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Impressions ..

January 15, 2009

of two siblings, one a 9 year old,the other 10…….circa 1991 or 92(?)…
an age of few newspapers,and here one says few, because people living on off -beat routes in little ‘towns’ with acronyms like MHOW were destined to get today’s paper tomorrow….
T.O.I reached this particular town but always a day late……
the only magazine available in this particular house was ‘India Today’ which was thoroughly scanned (for ahem…’inappropriate’ material) and then and only then passed into little grimy hands begging for it…:D,
the other ‘luxury’ being ‘Reader’s Digest’which was passed like the ‘Holy Grail’ from adult hands with barely a murmur or any protest at all to the same aforementioned begging hands….

T.V existed….it was a physical entity in so much that it was ‘allowed’ to be switched on at ‘fixed times’ of the day…..(after having duly consulted the astrologers of course…):D
But NEVER at night mind you…night as one wise ,wise lady once said was only for ‘Nishachars‘(Beings Of The Night)
(Only owls,thieves and apparitions roamed around at night…
Were we to be one of them?”No,ma’am,” the two siblings shook their heads in denial ,duly chastised and tucked in bed…)(the scary dreams were just a ‘side-effect’… )
One’s friends at school were undergoing the same ‘trauma’ so getting any new information from them was out of the question….
and little nuggets of information were grudgingly provided by one’s parents of course……….

This then, was the world of two little beings for whom the ‘world’ meant the ‘Political’ and ‘Physical’ maps hanging on the walls of the study and the school library….and the globe on a father’s study table…
going out to play meant till the edge of the housing complex and no further….
to be back home before dark..
The garden was the oasis.. and the library a godsend…

In this world,little and limited as it was,and in that house, the first impressions of an ‘outside world’ developed in young minds….minds that were unable to fathom any further……..

So the two little hearts ,upon reading ‘That most holy of holy ,the most sacred book series of all time…the Enid Blyton Series’ were absolutely convinced that in Britain or England (NEVER U.K..that was akin to sacrilege):-

:-people ate mashed potatoes (with gravy on the side)for breakfast,lunch and dinner…(little taste buds promptly went BLECH!)
:-people upon meeting each other on London streets regularly burst out in ‘Right Ho’ and ‘Smashing Car Old Chap’, or’Jolly good,old chap”,”By Jove”,”Golly Gee”,Gee Whiz”or something along those lines…
:-Bertie Wooster and Wodehouse,both lived on the main streets of London..
:-people were always ‘cuckoo’ or ‘had bats in the belfry’…never simply crazy..
:-vets like Herriot were ALWAYS on the roads/farms of Yorkshire/Wales or some such….
:-Everyone there had ‘High teas’ daily(after polishing off the mashed potatoes of course) which consisted of certain mouthwatering names such as muffins,jam tarts,Porridge,ham sandwiches,scones with honey and lemonade..
(Still refuse to believe porridge =’daliya’ and lemonade=’nimbupaani’…Hmmphh..:/ )
:-picnic hampers were a part of every Britsh child’s daily rights…duly provided by ‘good’ parents( a little eye rolling by the two adults at this)
:-each British child was also GuARANTEED a pet of his very own…be it a dog, a hamster,a guinea pig,a cat, a horse, a calf or all of them….(a little pouting went on here by the two souls)and MORE eye rolling by the two adults…
:-boarding schools were the ‘Mecca’ of all things golden and good…and one sat down to write application letters to ‘Malory Towers’and other such houses of greatness begging for admission…letters that the aforementioned adults duly promised to post with a straight face…
:-EVERYONE had a cottage by the sea….
:-all policemen in Britain were different versions of Mr Goon and Fatty -like boys proliferated in the countryside….
:-there was no dearth of caves in that country and mysteries lurked around every corner…

