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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Double, double toil and trouble

Amrita’s post on how Baby Quill (love the soubriquet btw :D) made shampoo and gooseberry pickle brought back vivid memories of my own efforts in this direction.

I say ‘my’ but what I really mean is ‘our’. I had a partner in crime, you see. There was also a certain time of the year when such R&D took place. Summer holidays, when the two little brothers came to visit.

The older one, who has the fortune of being referred to as ‘Treetop’[*], among other more embarrassing nicknames, usually had a hand in said adventures.

One hot afternoon, we concocted something that had Complan, some milk, sugar, some ... uhhh ... salt and (rather inexplicably), Rin. We stirred it all up, yessirree, very very nicely and sat there feeling very smug and successful and triumphant in general. Of course, we still needed approval. Of an adult, naturally. Given we were sat on the kitchen floor with mortar and pestle and all the ladies were bustling about, the most likely victim happened to be our ajji. She had time to spare for us (as ajjis do), while no one else did. Too busy making chivda and barfis and what not they were. Hmpfh. So ajji got cornered into tasting this ... something. She dipped a finger in, popped it into her mouth and in the next second, stuck her tongue out and exclaimed ‘phya!’, disgusted. Now, bear in mind that we bore no malice, neither did we intend any mischief. All we wanted was someone to tell us how clever we’d been. Surprisingly, we weren’t given a talking to. Praise be damned, we were really tickled by this ‘phya!’ and spent the next few days rolling with laughter every time one of us said ‘phya!’

The younger one might have been feeling left out but looking back, there’s one occasion that he probably feels he was better off for not having participated in. Our mothers had brought back a packet of ready-to-make ice-cream to keep us entertained for an afternoon. There wasn’t much to it, heat some milk, add the contents of the packet, stir it up nicely to avoid lumps and get a nice thick mix which then had to be refrigerated. The older one and I spent much time following the directions to the T, a lot of which involved vigorous stirring of said mixture (which was a very nice chemical baby-pink) while we spoke about matters of great importance such as which girl(s) was the object of attention and affection du jour and how she/them reciprocated by jabbing him repeatedly with a compass or a ruler or other such items of romantic symbolism. The ‘ice-cream’ was refrigerated finally and due to reasons that remain unfathomed to this day, stayed in its milk-shake form.

But we’ll always have the-ice-cream-that-was-actually-cold-custard-of-some-form. And the younger one had an equal share in it, which makes it very special. It was thick, grainy, pink and we topped it with jelly cubes and peppermints. And watched as the adults ate it with straight faces.

Perfectly angelic little children we were, god promise!

[*] Don’t go feeling too sorry for him, he called me Grasshopper in return.


  1. Anonymous12:01 PM

    You devils! Poor Ajji!

  2. wait till you have kids. THEN, we'll talk... ;)

  3. Hahaha! Whew, at least I never fed anyone Rin.

  4. Anonymous6:11 PM

    Agree with #2.

    Can't say what queer vocalizations you'll spew forth, but your lot of brats will have their due share of rolling :).

    You'd better hope organic detergents (or somethin') make their way to the market soon :P.

  5. Anonymous10:07 PM

    Rin Complan! ROFL!! I eagerly read up to see if you all had a glass each resulting in 'who'll use toilet first!' kinda happy fights ;)

    Alas, you little brats were cautious enough not to do that. Poor Ajji though! :D

  6. Aww you've stirred my memories too. I remember 'baking' (but actually cooking on a miniature oil stove) a cake, embellished with smarties and melted chocolate, with my cousins. We had a secret midnight cake-cutting, where unfortunately we realised the cake was inedible.

  7. for god's sake, RIN??? Even I Phya-ed while reading it! Poor ajji!

  8. celestialrays: It was done in all innocence, much like you painting thatha's face :D

    Catty: You're not going to talk to me till I have kids?! :O My folks been talking to you or something? ;) My kids will be sent to R Atya's for some much needed training btw ... so we'll definitely have that talk :D

    Amrita: Haan, we had over active imaginations and way too much creativity :P

    Anon: Do you happen to be family? You sound like you might be. I spew queer vocalizations even now ... my kids might outdo me in the creative dept though :P

    AHK: Hahahaha ... yeah we were sensible like that.

    The Bride: hahahaha ... the things we did as kids, eh?!

    Purnima: Whattodo? We were rather 'adventurous'.