Thursday, January 13, 2011

Down Memory Lane

I grew up in a small town, really beautiful, but isolated. Do you remember Maria in the "Hills are alive?" - well that town could easily replace the beautiful mountainside.

Being so small, there was just one little village shop - it's a wonder that he stocked everything from a pin to an elephant in those tiny premises. Grades 1 to 3 were in a tiny little convent school tucked away on a little cliff.

When I was about 5 or 6 the teacher wanted us to bring in a set of color pencils. Those days a brand called "Camlin" that comprised a dozen stubby pencils was all that you could get. All of us seethed in envy at one kid's magnificent metal "Steadler" box that someone had got him from abroad.

I told Dad he had to go to the little village store and get me a box of Camlin pencils. Unfortunately the store had run out and would only re-stock on their next trip to the nearest big town. I was totally disconsolate and devastated what was I going to tell Miss J and worse how would I bear the ridicule of my classmates?

The following morning had me weeping and wailing and being towed along to school by the maid. We walked through the roads of a big boarding school (where Dad was a teacher). Mrs. E, another teacher spotted me and when she found out all that despair was for a box of color pencils she promptly took me to her office and fished out a set of colour pencils and to my gratification - they were not the short, stubby pencils - but the longer 6 inch ones (like some folks say sometimes size does matter). My tears chased away and a smile on my face I set off for school again.

No doubt Mrs. E will not recollect this incident - but the fact I do remember this after so many years does show what an impression it must have made on my young mind.


  1. Which small town? Sounds idyllic! :)

  2. A small town in Tamil Nadu. Details later.

  3. So sweet! Do I remember the infamous poti kadai?!

  4. Saumya - of course you do know that poti kadai. Down the slope - name starts with "P".

  5. Ah! What a heart rendering tale Anu, lovely.

  6. Brings back memories of the store (remember the pickles for 5 p.?) and of Mrs. E. Lovely story.
    Anu (M)

  7. Who would ever forget Pichi's

  8. Might as well give my name though..

    Krishnan (don't care who remembers though)!!!