Thursday, 5 April 2007

Childhood vacations :)

Bala has asked me to write about eight summer vacations I have enjoyed..yeah..I enjoy it summer or any other season :)

I am not writing it chronologically but I will just start from my childhood vacations .

Most of my life was spent at my grandparents place and it was the meeting ground for all of us cousins :)

I am very lucky to have a cousin of my age and we used to be the best of playmates. My cousin L was living in a joint family and so used to visit us only during weekends..(this was our maternal grandma's place ) .

Our grandpa's place was a huge big house surrounded by a well planned garden with lots of trees and we used to treat it like one big play area. L used to come up with novel games that involved mud , clay , water ..everything that my grandma disapproved of ...but very exciting for us kids :)

L's house had a water boiler ( the traditional one made of copper with the chute in the middle where u put the fuel..twigs, coal, dried cow dung mixed with god knows what all stuff). Yeah..u can see these in tea stalls even today :)
L taught me how to prepare 'boiler urundai' (original ones are made with cow dung+ all stuffs mixed and shaped into balls and sun-dried) using clay , mud and water :)

oooohhhh !!! I tell u there is nothing akin to the pleasure of dipping ur hands in cold wet clay and mud mixture. She was a good tutor..taught me how to knead it and make it into perfect spheres. But where we went wrong was the place we chose to dry it....right on the newly painted window sill of my grandparents bedroom :(
Oh that was the greatest crime :( the ball sat there alright...but the muddy water dripped all over the place and created a big mess.

Then she taught me how to do 'patties' (virati) out of the same stuff...haa haaa...this is a great skill where u need to slap the mud mixture real hard on the wall to make it stick. We used up the entire East facing wall to dry our 'patties' .

In the evening when my grandmother opened the windows , one by one the boiler urundais were rolling out :(
I need to tell you that my grandma is skilled in caning and always had a cane handy
:( . Had it not been for my lovely grandpa..we wld have been history by now :) After our chores were over..we'd walk into the hall , on the carpets..with our muddy feet and hands and plop ourselves on the sofa ....I think my grandma became a BP patient because of us :P

Then , once we had entrepreneural ideas and wanted to start our own business. We had abundant goose berries (not the big round ones..these were the small indented Amlas) in the garden and both of us picked them from the ground and took it out near the gate and made piles of those on a neatly spread towel :) we have experience going to fish markets with our ppl and so know how to haggle :) . Believe me...our first venture was a utter flop as not a soul came to buy was our neighbour's ( who happens to be my grandpa's brother) gardener Kannan..again someone whom we know rt from our birth ...who bought some taking pity on us. Later as the sun went up , we gave up, putting our failure down to bad location and donated all the gooseberries to Kannan and closed our business..atleast we had'nt invested much :P

This was the time when we were into games like 7 stones , 5 stones , Paandi (Hopscotch) and lots of games with little shells ( cowrie shells). Evenings would be marked with grandpa taking us to the beach and we would fly kites there.....the kite vendor had to pull the kite up...but later we got the hang of it...and its such a pleasure to do it in the beach even now :)

There was another adventure..where we'd go flower picking :) We used to love 'Magizham poo' I just dont know what its called in English....its a light brown...tiny flower that blooms in a huge tree and it has a natural bore in the center so that it can be threaded and worn as a string. Oh ! Its fragrance is Chennai you can see that tree in woodlands drive-in restaurant right across the the parking lot, adjacent to the play area. Its one huge big tree and luckily the ground below is paved so its easy to pick flowers there :P
L and I used to go to the third house from ours and there were two huge trees there...while we were picking flowers from the pavement...the aunty from the house invited us to pick from inside the house too :P That house had all those fancy accessories like fountains. We gladly obliged and got ourselves wet by going near the fountains and were so happy to come back home and thread the flowers. But it was not a happy ending ...that aunty had to call my grandma praising (?) our flower picking skills and u know what happened after that :(

Then came the phase of moms putting us in several summer classes...out of all the classes I attended , I only learnt swimming and fell for it hook ,line and sinker (literally) :P

