Tag Archives: Childhood

It snowed!

It seemed a normal enough day today, when I went out to the bus stop just outside my apartment to catch the “Greek Village” bus to my work. It was 12.30pm. The temperature was around 40 F(5 C) when I last checked.

I went out. It was really colder compared to yesterday. I had to wear my gloves to save my palms from getting numb. There was the familiar and boring whoosh sound as cars and trucks sped by.

Then it suddenly turned into a dreamland. A hint of something white! What looked like tiny cotton pieces falling from thin air! It was snowing!

This was the first snowfall I have witnessed in my life; I was beaming, and I could keep my composure well within limits, although I did that Bill Murray-ish strut, which was a visible indication that I was so excited. I have never been happier in several months. So I just decided to share my happiness with my poor blog, which I have been neglecting since I started my grad studies.

I couldn’t take a video of this historic moment, but history will repeat itself, so I’ll take a video and post it the next time it snows.

Now, I have a tag from the one and only Miladysa – a tag called Random & Weirdly Meme. It is a bit weird that I keep getting tags about weird things everytime, but everyone is allowed to be weird once or twice, so it is not really weird to be weird.

The rule is to share 7 facts about yourself – some random, some weird.

#1 – I saw snow for the first time in my life today. (What else were you expecting as first fact?)

#2 – One of my favorite hobbies while in school was inventing nicknames with my cousin to bully my younger brother. I can remember about 20 different names from the top of my head now, but I’m sure there were more. My favorite one must be NKVKMKM, which had a very interesting full form. I won’t disclose it here.

#3 – I used to steal buttermilk from the refrigerator as a kid. The habit hasn’t died till date. Even today, I prefer drinking buttermilk when nobody’s watching.

#4 – I scored an almost high 28 on an online Asperger Syndrome test, but I don’t believe it.

#5 – I am really (unbelievably) bad at Cricket. I can’t play well, and I don’t follow cricket.

#6 – I’ve been using the same wrist watch for 11 years now. And I don’t even like it.

#7 – Weekends in Raleigh are boring because I don’t have a car, and there’s no public transit on weekends.

Now tagging 7 people is the part I don’t like. So I tag everyone who reads this. 😛

Terabithia and Imagination

I’m back with another post so soon! *BROAD GRIN*
Honestly, I thought that the chances of India winning the Cricket world cup was more than me posting once in a month. Thanks to some amazing blue-shirted superhumans (or subhumans), I’ll never ever have the doubt again.

I’ve been thinking about my blog of late. I realized that I’m confused about what to write. In fact, the only fact which I’m not confused about is that I’m confused about everything else. I was confused from the moment I created the punchline for my blog. That’s evident from the punchline itself. It’s always been cerebrations from my confounded mind. It’s always evoked laughter; either it was funny or it was so silly that you laughed at my plight. The only difference in the latter case was that the readers laughed away as they unsubscribed me from their feed reader thinking that this blog was a pile of crap. Because I see a steady dip in my readership of late. I think it is a vicious circle. A dip in readership makes me diffident and I don’t post often. That results in a further dip in reader count.
Anyway, instead of whining about this, I’ll write about something better.

The post actually starts here!
I remember I promised about several movie reviews long back. I’m afraid that’s not gonna happen. (Go on! I don’t mind you heaving a sigh of relief!)
It’s actually going to be about another movie (no..not a review), and how it reminded me of my childhood.
The movie is Bridge to Terabithia
When it was released, I tried to get tickets for that in PVR once, but they were sold out. Later, several of my friends said that it was pathetic and not worth watching. But being an avid lover of fantasy that I am, I couldn’t say no to a free show of the film yesterday.
My immediate response after the movie was over (It was just 1.5 hours) was “Yaaaawn!”
The movie indeed was not that good.
But all our senses are so deceptive. I couldn’t help thinking about the movie after watching it.
Then I started realizing that there was something different in the movie.
It is not the normal movie-ish story. Our mind is so corrupt that we expect stereotypes in “good movies”. And stereotypes are exactly what is missing in this movie. Even the bullies are not stereotypical.

The movie, simply put, asks you to keep an open mind and imagine…imagine as much as you can. It tells you that you can weave fantasy too. The way Lesley and Jesse imagine things up… I suddenly remembered all the fantasy which I created when I was a kid. I used to go to my dad’s ancestral house for summer vacations. It was a rural area with lots of paddy fields and more macadamized roads than asphalted ones. My grandmother and uncles used to live in the house which was surrounded by trees for about a mile in all directions. All were our land, with cultivation in a part of the land. I used to love the uncultivated land, because it was the best one to explore.

