Friday, August 14, 2009

Friends lost and forgotten

I was recently reminded about my childhood neighbourhood friends, on the mention of friendship day. The following is a memoir regarding the same.

From my days in kindergarten to class 4 i lived in this locality called sardarpur. We used to live in a rented place. Somehow thinking about those days makes me smile. The place where i lived had a lot of other tenants in the same compound as well as many neighbours. And i had a whole ‘toli’ of friends. When i was trying to remember the names, it was so cool that i was actually able to remember many of them. There were these 2 brothers in the next house called ashish and vaibhav (i guess). Then there were 3 sisters kamini didi, bhawna (my age) and khushboo (an year or two younger). Apart from that there was a stout guy called bittu of my age living some houses away. There was also my landlords daughter, Munna( she insisted on us calling her meena instead). And of course my brother , who was an integral part of all this.

There were some more. My memory is playing hide and seek with me but there is one thing which i am sure of and that is, those were days of fun.

I remember one incidence when a dog gave birth to a lot of puppies in a vacant plot opposite our house. We were excited that we all took one puppy each back to our respective place and gave them name etc, only to be forced back by our parents.

We had a neighbour in her 50s i think. The whole locality used to call her ‘bhua’. She was a matter of fright for us kids coz we couldn’t afford to cross a certain decibel limit in front of her. It was fun to do some mischief and run away from her sight.

There was also one huge bungalow(adjacent to hotel india international) behind our house which was fully vacant except for a caretaker. It looked like the stereotypical haunted bungalows except that it was not haunted. Most of our time in our summer holidays used to be spent there. From flying kites to playing cricket and eating “Bandar ke papadi”... we did it all. I remember one day morning we all took one mango seed and planted it in the premises of that bungalow and promised each other that we will give water to that plant everyday (we did also for some days). We were told that a mango seed takes 5 years to sprout and so we thought we would come back some day to visit that plant... never happened. There also used to be huge eucalyptus trees in that premises and we used to take the seed shells which used to fall and make it rotate like a top. It used to be fun. I also remember going on the top most roof of that place and sitting there. I wonder how much my parents knew about this.

Most of the kids of my age were sadly girls and i had invariably nothing else to do but play girlish role play games with them at times. Other past times included playing WWE card games with Bittu, watching cartoon network at ashish’s place( my place had only doordarshan then)... my mind is flooding with flashes of some of the places of that street where we used to play cricket, burst crackers, chase dogs and pigs with stones as weapons and what not ... and mind you i was not even 10 by then.

It has been more than a decade since i visited that house. Just for curiosities sake, me and my brother took our bike to that street some days back only to find that place too alien and small(maybe those days our eyes were just 3 feet above the ground and hence it looked bigger) But the memories still are so fresh and vivid. I have a desire to meet all those old friends of mine. Don’t know where they are now or how they look. I just hope they still remember me.

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