A breeze from the past

Bhagyashree is a blogger mommy. I am not calling her a ‘mommy blogger’ because though she is the mother of an adorable little boy, she does not just blog about her child or motherhood.  She covers a lot of varied things, including short stories and poems.  She is your simple next door girl who rides the roller coaster of life with all its emotions and shares them with her readers.  Here she recounts how uncannily the present and the past mingle and merge to create a beautiful patchwork.

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A bagful of memories

My son picks up his new school bag, looks at it with pride waves to me. I am looking at him, but also seeing another little girl…

She got her first bag when she was in the second standard- a maroon colored Duckback bag. The whole weekend she had waited for Monday to arrive and when it came, she was in a hurry to reach school to show it off. Why such anxiety? Because before that she carried an aluminum box — a hand-me-down from her older sister. In those days kids carried their books either in their hands or in these boxes. So you can understand her love for the new bag. For almost a month she kept it very neat, dusted it diligently and held it lovingly on her lap on the way to and from school lest it got damaged; then slowly the novelty wore off.

Rhyme time

He came back from school and burst out, ‘Amma, teacher knows ‘Chubby cheeks’. ‘Huh?’ I ask. ‘You taught me ‘Chubby cheeks, she knows it too.’ I did not hide the smile.

It was ‘open day’ at the Kindergarten just a couple of days after the school opened. The kids were encouraged to perform some song, dance or do anything else that they were comfortable with. The little girl was too shy to dance and so decided to recite a rhyme.  She chose Johnny Johnny… because she loved saying HA HA HA in the end. But just before her turn, another girl went and sang it. The little girl was furious:  how dared she sing her rhyme!  She sang something else which she doesn’t remember today, but  does remember giving the other girl dirty looks, much to her bewilderment!

Tattle-tale!

Every day, as soon as his father enters the house, he rushes to give him an update: ‘ Amma gave this, amma did this, she scolded me…etc. ‘khabari (informer)’, I grumble under my breath. His father  winks and starts yelling, ‘Why did you scold him?’ and the little darling starts sobbing for having made his father yell at his mother. The little girl peeps in my memory.

Her sister and brother were much older than her, but being closer in age to each other, always ganged up together and left the little girl to her own devices. When her amma and papa left for their late night movie shows, they would leave her with them with the promise of getting them either Children’s World or Amar Chitra Katha on their way back.  They would grumble at the responsibility but agree.

Lying under the quilt pretending to sleep, the little girl would listen to their escapades. Her teenage sister was forbidden to read Mills and Boon when the school was in session. So she used such occasions when their parents were out, to read them.  All this was observed by the little girl and when she was in a vengeful mood and wanted to get her back at her older sister, she would report such escapades to her parents. But the sight of their crestfallen faces when they got scolded made her remorseful and tearful.

Stolen moments

I am busy cleaning the dining table and I notice him creep into the kitchen silently. After a while, I hear the bottle of M&M’s being opened.  He comes later to me, an angelic smile on his face; I ask, ‘What happened?’He gives a mischievous smile and says, ‘Nothing’,  and I smile to myself.

Her amma would make snacks and ask the little girl if she  wanted some. She would say no but when her mother was having her siesta, the little girl would sneak into the kitchen and look for the snacl. Ah! It was so much fun to eat on the sly.

Lunchbox fiasco

He comes home teary eyed,’ I dropped the tiffin box and all the pakoras fell on the floor’ ( pakoras are his favorite.) My first thought is that he must be hungry but he says no, the teacher fed him an apple; and then we both get busy making pakoras.

The third grade classroom had a wide window sill and all the student sitting next to the window would keep their lunch boxes there. The little girl’s desk-mate  loved bhindi (Okra) and one day she had brought those with rotis and was waiting eagerly for the break,  and was fiddling with the box on the window sill.. Observing that she was not paying attention to the class, the teacher scolded her: ‘Where is your attention?’ In her confusion she dropped the box, the contents lay scattered  — her favourite dish was all over the floor and she cried out, ‘Meri bhindi!’  The little girl shared her lunch with her friend that day.