The protagonists in Terabithia swing across a river to woods, where their imaginary land of Terabithia starts. They have all wonderful creatures out there including a giant troll. (which, by the way, are an important ingredient in any fantasy! Sigh! I had enough of trolls)

Even I had a treehouse constructed atop a mango tree in my Terabithia. Although I didn’t imagine trolls and all, I imagined myself to be living atop trees (Don’t get the wrong idea now. I’m still human!)
My treehouse was a kind of outpost made of sheets of wood perched on the mango tree. There were multiple entries (I took a cue from the hideout of the Three Investigators). My uncle had made rope ladders with knots, or you could use the plain old way through the tree trunk. I even had ropes to swing like Tarzan. It was real fun. Everyday, I would climb the tree to my outpost and consider myself to be the guardian of the jungle, keeping vigil on everything around. My company was a small kitten whose name I don’t remember now. I used to make stories where little animals used to come to me with grievances and I, being a good ruler, give proper judgments and advices. I even used to invite my little brother atop, posing as a doctor treating his ailments. Everything was complete…even the background music which I hummed myself when I did something kingly.

I miss those days. This movie made me miss those days, which were forgotten till yesterday. It brought about a sense of nostalgia into me. The movie was not good from a reviewer’s perspective, but it was good from my perspective. It was a touching story.

I wish I had some good friend like Lesley in my childhood. I fell in love with Lesley and her Terabithia.

Antics of the First

He becomes a myth, a spook story that criminals tell their kids at night: “Rat on your pop, and Keyser Soze will get you.” But no one ever really believes.

-Verbal Kint
The Usual Suspects

I haven’t blogged here for one month now. I guess I’ve become less funny and more serious. (C’mon! That’s not like me!) I’ve been partial to my technical blog and devoting more time for that. Anyway, sparing the apologies, (yeah! Be thankful that I’m back!! Without even giving false punchline-promises like the Austrian-accented “I’ll be back!”) this one is a hilarious memory which was cued by another funny talk when I visited home last week.

For those who don’t know, “the first” is me.

Lets start with some prologues.

Prologue 1: Stupid is as stupid does
My mom says that I’m a bit stupid. I think I’m not, but my mom proves time and again that I am.

Prologue 2: The Legend
“Chaakku Mappilla” is an imaginary character often used in Kerala to scare misbehaving kids. It is similar to the boogeyman. As a way of controlling their children, parents will tell them about “Chaakku Mappilla” who steals misbehaving children. This guy supposedly carries a sack on his back. He catches all misbehaving children, puts them in the sack and sells them. He may be said to target a specific “transgression” or just general misbehavior. The funny thing is that it is believed in by children.

The big laugh
circa 1990
(To make things more sensible, I was oblivious to whatever I have written in blue italics below. Why? Because I was “thinking”)
That day, my brother was wreaking a lot of havoc in home. I was in the verandah, thinking as usual.
I heard faint noises coming from inside. It was my brother screaming and shouting to show his protest in whatever it was.
After some time, the noise grew louder. When I turned around, he was outside, behind me. My mother too had followed him to the verandah.
She was holding a plate with food, perhaps. The little chap was probably refusing to have food. (This was so unusual of him, mind you!)

My mother said, “Eat this like a good boy.”
My brother said, “No. I’m not a good boy.”
My mother said, “Chaakku Mappilla will come and catch children who starve.”
My brother was smart. He replied, “Chaakku Mappilla indeed. There is no such person.”

Then mom became desperate, turned to me and asked, “Tell us…You have seen Chaakku Mappilla, right?”
I probably didn’t see her winking, because I replied in favor of my brother, “No”.

I had never heard the name “Chaakku Mappilla” before. My mom, or my grandma never scared me with that name. (Maybe I never misbehaved 😀 ) So I thought it was the name used to address whoever carries a sack. I didn’t even doubt that she was acting.

Then a man appeared at the end of the road. Coincidentally, he was carrying a sack on his shoulders. I knew that man. He was the one who used to play “Thavil” (A type of percussion instrument) in the nearby temple. It was undoubtedly his Thavil inside the sack.

My mom jumped at the opportunity and told my brother, “See. There he is…Chaakku Mappilla. Now eat this or he will take you away.”
My brother was not ready to give in that easily. He boldly said, “He is not Chaakku Mappilla”, although he didn’t sound as bold as before.
He heaved a sigh of relief when the guy passed our house without even looking at us.

My mom’s next step in the drama was to ask me to go and call Chaakku Mappilla, so that he would come and take my brother away.
“Go and tell him that I have something for sale here”, my mom said.
I immediately ran outside towards him.
Panting, I said,

“Mr. Chaakku Mappilla… My mom wants to sell something to you.”

He looked at me for a few seconds with a perplexed face. Time froze for everyone except me. (Because I still hadn’t realized that what I had done was stupid.)
He frowned and continued walking. I looked back at my mom. She beckoned me to come back.
Everyone was laughing. I didn’t understand why. Call it the naivety of a 7 year old who doesn’t know the legend of “Chaakku Mappilla”

I became the laughing stock of the whole family for the next one week….and years to come! Poor me!