Thursday, April 29, 2010

WHEN SUN WAS FUN...

...and we are young. Not afraid of sweat. Not bothered about tanning and wrinkles. Not aware of UVA and UVB and UVC and UVD (just kidding).

When we were young, the sun meant...

...squinting our eyes up at the blue-gold dazzle of the sky to test who could look at the sun without squinting.

...frolicking about the house and garden wearing only a thin white 'penny' or 'tepjama' (a white cotton camisole with - inevitably - birds and flowers shadow-embroidered around the hemline and torso).

...trying to catch and intensify the sun-rays through Baba's magnifying glass and make a piece of paper catch fire (just as the Enid Blyton kids seemed to do so easily do when they were lost in islands or mountains or valleys).

...watching impatiently as Ma and Barama (aunt) made circles of boiled and spice-added sabudana-dough (tapoica) on a large piece of cloth (usually an old saree) and put it out in the sun to dry. These would become Sabudana Papads in a few days, and we would crunch-munch them down after they were crisply fried in a kadai (wok) full of oil.

...endless rounds of splashing around and swimming about in our neighbour's pond, all in the name of 'cooling off'.

...waiting for Dida (grandmother) to doze off in the afternoon so that we could go up on the chhaad (roof-terrace) and steal our fill of mango, lemon and tamarind pickles left out to mature in the sunlight. The trick was to remove the thin white cloth covering the boyam (china jar), take out the pickles, eat, wash your hands and then to put back the cloth. If you tied the cloth back before washing your hands, it would leave tell-tale oil stains on the cloth. We even found out how to remove the oil-residue from our palms. Although there was no soap on the roof-terrace, we dug out soil from the flower pots and rubbed them all over our palms. That got rid of the oil pretty effectively.

Yes, sun was fun, once upon a time.

WHAT DID YOU DO, OUT IN THE SUN?

11 comments:

Lazyani said...

Yeah, aachar churi was an intrinsic part of summer vacation.

And we had those sweaty games of football in the sun, the very same sun which drives to switch on the A.C. of the car.

Is the sun hotter or have I grown old? Both, maybe:)

Kavi said...

Cricket matches under the sunkissed arid lands of the South...were just unimaginable !

Stepping out of the office airconditioning these days...is unimaginable too.

Too domesticated ! Perhaps

OfficeTips said...

I do not remember reveling under the summer sun - even in my childhood. But, I had my own way of 'Fun under the Sun' in the winters. I used to take a plastic bucket in the garden, turn it upside down, and used to sit on it for hours under the sun. Even a severe bout of sun allergy on my face could not make me give up my favourite pastime!!

Santanu Sinha Chaudhuri said...

You have been looking at the changes that have happened in us from so many different perspectives. A compilation of your posts will make a very interesting book. Pl tell me when you get them published. I'd love to buy a copy.

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Rajesh said...

Nice memories. Even I used to trying burning the paper in The Sun light. It used to be thrilling experience.

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lopamudra said...

I can relate to achar churi and the 'tape frock' with birds and flowers.Being a full time Mom I do have my share of fun in the sun too but obviously not the same way.Being a kid makes all the difference.

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Sucharita Sarkar said...

Thanks for taking us out in the sun of your memories

Peter Rozovsky said...

For me it was the magnifying glass, though used on wood rather than paper. I'd try to burn my name smoothly enough that the letters would appear as continous lines rather than as discrete dots.

It was awesome to be able to do this with the aid of nothing more than a magnifying glass. Oh, and the sun's help, too, of course.
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