Monday, October 23, 2006

Work in progress (update 2)

So this is all about growing up then. No, not what it’s like and not a rant…literally about growing up.
It kind of reminds me of my granddad telling stories about when he was a kid and used to walk hours to school barefoot and had a blackboard and chalk to write with. He became a geophysicist and set up the observatory in Kolaba and Kodaicanal and was a head-honco at the Meteorological Department. Me, I don’t know what I will grow up to be but touchwood will be something good.
Now I don remember much about Austria. But I know I was born there. And that’s all I have to say about that. I have heard wonderful things about Vienna and how beautiful it is. I heard about the Islamic influence on architecture in Salzburg and the river running through it. And I know I learned German just so I can go back
But one of my earliest memories was waking up in a big bed under a green, furry blanket, the kind I haven’t seen except in Saudi Arabia. And I loved the fact that it was empty when I woke up, and I would flip and sleep horizontally on the bed just because I could. I guess I’ve always enjoyed my space. And I would finally get up at 10am (how do I remember that?!) and drag my blanket in one hand and a book in another. And I remember these books – The Questron series where you had this special pen with batteries and a sensor at the end and if you pressed on the wrong answer, the red light would go off but if you got the right one, it would make different sounds and lights would go off on it. I finally figured out that certain colors would trigger it and remember driving my folks nuts because I took it everywhere to see if I was right or not…
And I remember dragging my blankey (Say it like Garfield does, come on now, you know you want to!) and the book and a small pillow that my grandmother had made and sent from Gwalior and would drag it to the kitchen. And I would always plop down on the ground (white tiles and the apartment was sealed to keep the desert out) and lie playing and watching my mother make pancakes. And to this day, she makes them just right (thing and large, crepe like not small and fat). In fact, she still sues the frying pan she had back then (which she rarely scrubs because she believes it holds the taste better!) And I never had to attend school, there weren’t any in the campus where I grew up and at 11am my mum would teach me. And I still have the Dick and Jane books with the dates written in pencil so my mother knew where she had left off. Of course, the book will fall to pieces if you open it now but still. And I remember subscribing to umm, Sesame Street and The Electric Company. I learned a lot through Sesame Street and hope its around for a long while.
My dad would come home for lunch since the hospital he studied at was right there.
I remember I got a toy phone for a birthday and ran the wire down to my best friends place and would speak to him on that. I guess as kids you just want to grow up. Of course, now it’s another story.
And I remember the oddest of things, its funny what you end up remembering – like the giant box in which the quilt came, going down to the seaside, filling it with sand and putting it in the defunct bathroom so I had a sandbox to play in. Or collecting shells in a bottle with water to see snails and to your horror finding hermit crabs sticking their pincers out…the periwinkles, which my mother told me, were used to make experimental drugs to treat cancer (“…like Nana has?”)…There was the campus where I used to ride this kids bike and we once found that the inner part had tons of nests. And I remember shaking a low branch and an egg fell out and broke and I remember feeling so very guilty I started crying. There was the empty swimming pool next to the tennis courts where my dad used to play tennis with his friends and the kids would be ball boys.
And I have a vague recollection of a birthday where my mum made a train shaped cake and I put Bertie Bulldog and his compadre on it, the wheels out of biscuits. I remember hating the other kids opening my presents (word to the wise, let a kid open his presents, give him 5 minutes and he will get bored of them)
It was a nice childhood though I do remember one fight my folks had…anyway, why remember that?
Oh dear, I remember discovering that crayons wrote on walls too and I remember hiding in the closet writing on the walls. I don’t know what happened when my dad discovered it but he still recalls yelling at me. I guess that’s why I don’t remember.
I still have the blanket that was the first thing I ever wore, it was my eldest cousins and passed on to his brother. Of course, after me my sis used it and following her, every puppy brought into the house. I think my mum still has it, I hope she does.