Later during teens we were more into reading , watching movies and learning driving . Most of the time we would be together doing our girly girly talks.
My grandpa used to take us fishing regularly...on retrospect I think its to make us help him with winding the reel ... with the knots and run general errands :)
But small games were fun and we have caught little fishes ( koduva) . Sometimes those were used as baits for big games . Big games were nothing but a big bore where u cast the line and wait , wait and wait for the baracuda to come and bite :P

When I was around fifteen my mom wanted me to learn sewing and type-writing...and at the end of two months I had one crooked hanky and a trapezium shaped pillow case to talk of my sewing skills . As for typewriting , I could flawlessly type asdfgf ;lkjhj while use the correct fingers at the same time :))

But our summer vacations had generous sprinklings of card games (rummy) , cycling , visits and travelling :)

I think more than anything its the innocence that really made us enjoy those exotic holidays, foreign travels or luxury cruises can bring back those times and that happiness.

Thank you very much Bala...for making me take a trip down memory lane to those wonderful times :)

Ravi , Pegasus , Just Words , Adiya , Harish , Syam (Natamai) and KK !
Would you like to write a post about ur childhood summer vacations ?
It's fun , I promise !!! :)


balar said...

Excellent post sree and thanks for taking it...:)

marupadiyum vandhu original comment poduren..


Sree's Views said...

Hey Bala....unga original commentukku wait pannaren :P

harish said...

yennai maadri vetti pasangaluku 24x7 vacation than ponga...
coming to grandma...wonder why most of us are fond of maternal grandma and not paternal ones?!!

Voracious Blog Reader said...

Hi Sree,

Long time since I commented or even read blogs. Yawn yawn.

Great going.

Voracious Blog Reader

Adiya said...

thats nice package of events..

esp hot water boiling even though our place is hot its fun to boil water in the morning with all the twigs, papers, and have it. just awesome. my granys main morning task is that only. she tightly engages her self to put for my grand pa of-course rest of us also. awesome..

nanga ellam swiming povam, to flux the morning break-fast activity daily one one athai take charge drag every body to cauvery river. like buffaloas we get soaked in the river for 2 to 3 hours and come back to have break-fast..

appuram appuram lots n lots inga. super memories.

vacations , going to thatha/pattis house with full mood, group of kins, fights, cry, games, .. that cannot be rendered now / busy world kind.

definitely i have lot of post lined up on similar lines. u can see as planned.

Just Words said...

hey Sree excellent post … I am sure who ever reads your blog will have a nice refreshing trip to their own child hood , those wonderful carefree times we spend as kids growing in our own world full of mischief’s and and all those self invented games and what not …. some how even when we grown up this memories manage to bring back the smile. any day

You seem to have an amazing child hood and you and your cousin L made a great tag team :-) what better way to spend time that playing with mud and making the elders go running after you and going for fishing , and not to mention the entrepreneurial ship that you learned . a well laid foundation I say :-)
A well paced and humorous post which manages to bring back found memories thanks sree

balar said...

Great post Sree....

Thanks for the "Boiler Urundai" Info. very interesting...:)

/*she taught me how to do 'patties' (virati) out of the same stuff*/
Appo kaivasam innoru sooooooooper thozhil irukku...:):)

/games like 7 stones , 5 stones */
Idhu enna gameungo.kelvi pattathu illaiye..gals only game????

/**Most of the time we would be together doing our girly girly talks. **/
Idhai neengae sollatalum engalakkku than theriyumae neengae idhaithan seiveengaannu :):).

Looks like you had great fun at your childhood age...:)

Ungaloda "Malarum Ninaivugal" rombava nalla irukku...:)

KK said...

Super post.... seems like you have had fun during your childhood... rekindled a few things about my childhood... might write a post on that soon :)

Syam said...

nice post...magalir ani thalaiviye....enakkum palaya nyabaga vandhu...cousins oda oor suthinathu ellaam nyabagam varuthu :-)

Syam said...

tag ah naan ah....sari ivalo thooram solli irukeenga...konjam time kudunga va.vaa sangam mudichitu vandhu elutharen :-)

Just Words said...

hey sree its me again ... well I had the opportunity of browsing through some of your old posts … now I realize how much i have missed … and am trying to catch up as fast as possible on this vivid posts .. have to admit I am Hooked


Hi Shree,
I just came across ur blog when i visited Kamal Angelo's blog. In fact ur blog's title made me curious to see what is there in it. I have gone through ur "childhood vacations".
It was really refreshing reading all ur experiences. Some times i used wonder whether people really give so much importance for the small small things(yet immensly beautiful) in life!?! When ever i see guys who r born and brought up in the city atmosphere, i feel sorry for what all they missed for not being born in the village.
U know, by reading all that u wrote, for a while i was in my childhood flying kites, fishing...
Keep writing. Its very nice.