This then was good ol’ England..
What about America?
America was always USA..
a fast life(adults discussed around one) deserved a short name didn’t it?
USA was ‘Halloween’ and ‘Fourth of July’,’Guy Fawkes Day’ and ‘Bold and the Beautiful’,
It was where people sued each other right,left and centre..
Everyone was someone’s step dad/mom/cousin/half brother/sister and so on…
It was a land that had no ‘culture’…..merely an imitation of good ol’ England..
USA was ‘Archies’and ‘Betty and ‘Veronica’ and the evil’Reggie’ and the foodie ‘Jughead’…
USA was Disneyland and Mickey Mouse and that was its saving grace….
One always wanted to book tickets for ‘Riverdale’….
USA was ‘Star Wars’ ,’Jedi’ and ‘Yoda’
USA could have been Hollywood,only we never knew…:(
USA was also ‘Richie Rich’….did he really swim in money???One was left wondering..
USA was ‘imported stuff’ and charity cases and blackmail for food..(even little minds understood that..)

Russia?
Russia was ‘Baba Yaga’ and ‘Babushka’ and the ‘Kremlin’…
It was the one whose books flooded the Delhi stalls come ‘book fair’…
Russia in short saved us from bad USA and was our bestest friend in the whole wide world…
Russia was Raj Kapoor and ‘mera joota hai japani’
Beyond this one drew a blank…

Italy was ‘capische’ and of Italians(duh!)
It was a lot of hand gestures,temperamental chefs ……pizza,’the desi’one made by ma , never the real thing…
Italy was……. well…. not quite England..

Germany was bad…
Because it had Hitler(gasp!) …little minds struggled to grasp that….
Germany was much later.. a foolish’ kid’that one knew ….didn’t even play fair.. and lost the ‘classroom ‘ fight…
Let Germany be ashamed first and we might forgive we thought…

Africa one knew nothing of…
Africa was Nelson Mandela and Gandhi’s first foray…
Africa was Elsa and ‘Born free’……..
Africa was tribes and beautiful animals…
Africa was elephants and giraffes….

Japan was Pearl Harbour and retaliation..
Japan was forever Hiroshima and Nagasaki..
Japan was napalm and destruction…and a revenge most severe..
Japan was also Burma and ‘Bridge on The River Kwai’..
Japan was noodles and chopsticks and elegant kimonos with fans…
It was paper houses and earthquakes and ‘no strikes’ and perfection…
Japan was also the National Panasonic Two-in-one in mom’s room , the Sony Walkman on dad’s table…and sayonaras…

Nepal ,one didn’t even consider a foreign place,
One hop and one was over the border…
Nepal was cheap goods , smuggled things and half rate prices..
Nepal was like us…and we were like it…
Nepal was Kathmandu and sherpas and the’Gorkha Regiment’ in front of one’s house…
Nepal was also Himalayas and Tenzing Norgay…

China was 62 and a horrible war narrated by ma and dad …
China was Nehru and an army sent to die…
China was ‘Hindi -Chini Bhai -Bhai and betrayal…..India was now ‘katti’ with China forever….
China was Tashkent and Shastriji (shh….say it with reverence beta ma had whispered..)
and another betrayal and a murder most foul…or so little hearts thought..
China was the ‘buri nazar padosi’ the dushman sitting in waiting…
China was ‘Their’ best friend and therefore not ours…
China was a language that seemed gibberish and people that seemed cunning.and a red flag that looked bloody…
China was Bruce Lee and ‘Enter The Dragon..’
China was the ‘Gobi’ and the buddhist monks..
It was also ‘Tibet’ and ‘Dharamshala’…

Bangladesh was the one we helped…
It was ‘amar sonar bangla’ and ‘Mukti bahini…’It was grainy B&W pictures of two men in uniform sitting side by side…
Bangladesh was ‘Manekshaw’and a stature narrated proudly by dad….

