A candy floss tale
THE occasion was the birthday party of our neighbour’s son which was arranged on the ground floor of our flat scheme. After the regular pleasantries I moved towards the food counters. What caught my attention was a counter offering ‘Buddhi ka Baal’ or candy floss which was a rage during our school days.
Sadly, the counter did not have many seekers but that did not stop me, as I did not want to miss the opportunity to delve deep into my memory lane and so, I asked for one.
Sometimes, I take a walk on our terrace and I see flights taking off or coming to land at the Nagpur airport. Even though I have had the opportunity to fly many times, I still look at the rising aircraft, going down the memory lane back to more than forty years ago.
My father was posted in a place called Polibetta in Kodagu district of Karnataka. Kodagu or Coorg still does not have a rail connection and is approachable only by road.
In those days hearing the sound of an aircraft would have us kids running out of our houses and searching the horizon to catch a glimpse of the tiny speck of the aircraft in the sky. We would brag and bet about being the first among our group to travel in an aircraft one day. My real flying experiences later were nowhere even close to the fun of our childhood days and that has carried with me till date as I keep looking at the rising aircraft from our terrace.
My first train journey was a wonder with the behemoth steam engine spewing smoke and soot which would settle on our dresses and instead of irritating us was something to be cherished.
These are moments which the present generation may never experience. I sometimes wonder whether we are the lucky generation to be born during the transition period of the laid back days to the present busy schedules with all the modern gadgetry.
The status symbols of the early years, the Stately Ambassador cars with its various models starting from Land master, continuing it with models of Mark I to Mark 4 with just a tweet in its bumpers or lights differentiating the different models, the Fiat cars with models called Premier President and Padmini which ruled the roads, are hardly visible now, and have given way to the sleek new automobiles.
Telephone was something which was a status symbol of the upper class. Even though the Telecom revolution later had STD booths dotting the entire country, we would wait upto 9 pm to make calls at a quarter of the regular charges, a facility offered by BSNL then.
Saying all this to kids now would make them gawk at us as if they see us as belonging to the age of the woolly mammoth.
But the worst part to us is that they do not seem to be bothered as they are busy with their modern toys and gadgets which may become their fond memories on their growing up.
Coming out of my memory sojourn I tasted the candy floss. As the sugary taste entered my system I could not stop myself from uttering those same old words commonly used by the oldies and which I had been promising myself not to ever blurt out, which went thus: “Those were the days!”