Friday, April 01, 2005

annoyment

Our youngest aunt, Ranchitam chitti,said she had to go to Kattukolli to weed the groundnut patch, and offered to take us with her. Anand dug deep into his trunk and brought out his tightly wrapped newspaper bundle that contained many little bundles tied with cotton string. Each mysterious bundle of musty newpaper and white crisscross strings held a potent ingredient that went into the maanja. He alone knew in what order and in what manner each had to be unveiled and used.
So fresh after breakfast, my granny repowdered our faces, buckled my sandals, and off we went. we three, Ranchitam chitti in her yellow print saree with white flowers, red dot bindi and mallipoo carrying a wirebag with a pot with a broken handle and a blackened ladle, Anand in his black shorts and brown half slacks with brown stripes, me in my favourite sleeveless frock that mother stitched for last year's Deepavali. dark kaapi and light kaapi coloured bunches of little flowers all over, frilly sleeves and hem lined with lace that only reached my knees.
we had to walk on a narrow path, that led from the last house in the Marapattu (ours), bordered the rice fields of my granny, fallow fields of our neighbours of the Parvatam house, cut across the shopkeeper Kaali anna's mango orchard, rounded the big open well of our mango orchard, and reached the main road. the road connecting Madras to Bangalore. The main road that pushed lorry drivers to race like maniacs that had killed two of our cows (blackie cow and red dotted cow which had been pregnant) last year through the sheer carelessness of the servant boy, who we promptly dismissed.
The path was so narrow, so only one adult or two children or one cow could walk shoulder to shoulder. Ranchitam chitti walked first, holding the rope of the white cow that walked behind her. Ofcourse Anand wouldnt walk with me, he always walked in front of me, but behind the cow trying to avoid its swishing tail fanning away mosquitoes and carrying his newspaper bundle. I walked with my buckled new sandals, touching every bush of touch-me-not on the way watching it shrink with fear and shyness, and collecting little purple flowers and big yellow flowers for my Science Holiday Homework and secretly breaking off leaves of --- the oozed poisonous milk that I let drip fascinatedly squeezing all along the way.
Once we reached the main road, we had to cross it, then we would leave the village behind and enter the territory of the hills. after looking right first, then left and then right again, the three of us but not the cow that only kept chewing and salivating and swishing its tail, we crossed the road in a sprint, for the mad crazy lorry drivers would be driving so fast that they would be upon you and over you and away in a quick breath, and then where would you be?
From now on the path would be wider, for we would be walking along the sandy flood water canals. It seems that long long ago, the river Paalaru used to flood when it rained, so long ago when it actually had water in it, so they had cut these canals out of solid earth so that the water could be routed to the fields in Kattukolli and so that it wouldnt flood the villages. But now there were no rains, no water, only deeper and deeper and dryer wells, so the canal was safe to walk in, sandy and only strewn with dried hard balls of goat shit and occasional smelly lump of cowshit, strecthed on a winding route with scraggly bushes on both sides that the cow kept stopping to sniff at and to chew, my aunt muttering stupid cow can't you wait till you get to the field? and I kept stopping too at honey-suckle bushes to suck out the honey from the many tubes of tiny pink and orange flowers, and to pick red fruits that were edible, unlike other red fruit that could be poisonous and only my aunt could tell which was which.

6 comments:

Rohit Jayakaran said...

Nice to see your blogs are back. Looking forward to them. I have promised myself I will blog again...god knows their are enough adventures to write about...

Aisha said...

hey! good to hear from ya. howz london treatin you? Be cool! (and uh dont watch the movie. it sux)

Anonymous said...

hey that sounds like a gril from vaniyambaddi.. who loves vodumbu curry... "manja".. "kathhatdi"...{ my favourite terms } and u and ur brother used to catch fishes in coconut shells..? am i right..

guess u still copy a lot from gulmohor .. hope u remember....

Anonymous said...

hey that sounds like a gril from vaniyambaddi.. who loves vodumbu curry... "manja".. "kathhatdi"...{ my favourite terms } and u and ur brother used to catch fishes in coconut shells..? am i right..

guess u still copy a lot from gulmohor .. hope u remember....
and if u can just do e-mail me ....

The Unadulterated Cat said...

hey, whose this who knows me from vaniyambadi? u havent left ur email address. how did you find my blog? no my brother and i never fished with coconut shells. we didint anything 'togeher'. im going to revive this blog again. soon as i have time. christmas break. like from tomorrow evening.

an old admirer said...

Hi...
Nice to hear that you are alive...

I am very sorry..
I would rectify the statement...

Anita and her borther together was something "NEXT to NEVER".

They would and only quarrel...

Boy.... she hated him like the same same way she hated me once..

You and your brother never fished together...

You only used to tell me that ..
your brother used to catch fishes using a coconut shell..

You said you liked your uncle a lot..
that he used get you "Voudhumbu curry"...

you have never included your uncle character in any of your blogs..

Happy to see you blogging again...
Keep going