Sri Lanka was somewhere south…
They wore sarees too and looked just like us…
How could that be,one pondered..
Sri Lanka was ‘namaste’ and flowers..
It was also LTTE and Prabhakaran..
And Rajiv and a void…

Pakistan…..
Pakistan was not even on the radar….
‘Kashmir Azaadi’ was in its infancy and we still hugged occasionally…
Pakistan was the’purdah’ and beautiful ,stunning women…
Pakistan was the Bhuttoes and Lahore,Karachi and Peshawar…
Pakistan was stories of horror and pasts left behind…
Pakistan was sometimes 71′ when we felt like it..
Pakistan was once ‘us’ that much, even we knew…

And We ?What were we?
We were 47 and partition…
we were one half of a whole..
We were cinema and dance..
We were long ‘Shehnaai Vaadans’and ‘Shastriya Sangeet’ on DD ..
We were Appu and the games..
We were Kurien and the milk revolution..
We were Shastriji and food for all…
We were self sustenance and ‘Harit kranti’…
We were ‘jai jawan,jai Kisaan’…
We were 84′ and a terrible silence…
We were mute listeners of BBC..
And rudderless after LTTE….
We were more propah than the British themselves…
We were the starving millions foreigners saw ‘Real India’ in…
We were ‘Anekta mein Ekta’….
We were also the beggar with a bowl, mom and dad made sure we knew…
We were famines and starvation…
AND we were food exports and surplus storage….
We were Pokhran and Indira …
And Emergency ,Janta and JP…..
We who dreamt of going on the world stage someday..
We ,the actors too shy and unsure……

Is it our time yet?

These are only my PERSONAL impressions of the world around me ,as a child…as I was growing up.The intention is not to hurt anyone’s sentiments…..If anyone’s feelings have been hurt then I apologize…

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29 Comments leave one →
  1. Ajit permalink
    January 15, 2009 10:46 am

    Indyeah, This is your best….
    outta the world….. 🙂 Simply great, outstanding, fantastic, beautiful, mind blowing….
    (and I don’t have a thesaurus with me)………

    I say this coz I could relate to a lot of what you said…….
    espcially
    Elsa and “Born Free”…

    USA was ‘Archies’and ‘Betty and ‘Veronica’ and the evil’Reggie’ and the foodie ‘Jughead’…

    vets like Herriot were ALWAYS on the roads/farms of Yorkshire/Wales or some such….

    Bertie Wooster and Wodehouse

  2. Smitha permalink
    January 15, 2009 11:56 am

    Indyeah!!! That was me growing up too !!!! oh those Enid Blytons.. I used to actually think of canned sardines as some extremely fancy food until my grandad showed me wht they were 😦 And Malory Towers – how I used to long to be sent off to boarding school! Everything u’ve written resonates so much – apart from the fact that I was a little older in ’91. Wonderful, wonderful post. I normally wait till the morn to comment – right now on the phone – but could not resist it after reading your post!

  3. Aren O. Týr permalink
    January 15, 2009 12:15 pm

    As an English man, I feel it my duty to offer commentary:

    “…absolutely convinced that in Britain or England (NEVER U.K..that was akin to sacrilege):-

    :-people ate mashed potatoes (with gravy on the side)for breakfast,lunch and dinner…(little taste buds promptly went BLECH!)”

    Well, perhaps not for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    But mashed potato must absolutely be sampled with fine British sausages, fried onions, gravy, and lashings of the holy sauce, which is, naturally, HP Sauce (i.e. “brown sauce”. Can you buy it in India? I guess you can).

    Good old bangers and mash.

    Ironically enough, though, I probably eat more in common with an Indian person these days, in some respects.

    That is, a fine curry is hard to beat. I love Indian cuisine. Your mastery of spices and your intensity of flavour is inspirational. And I just love hot and spicy food.

    I’d love to go on a culinary tour of India, particularly Goa…

    “:-people upon meeting each other on London streets regularly burst out in ‘Right Ho’ and ‘Smashing Car Old Chap’, or’Jolly good,old chap”,”By Jove”,”Golly Gee”,Gee Whiz”or something along those lines…”

    You could certainly try, but you’d probably get some very strange looks… 😉

    “:-vets like Herriot were ALWAYS on the roads/farms of Yorkshire/Wales or some such….”

