The Letter

21 Mar

Time to head back in time…

One thing in a family full of buys is that the older kids get blamed for anything that the younger ones do. In my case, the punching bag was my cousin Uday. Uday is about an year and a half older than I am so that made us “soul mates”.

Summer holidays were invariably spent together either in Bangalore or Mysore. Uday and I had several firsts together. Our first smoke (when I was 8), our first taste of meat, late night movies by sneaking out the back door, the list goes on and on. Every waking moment was spent plotting something or the other. If we had nothing else to do, there was always Harisha (Udays younger brother) or Aditya (my dear sibling) to pick on. But whatever happened, it was always Udaya’s fault. Even though the planning and execution and eventual messing up was mine. Uday always took these rebukes stoically and in good humor except for one time…

My uncle Ravi decided to marry Aunt Judy. For a Madhwa family from Mysore that was a culture shock. My Grandad was livid. Of course we are talking 1976 here when letters were the only means of communication. So a letter arrives from my Uncle one afternoon. Grandad reads the letter. Face turns red. He then sat quietly for sometime and then headed to the kitchen to get himself a glass of water. Uday and I see this letter lying on his bed and decide to read it (it was my initiative). So we take it into one of the other bedrooms and start reading it. Suddenly someone kicks the door. It almost comes of the hinges. Its Grandad. He realizes that someone has stolen the letter (that someone being us) and is understandably livid. He is shouting at us to open the door. Quivering, Uday opens the door. Fortunately I hid behind the door, so Grandad only sees Uday after the door opened. What a whacking he got. Me, I slipped out of the room from behind the door and ran away. I snuck away to the field behind the house. Uday, the poor guy got caught.

30 minutes later, I am engrossed in a game of cricket with the other kids when out of the corner of my eye, I spy Uday coming at me with a cricket bat and a battle cry. He wants me to get a share of the whacking as well. I bolt. He finally catches up to me. I brace myself for the inevitable. Nothing happens. Instead he looks at me sternly and goes, “You and your stupid ideas”… and walks off.

Relationship between us improves considerably later that evening when I hold on to a catch off his bowling.

We religiously avoided any eye contact with Grandad for the next couple of days.

EPILOGUE:

Ravi married Judy. Its been 30 years of married life now. They have a wonderful daughter Jyothi who graduated with honors from Dartmouth.

After his initial tirade, Grandad became great friends with Judy. It was because of my Aunt Judy that I survived student life in the USA as did my brother. She was our Guardian Angel. Still is.

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14 Responses to “The Letter”

  1. Veena March 21, 2007 at 10:58 am #

    OMG! You and your ideas!…
    Beleyuva siri moLakeyalle… you were a budding CEO na aagle ?

    **Religiously avoided any eye contact ** – LOL! Reminds me all my child hood mischief, I was just remembering when I had got hit last time at home.. May be when I was fighting with my elder brother for my new shuttle bat (some particular color) which he was denying to give. Both of us had nicely got it on our back… Such events used to be so memorable because of we not talking for atleast 1 or 2 days after the event. That would be total fun avoiding eye contacts etc.,

    God bless Ravi uncle & Judy aunt. I remember reading that post whihc spoke about taxi driver, your first US visit & Ravi Uncles family…
    What does Uday do now ? He will surely have a hearty laugh now.

    And you are from RVCE ? This was news to me 🙂

  2. Vijay March 21, 2007 at 11:03 am #

    @Veena: Always full of “creative” ideas that didnt always succeed.. that was and is me… Udaya lives in the USA now… he still remembers that incident… Yes I am from RV…

  3. gmohanprakash March 21, 2007 at 11:14 am #

    VIjay,
    You would have a hell of a time – practically give some amount of hell to others. Go on and share the ideas … maybe some are still worthwhile heh?

    cheers
    mohan!

  4. Mysorean March 21, 2007 at 11:32 am #

    Patravali kanree neevu! 😛

    Sakkat bidi!

  5. Prashanth M March 21, 2007 at 12:20 pm #

    adda bidde saar… pralayaantakaru neevu… 🙂

  6. Pushpa March 21, 2007 at 12:52 pm #

    Ha:) nice one Vijay. I am sure all of us have had our share of luck when it comes to pranks. Concept of joint family is very good, i think that’s were strong family values start to develop in an indidvidual…

  7. greatunknown March 21, 2007 at 5:53 pm #

    Your childhood experiences made me feel very nostalgic.
    Well written!
    PS: Please remove the ‘Great Unknown’ before my name on your blog roll here… Hahaha!

  8. Aditya March 22, 2007 at 12:01 am #

    Hehe. Long overdue post!

  9. Ramesh NR March 22, 2007 at 11:48 am #

    Vijay,
    Do you think Nikhil is having as much fun now as you did in your younger years?

  10. destinationsrik March 22, 2007 at 12:21 pm #

    🙂 🙂 🙂

  11. praneshachar March 23, 2007 at 3:21 am #

    Vijay
    nice memories back yes it is true always elder is to be blamed. fortunately
    for you it is uday who was there to take. certainly nikhil will not have the things
    like you but he will have so many things which we din’t have. atleast he has you who is giving lot of food for thought showing his farm etc., so many sity guys whould not have seen what a agricultural land is no villages have been seen.

  12. some body March 23, 2007 at 4:09 am #

    ramesh nr says: “Vijay,
    Do you think Nikhil is having as much fun now as you did in your younger years?”

    probably not. from what i infer, he (nikhil) is an only child, and so does not have a younger sibling whose leg he can pull, literally or figuratively. aditya, what says thou?

    vijay:

    make sure all letters from aditya uncle are under strict adult supervision at all times, i.e., out of nikhil’s reach ;-). i have heard that history has a tendency to repeat itself!

    – s.b.

  13. Vijay March 23, 2007 at 5:14 am #

    Ramesha: Definitely not.. as SB says above… plus they have TV these days…

    SB: Paapa.. Aditya.. he can write an entire grantha…I think we scarred him for life

  14. Murali Partha March 23, 2007 at 8:14 am #

    Vijay,
    You have whetted our appetite for a good nostalgic anecdote. We want more. Time for a VHS update too sir?

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