Oh and if I am a bit fucked up too, I blame my mum! She made me watch so many horror flicks but the one that got me the most was the ‘Thriller’ video and I used to crawl under the carpet to watch it. And my folks were in the whole PDA stage at the time and full moon nights would go for a ride with me (in the Nissan Sunny, I cant believe I remember the car!) and there was this huge stretch of highway that just suddenly ended into desert and well, it was gorgeous (I think) but I screamed bloody murder coz I was freaked out.

I remember my folks took me to Jaipur and introduced me to my maternal grandparents and I had heard of them guess I warmed up. Of course, a short while later I had to begin school. You see best b’loved, thus far mum had taught me at home and that was *fine* by me! So anyway, it was um, Maharaja Sawaii Mansingh School in Jaipur and the auto would come in the mornings…wait, I get ahead of myself. I remember the first day of school and my folks dropped me off and I didn’t quite get the concept of them leaving me there. Not the first day anyway and I remember telling my mum it was boring and they didn’t have Sesame Street. But I think I figured it out the second day and had a bit of a cry. Oh well. Well, to be fair it got worse when my folks went back to Saudi Arabia. Dude, what the fuck?! I didn’t see them for two years but my mum sent back tapes of Sesame Street (look, call me a snob but all I had to watch was Doordarshan and even then the only decent shows were Áa bail mujhe maar’, ‘Shrimaan Shrimati’ (or something like that with Anu Malik) and ‘Spiderman’ (but only on Sundays when the neighbours kids would come over to watch it as well)

Anyway, turns out my folks weren’t missing (okay, fine I’m being dramatic) but promptly went and made my brat of a sister! I remember being fascinated when I went back to Saudi Arabia, yeah right, for all of one day before I realized she was sleeping where I used to. I tried trading her for an ice-cream once. My folks weren’t amused

Anyway, two years in Jaipur was enough (Std I-B and II-B, house: Kush (the other being Luv) and my favourite teacher was the English teacher, Mrs. Rama Dutt and how the fuck do I suddenly remember that?!

Cut to Delhi and my dad moved in with his brother (fuck, I remember the house and where it was…I guess I aint that old!) And it was nice until my sister got chickenpox, gave it to me and my cousins who must have been around 17 or 18. Good job sis! And I remember school…oh man, I was the afternoon shift at DPS Vasant Kunj which meant going after lunch and school starting at 2pm, sitting in the heat while the day-schoolers went home. Dude, you don’t have a bunch of kids sit outside in the field in summer, its Delhi you dumb cunts.

And it is kind of weird but there were two sections and none of them mixed or so I think but the girl I would later fall for, several years later was in the next room and I never knew. Its odd if you think about it, I mean how incidental stuff like that is and a minute here or a wrong turn somewhere could send you flying head over heels (pun intended)…either life does crystallize or love is completely out of whack with the rest of the known rules of logic.

Oh god, summer homework…im going to throw up…don’t remind me

I remember the nauseous feeling of coming home in the school bus when it was night and barely getting time to play with other kids because I had homework…man, whoever thought of the afternoon shift, I hope their fingers fall off.

But yes, after two years in that steaming circle of hell (did I not say we would sit for an hour at 2pm in the summer in a fucking field?)
But junior school was fun....I can't say I remember much of it but then again, wasn't particularly eventful. Now DPS RKPuram was a whole new ball game. Not really since I wasn't one of the cool kids and was happy being a wallflower so long as I had a few friends. But I remember being a bit scared on the first day (dude, there are hundreds of buses to get you home, I didn't want to be the schmuck who calls up his mum coz he got left behind) so I remember this girl who used the same bus as I showed me where it stood (G64 I think). Oddly enough, turns out that that girl wasn't a senior (she was tall dude!) but in my class.
Oh dear.
She was just weird and later I just saw that she had to be the world's biggest fruitcake. At every event where there were a bunch of people, she would have her parents meet the guy who scored the highest marks in the last major exam. No, listen, seriously. At the class picnic, she took the FatOne across Nehru Park, clear fucking across to meet her folks. After a school function, all of us were standing around and she introduces her folks:

Her: achcha mummy, these are the guys from my class
Guys from her class: oh hello
Her: and this is XYZ
XYZ: uh, hi
Guys from her class: (what the fuck?!)
Oh, XYZ is super smart and went to um, the second best med school in the country.

