Posts tagged ‘flashback’

Down memory lane

Discovered an old school diary of mine recently, one of those types in which the time-table was marked out at the end, and which used to have prayers printed on the front pages along with neat columns to be filled out for leave. I had turned a couple of such diaries into personal diaries after the school year, and finding them when least expected, filled me with joy.

These volumes were filled with childish scribblings and sketches (or drawings, as we used to call them), and also homework noted down for the day. I also chanced upon some letters tucked neatly inside the diaries, which school friends had posted to me, and replies which I had written but never posted. Letters, not because we were in a boarding school and it was vacation, but because a friend had moved to another city (in one case) and because I had later changed schools and moved to another part of the city. Letters, at an age when best friends seemed to be for ever, and parting from them made you feel  you would never again find another such. Letters, full of the sugary sentiments of childhood and teenage, in the not-yet age of computers, delivered by snail mail. I feel sad now that I realise I have no idea where those friends of mine are. Sometimes, even Orkut can only do so much.

I wanted to post some snapshots of the diary for everyone’s entertainment, but the internet connection suffers from anemia these days, and does all it can to stop me from using it to the max. So one of these days, when it has taken its daily dose of vitamins and minerals, you might see those pics. Until then, pray for it to recover soon.

Update: Got the pics uploaded. Here you go:



… the beautiful red-gold sunrise peeping over the edge of Shivajinagar; the only three weeks probably when i woke up with the sun.

… the fantastic pizzas one used to get on a small stall on Laxmi Road, abundantly sprinkled with crumbly cheese and hot off the oven.

… the total pampering done by the house-keeper at my company’s Shivaji nagar guesthouse for the three weeks i was there. Hot breakfast and full, maharashtrian dinners. And anything else, whenever i wanted it, delivered with a shy smile.

… the rush to leave office on Fridays, before the boss could search for me and the subsequent fight to get into a crowded bus headed for Mumbai.

… the planning of those weekend afternoons when i couldn’t be in Mumbai; fleeing the house at times of the expected power cut and spending those three hours in an air-conditioned cinema theatre. Have watched such random movies during those times.

… Watching Marathi serials (a no-way-i’d-watch-that situation at home) with the PG Aunty, and laughing with her at the stupidity shown.

… the ultimate relief felt when all the pleading and meeting HR people and asking the boss for a release worked and i was left free to go back to my dear Mumbai.

I left Pune almost two years ago, and inspite of the fact that i hated it while i was there, now, with fondness i remember.

A matter of life or death

So i read this sometime ago and thought “Well, it’s good she didn’t tag me coz i don’t really have any death-defying incidents to write about.”
Then today, some of us were discussing the terrible weather going on the past week – well, i am sure it’s not terrible for all..might be loved by – say penguins, but i digress. after the snow and ice and wind talk turned to mumbai rains and the flooding of 26th july 2005. Then i found myself thinking – Coming out of that incident alive and safe and in one piece was no mean feat. Though walking from seepz(andheri) to dadar may be accomplished easily by mumbai marathon-ers, its not easy when the way is filled with waist (and often chest) high water and there are no lights; when there are very few means and opportunities of communicating with your loved ones, or telling them you are safe and there are people with you, or of knowing how they are faring. When a distance that’s often travelled in less than 2 hrs takes you more than 6 to walk and nothing but the thought of home keeps you moving.
For months after that, i have cringed on seeing those areas of wadala,bandra and dharavi again which i had waded through. I have thanked God that a colleague, Anuj was with me throughout. I have also berated myself for not being alert enough to realise that moving out of office in such weather was a big boo-boo.
I can end the post with morals about strengths and perseverance et all, but the most important part of that experience was the point when i realised that no matter how long it took, i would reach home.

Ek chotisi love story

The occasion, many years in the past, was still mint-fresh in her memory.

The air was nervous with excitement and anticipation, and the promise of finally having grown up. Grown up enough, that is, to possess a real metallic compass box. Shiny orange and black, a graduation from the childish plastic boxes with two decks to separate stuff – stuff which only kids could be trusted not to handle correctly. Not so with the new compass box, where all the pieces nestled together comfortably. She opened the box carefully to find the all the geometry apparatus enclosed in a clean plastic cover. Two setsquares, a protractor and a 15 cm scale. The divider and compass lay separately. She carefully removed the cover from the geometry set and replaced the set in the box. Put in newly sharpened, woodsy smelling pencils. Without the eraser of course, those were only used by kids. She had a new eraser now which went into its own place at the right corner of the box. First day of its usage, she lovingly scratched her name onto the lid of the box with the shiny new divider. Little did she know then she was hastening the rust process of her box. Every day she cleaned the box, removing the eraser suds left behind, wiping the scale free of the pencil black and separating the quarrelsome duo of the compass and eraser or the over-loving duo of the scale and eraser.

Happy with this token of graduation, her school-life proceeded smoothly, with only minor trials and tribulations…

She put the object back in its place and smiled. Memories; all triggered by an old, plastic, cataracted protractor found when cleaning out an old cupboard.

Those were the best days of my life…oh yeah!

A group of us friends had dinner, and after that started discussing something, which has escaped me for the moment. As sure as one thing leads to another, we found ourselves talking about our engineering days…those 4 years at the end of which we called ourselves B.E. in whatever field. 

Talk about walking down memory lane! Reminiscing  about that time, when all we did was timepass (as it seems now), right from day one. And all but wasted those 4 years. What we learned was not in the curriculum. The curriculum itself, we didn’t learn. Of what we studied was only with the intent to clear the exam. When the only worries looming large on our horizons were those of how to clear the next paper, the next viva. And boy, did those seem magnified! Of how we used to hang out more at the local xerox shop than anyplace else. How we used to learn the names of prescribed books before vivas (note – not the contents though). How we used to do lukkhagiri on the college steps, sometimes even in the classroom itself. How we honed the copying of assignments into a fine art, working at it even in the bus, train, wherever. How our study leave used to be spent attending crash courses. And ofcourse, running between the different classes in different parts of the city. Staying awake unearthly hours to pore over notes, sometimes squinting to make out the words in those oft-xeroxed and faded ones. Of giving exams, all the while keeping a running count to see if you were past the 40-mark yet. Spending the pracs goofing around, and then cursing yourself during the pracs exam. Staying awake nights at college fests. Sneaking out to the chinese joint outside the college for a quick bite..and then settling there for ages. Of giving each other quick synopses of entire chapters before exams. Discussing papers after exams. Falling asleep studying. Waking up 5 minutes later with the cold realisation that you still had so many pages to read in 1 hour if you wanted to have a slim chance of even passing. How we raved and ranted and cribbed about people, profs, the princi, just about any damn person.
And how all of this shaped us, moulded us.  How we learned when to talk, when to shut up(important skill, you wanted to get your assignments & journals checked, didn’t you?), bargain, negotiate, wheedle, maska-marofy and a lot more things. And how all of this was fun, even if it seems so only on hindsight.
Man, i could write a book about this.
Those were the good ol’ days alright.