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Divine!

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by rgsrinivasan, Mar 17, 2015.

  1. rgsrinivasan

    rgsrinivasan IL Hall of Fame

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    For a moment I stood there with eyes closed, not exactly mumbling a prayer, you see. I had the locker of the bero open and I got that unmistakable and moving fragrance from it. Few things do have a telling effect on you. For me this turned out to be one. The small photo of the lord, a small sachet of sandal powder tied so tight that it begged for a release, the faint smell of flower dust packet hidden somewhere beneath the dresses in the rows below blended well with it. The small jewel boxes with dull gold and covering items seemed to glitter more than they would, in dull light, within the locker. All these created a surreal effect first, adding a lot of nostalgia and a sense of belonging later on.

    I remembered those days when I was a kid again. I used to stretch myself a bit to see whats inside the locker at our home and my eyes would gleam, seeing the small television shaped hundi which had all my savings [my sister's too]. My parents would encourage us giving ten rupee notes during occasions like Diwali and birthdays then, which were huge for us and we would at times be reluctant to put that money in. At times when alone, I used to shake it hard, hoping that it would give in. I never had any inclination to spend it, but just wanted to know how much was inside. Then my focus turned to the bigger hundi where my father put the first currency note of any amount received and he follows it till now. When we pay a visit to Him, we should be using that money, he would say, but being middle-class where the expense came in showers but income in odd drizzle, this never happened.

    Coming back to that smell and of course those old notes which my father preserves tilldate, a peculiar but very lovable smell came from them as well. I wondered the clarity of the print in those old rupee notes [be it one rupee or a hundred] and they still give you a feel that you've got a plenty if you hold them, as against the thousand rupee notes today, which just like to and does disappear the moment you touch it. I feel guilty of not following this practice of my father, for I know how it really helped us after 20th of every month when we needed money urgently. Its like loaning from yourself and my father was very particular and setting the loan account straight by the end of the year where the 'rightful' amount went back, only to disappear within days. Now? I am using my credit card, you see! And feel like kicking myself during the pay by date, vowing to cut it a bit every time.

    Adding to these are the timeless gems that are enough to get you happier. An odd photo of a relative not alive, the gold plated medals which are black, the account books which were kept along all the years, thus making other books and magazines envy, those old account details in them, which makes you crawl and shake your head in bewilderment [one of my aunt's marriage expense (jewels excluded) was, hold your breath, Rs. 153-/- in early fifties]. I hope you've seen a view finder before. At the click of a button or a whack on a lever, it just showed you all images one by one and like a child seeing the star filled sky through a kaleidoscope, each of these things flashed before me, disappearing and coming back again.

    "Are you taking leave today?", brought me back. The question was asked by my kid, who was longing me to say 'Yes!'. I should add that I was tempted, but had to go. He was crestfallen for a moment and ran like a dart when his favorite song came on TV. I signed off from myself, just finished living those days again, wishing them more often.

    The blissful joy that we experience as a kid, is definitely closer to divine. What do you say?
     
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  2. stillwaters

    stillwaters Gold IL'ite

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    Dear rgs , what a poignant and nostalgic narration. I also go through similar experience when i open my mother's godrej birwa. It has it's special fragrance too which always connects me to my mother .
     
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  3. shyamala1234

    shyamala1234 Platinum IL'ite

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    Dear rgs,
    After a long time you are here. Welcome back.
    Beautiful blog! Reminded me of my mother (she is no more). My father used to give his entire salary to my mother and she used to manage everything....middle class family with four school/college going children it was not an easy job. But she never made us feel deprived and we never felt any inferiority complex. From our side there were not any impossible demands...we know where we stand financially. After she passed away, a few days later we opened her almirah.....yes, a few gold things were there (she never had a bank locker because never had enough gold to have a locker), Mysore sandal soap wrappers and dried "Mogali" flowers (I do not know the English name, we do not see those flowers also any more, flowers look like yellow leaves, (their fragrance remains for ever) in the the middle of her sarees, account books, used to maintain account for every rupee spent, things were so cheap then and of course income was also little. Tallying income and expenses was a tough job. Even when we all grew up, had our own money and offered her she was always reluctant to take....we had to make a lot of effort to accept. Some of her note books in which she wrote down slokas which she used to chant daily. Some pages have become yellow. I would stop here...otherwise would go on and on.
    Really, your blog took me to nostalgia.
    Thank you very much.
    Syamala
     
    3 people like this.
  4. Srama

    Srama Finest Post Winner

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    Dear RGS,

    Welcome back! I am not sure if it is a coincidence but this trip in India every time I opened the almirah my DD would come with "Mom, wait for me! Stand in front of it and go...ah how I love that smell!" And of course mine has stories to tell too. I am not sure not seeing one here is her fascination or if she finds the smell so inviting. Whatever, it warms my heart every time she does and I let her savour. You know as much as there are other things, I do feel these are some of the prized possessions I have along with the mantapas for Gods!

    Nice write up, enjoyed reading it.
     
