Tuesday, December 11, 2007

memory chip

on my way home from work today, a family passed by on a scooter. the couple was in its late twenties. the woman was holding a child who was fast asleep on her lap. to my surprise, i saw that wedged between the man driving the scooter and the handlebar was a little boy the same age as the girl, and --he too was sprawled out, arms and legs akimbo, fast asleep!

the scene struck a chord. there was papa riding his green lambretta first, in the early seventies, and later in the eighties, his grey bajaj vespa. Mummy in her silk saree, maroon lipstick and high heels perched behind him with Rinky on her lap, and me oiled plaited hair, black rimmed plastic glasses, in a polka dotted maxi sandwiched between them. india works on memories; it is hard wired into our brains.

we were a family of avid movie goers averaging one or two movies a week. after the phase of scooters, came a phase when Rinky and I were too big to fit in a scooter with mummy and papa. So, we travelled by autorickshaws. i remember all those nights of returning in an auto after a late night movie, sometimes in the dead of winter, snuggling close together in the space, feeling drowsy and sleepy, sometimes dozing off but, always always wishing we had a car (premier padmini being the only option in the pre-maruti days). What bliss it would be to stretch oneself out and sleep in the back seat, and be woken up when we reached home...

we did buy a car finally, but by that time i was in class nine and too old to doze off in the car.

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