Saturday, August 3, 2013

Shhh.. its a secret !!

         It was winter afternoon.. the chooranwala was standing at the corner of the street.. but I had spent all my pocket money in school that day.. what could i do.. mom was at school where she was the principal.. dad in court .. only granny and Uma Mausi (aunt) was at home.. Asking granny for money to buy something from ‘chooran wala’ was a waste of time and effort.. Asking mausi for chooran ,was the same. .i knew they would say that I would get a sour throat eating that chooran full of tartaric. Though I never liked chooran as it was too sour for my taste, but I loved the (imli ki chutney) tamarind chutney he sold.. ahh ! the chutney was out of this world.. the exact proportion of sweet and sour that I loved.. thinking of it only, made my mouth water..
Mausi was studying for her exams as she was doing her Masters from Dehra Dun.. her long coat was hanging right there behind that door..( you can see those long coats in black and white English movies of the fifties).. it used to be a long coat, wide from the back, almost reaching the calves .. the highlight of the coat was the three folds hanging from the back, what we call umbrella shape.. so the coat was hanging right there with its deep pockets.. I knew it had lots of change..and I needed just a few pennies.. so I slipped my small hands into her deep pockets... oolalaa… there was a handful of change.. happily I grabbed 3 pennies, looked around.. no one was looking.. dashed out of the house with my moolah ..and off to the chooran wala.. He gave me 3 spoonful of that sweet, heavenly tamarind chutney.. I sat on the stairs of my house , dipped my finger in the chutney and started licking it.. what heavenly taste.. slurp..slurp I licked it all.. but my thirst for the chutney hadn’t quenched yet.. I wanted just little bit more.. yes! I can have a little bit more!.. Mausi (aunt) is like maa si (mother like).. I can grab a few more coins from her pocket.. she had plenty.. I’ll tell her later.. and.. that’s just what I did.. I grabbed just 3 pennies more from her pocket again and got the second helping of the chutney.. but.. I never told mausi (or anyone) about it, till date.. maybe I was shy.. or.. God knows what.. This was my little secret that I never shared with anyone.. But let me tell you that, I had no guilt about it THEN and I have no guilt about it NOW.. Why? I don’t know.. maybe because though it might sound like stealing from her pocket, it was not.. the only thing that comes to mind is that probably I was shy in not telling her..or..i don't know.. maybe you all have a better!!
            Mausi loved us so much.. she was the one who took me and Sanju to the tailor and got all the latest styles of dresses made.. the black and white picture that still sits on the shelf in Dehra Dun, was taken at Goyal Studio on Chakrata Road.. I clearly remember the brown frock with black beads and Sanju’s grey Capri pants(it was called something else those days) ..Mausi made us sit on the big table and showed us how to pose for the picture.. Mummy and papa could not spare extra time for us as they were buzy fighting their own battles in their own respective fields..Times were tough and it was the first few years of their career.. IT IS NEVER EASY FOR PEOPLE WHO LIVE AHEAD OF THEIR TIMES .. being a communist and serving in Arya Samaji School was everyday struggle for her with the management.. but her strong will and perseverance won..but that is another story for some other time.. but my Uma mausi covered up for her with us.. she took great care of us.. we all will always be indebted to her…............Poonam Dogra


  1. Don't leave without a comment please!! ..Thanks.

  2. It's a secret no more. This is nice. I was taken back in time.