Childhood memories are the dreams that stay with you after you wake up
As I grow older, I start remembering old memories, so I thought I will start putting it down here just as a way to preserve these memories.
As I look back, my first memory is that of my grandmother. I have written about her before and she is someone who has really shaped me. I was the first born grandchild on both sides of the family (maternal and paternal) and was quite pampered until my sister came along a couple of years later.
I miust have been around 3-4 years old and one afternoon was with my mother who was buy vegetables from a vendor on the road outside our building. I now can’t remember why, but while she was busy haggling with the vendor, I quickly darted across the road. Those days not many people owned cars in India but somehow at that very exact time, a car drove on the road and I was probably knocked down. My mum was frantic and someone quickly went up to my home and got my grandmother. There was a doctor’s clinic just opposite our building and just where I was probably knocked down. I was quickly taken to the doctor who advised that the wound which was superficial and just below my left eyebrow be stitched up. My grandmother flatly refused saying what if something happened and my eye got hurt. Even today when my eyebrows are shaped, you can see the faint scar that remained from my accident when I was a toddler. Nothing really happened to me and I was ok within a day or two.
Another memory I have is of my sister. She must have been around 2-3 years old and I was about 4-5 years old. She was and has been incredibly bold as a person. On a Sunday evening, my parents had taken us to Dadar for shopping. This was in Dadar which has this bridge which spans the train stations of the Western and Central railways and the corresponding Dadar stations and which connects what is called Dadar TT (called because a long time ago the trams used to terminate here and so TT stands for Tram Terminus. The trams have gone for a long long time, but even today that circle is called Dadar TT) and Dadar BB (I didn’t know why Dadar BB was called that until I did a Google search. It seems that since the western line which it lies on was part of the Bombay & Baroda & Central India (BB&CI) Railway, hence the BB. You learn something new every day).
This incident happened either on the bridge or just after we crossed the bridge to the western side. The road and market was quite crowded and my parents had a tight grip on us. But while walking, we suddenly realised that my sister was missing. My parents went crazy looking for her and starting looking frantically. After a while they saw a police chowky (a police box which is usually there in crowded locales so that the police from the local police station can do crowd control and keep an eye) and went to ask the policeman stationed there if he could help. He promised to check and told us to come back to him in a while. After searching unsuccessfully for another 10-15 minutes, we went back to the chowky to see my sister there waiting for us!
What happened was she suddenly found herself alone in the crowd and wanted to use her brain. She went to the nearest adult she could find and told him that her parents were lost and that if they could help her. She was lucky that the person who found her was a decent man and he took her to the police chowky and handed her over to the beat policeman who knowing my parents were looking for her decided to keep her while waiting for them to come back. My parents were so relieved to find her and found her ingenuity brave that she pretty much got away with slipping from my mother in the first place.
This story has now gone down in my family lore and my parents and grandparents (when they were alive) used to dish it out so many time! I am sure her children have also heard parts, if not this story in its entity. If not, I am going to tell them the next time I meet them.