Down the Memory lane.

picnic Once upon a time.

We are busy  planning for tomorrows Ramleela it is a student production and at the break, Mrs.Padmashree Josalkar and I were discussing our growing up, Padmashree is from the famous Gubbi theatre, she was talking of how the kids of the family would step in small roles, and as little kids they would forget that when performing they were characters and not “ammi” and” china”

I remember one ramkatha we performed at school, when my friend was Ravan, and I did Mandodhari, the scene was Mandodhari crying over Meghanaad’s death, and guess what one little kid from the first row, piped, up, ”How joru,..Jay is she is making paapa.. shah cry” that was the end of the dramatic moment.

But here I was thinking of some really great things we did, our class that entered standard one in the year 1971 was rather unique, anyway we began putting our own plays at the in standard three, and we were guided by the greatest story teller of them all, ”Amarachitrakatha,” we would open the book, and figure out where each one of us would have to stand,

Dialogues were easy too, just sprout what the character in the comic said, costumes were even easier we would just replicate what was in the illustration, the only whooper was, we were fed on some stereotypes like royals wore “zarf border” and commoners, “folk” wore cottons with checks, so were the jewellery silver and Kowaris  jewellery for the folk and gold like jewellery for the royals.

We would meticulously cut out jewellery in cardboard, stick golden paper on it, and use it.

It was the time before CD’s and TV so someone would meticulously learn up the songs, we would put in the steps, then three days before the performance, some ones older brother/uncle or handy relative would provide the table and harmonium,

It was really fun. I think it was these things that brought us together, since it was not structured with parental approval or guidance we got to experiment, the rule was simple don’t get your quarrels to parents.

annual lakshadeepa which all of us would attend

There was only one kid, who would actually complain to his parents, i remember all of us ganging up and telling him, “Kid we are telling you this, because you will complain to your parents, and they will come to shout at us, and see what we will do then,” funnily enough the boy got totally cured of his whining habits.

Today the products of our schoolroom theatre are quite well known personalities of performing arts.  Thankfully the same cannot be said about our brigand group, whose whole aim was eliminate all raw mangoes from the trees in the Manipal campus, maybe if we asked we would be allowed to pick it, but the thrill of stealthily getting on to tree while we delegated my brother to distract the lady of house, and do away with tender mango, sitting right on the centre of the road…yes that is what we did, sharing the mango not to mentioned smuggled salt and chilli powder, whew.. that was adventure.

Again everyone was part of everything guess that made our growing up balanced. Reading a book meant we climbed up a tree perched on a branch to read. When the new swimming pool was built at Manipal the entire gang of kids went to learn how to swim.

Holidays meant library, swimming, playing in the garden, eating in which ever house we were at lunch time. Remember this was the era before mobiles and phone, no one took amiss.

Still remember Brinda aunty, my friend’s mother, she baked the best biscuits in town, I promised myself I would be like her, she was well read, she kept a beautiful house, she cooked divinely, she could paint, she could stitch innovatively, well some day before I die I will get there, right now I am still struggling with housekeeping part. There was Saraswati aunty who taught us how to cook saagu to perfection. Narmada aunty who introduced us to ketchup with everything.

Thanks ZeeTV for this yaaron ki bharat though I do not qualify for it. I think I should share this bit, as way of saying thanks to the universe.

Mahila samaj 2
Manipal Mahila Samaj still active.

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