Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Township Tales - Getting into Trouble

I was quite the quintessential Miss Goody-two-shoes. But what is childhood if not for the occasional rebellion? I did get into trouble sometimes.

We were not allowed to go out of the colony gates unsupervised. There was a bar at one end of the road, and a lonely Water Supply Board area on the other. So it was a strict no-no. But once, someone told us that there was construction going on somewhere on our road, and there was a huge mound of sand with CLAY! So shall we go? I went. Without permission. My heart thudded, but a sand mound was too tempting. As I sat there, playing, my luck ran out - my dad , coming back from office, spotted me. My poor dad is one of the sweetest dads ever - he has hardly ever raised his voice with us. My mom too, for that matter. But yet, I was shocked and scared beyond belief. My father didn't even react. He gave me a friendly smile and a wave and proceeded towards the township. But I cried all the way back. I went home, and my dad and mom were talking. My dad had perhaps not even thought that the event was important enough to tell my mom, they were probably talking about something else - but to my guilty mind, they were discussing what to do with me. I went right in, confessed and apologized and cried - my parents just said - Don't do it again. And I am sure, they laughed up their sleeves at me later!

There were a couple of public toilets in the colony. These stank royally. We hardly went near them. But once, my mom saw one of my friends use that toilet. She told me, "Look, that girl used that toilet - make sure you don't." So, obviously, I just HAD to. It made no sense actually. While playing outside, if I needed to use the toilet, the toilet in my home was closer than that stinking public toilet. But since it had been forbidden, I HAD to go. And I went. My mom's friend spotted me. And told my mom. When I went back home, my mom was wild with rage. "Kaal muridu kaige kodthini!" She said. (I'll break your legs and put them in your hands!) I believed her. And howled all evening. [That was the worst scolding I have got in my life from her. Really. I am a spoilt brat.]

Then there was this time when a friend told me that tamarind leaves taste as good as the fruit themselves, and so I plucked a handful of leaves (I don't recall how I could reach the leaves, though) and ate them, and puked all over myself. This time, my mom was more concerned (about my health or my stupidity, I don't know) than angry, so I was let go with just a warning.

One more. We weren't allowed to go up to the terrace of any building. The doors to the terraces of all the blocks were always locked, except that of one block, which had a separate spiral staircase from outside. Though climbing this staircase was explicitly forbidden, I had gone up once. And had been so overcome with guilt that I had come down almost immediately! I was that goody-goody. Yawn.

Oh, and here's another incident - strictly not one where I broke rules... but it is kind of unforgettable. One boundary of the colony consisted of a low parapet, on which were iron railings. Jasmine creepers hugged these railings. Once, I climbed the parapet to pick jasmine flowers, and then I jumped down. My skirt got caught on the railings, and for one moment, I dangled by my skirt. The skirt then tore, and I landed on the bed of the Jasmine plant with an undignified thump. Right on the spot where my friend Pi had buried her dead goldfish. I escaped unhurt, but the skirt was one which I loved, and it had torn so much that even my mom's magic fingers couldn't repair it satisfactorily.

Next: Games.


Unknown said...

I do remember another saying by elders. When our peers do overtake us in something we don't do well, they say,

"Nodu, Avn esht chennagi maadthaane! Hogi avn kaal kelage thooru! Buddhi baraththe!"

I just recollected it when you mentioned "Kaal murdu Kaige kodtheeni!"

Some also use the inverse of it, "Kai murdu kaalge kodtheeni".


Dhanya said...

I'm loving this series.. It's making me remember my own childhood stories :)

8&20 said...

awesome stuff :). you've got me hooked. this is what the tv producers in india do - tempt you forever with what's coming next.

Sushma said...

=)) i just cannot imagine Shruthi Akka doing all this...

praneshachar said...

I read both tales and really fascinating. hats off to your memory and writing skills. It is amazing you are able to recollect all that from the year 4 and you have put it is such way that reader is engrossed in the townbship.
I have also lived in the township but not as a child but with my family. It is a great life and children will have plenty of opportunities and life will be really memorable no doubt.
It is lovely to read your adventures and really laughted at it. having met your parents personally I agree thay can not scold at all such a lovely parents you had and happy to know about your friends some of them who are stiil there in touch
great going looking forward to series to continue and we get wonderful posts on this


Anonymous said...

hmmm.......... so, this is an opportunity for your mom to know more about her `well behaved' daughter.

anyway don't stop blogging and disappoint your readers... just cuz your mom is keeping a track of your misdeeds. she admits she enjoys them too !

Is it okay if your mom's grand daughter also reads your posts? ;)

Shruthi said...

Thank you, all! Glad you like it...

Sushma, you don't know a lot of things :D

And Amma, noooo I hadn't thought of Puttachi reading this! :O

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