Saturday, March 17, 2007

those summers of 89'!!

I have already written before of the good old times. But I still love writing this because it helps me go back to childhood….To enjoy the innocence I once had...An era when we survived without computers..i-pods...Mp3 players…video games…mobile phones..cable television. An era which was woefully short of choices but fulsome in satisfaction...

A chat with a friend of mine inspired me to write this post.. Both of us were sitting idle in office and we had nothing much else to do... So we just thought we will mail each other some good old memories.. And Anjali has tagged me summer memories which I thought was quite integral to my childhood memories..

When I look back at those school days I first think of those first years in school.

How I used to keep my notebooks in the bag...Appa used to cover the books with that brown paper...And I had the privilege of sticking the name stickers on top of it...Then with my Natraj Pencil I wrote my name, class and Subject… I loved smelling new books. The fresh smell of paper was a huge kick for me... And after arranging books in the bag I then open my pencil box to elaborately arrange the scale...the pencil ...the rubber (hehehe..i dint know that eraser is more civilized)..And then that short walk to the school. I don’t remember much of what I did during the walk. But then I remember running back home if I had forgotten to comb my hair.. And then that lunch breaks when we tried fast to finish the lunch to save time for the precious 20 min of afternoon football or cricket.

We shared food with friends. I remember that Shaji Ram’s lemon rice..I used to love it... Asish used to bring chocolate coated sandwiches. Soon we run to the ground and split into teams...Cricket was played with paper balls. We bought rubber bands from home to make the perfect round cricket balls...And when that odd gulf returnees kid joined school..He used to bring football. I mean the real one! The gulf kid obviously was the captain and we all vouched to be in his team so that he would allow us to play with his football. I was damn envious of gulf kid’s back then coz they had shoes with twinkling lights and unlike my Natraj pencils they had those colorful glassy ones. After that quick game we ran back to class just in time before the teacher started the attendance call My goodness we might have been smelling really bad with the sweat and mud ,but there was amazing energy in us even after the zapping mid afternoon game.. Talking about those summer beverages, when we used to get thirsty after all the struggles we ran to the tap… a huge line of 30 taps... and drank the chilly water from aruvikkara …I remember drinking gallons of water.. the best and cheapest beverage those summers.. Now when u think of having water we find it awkward to drink the tap water..for many of us we have become slaves of Bisleri and their ilk .

I can relate those days to this video which essentially summed up innocence of childhood..I love youtube for this..

And in between those periods we had the chalk throwing sessions.. …I remember my friends calling me ‘kutchu’ because there was the story we had to learn about someone who wore glasses and was still searching for it while wearing it. And unfortunately I was the only one wearing glasses in my class back then…

In the mornings we had those pledges.. ”though for the day”..and birthday announcements during school assemblies. I don’t how many of you took that enormous pride in wearing color dress on your birthday..You were allowed to choose one best friend of yours and distribute sweets in other classes..I remember we all secretly aspired to be the best friend of the birthday guy those days…it was like a recognition bestowed on you...Amazing feeling of pride..

And imagine the countless times you scratched yourself...after a game...After a gusti…and that damn painful pinch on the ears after being caught by that strict teacher.. There was this trend during those days... we guys used to be noisier in the class and most often the teacher punished all the boys by making us stand on the benches.. We used to gossip among ourselves about the teacher.. c’mon don’t think too much..!!!;-P
We just used to say that the miss indulged in “girls’ partiality”... My favourite period those days was art class. I loved drawing. The best gift I wished those days were just a box of crayons or sketch pens.. After school we just ran home and finish the homework’s as soon as possible to catch the favourite cartoons on television.. Thank god I dint have tuitions those days.. Summer vacation those days were in kottayam and changancherry and I still remember the heavenly Mango juice one of my favourite aunts made for me those times..I relished it more coz back home Appa insisted on eating papayas and watermelons which I dint particularly love... so those home made mango juice carried the extra tinge and aura of scarcity
When we reached middle school... we lost a bit of our innocence. I remember then if we guys were touched by a girl...i mean even a slight accidental brush, he would be vetoed by the guys.. He is a victim of “skin touch” and hence so he has lost his male virility...He is classified as a lesser being amongst rest of the guys who have carefully cultivated a skin touch free life..Now don’t make logic out of it...

DD in spite of being a horrible broadcaster those days bought out some simple yet meaningful messages. I loved this video which they used to telecast almost everyday..