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  5. PushpavalliSrinivasan

    PushpavalliSrinivasan IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Rgs!
    glad to see you here after a long time. During our childhood we neither had a Godrej nor a hundi. Now we have hundi along with all the modern gadgets.
    My mother was really happy to see her children having all the modern gadgets and also learned to handle them.
    we don't have a credit card, but have a debit card so that we don't have to carry cash.
    Remembering those nostalgic bygone days really makes us feel good.
    a nice snippet,
    PS
     
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  6. jayasala42

    jayasala42 Finest Post Winner

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    Dear RGS,
    There were no Godrej almirahs.All my mother's savings were tied ina knot in a torn 9 yds saree which was untouched for years.When my father had heart attack in 1959, Amma untied the knot and took three hundred rupees in various denominations and changes.He was not admitted in hospital but treatedat home by our family doctor. I was in first year degree class. My father when he recovered dictated his will and even today his will written in my handwriting is with me.
    Amma's jewels( very few she had ) were ina velvet surukku bag.My father was 70 and two daughters were yet to be married.
    My father had just Rs 5000/- in his hand at time. Oh, that old trunk with a secret locker inside-kindles my nostalgia of those days when every pie was important.
    While going to college my father gave me six 2 paisa coins-bus fare to and fro. If we give 10 paise, we can get down nearer to college. But I had only 6 paisa, I had to get down at the earlier stop,walk for 12 mts to reach the college. On many occasions one of the coins slipped through the slit in the Geometry box and we had to walk the entire 4 km home, a punishment for losing the money.On many occasions my mother requested my father to give bus charge for a week. But he never budged.Today's ways are entirely different.
    Thanks for rewinding my memories.
    Jayasala 42
     
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  7. suryakala

    suryakala IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear @rgsrinivasan ,

    You have really a power to touch those chords in the memories of those belonging to a generation which had values in life, much different from the values of the next generation.

    What are the feelings your posts give? I can't feel what the next generation feels on your beautiful nostalgia. But I can say for myself. Your snippet takes me to my parents home, teenage, and all. I lose myself in thoughts.

    If losing one's self from the present and going to a state of happiness is divine, for sure, Yes our thoughts before the locker in that old almirah are divine!
     
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  8. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear RGS,

    What a write up this is RGS. I enjoyed reading it over and over again. Even though many advice us to live in the present moment, isn't it a great feeling to live in the past experiencing the great time you had with your parents? I always believe happy childhood is a big contributor to the success of every man and woman.

    We still proudly have a small wooden desk with drawers in which my dad used to have all his tools to do small repair work every now and then. Every time, we open the drawer in that desk, I get pleasant memories of my childhood with my father. His disciplined life is a great motivator to me to date. Whenever I open his small Godrej Bero, I always remember the neatly arranged dhotis and white shirts that he always used to wear. His dress always reflected his purest heart. There isn't a day pass without me thinking about his humility, helpful tendency, discipline, soft and polite voice, habits such as doing yoga, meditation without fail, sleeping early in the night and wake up early in the morning, never fail to do Pooja every day, etc. Sometimes, I always think why I didn't replicate myself like him watching him for so many years.

    Viswa
     
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  9. Akanksha1982

    Akanksha1982 IL Hall of Fame

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    What a great write up RGs, taking us on our memory journey. We had a Godrej cupboard at our house with a hidden storage area. For some reason, the key to the door of the cupboard could only be turned to lock only by giving a slight push. At that time, only my mom used to be able to do it. We all siblings used to wonder what is in that secret vault. Years later, after my parents passed away, we got a chance to see what was hidden in that secret storage area. We found priceless stuff - earlier photos of our parents, coins of the pre-independence days, commemorative coins, stamps, some jewelry, some silver utensils etc.
     
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  10. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear RGS,

    Excellent! This is the word that jumped at me as I finished reading this wonderful snippet! Thanks to Viswa who has nominated this to FP, I came here to wallow in the sepia toned scene that you have just painted for us...Oh, just not the tone, there were the scents too. I could smell it so distinctly! Like Cheeniyasir has said in regard to your snippet, smells matter a lot...!

    Talking of Godrej beeruvas, lockers and parents' home, yes, I too have fond memories of them. Today, only the memories are left. Not the Godrej cupboard nor the contents! All gone with the wind, melted in that huge sea of time.

    My parents had given this Godrej cupboard the pride of place in their bedroom. In the beginning, that was the only one and an antique wooden one with mirror stood in our family room! While that contained sheets, towels and other knick knacks, the Godrej contained dad's suits, dhotis, shirts and mom's pattu saris and that locker...! Yes, the locker had the valuables, money and most importantly, dad's perfumes!! My dad loved his perfumes...scents...as he called them! Much later, when we used to visit them from abroad, my husband was given the privilege to use this cupboard and he could not help but smile every time he saw the perfumes in this precious locker!! Needless to say we went out of our way to buy or send him the latest perfumes that was on the market! Any wonder that I can associate with the 'smells' of the old Godrej beeruva?!!

    L, Kamla
     
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