Monday, April 09, 2007

The swing

My aji's house in chembur has a swing outside it. This Saturday, I was waiting for my uncle outside. So to pass the time, I went to sit on it. It had been so long since i sat on that swing.
But as I sat on it and started swinging slowly, it brought back memories from when I was little.

The swing is a bright yellow in colour now. It used to be a sky blue. It also seems much smaller now. Back then 5 of us cousins used to fit on it. And my eldest cousin bro used to stand and hold the edge of the swing, pull it all the way back until it was almost this point, all the 5 of us tiny creatures would be screaming loudly and hanging on for dear life to the swing poles. After holding us in that vertical position for what seemed like an eternity, he'd let go. And the 5 of us would fly away on that big blue swing. It swung forward, till it almost hit the wall in front. It'd swing back, at which point my cousin would give it another big push. And we'd fly again. And the screams would continue.

My aji's house also had this aawla tree in the yard. Now the branches of this tree were at the height of my aunts terrace which was above aji's house. So 2-3 of us would go to the terrace and the rest of the cousins would gather at the foot of the tree. The ones on the terrace would hit the branches of the tree with a long bamboo stick (the one that was normally used for drying clothes) and the cousins below would collect all the aawlas as they fell from the tree.

The aawlas were then dutifully handed over to aji, who'd wash them and soak them in salt water. The bowl of salt soaked aawla's was handed over to us. And we'd all gather on the swing ( All the 6 of us somehow managed to sit on it)..with the aawla bowl in the middle. The rest of the afternoon was spent trying to eat as many as possible before the others gobbled them down. I think we spent most of the time trying to keep count of how many all the others had eaten.

After that it was time for pannha and rava laddoos at aji's house. Till date I haven't tasted better pannha.

Aawlas and Pannha still always remind me of those summer days.

Idyllic Summers. Idyllic Memories.

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