Forty six

Those streets of Indiranagar during 1998-2000, that I walked through when I was five years old; stopping by at the ‘Shanthi Sagar’ hotel with my mom to have Idli Sambar every morning. Mom would carry my teeny weeny bag for me as I’d hop stamping the yellow May flowers fallen on the way to my play home. And then there would be Radha Miss, sitting in her wooden chair. Her motherly face would take me back to the first day in play home where I cried my heart out as I watched my mother leave through the door that was kept half opened. She fed me the bread and jam from my tiffin, wiping the tears off my face and nose, assuring that my mother would be back in no time and pick me up home. And of the beautiful people, whose faces and actions are etched in my mind even this day, after over two decades – the boyfriend Kishan with round spectacles and his mean sister, the fat Catholic owner back in home who wouldn’t let me make noise in and around, the Tamilian neighbours, and the girlfriend whose mom would give me Cadbury’s everytime I went to their house. Those were also the times I have remembrance of my months old baby brother crawling on the bed, and how although he looked the cutest I wanted to punch him in his face. And then there were unfinished memories of the rich kids from the not so far apartment whom we once played hide and seek with at an under construction building. My first ever nightmare of a grinning stranger sitting on the steps of a medical shop, gripping a cigarette between two of his fingers, looking at which I had my father’s hand hold mine. And the evenings in the terrace with mom holding my baby brother in her arms, while I’d pluck the pink flowers that climbed up through the stairs and carefully placed them into my straw basket as the wind ballooned my petticoat and blew my messy hair when the sun went down.
Today when I happen to come across this place which is now called as the ‘New Thipasandra’, there sure is the yearning to go back, walk on those roads I once used to, drop into the playhome and the house if they still exist, have a tête-à-tête coffee with the girlfriend who would now have grown up to become a lovely woman.
And these days when my dad mentions me of Silk board, Johnson market, Nice road, Wilson garden, Brigade road and so on, and asks me, ‘Don’t you remember? I used to take you to these places when you were little’, my five year head tries hard to recollect while he would have moved forward in a long way with more stories to share, of his good old days in Bangalore before it went on to become one of the happening cities that it is now.
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