Category Archives: Memories

Hunting for post boxes in this send-by-courier era

My father worked in the postal department; for me, as a child, red meant post-box red. Letters were everywhere. Sitting in a post office, waiting for my father to complete work, I’d see postmen hefting sacks of letters, or pouring out the contents on a table/ the floor. I’d see letters sorted expertly into piles, then bagged and put in vans. The smell of paper, of gum (that thick sort they used), pervaded the air. Once, when I had to go somewhere, I sat behind a postman’s cycle instead of a sack of letters.

Childhood memories, cities that change

I spent the happiest part of my childhood in Patna. No, that’s not a typo. My father was posted there, and I lived there from 1962 to 1966 in a large Govt. bungalow spread over several acres. The bungalow was an old British style one, with a pantry and coal-house and large rooms and place for dancing and fireplaces and mantels and curved staircases. There was this huge banyan tree whose roots I would swing on. I distinctly remember three huge Dussheri mango trees, fourteen guava trees, lots of red silk cotton trees, sapota trees, bel trees, and many others. I would carry a cushion to my favorite guava tree, climb the tree, and sit comfortably and read my Enid Blyton. In front of the house was a lawn, its air fragrant with jasmines and roses. A sand heap, left over after some construction, was an excellent playing ground. We …

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The flower that predicts

I’ve been snapping those small flowers on the roadside that one normally doesn’t notice, but which sometimes just brighten up the day, sort of feisty flowers that hold their head high above boring dried grass and nods at me when I am walking past. Some days ago, I saw a flower that reminded me of my school days, when this particular flower was much sought after while we waited for the school bus. We called it the “he loves me, he loves me not” flower. We would scour the grass and find one, and even squabble about who would get a turn at “using” it. Whoever finally got the flower would pluck off the petals one by one, chanting something like, “he loves me”, “he loves me not”, “he loves me”, “he loves me not” till all the petals were plucked off and the last statement uttered was deemed true. …

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