Thursday, September 22, 2005

Weekends from Another Life

Sunday mornings started bright and early at home in Bangalore back when my brother and I were still in school. Sunday mornings were not for getting up late, whiling away time in front of the television or for lazy breakfasts. Sunday mornings were action-packed adventure days.

My dad, my brother and I would wake up early, freshen up, eat a quick breakfast or sometimes not, grab a huge tote bag, leave my mother at home and head out. I would always wonder why my mother did not want to come with us. How could she want to stay home? But now that I have children of my own, I know exactly what she must have been feeling. I wouldn't mind staying back home all alone, just sitting there by myself in blessed silence, with uninterrupted reading time.

My dad had an old Bajaj scooter then, but we would let it rest in its parking place in our narrow compound and make our way to the bus stand, about a five-minute walk away. The bus stand would be near empty, may be a stray family here and there heading to a wedding or some such event. We would wait for a bus, any bus.

Our trip, you see, had no destination.

We would get on the first bus that looked like it had seats for three people and go wherever it took us and stay on until the very last stop. It was a great way to see the city, watch the people that got on and off the bus and listen to my dad talking about this building or that building.

On one such trip, we found ourselves at the Majestic bus terminus. We headed in the direction of Avenue Road and found ourselves in front of Abhinay talkies. We looked at the movie billboard and the movie timings. There was a showing starting just then. We bought tickets and went right in.

That's how I saw Shaan. That's also how I saw The 36th Chamber of Shaolin at the Galaxy theater. We had missed a good fifteen minutes of the movie, but nobody was particularly bothered.

After three or four hours of loitering around, may be a movie squeezed in, definitely something to eat somewhere, we would head to the nearest vegetable market, fill up that tote bag with all sorts of vegetables, and if we were anywhere near MG Road, with lots of goodies from Spencers and head home on another bus.

We would then take over the kitchen under my dad's supervision. My mother was forbidden from entering the kitchen on Sundays. All of the vegetables would go on the floor, we would pick one of each kind, cut them into large pieces and boil them along with the rice and dal in the pressure cooker. When the vegetables were done boiling, they would go in a large pot with the dal.

My dad would then open up the spice cupboard and open every spice powder (rasam powder, sambhar powder, curry powder, gojju powder, garam masala powder, chilli powder...) jar. He would then methodically take a little bit of the powder from every single jar and add it to the pot along with tamarind and salt. Within half an hour of our coming home, lunch would be served.

Whatever it was, that thing that he made, it was delicious.

16 comments:

The ramblings of a shoe fiend said...

Isn't it wonderful how everyone has a Sunday tradition? My favourite was going to the library with my dad every sundy afternoon. After an hour of browsing and choosing books we would go to woodlands drive-in or gangotri on his kinetic and he would buy me tiffin and coffee! just the two of us, every sunday

Ravi said...

When I come back to Bangalore, I will use the strategy that you mentioned ( any bus; to anywhere ) with the kids in tow! What a great way to discover the city as well as help them too, in the process!

Minal said...

Sundays precious sundays. I looked forward to my sunday breakfast and lunch.

Mum was working, so during the week it was routine stuff and we never pushed her around in the mornings.
She would make up for the entire week with her delicacies:-)

Though we three always had dinner together, Sunday was special as we would be together the entire day and Papa was warned to stay off his professional committments on Sunday:-)

gawker said...

Thats just awesome. I've always wanted to just board some bus or train and ride it till the last stop. Cause all these last stops were so far away from where I lived and they all sounded so exotic.

Sujatha said...

SF, that's a wonderful ritual. These are such good memories to have. Thanks for sharing.

Ravi, wow! that'll be a wonderful experiecne for your kids and will make some nice memories when they grow older. Keep us posted on how it goes! It'll be nice to get a blow by blow account rather than something from so far away in the past like mine.:))

Minal, thanks for sharing your memories. Cooking seemed to play a big part in our lives, eh?:))

Gawker, yeah, cool isn't it! Now that I think about it, this is something we could do even now. Except now, I think I would be worried about ending up in a shady neighborhood!:((

Sakshi said...

Sunday...for me is slightly different. Apart from being with my family...i get to spend time with my beloved pooch, Spike. Mum wakes me up at 8.00Am...yeah on SUnday too...cause i have to give that beast a bath...and then in the evening we go the doggy park at Bandra...with my cousins..I LOVE SUNDAYS.

ps...Spike just became a father...dad of 6 girl puppies. Check out the pics on my blog..when u get time.

Truman said...

great, great, great :)

In Bangalore, my Sunday mornings are usually on the MG Road. I love spending some time at the Indian Coffee House.

Travelling is on the cards- I want to travel around Bangalore on weekends.. say Hampi, Madikeri and Ooty..heard about them a lot :) and yes, your Coorg post is very nice.

Sujatha said...

Hi Sakshi, welcome to my blog. Well you experience is different, but sounds just as wonderful!
I will check out your puppies. We all love dogs in our family!

Aditya, thanks. When you come back from your travels i hope you will write about it. Your photos are so wonderful.:))

Shyam said...

Brings back memories... :) Sundays meant an "oil bath" in the morning, a huge leisurely mid-morning lunch and then a nap (necessitated by the previous two activities!), and finally a family outing in the afternoon, either visiting friends, going to the park, the beach, a movie, a restaurant... and home again in time for bed. *sigh* Those were good days!

Sujatha said...

Shyam: Well, time to recreate them then...

zambezi said...

i got here through the nut job gawkers blog. he is an old friend of mine. Bangalore, Bangalore. Good old Bangalore. Till even 10 years ago it was paradise. This particular blog took me back to 5th block jayanagar.The roads are wide and the streets were always empty. It used to be beautiful.Things have changed. I was there a couple of weeks ago and it aint the same anymore. Sometimes freaking memories are just that.It somehow can never be the same again..

Sujatha said...

Hi Zambezi, welcome to my blog! Thanks for your comment. Well the trees are still there in old Bangalore and the roads are still wide. But about them being empty, you're right, just a memory. Even at 6 in the morning...

brahmachari107 said...

Thank you for taking me down the memory lane. Feels sad about the shift in pleasure seeking methods of today.

Sujatha said...

Hi B107, thank you for your comment and you're welcome!

Cantaloupes.Amma (CA) said...

You guys had a very nice sunday ritual.

And hey .. the mixing of powders in a dish with lots of vegetables(doesn't matter which) ... thats exactly how BP cooks :))

Sujatha said...

CA, it tastes super delicious, right?

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