Sree's Views said...

Hello Harish ..
Vaanga vaanga :)
Appadee paaka ponaa naan kooda periyaa vettidhaan :P

//why most of us are fond of maternal grandma and not paternal ones?!//

hmm I have given it some thgt too :)
I guess its because our mothers spend all their free time in their parent's place and we stick with our mothers :)
Actually we can do a post on it..avalo factors contributing to this :)
(Mainaa maternal grandma nambala nalla saathana...namba mothers kandukka maataanga ;-) where there is that kind of lienience we feel very close :) )
Sari...when do we expect ur post on this?

Sree's Views said...

Heyyyyyyyyyyyyyy Partner :)
How are u ? How is ur work going ?

aaaamaaa idhu ennadhu ...
//Long time since I commented or even read blogs. Yawn yawn.//

Yaara paathu "yawn yawn"..en blogaa paatha udaney apadiyey.."sooriyanai kanda thaamari pol " irukka vendaama hmm ? ;-) lol
Missed you and ur comments so much !
Warm welcome (back ) to you with nice murukkus :P !!!

Sree's Views said...

Hey Adiya...
// my granys main morning task is that only//
Actually we had something like an element inside a big brass vessel (Andaa) and we had to fill it with water and switch it on....what u say is rt..why do we need hot water when it's so hot in summer in Madras :)
wow....cauvery la swimmingaa soooper :)
//like buffaloas we get soaked in the river for 2 to 3 hours//

lol..even now my brother is like that...u know ..swimming for him is walking in the pool..he is 6'4" and can walk with his head out of water in most of the pools even in the deep end :) and we can never resist singing "ponn ondru kanden...penn angu illai..ennendru naan solla vendumaa " imitating Sivaji and Balaji !
Yaa..Athais and Chitis are the ones who get affected by summer vacations :)
Cant wait to read ur post on this ,Adiya :)

Sree's Views said...

Hello JW...
//own world full of mischief’s //
ooooh..not me ...I was always quiet and obedient :) My cousin can vouch for that :P
We (L and I ) were made to feel like a cpl of unruly brats because we thought we were the only ones who played with wet mud...only now I see there's a club out here :)
Fishing is a serious affair ..its takes half a day's preparation..getting the tackles ready..arranging live baits and then getting roasted in hot sun :( and top it all run errands for the elderly anglers :(

//entrepreneurial ship that you learned . a well laid foundation I say :-) //
J....I rather stick to service industry..once bitten twice shy :P

U r right !!! Surely puts a smile on our faces :)
Anytime.. J :) and what about ur post ?

and ur second comment :)
//now I realize how much i have missed //
//vivid posts .. have to admit I am Hooked // day is made :)
Thanks for your kind and encouraging words J :)

Sree's Views said...

Hey Balaaa...vandhuteenga as promised :) I am happy :)
//Thanks for the "Boiler Urundai" Info. very interesting...:)//
Bala..have u ever seen a real Boiler Urundai ? :P ...Next time when u come to India...u can try making it with the original ingredients ;-) lol

//Appo kaivasam innoru sooooooooper thozhil rukku...:):)//

Yeah..absolutely....even if I say I am not interested in business..the entrepreneural tigress (the sleeping , lazy one :P ) in me always gives me
ideas :P . I have always considered mechanising 'virati' making (may be using an obsolete hydraulic press) and packaging and labelling it attractively and then marketing it :)) Ungala dhan
inauguration kku koopiduven ROTFL :)

yeah..5 stones and 7 stones are gals only games but some paavam jeevans like my brother also tried their hands at it :P ..bala..'anjaankaai'..'ezhaaankai' kelvi pattadhu illaiyaa?

//neengae idhaithan seiveengaannu :):).//
Girly girly talks illaina lifey odaadhupaa..adhu 'secret of our energy' :P
Thanks Bala for appreciating the post :)

Sree's Views said...

