Monthly Archives: June 2016

See you in a couple of weeks

Dear friends,

I will be away from my blog for two weeks. Will catch up with you all soon.

Cheers,
Nimi

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Of piggybacks and a sack of salt

If you are an aunt or uncle, a grandma or grandpa, an older cousin or a mom or dad to young kids, you must have, at some point in time, belonged to the Piggyback Club.

I still remember being given piggyback rides by my Dad and Uncle.  Mad spins in the living room, and a gentle drop from Dad’s shoulders to the soft couch!

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Courtesy – http://www.canstockphoto.com

And it was never enough!  Where I grew up, we called this ‘Uppu Mootai’, which translates to ‘Sack of Salt.’

During my childhood, along with the small convenience stores – which sold just about everything under the sun – street hawkers were quite popular too.

They hawked their goods in different sing-song voices. I remember the man who sold ‘greens’, who had this cackling voice. We could set our clocks by his loud voice, he was so punctual.

Then we had the vegetable seller, who had a push cart that was loaded to the brim with colourful and healthy veggies.

Then again, there was the man who sold salt. He usually came once in a fortnight, and had a deep but loud voice, which said, “Uppu, Uppu”, meaning salt, salt. He called out with no modulation at all. The periods of silence between each of his shouts was precise. Uppu, uppu..pause pause pause..Uppu, uppu.

The salt man usually carried the salt in a gunny bag that was slung on his back.

When children were given piggyback rides, the adults carrying them probably looked like  ‘salt sellers’.

The name has stuck. Even today people use the name Uppu Mootai for piggybacking.

Grandma’s Tales

When we were growing up, one year and two-year old children were usually fed by their grandmoms.

No prams, no high chairs. The grandma would carry the child on her hip.  In the other hand she would carry a stainless steel bowl, filled to the brim with mashed rice, dal (lentils), a dash of clarified butter and a portion of vegetable.

The grandma would walk about the courtyard of her house, with a chubby little baby on her hip, pointing out the blue sky, the swaying trees, the green leaves and the small ants going about their day.

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     Courtesy – http://www.illustrationsof.com

The ubiquitous crow never failed to entertain. Cawing in its raucous voice, the crow provided ample opportunity for the grandma to feed the child, whose mouth would be open in wonder at all these small marvels and miracles of nature.

The postman, the people walking on the street, the honking of an autorickshaw – these were the other sources of entertainment.

It was a sight to behold. Sometimes, the grandma would spin a tale about a good crow who was obedient, and a naughty crow who was not obedient, and would then tell the child that he or she was like the good crow. Another mouthful of food would be cleverly fed.

Mission accomplished, the grandma would clean up the child and carry her indoors.

Countless grandmoms in countless courtyards spending quality time with their grandchildren. A truly special bond indeed!

The Book

We are already into the month of June. The first half of 2016 seems to have flown past. Where did those 180 odd days vanish?

You may wonder why I’m rambling on thus. This is because, earlier today, I found The Book. 

The Book?

Yes, The Book.

The Book is a small palm sized notebook, with creamy white pages, and a lovely quotation on its front cover.

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      Courtesy – http://www.migoals.com

I acquired The Book in the last week of 2015, with great ideas and ideals.

Drawing inspiration from a movie, I named it The Book of Possibilities, aka The Book.

The Book would catapult me into 2016 with clear-cut goals;  long term, medium term and short term plans clearly stated and defined.

It would be my partner, and inject me with bursts of optimism and energy, when I went off track. It would be so many things. The Book, my book.

However, before I inscribed my 365 day future on the creamy white pages, I vowed to myself that I would only ever put down things that I would surely endeavour to accomplish – with this book, I would walk the talk.

No making larger than life plans (read lose 15 kg in a year, or workout everyday, or don’t shop etc).

The diaries from years before had been filled with my plans, big plans…that remained trapped in the pages of those diaries, never having seen the light of day.

So for 2016, I picked up a small, compact book, The Book. No fancy big diaries for me.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, The Book surfaced this afternoon, when I rummaged through my papers for a document that I needed.

I sighed. The Book’s empty pages stared blankly at me.

I have not quite decided on what I want to accomplish. Hmmmm….we have another 180 days to go…