Monday, March 26, 2012

Chinna pura ondru

It usually comes on in the afternoon, a hot afternoon. You can’t recall why you were home when it came on the radio, maybe it was your time off from work, perhaps you were in between jobs, maybe it was the job hunting days right after college. You have been asked to go and get some tea bags for the evening, so you step out not much wanting to, as the girls you liked to see come back from their schools or college will be on the way anytime now. You don’t want to be caught with cheap tea bags, it would be embarrassing. Luckily, the shop is close by, less than 5 minutes’ walk. The street is a sleepy, a banana vendor is sleeping on the cart which is under the shade of a big tree. Milkman sees you and waves from his cycle. You nod and walk on, and buy your tea from the small petty shop round the corner next to a tea shop that’s a bakery as well. Vacant stares from strange people as you pay for the stuff and cross back. The putrid smell from the rotting vegetables at the entrance of the market hits your nostrils along with the assorted smells from the shop, a medley of cigarette smoke, burning rope for lighting cigarettes, fruits, candy, and ageing biscuits. The song comes on as you walk back, and your friend is at the gate. You signal to him, pointing to the teabag, saying you’ll drop it and go to his house, which is just across from yours. It’ll be just about right to watch the girls.

Gadi bula rahi hai

It’s around 8 in the morning. You have to get ready for school that’s about 10 minutes by walk. In fact, you can see the school, which is a single big room with an asbestos sheet, from the terrace. The school is to the the left, beyond the well and a plae called buttin factory, which for some reason has sharp glass pieces stuck to the top of the wall surrounding it. To the right, there’ another well, and beyond that is a row of thatched roof houses made of clay which sit by the railway line. Two trains pass by in the morning, a slow passenger around 9 and a fast express much earlier around 8.30. It comes back in the evening in the opposite direction. Sometimes you see that from the back entrance, standing near the water tank, and over the back wall. The familiar starting tune of the morning programme comes on as you are getting ready to take a bath. It’s a one hour programme, and you usually leave after the last song. When this song comes on, you tend to think of the train that’ll pass by soon. You don’t know the meaning of the songs, you like the way it sounds.