of the summer of ’89 (Part 1)

I can’t remember which month it was, but let’s say that it was June. I was outside on the streets in Sarojini Nagar, playing with little boys and girls my age. I’d say they were my friends, but they most probably weren’t because I didn’t have any. (Except for Gautam, who stopped talking to me after I broke his tooth.)

Anyway. I was outside playing with other children in the colony when he arrived with his ice-cream cart. I stood transfixed as the ball went rolling past me and the children screamed. Kya kar rahi hai? Ball pakad pagal! What the fuck are you doing? Get the ball, you moron!

Teri wajah se haare hain hum aaj rang in my ears as the other team did a victory dance. We lost because of you. The crowd dispersed. Kal se hum ni khelre iske saath. We’re not playing with her anymore.

I didn’t care. I just stood there, looking at Nitu didi as she unwrapped her ice-cream, revealing a Mango Duet (the most glorious treat I’ve ever had) and threw the wrapper carelessly on the road.

I licked my parched lips. She saw, and my already sunburned face felt like it was on fire.

Khayegi? Want some?

I nodded.

She split one of the duet sticks and handed me a singlet.

I went home happy, unperturbed about the other children not wanting to play with me. I was greeted by my mother at the door. She looked angry. Beta, agar ice cream khani thi to humein bola kyon nahin? If you wanted an ice cream, why didn’t you just say so?

I wanted to say something but the shame rising through my oesophagus choked me until lava-hot tears sluiced out. Though she never said it out loud, I felt like I was pure evil and had somehow let her down.

I shot a look at my father. He looked like he disapproved too. Aage se kisi se kuch nahin maangna, he said. I had just learned my first life lesson. Don’t ever ask anyone for anything.

Do you remember your first life lesson? Where were you in 1989? Have you ever had the Mango Duet?

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Blogger. Crazy bitch. Stalkee. Weirdo magnet. Wannabe housewife. Corporate Slave. Find me at anawnimiss.wordpress.com!

31 thoughts on “of the summer of ’89 (Part 1)”

  1. My first lesson was that we can not change channels in a movie theater.
    My parent’s weren’t even aware of each other’s existence in 89 😦
    I haven’t had the Mango duet. Is it like the Mango Fruitare we have now ?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wow, you’re still pretty young then! You wouldn’t know anything about the Mango Duet. It was a special mango flavored lick-lolly that had two sticks, and you could split it into two if you were feeling generous or pretend that it was a rocket if you weren’t!
      You made me laugh with the movie theater bit! 😀


      1. Google images are not helping, and my imaginations are well, that. 😀
        Movie theater bit is pathetically true. And I said “Daddy..change the channel” in a Rajinikanth movie. Imagine :O 😛

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Google was born way after the Mango Duet died a tragic death at the hands of Walls and Mother Dairy. I miss it! 😦
          Did people glare at you for wanting to change the channel on Rajnikanth? People get killed for stuff like this, you know!

          Liked by 2 people

          1. I really hope we could bring back stuffs like that. Think Vespa, Nutties. 😦
            Oh, people laughed. Because I was a angry little, marginally-overweight girl with a fountain ponytail and polka dot frock. But I’m sure they secretly wanted to kill me :/

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Wait, what? Nutties is gone too? No!!!!
            What has the world come to? 😦
            And don’t talk to me about polka dots! I wore pink polka-dotted frocks all the effing time. I think my parents secretly enjoyed making me look like a giant marshmallow.


          3. Nutties was gone and back now after a solid 10-15 years 🙂 Faith in Cadbury has been restored !!

            And the marhsmallow-looking-polka-frock(ed)-girl ? Hahahaa. CUTE! 😀

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, I also remember something like that. Not asking for anything from anyone. And remembering that icecreams and chocolates are rationed food, no consumption without permission! 😛

    I was just about a few months above 1 in 89 so can’t say I remember 89. My first correct lesson I remember is “no wasting food” which was somewhere at the age of 7-8 when my dad carried me to scorching hot terrace to finish my dal-rice and told me I wouldn’t be allowed back down if I did not finish dal rice. I used to gulp my allotted dal rice portion down with water since I hated them. That was the first time I had to go through actually chewing through that! 😛 I think it took 3-4 terrace visits for the message to sink in!