Vaanga vaanga Atlas Valibar..thiru Naataami avargaley :P
katchi velai ellam katchidhama mudichitten :P
//cousins oda oor suthinathu ellaam nyabagam varuthu :-) //
Adhu sari...neenga chumma oorai rendu panni irupeengaley :P

Onnum avasaram illainga Naatama..medhuva matha katchi vela..vetti vela...mokkai vela..aani pudungara vela ellam mudichittu vandhu tag ezhudhunga...neenga ezhudhuna adhu oru azhagu illaya :P
Katchi thalamaikku oru 'jaing japp' :P

Sree's Views said...

Hello Rajasekhar...
Welcome here :)
Yeah..u r very right..its the small things in life that brings great happiness...
I can give so many instances...I like sitting on the overhead water tank of my friend's place in late evenings and chat away to glory :)...playing pictionary in a large group...taking the dinner to the terrace on a full moon day....these are simple things but gives us so much joy :)
Rajasekhar..I was born and brgt up in a city too...but I guess my grandparents are very conservative ppl and held traditions close to their hearts :) I was brgt up by them and I think that their village life-style rubbed off on me :)
Oh! You fish too ? That's nice :) So what kind of fishes have u caught ?

Thanks for ur comment :)

Sree's Views said...

Hello KK...
Naan ungaliyum tag panni irukken :) childhood was great but appo appo had thin patches like flunking in hindi :( :P
Naan varutha patta kooda enga thatha..."ennamaa..adhu namba languagey illa" nnu solliduvaar :P
Tamil la flunkaana avar "Sree kku English dhaan nalla varum" nnu solluvaar
hee hee English teacher kku ennai pidikkum....enga garden la irundhu poo ellam koduppen :) so epomey pass :)

Unga post kaaga waiting :)

Pegasus said...

i loved your post... primarily because I always wanted to go to a village but could never make it.
Its fun to be a kid again... instead of staying all by yourself away from home and relataives

balar said...


/*Bala..have u ever seen a real Boiler Urundai */
parthirukken,engae villagelae..appram kerala tour ponapppa ella tea stallaiyum...but ungalai mathiri use pannathu kidaiyathu.:).

/*I have always considered mechanising 'virati' making (may be using an obsolete hydraulic press) and packaging and labelling it attractively and then marketing it*/ Good forward thinking..:)

/*Ungala dhan inauguration kku koopiduven */Salma voda kandippa aajar agiduvenae...ungalakku free AD kidaichappla aaidum..:)

/*anjaankaai'..'ezhaaankai' kelvi pattadhu illaiyaa?*/ enakku therinchadu ellam "nambikai","thumbikai" ,"vazhukkai" :):)..

/*secret of our energy'*/ thanks for the secret answer..:):)

Sree's Views said...

Hello Pegasus....
Thanks a lot for the kind words :)
Oh u want go to a village ...actually u can get some of these things in cities too. Fishing , flying the kite etc can be done in cities :)
Yeah ..u r right...who wld'nt want to go back to those carefree days of their child-hood !
I always envied the bachelors who live alone and enjoy all the freedom...but looks like there is another side to it must be difficult to be away from home and family.
So..can we expect a post on this from u?

Sree's Views said...

Hello Bala..
Wish you a very Happy Birthday !

//but ungalai mathiri use pannathu kidaiyathu.:).//
Ayoo naan enna pannenpaa...andha clay urundaiya veyil padara edathula kaaya vechadhu kooda thappa :( lol

//marketing it*/ Good forward thinking..:)//
Romba pughazhadheenga Bala...edho en chinna arivikku etinadhu :P
Virati ya custom size la panni, label pottu...azhaga pack panni ..mela 'absolutely biodegradable' nnu pottu vithaa........ahaaa :P

Ahaaaaa...inaugurationkku Salma va kootittu varuveengala.....hmmm..venaam paa enga kadaila irukara virati ellam karanjee poidum..appuram neenga inaugrate panna freshaa virati naan function appo thatina nallava irukkum:P
So neenga function mudinjee naanga pota maalaiyoda Salmava paaka samatha poveengalaam :P

Hello Bala..adhu 'kai' illa 'kaai' like in veg kaai :P Appadiye paathalum 'valakai', 'idakkai' marandhuteengaley :P

//thanks for the secret answer..://
Enappa....neenga sollaradha paatha..adhukku vettu vaika yosikara maari irukku...adhellam onum mudiyaadhu... :)
So enjoy Paneengala , B'day ?