    Beautiful countryside in both of those. But the Yorkshire dales are now astronomically expensive with escalating house prices, and as usual, there aren’t any jobs in these scenic places… (Well, unless you’re lucky enough to be some travelling vet.)

    “:-Everyone there had ‘High teas’ daily(after polishing off the mashed potatoes of course) which consisted of certain mouthwatering names such as muffins,jam tarts,Porridge,ham sandwiches,scones with honey and lemonade..
    (Still refuse to believe porridge =’daliya’ and lemonade=’nimbupaani’…Hmmphh..:/ )”

    If there is one respect that I am quintessentially English, it is in my tea habits.

    I am an old fashioned tea obsessive, a connoisseur. I am a dying breed: I only make tea from loose leaves, and I have a vast collection of different teas. Like an English man of the old world, I take my tea very seriously.

    I really will have to do a post on my blog on tea…

    Breakfast muffins are delicious. I like them simple, with lashings of butter. Scones are fabulous for ‘afternoon tea’, but need to be completely fresh.

    I like to have crumpets for breakfast, with Marmite 🙂 Do you have Marmite in India?

    “:-picnic hampers were a part of every Britsh child’s daily rights…duly provided by ‘good’ parents( a little eye rolling by the two adults at this)”

    Sadly, modern children these days live off convenience meals and packets of crisps…

    But as a nation we still do like to indulge in picnics in the park in the summer… (Provided we remember umbrellas for when it rains, as it frequently does…).

    “:-each British child was also GuARANTEED a pet of his very own…be it a dog, a hamster,a guinea pig,a cat, a horse, a calf or all of them….(a little pouting went on here by the two souls)and MORE eye rolling by the two adults…”

    Growing up I’ve had

    1. Dogs
    2. Cats
    3. Rabbits
    4. Hamster
    5. Guinea pig

    A horse is rather extravagant, and you’d have to lead a very privileged life to afford one of those today!

    “:-EVERYONE had a cottage by the sea….”

    Are you familiar with those quaint little Victorian era beach side huts in Britain’s old fashioned seaside resorts? They are literally a small shed on the beach that a family rents, or owns, for storing beach unmbrellas, games, and all such like things.

    Well, quite staggeringly, one of these tiny sheds at somewhere like Bournemouth or so on the South coast recently sold for, I believe, somewhere in the region of £90,000!

    That’s around 6.4 million Indian rupees!

    So as you can imagine not many people of our age here can afford to buy a house anywhere, let alone a cottage by the sea.

    How times change, eh?

    “:-all policemen in Britain were different versions of Mr Goon and Fatty -like boys proliferated in the countryside….”

    Actually, yes, with the lazy modern diet, quite a few of our policemen are quite fat… 😀

    “:-there was no dearth of caves in that country and mysteries lurked around every corner…”

    There are plenty of caves and still fairly wild places with no one for miles around in our tiny little country.

    And you’ll be pleased to know that there still are mad English men around who will quite happily eat ice cream in the middle of winter when it is chucking it down with rain! Like me, in fact…

    The “old world” Britain is fast disappearing, in many ways. But I guess, that is the nature of things: change is so fast, today…

  4. Indian Home Maker permalink
    January 15, 2009 3:09 pm

    Indyeah You touched a chord (again) …

    For many generations America has been Betty, Veronica and Archie’s world, and England the land of children being treated to cake batter and Apple Pie 🙂
    And the wholesome picnic hampers.
    The Enid Blyton childhood was perfect ….

    Russia also was Lakhi a dog separated from her family and adopted by a circus, and colourful crafts books.
    My favorite was a book called A Train Journey, where we could create strips of papers which when slipped through the slits on the picture of a train window looked like the passing scenery from a moving train.