    1. My punishment for not eating was more food. “Agar nau bajne tak daal khatam nahin ki to double khaani padegi” kind of threats were part of my daily life.
      And ’88 born? Gawwwd. You’re a kid! Should you even be reading my blog?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ya right Ana!! In my late 20s kid! Its more like the last week of 87, actually!

        And that more food as punishment threat is horrifying! I would have puked out even other things if such a threat was given to me, just out of plain horror of a time limit! I remember my grandma telling me that she used to cook 8-10 rotis for me when I was 2. Only 1 was for my consumption, rest were for dogs, cows, pigs, squirrels and birds. One roti they have and one bite I shall have was my mantra! I can’t understand the patience test I put my mom through! I would be immensely tired if I had to bring up such a brat! No wonder they had to resort to terrace thing where grandparents could not climb to save my ass (quite literally since I was made to sit on the scorching terrace tiles to finish that dal!)


          1. Yes, she tells me that too! Last weekend I was visiting her with Happy and the way he was making me run around with ragged dolls and a bowl of soup in my hands, she had a hard time to control her bursts of laughter!! 😛 But seriously, I still face a lot less since its my MIL who takes care of my son most part of the day!


          2. See, I knew you’d have to suffer for what you put her through. Sow and you shall reap! 😀
            (And karma will bite me in the ass if I don’t stop laughing about your troubles!)


  3. I love mango, but I don’t think I ever had that mango duet. Sounds wonderful. My first lesson… hmmm… don’t speak when your father is concentrated… In the year 1989 I finished successfully my apprenticeship and bought my first car in fall. It was a great year.


    1. How cool! Which car was that? I only bought a car four years ago, and I loved driving it around for the first two years. Now it’s just a pain to find parking!
      And it’s uncanny how all fathers seem to have the same rules about talking when they’re busy/focusing on something. I was really scared of mine!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Your duet sounds a lot like our Popsicle. I don’t remember a mango flavor, but there were many other flavors and I loved them They were like a sweet frozen juice with two Popsicle sticks inserted like handles. http://www.neocate.com/images/uploads/from_wordpress/popsicle1.jpg In 1989 I was 21, owned my own tractor trailer and had a contract with an American company to haul coast to coast between the US and Eastern Canada. You young ‘un. ha!


    1. Yes! That’s exactly what the Mango Duet looked like, thank you!
      What? You were 21 in 1989? I was seven, and that makes it possible for us to frame a math problem around it.
      “If Paul was three times as old as Ana in 1989, and he is 13 years older than she right now, guess their ages.” 😀


      1. You know what I just realized – I was actually 31 in 1989 (born in 1958). Holy Cow! So, you are 23 years younger than I am. Wow! You could be my daughter. But you are catching up. You see you were 8/31 or 25.8% of my age. Now you are 34/57 or 59.6% of my age. You are getting closer!


  5. I don’t think you asked for that Mango Duet, but your friend noticed that you wanted some and you gave her the opportunity to share with you. She probably felt pretty good about that.


      1. Sometimes those thing brings out the best in others. It was a win win situation. You got the Mango duet and you older friend had the joy of sharing it with you.


  6. My first life lesson was that I can not count on anyone as my friend even though we went to school together, sat together on a bench, had lunch together, shared treats, went to tuition and then to park(I know that’s childish, but I was a 6-year-old then).
    It happened when I was in 3rd standard.One day my sister asked me who my best friend was.I told her that it’s G.After a week, she asked me again and I told her the same.Then she said that G doesn’t feel so.I asked I her why she feels so.Then my sister told me that when G was asked who her friends were, she took everybody’s name but mine.When my sister asked her about me, she said that I could be her friend only in my dreams.I was hurt and stopped talking to G and she never bothered to ask me why.
    Then after 18 years, she took admission in a college where I studied.She was a junior in college and suddenly she remembered that we were friends in school and I was obliged to save her from ragging.I told her that I would save her not because we were friends in school but because I would save anyone in that situation as I am against any kind of bullying.
    I didn’t exist till December 1991. 🙂


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