s mother and Surjeet’s mother. That’s how I remember of those auntys. Often mom would give me apple to eat and I would sit at the doorstep and finish that. Babloo dada, eldest masi’s elder son would come to visit us. I would be hushed not to boast about my “painting skills”. He was an artist actually. He smoked; yes, he did. I was blatant enough to point that out. I had one “seel- batta” in brass. It had intricate detailing; as if a miniature of real one. I don’t have that 😦 Lost my toys in multiple shiftings.
I had learnt a new feat- jumping from the stairs. Isn’t that how a normal child should behave?? Nevermind.
I were given the Polio drops and an injection vaccine that had “crippled” me for a week. Poor mom, she had slogged with me since I could not get up for the bare minimum things too..!! How helpless I had felt. I would cry with my face hid in the pillow and not call mom to even toss aside. I would never know why I had wanted to be so independent and less of trouble maker!! I wasn’t scared of Injections. I was brave. In Dilshad Garden (B-3/T-1), it so happened that both mom and I had fallen sick. She was given brown colored medicine and I majenta colored. The whole day and night I whined about the fact that she was given “gulab-jamun” colored tablets… the next day, my temperature had upped and the medicines reversed- LOL. I used to tell the Doctors not to give powdered tablets- they would confirm twice with mom if I could really swallow the whole tablets- I could. Upon reaching the Doctor’s table; the 1st thing I asked them were if the thermometers were sterilized- OMG..!!
We would record Rabindra Sangeet on our Sony tape- recorder. Dad had always shown my mom down during such activities. She was not a good singer but her poem recitation was just awesome. This was where I had first tried Mehandi on palms, 5 big rounds on the palm and dabbing on the tips of the fingers.
Years later, maybe when in 4th standard maybe; I had participated in the Durga Puja competitions in the colony. We stayed in Dilshad Garden B- block. My 1st terminal examination had coincided with the competition days. I didn’t know the language; yet, had participated in Poem recitation in Bangla. Everyday after the revision, dad would make me sit for half hour and say the poem. I would hear him and learn the verse. Okay, I won the 1st prize too..!! That’s when the other contenders read Bangla in their schools. Had won the Painting Competition too- that wasn’t a big deal- was it?? I do have the prizes displayed in my Living Room 🙂
Staying in Kalyanvas, I studied my Nursery class. A black van used to carry us to the Swasthya Vihar branch. In KG, I was transferred to GT Road branch. My health had deteriorated; it was a long travel to home to Dilshad Garden and I would routinely throw up and fall sick while traveling home. Requests were made and I was transferred to Vivek Vihar branch.