    Look what a flood of memories you brought back !!!! This post will delight my generation too 🙂

    You are amazing!!

  5. Indian Home Maker permalink
    January 15, 2009 3:10 pm

    And I read so much of James Herriot to my kids that for a long time my daughter wanted to be a vet 🙂

  6. chiragchamoli permalink
    January 15, 2009 7:09 pm

    You have managed to captured all the imagination in just 1521 Words. This is too good. Sort of Nostalgic too, nonetheless brilliant.

  7. Vinod_Sharma permalink
    January 15, 2009 7:13 pm

    You are getting better and better…look at who all you are beginning to awaken to memories…

  8. Indyeah permalink
    January 15, 2009 9:49 pm

    Ajit:-:D…thank you and thank you…..*grinning now*…err.. after all that you don’t need a thesaurus…:)
    Yes,’Born Free’ was beautiful…:)and I wanted a pet ‘Elsa’ too….:D
    never realized how some memories stay forever and ever….and Archies…lol!I LIVED solely for them…:D…Archie’s love life was of ahem…personal interest and betty and veronica were trend setters…lol!
    Reggie I simply wanted to strangle and I personally knew a Jughead type…:D
    Herriot and Wodehouse……….:)….seriously those were the days…….sigh…..
    glad I made you smile..:)

    Smitha:-It really made me grin that you couldn’t wait till morning to comment..:D
    Yes ,Enid Blyton and Malory Towers…I wanted so DESPERATELY to go there…too..lol!…and you reminded me…I also used to imagine sardines as fancy food or something…:D….childhood…what wouldn’t we give to go back….:D
    Enid Blytons should be part of school syllabus or something….I will say Thank you so much ….but your nostalgia says even more..:)

  9. Indyeah permalink
    January 15, 2009 10:13 pm

    Aren:-lol!of course who better than an Englishman to comment?…:D
    Charmed to make your acquaintance Sir…:)

    In a country where potatoes are always meant as a filling for something like samosas,dosas etc.. or used in curries….it was a rather novel idea to a young kid that potatoes could be a meal all by themselves…and well…since we didn’t have bangers and mash…:)we thought of only mashed ones as rather yucky…now of course I know better…

    ”You could certainly try, but you’d probably get some very strange looks… ;-)”

    lol!yup the things one picks up from books…we really thought people spoke like this…:D

    tea,muffins,scones and crumpets….these were what my childhood dreams were full of…:D….India has many sweets and dishes…but one only wanted what Blyton wrote about…:D
    Yes ,we do have marmite now….I think a slice of the whole world is available really …:)…one feels at home no matter where one goes…gone are the days of yearning for authentic food…
    after the ‘curry revolution’ there ,I hope you get to indulge your taste buds to your heart’s content now…:)
    and Wales and Yorkshire…it still envokes longing…..and ”vets like Herriot were ALWAYS on the roads/farms of Yorkshire/Wales or some such….”ha!ha!…I really did think so…:D
    Herriot was like a fond old granddad of one’s own…:)
    I really like the way you have desribed these places as smply beautiful…:)yes,the problem of jobs is a serious one here too…even in our ‘countryside’…villages are changing pretty fast…

    and picnics…every Blyton character went off on one..:)…and ah yes the English weather,topic of many a conversation,balmy,rainy,wet ….
    but we only read of sunny,sunny skies and blue blue clouds..:D
    Animals …..oh that was what one fisrt fell in love with…the whole idea!!each character had a pet or two so of course I wanted one too…:)
    Growing up I’ve had

    1. Dogs
    2. Cats
    3. Rabbits
    4. Hamster
    5. Guinea pig

    Lucky,lucky you….I envy you for this…
    growing up with animals is an incomparable experience ?too beautiful to explain…err..horses are expensive to keep here too…

    and cottages by the sae…..and on rent too…awesome idea..:)
    real estate prices are sky rocketing here too…so not everyone’s able to afford a house…same the world over I guess…:(

    ahem..Our policemen are err..on the generous side too,paunch and all…:D..Mr Goon was unforgettable and what a name..:)

    caves and mysteries…fodder for a young imagination…..:)we ahve a lot of them too….only as grownups now… one fails to see the charm in going in a web infested,mouldy one…….:)
    still ready for adevnture though…:)

