Friday, April 03, 2009


Long long time back, There was a chawl in a small suburb of Mumbai It was a single level chawl.. tiled with Mangalore tiles, each house had a living room and a kitchen and set of toilet and bathroom.. There were little lines of such houses, paralllels and perpendiculars, 3-4 houses in one line.. it was a one big maze..
This story is about just one of the line of houses which had 4 houses. One of the house out of these four (as far as I remember) never had kids or had very quarrelsome kids who never came to play. Rest three had 2 to 3 kids per house. The families mingled with each other and gelled in quite nicely. All kids were around the same age. So all these kids would play together, watch TV at one of houses (Ramayan especially), study together , etc. etc. Once upon an exam time (I guess there was still some time for the exams to come) all kids sat together to study, rather all parents made them stop playing and got everyone to get their books to study. Since everyone had exams, they got their books out.. but what would the younger ones do ?
A little boy in 1st standard (1st Grade for the uninitiated) and a little girl in Senior KG ( Kindergarten is school grade right before 1st grade) did not have any studies to do as their exams werent that important (Remember its Long time back ) . So they kept going around their older brothers and sisters and continuously grabbed everyone's attention. How would the parents allow such a thing? So they set a task for the boy to teach the little girl how to write in Marathi as he was learning in a Marathi medium school and the girl in English..
अ आ इ ई ...
Don't quite remember what happend later.. but that evening and that teaching has been photographed in my mind. After long time, around 20 years, it took some coincidence and some internet for these two chracters to get in touch again to find none of us stay even near the same place, the chawl doesnt exist, its been demolished to become a Apartment complex, everyone's now have settled down in their lives happily.. But when I called this friend "Gurudev" he never remembered why ..
We are still in touch via Chat, Orkut, Email, Forwards.. and its always fun to talk to each other..
and when I got the company award, he came to know of it from his sister as she works in the same company.. I got an email
"शिष्योत्तमे, अभिनन्दन"
(meaning , "Congratulations to the Best among my students")

It made me smile in my pressure filled day when I was running in and out of meetings..
It brought me back my childhood memories , the little house which seemed soo Big then, the little joys of life which were so abundant.. and the little friends around who would enjoy everything with same innocence !!
I cant go back there in the same age and place, but I surely did spend the rest of my day happily

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