Hard and soft

His father is making him do his homework.  ‘Draw the sleeping line straight, why does it become curvy? Draw it straight!’ he raises his voice.  The child doesn’t cry or complain but keeps on trying.

The little girl was fairly good in studies but very poor at drawing. As the final results always included the drawing marks too, her rank always dropped. And so when the teacher remarked that efforts should be taken to improve her drawing, her father took the onus upon himself.  After repeatedly telling her what to do, she was still unsuccessful and he twisted her ear in exasperation. The usual cry baby that she was, that day she did not utter a single word but kept on trying without a complaint.

Later in the evening the little girl tiptoed to pick up something from her father’s room. He had a night shift that day and was relaxing and she did not want to disturb him.  But she was shocked to hear the sound of sobs – her father was quietly shedding tears.  She felt great love for her father then. She was never reprimanded again for her drawing after that day.

The father and son follow the nightly ritual of cuddles, hugs and kisses as they snuggle in the bed and then his father asks, ‘Did I scold you too much when you were doing your homework?’ The little boy shakes his head, hugging his father.

 

A time to rejoice!

It is open day at his school. All the kids are running around but he sits quietly. When we go in,  he doesn’t watch the teacher, but sits and observes us.

The little girl’s school asked the parents to come to meet the teachers  to discuss their ward’s progress. The children were not allowed to be with the parents when the teachers talked to them. The little girl  would stand afar and look anxiously at her parents’ faces for their reaction. If the feedback from the teacher was negative the father’s shoulders would slump, and if positive, he would sit erect and amma would have a broader smile on her face. Whenever the little girl and her siblings got good marks or were appreciated by the teachers, sweets would be distributed in the neighborhood. That evening there are sweets. The little girl smiles…

The  teacher tells us he is bright but a bit sensitive. That he picks up everything very quickly. It is our turn now. That evening we go out to celebrate.

The little girl – no more one – is reliving her childhood all over again with her little son and enjoying every moment.

Life has come a full circle;

52 comments

  1. .A novel method of narrating sons’ experiences with her own childhood memories keept me hooked to the story.Thanks Zephyr and Bhagyashree

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    1. You are welcome KP. Our children are all part of our own selves and when we see their behaviur reminding us of our own, we feel very happy and blessed, which is why I took this post for publication 🙂

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  2. Just lovely.. very touching!

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    1. Thanks Kushal 🙂

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  3. hi! Im back! and i loved this! All i remember from my childhood was that i thought i was smarter than all the grown-ups!

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    1. He he Thats smart indeed !!

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  4. Sweet juxtaposition. Amazing expression of childhood sensibilities and emotion.

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    1. Glad that u liked it Umashankar

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  5. Aww…awesome post! It was a roller coaster ride of memories.

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    1. As we pile up years the memories become more interesting 😉

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  6. Whoa! Beautiful memoirs!

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    1. Thanks Nandini, I write now and then abt my son so that I never forget his childhood 🙂

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  7. beautiful!!!

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    1. Thank you !!

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    2. Thank you 🙂

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  8. Loved how you created a montage of memories, going back and forth in time.

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  9. Looking at that little girl that once was, through your son’s eyes! Does make me nostalgic too. Reminds me of these lines from a song, “Kyoi lau ta de mere beete hua din. Beete hue din woh mere, pyare pal chin”…

    I hated that aluminum..school box too!! I’m sure I had used it..because it still exists at moms place!
    And Khabari, they get that so naturally, isn’t it?! I watch my triplets battle with themselves if they should tell on their sibling or not, lest they be ostracized by the rest! Luckily, Richa doesn’t need to deal with such things like “conscious” etc…yet 🙂

