If you have to ask you'll never know ! [L.Armstrong]... thats Louis not Lance.

Apr 26, 2008

and the living is easy...!

The exams are over. Its the best kind of double whammy. One , the exams are over. Two the holidays begin. No more books, no more uniforms, no more tutuions. There are books actually and depending on which stage of your life you were at, these were now either Archie comics or Desmond Bagleys, or Alistair Macleans, or westerns [ Sudden was and is the best ], or Asterixes or Lucky Lukes or TinTins and Phantom's or Mandrakes.
There were circulating libraries where you would sometimes be exchanging your comics twice a day if you could wheedle the ten paise per comic reading charge out of anyone. You hired your comics. You read them. Your siblings read them. And then you traded them. Who says we catholics don't have a streak of Bania in us ?
Cycle rides in the early morning would find us speeding down Pali Hill trying to manouvre our bikes with both hands in the air and adjusting our direction by subtle weight shifts in the seat. The building compound would have a badminton court marked out and the neighbour whose wall formed one of the boundaries of the court would be requested to keep her windows shut. So that the court conformed to International Badminton association specs. In size at least. Racquets were wooden framed and co-operatives were formed for the purchase of shuttle cocks. The only reason play was called to a stop was when those elders in flats that had a ring side view of the action felt their siesta was more important than the game of rounders that decided your place in the sun. The top of the water tank was our table tennis table. The water tank was partially under ground and about two feet came thru the earth to form a TT table that for anyone below fourteen was the perfect height.
Card games that Las Vegas will never know were played with a skill that Bandra Gym Card Room regulars never saw. Seven hands evolved into Mehndi Court. Money Money was banned between 2 and 4 in the afternoon because the game generated excitement and the excitement generated shouting and the shouting interfered with said elders said siesta. Rummy would sometimes be played with as many as ten packs . Sometimes before the time your were done dealing someone would have declared hand rummy. Donkey Donkey. Why was it always Donkey Donkey and not Donkey. Money Money and not Money. The guy who wrote Louie Louie must have been from Bandra.
Holidays were when summer clubs opened in every parish. Summer clubs that had a cupboard full of comic books that you could read as many times as you wanted. Which had access to real TT tables with real nets. And at the correct height. With chess and snakes and ladders and ludo. With school fields attached that were now devoid of students and the private domain of the members of the summer club. Thursday evenings a bedsheet would be hung up on one wall of the many out of use classrooms. Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy, Bud Abbot and Lou Costello would join us.
Pigeon shikar would happen so regularly that the surviving pigeons would be contemplating moving to Canada or New Zealand under the asylum seekers quota. Trips to the beach were yours for the asking. Or cycling. Dont go too deep. Dont track sand all over the house when you get back.
Guitar skills were honed. Songs were copied off record jackets. Piano and violin lessons came to a standstill. The Beatles ruled while Eta Cohen and John Thomson languished below the piano stool.
But all good things must end.. And April advances into May and May advances into June. And new text books are bought by your older brother. And your mother insists you put new covers on all his old text books that you have inherited. NO. just putting new labels wont do. The pants he's outgrown are the ones you've grown in to. Just like the pair of shoes one size too large that has cotton stuffed into the toes so that they don't slip off.
New school bags for every one. Even the maids son. Somebodie's old is someone else's new.
And school begins again . And the living stops being easy anymore.


Anonymous said...

Hahah summertime and the living is easy. I still love the old Phantom comics... Man I want to marry him!

David said...

Hey Clement!
Finally you have resurrected with the Lord after Easter!!!. Enjoyed reading both your posts. The Nana of spices was fun especially the part about the meatsafe. Sometimes wonder from where did these words come about like Chati, gonta, barni, polpaat, Latni etc go to think of it we dont use these sort of words these days. Also enjoyed the Money Money and Louie Louie...Please write more often...Regds La Noel.

Balaganesh said...

hey bugger, whats happening man?
this is to thank you for making yourself available for the meet and showed up.
bye the way, lemme know when u starting your 'site' u know what i mean... and why not call it bandrababa.com :).

Do share such great ideas :) to make these blogger meet better.

cheers man!!!

indiblogger Team

Scribbler said...

Thanks for starting up again! Love your post on the Nana of Spices (she must be beaming at you now) and really wish I had summer holidays and the living was easy, with those endless cricket and football matches and the stacks of comics and books and the trips to Goa!

By the way, I have linked to your blog from mine -- hope you are okay with that.

Scribbler said...

Clem, hey, I'm the honoured one! I've been enjoying your blog ever since I first saw it a couple of months ago, passed the link on the every Bandra bugger I knew would love it, and keep thinking you should write a book! By the way, you may be amused to know that I sent the link to my mother, a Bandra resident since 1958, and she figured out who you are! Says she knows your wife. :) One of these days she'll met you on the road and accost you with praise.

Sandhya said...

Too good.. Its so nostalgic to read this post.. Even I had the similar kinda childhood except that it wasnt Bandra :-)

Expecting more posts about ur childhood and travel


Floyd said...

Just like Summer the blog is back. Many waited patiently then in 2 days 2 blogs... thank you
Were you one of the goody two shoes who did not play flush ( while in the 8th thru 10th standards) for cigrette packets, then marbles and finally paise, 5p blind 10p seen with 8 annas royalty..

Ian R said...

That was a nice nostalgic moment to my summer holidays there!
Seems like you got it all covered ...