I was born in Kuwait. Every blistering Kuwait summer, we would fly to Kerala. And my earliest memory of a place that was home is of a house in Kottayam, Kerala (southern-most state of India) and I guess I was about 4 years old then.
All my memories of that house are tied to the memories of my cousin Quietness* who is a year younger than I am, and vacationing in Kerala just as I was.
*(name changed cos some reputations will be harmed in the making of this post. Quietness is actually the meaning of his Indian name, and the complete opposite of what he was! I think the only time he was quiet was when he was plotting his next attack on innocent souls like me)
Memory Snippet #1 – The Verandah at the front of the house
This is my favourite memory 🙂
Quietness and I were playing House-House on the verandah. I was 4 and he was 3. It is possible that we were both a year older. Not too sure.
In ‘House-House’, players basically go through the motions of the entire day within the span of 15 minutes. For some reason, kids that age enjoy such games.
So we’re at that part of our game where it’s morning, and we brush our teeth and squat down like good Indian children pretending to attend to nature’s call. PRETENDING being the key word in the rules of the game, and the rule that my cousin Quietness didn’t totally get. ‘Cos there I am squatting and humming while I pretend-pee when I get the stink of what I knew from all my 4 years of experience to be the stink of POO-POO.
So I very apprehensively turn towards the source of the stink until my eyes rest under his 3-year old naked bum on the pile of poop.
My pee-time humming stops mid-hum and I spring up and run screaming for his mother (who’s my mother’s younger sister) “AUNTYYYYYYY!!! QUIETNESS MADE POO-POOOOO!!! OH WOE TO MEEEEEE!” (Ok, I didn’t say ‘Oh woe to me’)
I don’t remember playing House-House with him ever again.
It was years later that I realized that boys unlike girls squat only when they want to make poo-poo.If I’d known better, I wouldn’t have insisted on us squatting. That explains his motivation to do poo-poo when I wisely chose to pee – PRETEND-PEE.My pants stayed on, unlike his!
Memory Snippet #2 – The Room near the Kitchen
There were 2 beds on opposite sides of the room. My mum used to put me to sleep on her leg (as seen in the picture below), and Quietness’ mum used to do the same with him on the opposite bed.
There was a Godrej almirah (cupboard) near his bed. I remember this because I had some homeopathic white sugar balls medicine on the top of that cupboard.I don’t know what it was for, but I know that I loved it and would somehow manage to get me more of that sugary goodness when unsupervised.
Quietness tended to do everything I did. The older one is somehow always the trend-setter. The older one failed to impart necessary knowledge though. And that is probably why all the moth balls in the Godrej almirah went missing when Quietness was on the loose.
Haha.No. I embellish 🙂 Quietness didn’t ingest moth balls. There was a time in my childhood where I might’ve wished he did though, because over the next few years he turned into a Quiet-zilla.
Memory Snippet #3 – The Dining Room
I didn’t do much dining in there. I hear that when I was younger..maybe around 2, I used to sit on top of the table when others dined and played with food.
But if I remember right, I think the room opened to the backyard.
Memory Snippet #4– The Backyard
The Backyard is also where I remember my mum bringing my cousin Quietness to pee. Real pee.
I don’t remember wondering why he needed my mum’s help when I didn’t. I guess after that pooping fiasco, I assumed Quietness needed all the guidance he could get when it came to doing away with his bodily wastes.
Or maybe the adults thought supervising him made life easier for them than discovering his bodily wastes in different parts of the house.
I guess I should’ve at least taught him to hum loudly while doing his business. Maybe that way we’d always know before..umm..shit happened.
Then again, that wasn’t ever Quietness’ style. He was more ‘Calm before the Storm’ than ‘Hum before a Dump’.
–This post was written in response to the Daily Prompt : Our House.