    ”And you’ll be pleased to know that there still are mad English men around who will quite happily eat ice cream in the middle of winter when it is chucking it down with rain! Like me, in fact…”

    lol!good one..!….me too…:)the joy of an icecream in winters is unparalleled….:)

  10. Indyeah permalink
    January 15, 2009 10:17 pm

    Aren:-thanks for that peek into your country ….one’s always been fascinated with it…courtesy Blyton,Wodehouse and the like…:)
    I hope that you embark sometime on a culinary tour too…:)you’ll have an amazing time…

    about tea…yes,I could gather that from your blog and your replies to commentors…:)tea connoisseur …:)do share it with us one of these days…
    incidentally a post on chai/tea is coming up on mine too..:)though more Indian Chai and memories associated with it really…

    Please do keep sharing and giving these new insights into your country..:)

  11. Indyeah permalink
    January 15, 2009 10:24 pm

    Indian Home Maker:_I love it when this happens…:)absolutely love it…:)because a peek into childhood leaves one witha warm,fuzzy feeling inside…:)
    Oh!and apple pie!how could I forget!absolute favourite…and I do think I remember the book you speak of…..:)slits and colourful strips,…yes,yes I do remember…and the dog Lakhi…yes ma talks of that I think…and Herriot…Oh!I wanted to be a vet sooo bad….turned out I couldn’t stand blood…:D….but I almost felt I was with him on his rounds…:D
    and Thank you so much…:)
    you are all submerged in nostalgia and thats thanks enough…….loads of nostalgia….beautiful childhood memories…of an Enid Blyton Childhood…lucky ,lucky us…..:)

  12. Indyeah permalink
    January 15, 2009 10:40 pm

    ChiragChamoli:-”You have managed to captured all the imagination in just 1521 Words. This is too good. Sort of Nostalgic too, nonetheless brilliant.”

    lol!1521 words!umm…you counted?…hope you enjoyed the nostalgic trip..:)thanks for the amazing compliments…:)

    Vinod Sir:-thank you so much….One understands the power of words and the memories it evokes only when everyone responds like this…. people of different generations,different states….different countires…
    Thank you for making me realize that…just did..:)

  13. indyana permalink
    January 16, 2009 12:23 am

    Haha! this post was so so true about our exposure to the world back then! fantastic!!

  14. hitch writer permalink
    January 16, 2009 1:03 am

    Indyeah,

    TOI comes the same day now but after 11 am still !!!!!

    You have beautifully captured India and the other countries !!!

    Yea america was archies and jughead. Russia & RK went hand in hand ! India is also greatly composed. Ek and anek !!

    super !!

  15. Usha Pisharody permalink
    January 16, 2009 6:00 am

    The tingling feeling of deja vu haunts me, when I read this 🙂

    Dear Indyeah..:) As IHM has already said, this is a delight of a post. Such nostalgia, such sheer nostalgia of Mallory Towers, the high teas, and tongue sandwich :).. and the moors of Yorkshire where Herriot used to help all those dour farmers with their animals, especially those cases where the calf simply would not come out right 🙂 🙂 I wonder if you have read Gerald Durrel too… the islands of Greece, and his amazingly genuinely funny family [The book is called My Family and Other Animals.. lol!]

    And yes the Archie comics! I got to play Jughead, believe it or not for an ads to add up [making up an advertisement] competition at college… that would have been about the time you were a tiny tot, going by the Time mentioned here 🙂 :)Loved Betty, Veronica, well… she was always after Archie, wasn’t she? And of course the snotty Reggie was disliked intensely!