Pegasus said...

//I always envied the bachelors who live alone and enjoy all the freedom...//
and I always envied you... anyhow
grass is greener on the other side....

//it must be difficult to be away from home and family.//
As long as you are having fun... things are great... you do not need to ask for permissions, be answerable to anyone, do what do like go where u wish, stay away late.

but the moment loneliness strikes you... there will be no escape.. there won't be someone to cook you fav food, nurse u when u r ill, or simply hug u when...

//So..can we expect a post on this from u?//
The closest I could go in writing about myself or my vacation was.
it was fun... We went to goa (4 strangers from different cities) and spend the diwali there.

balar said...

Thank you very much sree..:)

Sree's Views said...

Hey Pegasus..
//As long as you are having fun... things are great... you do not need to ask for permissions, be answerable to anyone, do what do like go where u wish, stay away late.

but the moment loneliness strikes you... there will be no escape.. there won't be someone to cook you fav food, nurse u when u r ill, or simply hug u when...//

Most men have to give up on the first to get the second ;-) lol !!

Sree's Views said...

Hey Bala...welcome :)
.....birthday cake enga ;-)

Pegasus said...

//Most men have to give up on the first to get the second ;-) lol !!//

actually they coexist... life staying alone is like a sinusoidal curve with peaks and troughs..
while with your family its static and predictable

Sree's Views said...

Hey Pegasus....
//actually they coexist... //
Oh ! that's perfection personified :)

Jeevan said...

You have very sweet vocation with cousins and fishing with grandpa. I too use to play with mud, clay, water... with cousins, we usually do TV box, radio, theare…

In stone game I am very poor, my fav is 5 stone. Asking which stone they want to hold in hand and being careful keeping them on the fingers and collecting all other stones is fun!

I have been in woodlands drive-in for multi times, I have see that huge trees and flowers. Much of our weekends were playing in the sea saw swing in drive-in some years back. U has nice memories, and we have good consensus on sometings:)

Sree's Views said...

Hello Jeeva...
Mud la vilaiyadaradhey oru jolly daaney :)
Appppaaaa !!! 5 stones pathi oruthanga kooda purinjikaliyennu paathen...romba thanks..correct taa soneenga...naan kai mela irukara endha stoneaa irundhaalum keezha vizhaama aadiduven...naaney enna pathi sollikka koodaadhu :P lol

Oh I am so happy u have noticed that tree there...naan kooda andha play area la neraiya aadi irukken..and its convieniently behind the ice cream kiosk :) yeah..looks like we have visitied the same places as kids :)
Thanks Jeeva !!


Hi Sree,
waiting to read new stuff.
Why don't u write on the books books u loved the most?

Sree's Views said...

Hello Rajasekhar...yeah I will..thanks for giving me an idea :)

Ravi said...

Sree, appadiye you took me to those good old summer vacation days... Okay, this definitely sounds interesting. Let me try a hand on this. Btw, did you mean me in the list at the end of your post?

Sree's Views said...

Hello Ravi...
Thank you very much. I am happy u r taking up the tag..adhu oru request dhaan :)
I am sure ur post wld be filled with interesting things like "elandha pazham" :)
Aamanga Ravi...ungalala dhaan mean pannen...aana neenga dhaan aala kaanom :P

Ravi said...

Sree, Nandri. Infact I have touched upon something close in one of my old posts (February 2006).

Aboorva said...

/”foreign travels or luxury cruises can bring back those times and that happiness./”
As a result of trip I feel u definitely feel more self Confident, more aware of your surroundings and generally prepared yourself for life and its challenges ....nice post :)

Sree's Views said...

Hey Aboorva...
U r opens up our mind and widens our perspective.
Ya..meeting new ppl and seeing new cultures def. broadens our out-look .
When I said that we cant get that happiness again..I meant that , when we are kids we do things without giving it a second thgt..and that's the beauty of it.
But is great fun and great learning experience :)
Thanks Aboorva :)