Walking down the street on a lazy sunday evening I feel like every step I take stretches into endless minutes as I smell the strings of jasmine being so cleverly woven into garlands by the old flower lady and the bundles of yellow and orange marigolds happily sitting with the roses.
I laugh out loud seeing the antics of the litter of pups fighting and rollicking on the pile of sand and hear whistling of a tune forgotten a long time back. I realise it’s me. Ah, lazy Sunday evening.
I watch an old man peddle his bicyle with his wife pushing it from behind as strains of old Kannada songs fill the air. There are pictures of the Hanuman, the monkey God vying for space with Shanishwar. They stop the cycle in the middle of the marketplace and hopefully look around. Too proud to beg people for alms but still hopeful of getting some.
These sights remind me of a childhood gone by when Bangalore in May meant pleasant breeze; cool showers; flaming Forest of the Fire flowers; the gulmohars; champas fallen on the road, their heady fragrance giving one a head ache; the icecream walla with his tring tring and us kids running after him asking him for mango and orange candy sticks; mosima (my petite grandma) and the fragrance of Charmis cream; grandpa hovered over a wood stove busy frying samosas for his hungry brood of grandkids; empty ice cream tubs turned into 2-way telephones and strings of kite hovering in the air; guavas thrown at us; pomegranates-laden bushes; cream and jam-filled buns; fresh bread; the chaatwallah with his masala puris; aunts and uncles huddle up over endless games of cards and Abba playing in the background………….
Ah, I could just go on and on…
As I walk down my street on this lazy Sunday evening my good ole’ city seems to be back. I smile and get smiles in return; the neighbourhood doesn’t seem threatening with its dark corners; and as I trace my steps back home the fragrance of ginger in piping hot upma hits my nose.
Yet another childhood memory, this time of me kicking and screaming for I’m tired of eating that staple most days of the week and I can’t stand it anymore.
Now I would do anything to turn back time and sit on my grandma’s lap as she lovingly tries to ply the upma into the mouth of a sulking, pony-tailed brat.