    Glad I dropped in here. Gladder for having read this post!
    You have a warm, natural and intimate way of sharing your perspective too 🙂

    Thank you for this! And thanks for the visit and the warm words at my space too 🙂

  16. Ajit permalink
    January 16, 2009 7:00 am

    I can always relate to Jughead….. 😛
    have been always like him…. food , food and more food… 🙂

  17. Ana Cristina permalink
    January 16, 2009 7:33 am

    I saw a comment you posted on Lala’s blog and was compelled to follow you here (gah, that makes me sound stalkerish, doesn’t?). Let me try again… Your name, “Indyeah,” made me curious, so I came to visit your blog.

    I’m glad I did! I’m not disappointed. You are a great writer and I do think I’ll be back again. 🙂

  18. Indyeah permalink
    January 16, 2009 9:46 am

    Indyana:-I smiled just reading your response..:)I know how hard nostalgis strikes at times..:)thank you so much…..

    Hitchwriter:-lol!so you know what I mean!Indore is just next door right?:)
    and thank you so much …from a once upon a time Mhowiite to another MPiite…:)

    Usha Pisharody:-Thank you,Thank you and thank you…:)
    Seriously, when I see the responses my heart warms up and I sit there amazed that so many of us have lived that same golden childhood that one thought was one’s own…:)

    AND ”Such nostalgia, such sheer nostalgia of Mallory Towers, the high teas, and tongue sandwich :).. and the moors of Yorkshire where Herriot used to help all those dour farmers with their animals, especially those cases where the calf simply would not come out right :)”

    This absolutely convinces me that you were transported back to those days of colourful Enid Blyton covers..AND you LOVE animals of all shapes and sizes…:)am I right?

    Gerald Durrell?!,Yes that too…:D..amazing is the word…:)
    And you were Jughead?How cute is that?Awww!my imagination’s running away from me now…:)

    and for this , ”You have a warm, natural and intimate way of sharing your perspective too :0 ”
    :)thank you so much,more than I can say….

  19. Indyeah permalink
    January 16, 2009 9:50 am

    Ajit:-lol!I can imagine that now having known a similar friend too….:D….
    Jughead!how I wanted his metabolism!to eat and eat and stay reed thin…:D

    Ana Cristina:-No!it doesn’t make you sound like a stalker at all….rather the opposite..:) a warm person with an open heart and a curious mind….:)Thank you for dropping by!and look at how fate makes two teachers from opposite ends of the world meet!!…:)

    thank you for the compliment…expect me on yours too…:)

  20. Indyeah permalink
    January 16, 2009 10:05 am

    IHM:-I can soo imagine you reading to your daughter of the countryside and Herriot too.:)we so desperately want them to feel what we feel right?for animals,for nature…to see the world as beautifully as we do…:)Usha’s Empathy comment made me remember that:)

  21. Aren O. Týr permalink
    January 16, 2009 1:08 pm

    Indyeah, Chai tea is the one area where my tea knowledge falls short.

    I know how to properly prepare every type of black, green, white, oolong or pu-erh tea.

    I know how to prepare Japanese matcha (powdered) tea.

    But Chai tea is made completely differently from the normal method, using a technique of heating a substantial amount of milk with various spices in, then adding the tea to the milk mixture… So a post illuminating how to make real Chai would be great 🙂

    Meanwhile, if you really loved all the Enid Blyton books, might I suggest another author, for an adult reader, that evokes the same type of wonderful quaint “old world” England, with tales of cats and the rolling countryside of Cornwall:

    Somewhere A Cat is Waiting: Derek Tangye

    This particular book might possibly be out of print, but he’s written quite a few, all charming and evocative 🙂

    Oh, and on the subject of animal books, have you read the classic “Tarka the Otter”?

    It is a beautiful piece of literature, not merely just a heartening tale.

