memories

Music for my ears

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I remember that tinkling & jingling sound…..I miss it too! It was a typical sound synonymous with her.

As a kid it was the “beware” signal for the three of us, if we were up to some mischief, as well as the comforting signal that she is there when we needed her. In short, it was our secret signal to know her whereabouts. 🙂

I remember this sound of hers reverberating in our home.

And now, miles away from home, I feel deprived of that oh-so-familiar sound. But when I hear it once in a while, it seems to be the best music for me- one that soothes me & my soul. (more…)

Once Upon a Bicycle

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Yesterday I was having dinner & reminiscing about our childhood days with a childhood friend of mine. After coming back home and as I lay on my bed, I was feeling nostalgic of the good old, carefree days we had.  The memories pulled me back down the memory lane.

One of such memories was of riding a bicycle. The first bicycle I ever rode was a BSA Ladybird. It was handed down to me by my elder sister. I learnt to ride a bicycle quite late as compared to the other kids of my neighbourhood. I was scared to try learning to ride it because I worried too much about falling and getting hurt, which would then lead to injections (which I dread even today!). My lil’ sister learned to ride a bicycle before me!!! Finally when I was in the VIII standard I made up my mind to learn it. I did not take much time to learn and when I finally managed to ride the bicycle all by myself, without any help, I realized the fun I was missing. 😀

Back in those days, we used to go to school either in rickshaws or school buses or rode bicycles. The first two options were mainly for the kids before they could ride bicycles in the roads all by themselves. Soon I too joined the cycle gang to school. :)In many occasions when Dad could not pick up my little sister from school I used to give her a ride on my cycle. When she was the one who enjoyed throughout the ride, swaying her legs a little every now and then, I was the one who had to slog hard to pull the weight of both of us. 🙂 But then I too had enjoyed these kinds of rides when my elder sister was the one to slog it out! 😛

Once the summer/winter vacation started I and a cycling friend of mine used to go for cycling sessions early in the morning. We passed by the early risers out for a morning walk. We cycled and reached the embankments of Brahmaputra, enjoyed the morning fresh air and chirping of trees and then again cycled our way back home.

In those days, the best part of knowing to ride a cycle was that you could go anywhere without having to spend your pocket money. All you needed was the permission of the parents to go! It gave us a feeling of freedom & adulthood. It was like, “I get to do something on my own now”.

Yesterday while thinking of the days gone, I realized that the last time I cycled was in the year 2002. It has been more than a decade now. Wow! Time sure flies away…..

Nothing compares with the simple pleasure of a bike ride

~ John F. Kennedy

Image: Google

TINKLE TINKLE LITTLE STAR

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Sometimes you will never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory.

Yesterday I was in a local newspaper/magazine store near my home. While I was waiting for the shopkeeper to return me my change, my eyes fell on a copy of TINKLE. The once familiar name brought in a flow of memories. Sometime you come across an old picture or an old piece of clothing or an old greeting card or the like, and the memories start tumbling out. And the same happened to me. From my childhood days, till I was in the XII standard, I read TINKLE regularly & religiously, very rarely missing an issue. However, after moving out of my home in pursuit of higher studies and maybe finding other things to do, this habit of mine vanished and I did not even realize when.

During my TINKLE-touched childhood days, not having been even aware of the presence of Internet, Uncle Pai (Mr Anant Pai, editor – founder of TINKLE) was one of my sources of information for my curiosities about the world around me. The tagline of the comics was – ‘where learning meets fun’. And it was indeed fun & informative. There used to be a section called “Tinkle Tells you Why” and Uncle Pai used to reply to queries from the readers. I remember sending a lot of questions to him for that section. In every issue, only about 5-6 questions, along with their answers, were published. I was once lucky enough to get my query replied and published and that day was one of my happiest days. I remember writing a ‘Thank you’ letter to Uncle Pai. 🙂 And the other times, when my questions were not published, I received letters signed by Uncle Pai with answer to my question along with two TINKLE labels. How I showed off those labels to my schoolmates!! 😛

I remember fondly those days when I used to eagerly wait for the fortnightly issue to be delivered by our newspaper hawker. After I was done reading the whole issue, I felt sad for I had to wait 15 more days for the next issue. Even my cousin brother, about 10 years elder to me, read them and he had the issues starting from No. 1. He used to hard bind around 10-15 copies together and arrange them neatly on his book racks. I used to look forward going to their place during the vacations, so that I could read them and live in the company of always lucky fellow Shikari Shambhu, the foolish Suppandi, the forever-plotting Tantri the Mantri, the cunning Kalia the Crow, etc.

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TINKLE started in 1980 & till now more than 600 issues have come out. TINKLE came at a time when there were no other comics with Indian content. Kids were reading foreign comics like – Archies, Phantom, TinTin, etc. Some of them were even translated into Indian languages. But TINKLE became hugely popular because it offered folktales from all over the world as well as stories around the regular characters, many of them evolving into icons. It also had pages devoted to educative non-fiction articles, DIYs, puzzles to solve, contests with prizes, etc. Also the feedback system and the option for readers to send in their stories was another plus point.

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TINKLE is translated & published in many regional languages which increase its reach and popularity to almost every part of the country. It seems to be an integral part of growing up in India. Mr Anant Pai had also launched the Amar Katha Series in 1967 which was one of the largest series of comic books and was crafted to teach the Indian kids about the rich cultural heritage of India. Uncle Pai’s effort of combining education and entertainment has made Tinkle largely accepted by kids, parents & teachers alike. Last year, Uncle Pai left for his heavenly abode and the responsibility to carry forward the legacy was given to Ms. Rajani Thindinath.

TINKLE, for me, was my first access to the world outside my textbooks. It developed my habit of reading. The memories of my TINKLE days are some of my fondest ones and I shall cherish them for my life. 🙂

Do share your TINKLE experience with me!