oh wait! it gets better
Her: Zaphod, I have to go, my father is here
Me: oh okay then
Her: Hey XYZ my dad wants to meet you
All of us: (whhaaa'at?)
And she takes XYZ up
The scenario: my birthday party in my basement...I hope she gets fat and stupid and is married to some schmuck and I get to meet her...of course, sarcasm would fly right over her head...always did

Anyway, then you had the jocks. No, seriously, you are walking down the hall, you see this group of guys, you keep walking, suddenly they grab you and hit you a few times. Now look, I can get into a fight and I have been in a few and yeah there have been bloody noses (no, not mine, very funny ha ha) but honestly, if its one of you and eight other guys, don't fucking tell me you are going to stand up coz you just know you will get ass-raped if you do. Of course, then you tell your freinds, meet them during break and duke it out.
Or if you are like me, squirt superglue in their keds when they take them off for pseudoyoga and smile for the rest of the day.
Fuck that shit, i'm getting my own back!

But it is more vindictive to know that one of them is a bouncer at a club (here's Rs50, be a good lad and go park my car, and oh, don't scratch it)
Would I ever say that to a stranger? No. Not if you pulled nails. But I would to the guy who considered him self the big swinging dick in school.

And then we have the high-school beauty queens, the one who is now an actuary and can barely saw a waord because well, rest of the conversation is over her once pretty head. Yeah, it's kinda sad.

But 11th was the best year I have had. There was no pressure since I was in between boards. I discovered booze and weed . Oh dear.


fivefeetzero said...

i love unearthing childhood memories, especially the long forgotten ones. and it's funny how i'll remember some of the randomest details - like the the colour of the bedsheet (green) or the weather outside (rainy).

i loved listening to your's..can't wait to hear more..

Zaphod said...

...a work in progress ma'am, mores to come

hedonistic hobo said...

sounds quite idyllic.

so you're working on autobio already. btw remember what i was threatening to do in the morning? I DID IT! hahahaha

Zaphod said...

You b****! If i find a note that says 'Farticus was here' I'm gonna be pissed!

How many scat references were implicitly made there?
Oi, too much for a Tuesday

jerry said...

I really like the way you've typed these memories down. However insignificant they maybe now, I mean in real-life, it still manages to capature a large part of childhood where one presumably may have been a silent spectator to things happening around. Some things, smells, taste...its wonderful to be reminded of them at times when they just pop back in your life...

Zaphod said...

Thanks Jerry...i dont know why i remember the things i do and a lot of them arent significant, but for the most part, i have vague recollections of being a kid...
But there are others which i have yet to write about, like my mum reading to me every night (she read the unabridged Jungle Book to me when I was 10 and i had to stop ever so often to ask her questions)...but its memories like that that remind me of where I came from...and who i should thank (without that, I wouldnt be half as articulate as I hope I am!)

jerry said...

true...its important to know them...cheers...and I'm surprised how one's personal childhood memories are a well-read for another...maybe, I relate to them...easily...cheers!

basho said...

You know what's really out there? Memories. We live our lives and all these moments, all these snapshots, they live in our head somewhere. We carry them around, like we do our selves. I was thinking about that the other day and it just seemed so .. arbitrary. All these people, all these histories.

eM said...

brilliant post, one of your best i think. i identify with the hiding under the carpet thing, i used to hide behind the curtains when the onida ad came on (coz i was scared of the devil, he looked MEAN) and the liril ad (coz i was scared she'd ask me to swim with her.. don't ask, i was a strange kid). but, but, your mother still USES the same pan, not SUES.

*the wordstapo strikes again. Heil eM!*

Zaphod said...

I must confess am surprised that random fragments make a good read, honestly these are jusst patches I for no reason remember. There are quite a few I feel like writing about b ut have been distracted so have not given blog as much attention as I want to, need to remedy that over weekend
Also, eM, you are asking for a spanking and i swear if I find a typo on your blog, wont let you hear the end of it, now go pick on Bobo...women, picking on a sick man...the nerve!