Sitting In The Lawn …Posted: October 11, 2008
Sitting out in the lawn … Something you wouldn’t even think of during the summer months, and something which you wouldn’t get the opportunity for during the monsoons … Is something which is a very attractive scenario during certain parts of the year. When you find sitting in the lawn on a late morning (preferably having gotten up early, which is quite a wonderful thing to do if you ask me, though I don’t do much of it myself) something pleasant, then you also know that autumn is here, and winter is just round the corner.
This is something I have seen a lot of folks do. I have my Grandfather sitting out at his vantage point where he could catch the maximum sunlight … Reading the newspaper. Unless he was discussing politics with his friends … Otherwise, they could have been discussing grandchildren (quite unlikely … That was more Grandma’s domain). That was the time of the mohalla … When Grandpa would sit on his favourite chair, along with his friends … On another part of the street we (the boys) would be playing Kanche, Gilli Danda, Lattoo, or as we grew up, Cricket …
This was the scene in the mornings … Wonderful mornings, when the vacations were on, and thanks to Grandpa, Mom couldn’t bully me into completing my homework before going out to play. Homework was something which could be done on the last day of the holidays, which is something my son has definitely inherited from me.
Grandmas wouldn’t be found there just yet, as Lunch had to be cooked, and the street would be a heady mix of aromas … Aaloo Gobhi, Matar Paneer, Paalak da Saag,and of course … Saron da Saag, Maanh di Daal, or Aaloo Methi, the Paraanthaas (there was Aaloo, Gobhi, Methi, Mooli and more …), and of course … The ubiquitous Gobhi Shalgam da Achaar. And for those of us who managed to get entangled in Mom’s clutches, there would the inevitable Saron de tel (or Badaam Rogan, though this was usually reserved for the kids … You see, we were grown up … All of seven?) di maalish.
Lunch, and as one of the protagonists in Malgudi would say … It is only the tribe of boys who cannot or would not sleep in the afternoon … And Grandma gets some time to gossip. This, however, is accompanied by some frenetic activities … The clatter if needles as they dash around knitting something or the other … The count of loops being kept under their breath … Or the tweezers plying themselves with all of Grandma’s enthusiasm to make the delicacy for the kids, peeling the skin off those hapless Kharboozaa seeds, which once skinned, would find their way into the Sooji da Halwa (believe me, these are an acquired taste).
So, the next time someone asks me, I am going to tell them that sitting in the lawn on a late autumn morning reminds me of Kharbooze de beej … And let them figure out the rest.
For, when the warm sunshine feels soothing, and the breeze tickles your senses, and she dances, waving her supple fingers in the sunshine, winter cannot be far away. And when winter isn’t far away, would these memories be far away.