Monday, November 19, 2007

Township Tales

For nearly twenty years of my life, I lived in a township in a quiet road in beautiful Malleshwaram.

Today, if I am a friendly, confident person, it is entirely due to growing up in that township. I spent my entire childhood there, and naturally, I have some wonderful, unforgettable memories. A couple of days ago, I thought, "Oh, I must write them all down - I might forget" - and naturally, my blog popped into my head. So, be prepared, I am going to subject you to some nostalgia in, I hope, a series of posts on life in the township.

I was a very shy child. When we moved into the township, I was about four years old. There were already a number of children of my age, and they would play outside every day. No matter how much my mom pushed and prodded me, I wouldn't go out to play with them. So, my mom took down from the shelves her treasure of excellent, educative board games that she had brought back with her from Germany, and she started calling those kids home on quiet afternoons to play the games with me.

I was now comfortable as I was on home ground, and slowly, as the kids became my friends, I ventured out to play with them, and soon, my mom reached a stage where she must have wondered - "why on earth did I encourage her to go out and play?" - coz I didn't want to come back home.

I grew up with those kids, and am in touch with many of them even now. There is one, among them, who has been a "best friend" right from then, until now. We will be celebrating 25 years of friendship next year. Another of them is C, a wonderful person - I know you must be reading ... I am sure you will enjoy this - you were the one who first put this thought into my head :)

Our township was a public sector colony - all our dads worked in the same place. There were 68 houses in all. There was a Community Centre, where we could play indoor games and read India Today, Filmfare and Wisdom. There was a big lawn, which was definitely a lawn in the beginning. But as it saw more and more of our games, not a single blade of grass could be seen in that poor lawn. The newcomers to the colony called it "Ground" - more appropriate. But for us, it remained the "Lawn" until the very end. This of course, was the centrestage for all our games.

There were a lot of trees in the township. There were some in the Lawn, and lots of tamarind trees behind one of the blocks. Naturally, the story was that ghosts lived there, and we would not go there after six pm even for a million bucks.

Our regular schedule during school days was - come back from school, gobble up something, do part of the homework in a flash, and out to play - and not going back until our moms had called us a hundred times, and after many, many "Amma, five minutes". Then, rest of the homework, dinner, and sleep. There was TV, in its ancient avataar, with only good old DD, but it didn't stand any chance - playing outside was far more attractive.

During holidays, we would get up, bathe, finish our breakfast, and run out to play. Then, back for lunch, sit uncomfortably still through the afternoon.. [Our moms - Don't play outside in the hot sun. We - Ok, can we play in the cold sun? Hyuk hyuk]. The moment it turned 5 pm, off we went again, and during holdays, we were allowed to go back outside after dinner (no running, though). Sometimes.

Next: Getting into trouble.

15 comments:

Bombay Addict said...

Wonderful post Shruthi!

Cantaloupes.Amma (CA) said...

Hey Shruthi ... are you writing about my childhood or what? I was brought up in a township / colony similar to yours ... and everything you have written sounded like I was reading my story :)
Didn't you guys climb trees, have secret spots to discuss "Important issues" ?? We had all of those :)

We had 2 groups ... one comprising of older kids and the second of their siblings. Interesting all the kids in a particular group were more or less the same age :)

Viky said...

Holidays.
Last line.

rajeev said...

Wow. looking forward to reading more. As CA, this reminds me too, of my own childhood. And a carefree style of childhood that i wish i could provide to my children.

Sudipta Chatterjee said...

Lovely! Reminds me of my own childhood in parts --- waiting for the next part!

Wunderyearz said...

You took me back to my childhood days........
Great post!!!!!!!! as usual :-)

Sandesh said...

good read!

Chitra said...

Good one! Looking forward to the next one :-)!

Suresh said...

Great one! brought back lots of my own memories from the Township.
I stayed in the other township for 10 years before I moved to 19th cross Malleswaram(and stayed for 6 years)

"Today, if I am a friendly, confident person, it is entirely due to growing up in that township"....This applies to me too :)

chitra said...

Yo! Shruthi ... great stuff .. you bet we have a million stories to tell about those years in the township .. Love you for blogging it !!!!

Manav said...

This smacks of nostalgia....and am sure would be the story for most of us. very nice read....

Manjula said...

Wow Shruthi!!!!!!!!!! reminded me of my good old days. Thnx for refreshing them once again!!!!!

rajk said...

Hey Shruthi, I grew up in a "colony" myself and have been reminiscing about those good old days quite a lot lately. Ur blog kind of re-inforced the memories..Maybe I'll blog about it soon!

Shruthi said...

Thank you, all!! Hope you enjoy the rest of the series too :)

Cantaloupes Amma, OMG, do I know you??!!! :)))

serviced apartments bangalore said...

Great post shruthi.. enjoyed reading it

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