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    1. Gayatri as the years go by and I watch my son grow, this song has become very dear to me and quite frankly I might have sung it a million times earlier but its now that I understand it.
      My mum too had preserved that box carefully with all the knick knack that we had made-crafts drawing etc. Until one day when the gardener asked us for a bag for his son to take to school. She was not ready to part with it but at that moment we did not have any alternative. But the funny thing is that the boy absolutely loved it because it was so different. 🙂

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  10. Hello :),

    i am commenting for the first time but this was too good a read…too beautifully written.. reminded me of my childhood and school days…

    @cyber nag ..i have read all your blogs but never commented on anyone…but they were just too good to read.:D

    Will be here to read more. You have both given me an inspiration to start blogging..i might try my hand too..:P

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    1. Glad that u liked it Ali and Glad’der’ that it could inspire u enough to write. Blogging is a wonderful platform if u r interested in writing and for some of us it is like a diary or chronicle to record our daily happenings. When u do start blogging, drop a word at my space; http://www.bbsearchingself.wordpress.com and I will follow u. Have fun !!

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  11. This is what I call creative writing. Beautifully presented.

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    1. The credit for creativity should go to Zephyr. She ‘nags’ till she is satisfied with the piece. ;)Glad that u liked it

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  12. This is so beautiful..Loved every single line..Hugs for your little boy..

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    1. Glad that u liked it, will pass on the hug to him, he loves to be cuddled and hugged

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  13. What a beautiful post! loved reading every word…..life does indeed come a full circle with motherhood!

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    1. HAppy that u enoyed this. Motherhood is beautiful and every day I thank the one above for blessing me with this bundle of joy

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  14. Lovely, touching post!

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    1. Glad that u found it touching Manju.

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  15. Lovely, as always!

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    1. 🙂 And u r so flattering, as always 😉

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  16. Nice one .. Good flow of events and the little one is adorable 🙂

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    1. Thanks Bikram, yes he is.

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  17. This is beautiful bagyashree…totally enjoyed it :-)the little girl was such a doll 😉

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    1. Oh yes she was but she was a brat too. My mom will testify to that. She could dedicate an entire blog for my tantrum tales. 😉

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  18. Aww.. Very nice post. 🙂 Enjoyed each line 🙂

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    1. 😛 :d Happy that u enjoyed it Madhumathi

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    2. Happy that u enjoyed it Madhumathi 😀

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  19. Beautiful interlinking of episodes, enjoyed every bit of it 🙂

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    1. Yes apart from our gender we are similar in all other ways and the experiences we go thru are similar too

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  20. reminds me of Subhadra Kumari Chauhan’s poem,

    मैं बचपन को बुला रही थी बोल उठी बिटिया मेरी।
    नंदन वन-सी फूल उठी यह छोटी-सी कुटिया मेरी॥
    ‘माँ ओ’ कहकर बुला रही थी मिट्टी खाकर आयी थी।
    कुछ मुँह में कुछ लिये हाथ में मुझे खिलाने लायी थी

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    1. Humbled!! I am honored that my post could evoke memories of such a great poet and her work. Abhinandan

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  21. knot2share · · Reply

    How can anybody not fall in love with this post?? Absolutely beautiful. I loved going between past and present. Little grown up girl – that was such a pleasant breeze.

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    1. Life is like that isnt it K2S, u live, u remember and u build a bridge between the two 🙂

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  22. I could relate to every word….Beautiful read!

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    1. Glad that this post could evoke memories 🙂

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  23. A lovely and touching post ! Interweaving of present and past is done so charmingly !

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    1. 😛 Sometimes he does something and I feel a kind of deja vu and then realise that I had done the same years ago.

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  24. That was a lovely interweaving of events. Goes to show the powerful genes and also that the emotions are the same even a generation apart. 🙂

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    1. Thank you for the wonderful introduction. And yes the genes show. He and me are very similar, our emotions and our temper both match ;)The poor hubby is sandwiched though. 😀

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  25. Awww! What a beautiful read 🙂

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    1. 😀 Glad that u liked it R’s Mom, isn’t it wonderful to see the past in the present, like watching an old loved movie

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