Fridays were my favourite, not just because they ushered in the weekend but it was also the day of 'Oliyum OLiyum' in the Doordarshan era. As a kid, I was quite regular with my homework. Amma & Appa had ordered this writing desk and a mini stool on wheels especially for me, from my grandpa (Mom's maternal uncle). I loved sitting on that desk and doing my school work. And on days when I got bored of the desk, I would lie on my stomach under the sofa, with just my head and hands out and write. And fridays being fridays, I was exempted from doing homework and I would spend all my time in front of the TV.
Do you ever wake up wishing you were somewhere else? I do. More often than I would normally like to. This is a beautiful country. I lead a luxurious life, in fact it is more than what I could have ever imagined in my little world but yet I long for the simplicity of the eighties, when the bell of the cotton candy man was enough to make you break into your best smile.
There is a bird singing outside our apartment and a few sparrows chirping sweetly to each other. Back in Tirunelveli, my Granparent's house was a traditional one with a long pyol(thinnai) in front of it. Every morning after washing the pyol, drawing the kolam, grandma would scatter grains of rice which would attract many sparrows. When Devi was around, we cousins fought among us for the honour of being "the one who brought the sparrows" for our li'l angel, every morning. The house no longer exists neither does our angel.
As part of every summer vacation in Tirunelveli, we used to stay a few days in Vadakathi Mathil, a truly remote village in the South. All the houses were mud houses with no toilet. Every one went to the woods/fields for the morning ablutions and then washed at the pump set. As kids who didn't care about the toilets, we loved to run across the fields, our skirts/trousers held above our heads, giggling and making fun of each other. After that age, I never wanted to stay in Vadakathi Mathil, with its open toilets and mud houses with no electricity. We lost those innocent moments, the day we grew up.
I doubt if my kids will ever see such traditional houses. Will they ever understand the romanticism of waiting for sparrows on a wet thinnai? Would they be ashamed to run butt-naked across open fields? One of the worst blows Fate ever deals is when it grants us what we want. Our superior technology, fancy gadgets and intercontinental travel. I wanted all of this. I surely did. I wanted a big house with atleast 4 guest rooms for all my cousins and their kids to stay when they came home, a big kitchen where all the aunts, grandmoms would meet,talk and fight about life, a beautiful garden with plants which my Grandpa can identify with eyes closed, a sunny verandah with an easy chair where Appa can retire with his many books and newspapers, a huge study filled with shelves and shelves of books where I would spend my time reaidng to my li'l ones....
The truth is I might get all the material things in the above dream without the people in it and that's what makes me wish I had never changed; makes me long for the uncomplicated life of yesteryears. Of budgets made in Eagle diaries, of walks on Marina beach every weekend and of oliyum oLiyum on Fridays.
Yes, fridays will always be my favorite. Coz Amma says, prayers said on Friday will most likely come true.P.S: I need to cut short as I am very late for office.