What would RTH do?

That is the question.

If I were in a highschool yearbook, they would vote me most likely to die of a lynch mob. That does not prevent me from opening my mouth and serving a warm hearty cup of STFU to people who deserve it. My dark scathing humor will leave no matter of existence untouched. My innocence will touch your soul.

Welcome to a warped world turned inside out and upside down. All sorts of discretion advised.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Old School Nostalgia

Google is great. Google maps are even greater. Back in the day, you had to use paper maps. You had to carefully unfold the maps, plot your course. You never bothered unfolding the maps unless you really needed something. Things are different these days. Forget a click for a button, maps are just a tap on your phone away. The whole world is at your fingertips, right there on your touch screen. London, Paris, Rome, Beijing, Sydney, Cape Town or Rio De Janeiro - all these places are right there. You can view maps, you can view satellite images. If you are lucky, you can even pretend to walk down those streets on street view.

But that is not all that maps are useful for. Did you know there is a great sense of nostalgia in poring over maps? For the longest time, I did not know that. It is a joy I discovered a few days ago. Whenever I miss years gone by, think of my childhood, the mischief of school, the age of growing up, I go on Google maps and visit the places I miss the most. I walk down the streets reliving my own memories. It does not matter if there is no street view, the memories are etched within me, all I have to do is trace my fingers through the streets and they come alive.

Here is a small little trip down memory lane. 

1. This is where I was born. No I was not born in a garden. But somewhere around five gardens there was a small nursing home. That is where me and later my sister were born.

2. This is the neighborhood of my earliest memories. I lived there as a little kid. I still remember the names of the buildings. I remember the other buildings as well - Pallavi, Hemlata, Upendra, Amin Kunj, but I don't recollect the order. Our hide and seek games spanned all the five marked buildings. I spent many summers visiting grandma here.

3. This is my first school. Indian Education Society's King George school in Dadar.

4. This is where I spent most of my life. The neighborhood where I grew up in Vashi, Navi Mumbai. I've played hours of cricket, badminton, dabba i-spy, lagori, hopscotch, bluff and other games here.

5. This is my school - Fr. Agnels. As much as I hated school and cussed it, I owe a lot of who I am to my school. My favorite memories growing up have to be from school. Now it is a whole campus with swimming pool, girls hostel, business school etc. I've circled sector 9A and 10A schools which I went to. The Engineering campus was built when I was in Middle school. The Pool and Business school have been built after I left India. 

6. I played field hockey in middle and high school. I take great pride that I have played games on one of the finest hockey grounds in India - Bombay Hockey Association's Mahindra hockey stadium. The swoosh sound as the hockey ball flies over the Astroturf and the distinctive click as the stick connects a hit is music to my years. Ah! I would love to play hockey again. After BHA games we would sit and eat vada pav at Marine drive and stare into infinity.

7. Ah mini  seashore. The long way to walk home from school as you loitered the parks instead of going straight home. The place where college students of Vashi would make out and a whole lot more. The place where we as teenagers engaged in some exciting and guilty voyeurism. The place where father Almeida would find us loitering and yell us to go straight home. During vacation time we actually woke up at 6:00 AM and went for walks there. I'm such a lazy bum and sleepy head now. I can hardly believe that I would pop right out of bed and go out excited to be walking there with friends.

8. Oh Goa, Goa, Goa! Summer vacations had to include a quick trip to Goa. This was my vacation home. My home away from home when I visited Goa. My cousins lived here and I spent a lot of time there. I remember long walks to the municipal gardens or visiting relatives in the big house. Watching lazy sunsets lounging on Colva beach was beautiful. It was in Goa that I learned the right way to make Goan sausages in a bar. It was in Goa where I gulped my first shot of whiskey as cough syrup for my cold. Only in Goa can a twelve year old walk in bars and buy hard liquor. I drink, because my heritage is Goan.

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