When I dash off blogs, I do so without any research on the subject nor do I consult anyone with similar experiences. But people who after reading the blogs, do remember similar events in their own lives and relate them to me. Since some of these rejoinders are more interesting than my original blogs, I have put them down here.
Having read my blog about ‘Borrowing’ from neighbors, my niece Kanthi had this to say. When her mother visited Kashmir, she bought for her a walnut knife stand in the form of a peacock where the knives were arranged along the spread out plumage. One young neighbor offered to take it to US and mail it to my niece.After landing in US, she never bothered to part with it in spite of many reminders from Kanthi. Finally she mailed it after four full years, that too at her husband’s insistence. Later when she rang up Kanthi to find out if the package had reached her.she had the guts to say, “Well! I enjoyed it in my house for four years. It is now your turn!!!”
My sister-in-law Rekha had this to say after reading my blog, “The gateless existence”. In that blog I had mentioned the vicissitudes of living in a gateless house and how entry on to the driveway and the house had become a free for all including livestock. One day my mother-in law had been shocked to see a bull relaxing in our cool stair well on a sunny day, the same having entered by the side door which had been left open by mistake.
Rekha reminisced about how once when they came back to the same house in the night from a motor trip to Kodaikanal, they were shocked to see a white horse standing under the portico! She said it was almost like a fairy tale, where the gleaming white horse was waiting for the master to take off on its wings!
My third blog which stirred memories was about ‘Compatriotism’. In that blog, I had discussed our Indian mentality of giving too much importance to NRI celebrities and achievers just because they had their birth in or some remote connection to India. My grandson Shriram who read the blog had this to narrate. “There is a famous pop singer in Australia whom I tell everyone that he is actually an Indian .But, later it struck me that when the chap himself is not proud of his Indian roots, having even changed his name to conceal his Indian origin, why should I take the trouble of telling all that he is an Indian by birth!”
When my cousin Susheela read about the games we used to play at our grandfather’s place in my nostalgic blog, she reminded me of the ones we used to play with dry tamarind seeds. These seeds would be painstakingly gathered when the lady of the house rejected them after pulping the tamarind for the day’s cooking.
There were two games I remember. One was purely a game of chance. It was to take a fistful of seeds from the heap and challenge the opponent to guess whether there were even or odd number of seeds in the fist. The one with the maximum number of correct predictions would be the winner.
The second game ‘uffi Kalu’ depended purely on the strength of one’s breath and the dexterity of the finger tips. Taking a deep breath you blow on the heap of seeds to scatter them to the maximum extent possible and then you remove the seeds one by one carefully with your finger tips without disturbing the neighboring ones. Once such a seed is disturbed, you become ‘out’and your opponent gets to breathe out on the newly gathered heap. So, the one with maximum seeds thus accumulated would be the winner.