Mid –School

Those times it was a big change…from the chunky “nikker” to trouser...from pencils to ink pens...from plastic pencil box to geometry box…from nothingness to a was acknowledgment of growing up. We began seeing for the first time the big chettans and chechis in school from close quarters... I had immense respect for the chettans and chechis…They were really tall, many of them taller than the teachers and the chettans and chechis talked to each other and didn’t care about the holy male virility values which we considered precious. .Some of them had badges and titles like school pupil leader... During those days we noticed that we guys were getting shorter and girls taller…all those hormones were working ...But then we never talked about why the change is happening…those were “chichi” talks…

Most of us went for our first school tour during 6th standard…Not to Ooty nor Kodai but museum grounds 3 km away from school...but that was enough reason to celebrate. We were allocated a princely 5 Rs to buy anything of our choice and that was dedicatedly given to the ice cream boy for the "Joy" ice creams.. Those ice creams were very much part of my summer memoirs..But i ll still vouch for the ice cream grandma used to make!!

Folks who have traveled by school bus must know how prestigious was catching the side seat in the bus.. The best seat was one closest to the driver. .Some times we booked seats in the bus by placing hankies ..

I had my first bubble gum and first sip up around that time with my own money.. I mean my own money stolen from home... One of us will collect all the money and in spite of our limited math we counted till 3 rupees 65 paisa... We would run to nearby “shanti” bakery and buy the sip ups, run back to school .hide behind the bushes to avoid the teachers or prying parents. Once all security checks are cleared we will enjoy the Sip-up and later with immense sense of guilt we go to our own little worlds…

I must admit that I saw porn quite early in life... Shankar bought the book to school.. That was a huge taboo broken... Many of us were shocked beyond words after seeing the first porn in our life... Madhuri Dixit’s photo in filmfare…That might have been beginning of the end of innocence…Looking back .those days were one helluva good time... times we aspired to behave like the older… times we were never bothered about taxes or stock prices.. times when a chocolate could sooth broken hearts..

Growing up is good.. But childhood was even better!!!

Thanks silverine for the tag and the memories retrieved from my nostalgia hard disk..

I would like to pass it on to Priya,Umesh,Cuckoo(sure i ll take ur tag soon.. ;-P),Alakananda and bvn...

1. Write 8 things you enjoyed doing during summer/summer holidays.

2. Tag some people with the happy memories!


Priya said...

Beautiful mathew and awesome. You took me back to my days of fresh air and times where we lived with groups to run around and play hide and seek.

silverine said...

This was awesome!!! And I was absolutely pleasantly surprised after seeing that Hindi Alphabet song as it is my favorite and I sang it just the other day. I would sing this to Miss DAV's younger sister, my favorite niece, when she came to me for help in Hindi. I thought this film must be lost by now, so it was with a lot of senti that I saw it again on Youtube thanks to you! I have sent the link to her :)

What a journey...and what a lot of unexplainable rules and regulations we had back then. For us talking to a guy was taboo! I remember the senior girls being extremely nice to me and buying me sip ups because of the obvious reasons that my chetan came to check on me during lunctime :p I had the bad habit of not eating my lunch and since my bros school is next door he would come in regularly. He would be so embarassed lol :)) Lovely post bought back so many memories!

Alexis said...

Brilliant post buddy. Youtube is great. And your introduction to porn was really hilarious.

Jiby said...

oh my god...paperballs rolled up and toughened with rubber bands for cricket and football...and do you remember book-cricket and magicland?

thanks for the anek chidiya song...all that sort of really defined an era alle!!

hahaha...are we bloggers collectively returning to childhood!!!

good one always!

mathew said...

@priya was defintely fun back then..


love that song when I hear it now..
carries lot of nostalgia quotient in it..would love to see a blog on your singing exploits..never knew that you sing well too..

So u enjoyed lot of free sip-ups at ur bro's expense!! ;-P


thanx a lot..would love to see ur take on Anjali's tag..


athe athe..oru feeling of nammalude generation..
I can feel a generation gap building up when I see the kids in school now..

btw waiting for ur take on the tag..

Neihal said...

awesome post!!!
loved every word (well most:P )

smell of new books, brown covers, stickers, and the Natraj Pencil.... all right out of my childhood as well.

and I performed that song in school...with the nasal effect and all of my best performance....thanks a ton for the link :)

Scribbles said...

great one mathew... u really took me back to those system..ipods.. yet so satisfying... sip-ups with stolen money....color dress on bdays...An excursion to the Museum :) gosh ..that was exactly how school was like...

Alex said...


Aha.. side seat, sip up, gas muttai, 'thundu' ;), foot ball, cricket with our writing pads and paper balls, site adi....

LOL too many and too much to remember and smile. Great experiences.

Anonymous said...

"An era which was woefully short of choices but fulsome in satisfaction..." Wonderful statement.
Gulf kids, paper cricket balls, enmity with girls, school bus rides.........I could easily relate with each of them. Thanks for kindling nostaligia.

jac said...