  22. Vikram permalink
    January 16, 2009 1:36 pm

    Indyeah, very nicely written. I guess everyone has a perspective on what India is. I’ll take the liberty of giving part of my take …

    We are liberation from 2000 years of injustice
    We are the protector that was once the destroyer
    We are the betrayer that was once the trusted
    We are the chance to be free
    We are still the darkest prison
    We are the whole that we are part of
    We are the whole that we are
    We are the great provider
    We are the great exploiter
    We are that who divides
    We are that who unites
    We are peace
    We are chaos
    We are the passport
    We are the army
    We are democracy
    We are an experiment
    We are the great hope …

    The list may be never ending

  23. mesoliloquy permalink
    January 16, 2009 3:45 pm

    I simple love this post. I grew up in 80s-90s and can associate with everything you mentioned.

    It tried posting before too I guess but wordpress sometimes plays trick and mostly name/id option works better. Let me try again.

  24. Indyeah permalink
    January 16, 2009 7:12 pm

    Aren:-:)I on the other hand am an expert on Indian Chai(I think:D)and on none of the others you spoke of.
    I would be eagerly waiting for your post to know about black, green, white, oolong or pu-erh tea and Japanese matcha (powdered) tea.Some of the names I have never even heard of..:)Thats why your post is eagerly awaited.

    Also ,Thank you so much for the book recommendation.No,I have not read
    ‘Somewhere A Cat is Waiting’: Derek Tangye or as you say the classic “‘Tarka the Otter’?

    But the names go straight into my list of ‘books to be bought/read..:)
    And I am very intrigued by your description of Tabgye’s book ,

    ”as that evokes the same type of wonderful quaint “old world” England, with tales of cats and the rolling countryside of Cornwall.”

    will get back to you after raeding..:)

  25. Indyeah permalink
    January 16, 2009 7:23 pm

    Vikram:-Thank you so much.
    Yes, India is different things to different people.:)But these were my impressions of an India as seen from the perspective of two 9-10 year olds who had a limited exposure and a very limited knowledge of the world.No cable,no media as such.
    Yes,India can really become quite a long list can’t it?:)
    I really like your list.Specially the way you have written
    ”We are democracy
    We are an experiment
    We are the great hope …”
    Beautifully said….It’s an ongoing never ending experiment that started 60 + years ago and still goes on….and hopefully we’ll keep experimenting and come up with a formula that’s the essence of Democracy’.Because so many nations that are not yet free in a real sense or those who are not on the democratic path yet look towards us for hope and guidance and most of all to believe.

    Mesoliloquy:-Thank you so much.You are here now..:)and thats what matters..
    ..Yes!its still amazes me,boggles my mind that whole generations grew up on these.How everyone’s able to identify with all of these.:)Hope you had a great nostalgic trip as well..:)

  26. Gopinath's "Artickles" permalink
    January 16, 2009 9:41 pm

    Indyeah, nice perceptual picture presented about your childhood. Indian children fortunate enough to go to english schools grow up on Enid Blyton’s series. I lived through this twice. When I was a child myself and again when my daughter took to Enid’s books stronger than I did myself. She tells me even today, “Enid Blyton’s books one reads about barn-laid eggs”. Surprisingly, I found American children lately visiting us did not even know who Enid Blyton was! Keep up the good work, Indyeah!

  27. hitch writer permalink
    January 18, 2009 9:12 pm

    I just feel it is unfair on the part of TOI to not publish it in MP itself…

    Such a big state desrves its own edition !!!

  28. Indyeah permalink
    January 20, 2009 9:52 am

    Gopinath’s ”Artickles”:-Thank you so muc:)and yes, you reminded me of this fact ,that such few of us were lucky or fortunate enough to be in a position to go to these schools..
    and your daughter enjoys it!how cute!every child according to me should live that world atleast once:)
    thank you once more…:)
    PS:-I am surprised about the American children..and feeling sorry at what they have missed..

    Hitch Writer:-Very true !I too felt/feel the same…It really used to irritate me….big publications and their own politics..and profits…

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