I was wondering about your statement about the girls growing faster than you because of the hormones...Hahaha

You should be in Africa my friend to have a closer look at the hormones.


Natasha said...

Wonderful...though I can't connect with majority of the things u've mentioned, I did take a short trip down the memory lane, one inspiring me to someday write about my school life.

My brother, a cousin and I once modelled a miniature Giant Robot with some kinda sticky clay/mud from our 'parambu'. We decorated it with 'manjaadi kuru' :) awesome times

Mishmash ! said...

Mathewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww, I dont know how to thank you for sharing that first youtube video, you wont believe me if i tell u that, me and my husband keep referring to this song whenever we exchange our childhood memories but I was not able to get the full song, the only thing I remembered was "Ek Chidiya...anek chidiyaa....." and I was humming this one last week too :))) I am SOOOO HAPPY I could find this. Do come home for a sumptuous meal :)

And covering the books with brown papers, sticker labels, jealousy to gulf kiddos...and yea b'day sweet distribution with ur 'best friend',wearing colour dress , JOy ice creams and Sip ups...oh,myyyy ...u just brought back good ole days....and now nostalgia engulfs but still I am smiling and giggling :)

ANd hey kutchu, do u still do this ? "But then I remember running back home if I had forgotten to comb my hair." :)))

Beautiful Post. I am waiting for a call from my husband as I just sent him that video link :)

All smilesss...

mathew said...


I was simply ROTFL just imagining someone sing that song.. ;-P

It was really nostalgic for me to see the video again after a long time as well!!


yeah..kowing that those days wont come again ever makes it even more beautiful...nice to know that you enjoyed it..

those days seems ages ago..I feel how much the world has changed..and infact how much we have changed when I look back now..

nice to know u enjoyed goin back to past..thanx for dropping by..

mathew said...


The africa I know has all to do with the movie.."Out of Africa"!!

hope you are doin good!!


Ah..giant robot is hugely popular among blogger friends here..Way way ahead all superheroes u see now!!! :-)

And I dont like anyone calling me Kutchu!! ;-P


thanks a lot...I would defintely wont miss a dinner anytime I visit where u guys are staying!! ;-P

btw nice to know that you enjoyed the post...

Sreejith Panickar said...

Oye ji, excellent! :D

Raghav said...

those were the days!
when i had to do a 100m dash each morning to catch my school bus, and when 1 rupee made me feel rich!

Unknown said...

Once again you bloody made me nostalgic. Enne karayikkum.

Btw I was one of the Gelf returned kids.... and i was super fair too that others used to always put me in England team when we used to do gusti.

Sipups and semiya ice came late in my life as most of my lower primary school days I was in boarding schools. Dont touch girls and label trade/exchange were heavy stuff in the hostel then.

Porn came in late, ie losing of innocence, in high school and then discovering of all sorts of "chichi".

Thanks for tagging me. have taken it up and will post soon.

Priya said...

Just confused. Is that tag for me??

Di said...

we called those sip-ups lollies :) fun naa!! :D

Cuckoo said...

Excellent post Mathew !!

You reminded me of so many things now.
Ohh I can see you've tagged me also !! Hmmm.. is it a kind of revenge ? Not fair. :)

But what do I write ? It is somewhat similar to yours.
Don't worry. Give me some time... I'll do it.

VIDYA said...

:) :) awesum post ....

ps- wats a sip up ?

Rajesh said...


You took me back in time. Thanks for those videos. I had forgotten all about them.

b v n said...

"i mean even a slight accidental brush, he would be vetoed by the guys" - ha those my school we couldn't wash hands at those taps where gals had washed theirs. idiots will start "ayye thotte" :)

thanks for tagging man, will take this up once summer sets in :)

mathew said...


thanks a lot!!


bingo..those were really the days


we had lot of gelf kids comin in after the war/..btw awaiting ur post!!


funny name!!


okies..aint a revenge..will wait for the entry!!


sip-up :-O
ask any kid studying in any school!!Sip-up is the most exotic summer delight!!

mathew said...


thanks a lot!!


hehehe..same here bud..hopin to read a lot more in ur tag..

Synapse said...

da kutchu, i think it was girls touch not skin touch! if a girl brushed against u, u had to scrape off the imaginary stuff stuck on u n rub it on another person to get rid of the 'girls touch' LOL. n i remember teachers used to make guys sit on girls benches as a punishment! :D

Abhi said...

Hey i don't think you'll get to read this comment. But then you just brought back old memories into my mind. So many thanks for this mathew. I really miss the shanti bakery days n the numerous sharja's we had after school. :)

mathew said...

thank bud..i actually enjoy that nostalgia ride...those were the days isnt it?