Going to Poona - Part Two: Poona Railway Station and the Big Shop

So we stayed in the train and we stayed in the train, and the train took us all the way to Poona. And when we got to Poona, everything started to happen at once.

When we were pulling into the station, there were men running along beside the train and they were calling out; calling up to our carriage. “Pani! Pani!” and “Pani Sahib. Pani Memsahib”

They had water in a big canvas bag over their shoulders and they had a metal cup which was attached to a chain so they could get it back if the train went away. They were pani wallahs, the men who sold pani, which was water, for only a little bit of money. And people bought it because they were so thirsty because it was so hot. And one of the pani wallahs came into the carriage, once. So the man on the train came and beat him with a big stick and said, “Go away. Go away. Bas. Bas.” which means: “That’s enough”.

Chai Wallah

When I was small; very small, I was silly because I used to call it “pani-water”. That’s silly because panimeans water. So you just had to say “pani”.

We got out of the train and being at the station was so exciting. The whole platform was full of people and they were all doing things, And there was a man and he was giving another man a haircut and there was another man who was with a tiny, tiny baby on his knee; a little boy, much, much younger than I was and the man was shaving the little baby boy’s head; like a haircut, and he had a sharp razorblade like a knife and he was shaving the little baby’s head and the little baby was crying and crying and it made me feel all funny but he didn’t cut the little baby at all and that was so nice.

There were lots of soldiers; British soldiers and Indians as well, all in their uniforms.

Daddy wasn’t in his uniform because he was on a day out with his family, so he was a civilian; just a Sahib and not a Major-Sahib for the day.

There were people everywhere and the porters were carrying baggage on their heads.

Man with Sherwani and Pagri

Then I saw a man who was so beautiful. He was an Indian man and he was wearing a beautiful pagri and a big sword and beautiful clothes. He was wearing a Sherwani and it was gold and red and cream, and he was so lovely.

And I said, “Daddy, is that man a Raja?”

And he said, “No. He’s just a Raja’s servant. He’s just a servant to a Raja,”

And he was so beautiful and tall; taller than Daddy, and he had a big beard and a big pagri. I loved him; he was so lovely.

And then we left the station and we went into Poona and there was a special shop that Mummy and Daddy always went into when we went into Poona. And it was a big, big shop and it was very cool inside. It was even cooler than when we were in the train sometimes. Sometimes it’s so hot outside, or in a train, but if you were very, very special; underneath your seat in the carriages for rich people they had a metal tray; right under the seat, and in it there would be great big blocks of ice and you could feel the ice under you. Your bottom wouldn’t be on the ice, but it made you all nice and cool. And the water didn’t go on the floor when the ice melted because it went in the tray, and I think that a man or a lady came when you got out of the carriage and they took the water away and the ice got smaller and smaller because it was hot outside.

And then we went to the big shop where Mummy and Daddy liked to go

In the street outside the shop there were people walking everywhere and tongas and lots of people and so much noise and there was a cow that just stood in the road and a car couldn’t get past because the cow was just standing there and looking at the ground. A Military Policeman came but he wouldn’t move the cow and he just went away again.

Just as we were going into the shop, there was a little girl; I remember. Every time we went to that shop in Poona, the same little girl would be just outside the shop on the ground near the door, and she would be holding her hands out and she would be asking for money and she looked so sad. She was a tiny little girl; very brown, and her hair was sticking out in all different directions. She would put her hands together and say, “Salaam, Memsahib. Salaam, Sahib” and then hold one hand out and say, “Please! Please!” in English, and she didn’t have any feet. I couldn’t see her feet because she didn’t have any feet. Just her legs, and no feet.

And it was so sad,

And then we went in the shop and had tea in there, and it was just like when we had tea in England when I went to have tea with my Granddad in Colchester, and it was the same. And it looked the same. Just like in England.

I had camomile tea which Mummy told the lady to pour for me. It was milk with “just a dash of tea” and it made me feel like I was a baby really, because I wasn’t allowed to have real grownup tea like Mummy and Daddy; but camomile tea.

After we had our tea, Mummy went up some stairs and she was talking to a lady behind the counter and the lady was explaining to Mummy about clothes. The lady was very grand and called Mummy Madam instead of Memsahib, and her voice was very strange and very posh.

Mummy wanted to buy a pretty dress because she was going to a very important party or a ball; she and Daddy were going, because she was going to meet somebody very, very important. While she was talking to the lady behind the counter, I went down a little passageway between beautiful ladies’ dresses which were hanging on hangers and some of them had tiny, weeny, weeny little mirrors; tiny round mirrors; all stitched to the dress. And when the dress moved, it sparkled and shone and the light came out and tickled my eyes. They were so lovely. And I tried to take one off with my fingernails and Mummy said they were sequins and she said that I mustn’t touch them because they belonged to the lady in the shop.

But I looked on the floor and I found one, but it was so tiny that I couldn’t pick it up. So I wet my finger, and I touched it and it stuck to my finger and I put it in my pocket; but when I looked later, it had gone. It must have fallen out.

And then after a long while in the shop, we came out through another door. In that shop you went in through one door and when you came out you could come out from lots of other doors. But when we came out the other door, that little girl was waiting there. That little girl without any feet. And she was there at the other door, and I wondered how she got there,

Did somebody take her? She couldn’t have walked; people can’t walk if they have no feet. And it was very sad.

Mummy always used to give people money when they held their hands out and said, “Please”, but Daddy would say, “No, you mustn’t, Ann, because they will all start”.

Sometimes she would give lots of money. She would give an Anna; sometimes two Annas, which was quite a lot of money. Or sometimes it was little bits. She would give a Pice or a Pie.

There were four Pie to a Pice. And there are four Pice to an Anna and that makes it not worth as much.

And there are sixteen Annas to a Rupee. Some of the Pice and the Annas and the Pie had all different shapes. Some of them had a hole in the middle. Sometimes the hole was a round hole; and the middle bit had been left out. And you had to know all the different coins and what they were worth and I learnt them because I could do my sums,

And I think there were sixteen Pie to an Anna but a lady said there were only twelve, but that is still a lot, and there were sixteen Annas to a Rupee. Rupees were so lovely. They were big coins. Sometimes I had one when I had been very good. Sometimes someone would give me a Rupee; Mummy or Daddy might, but not very often.

Later, just before we left India, they made some new Rupees and they were lovely. They had a big tiger walking on one side and they were made of silver and they were so, so lovely. They said 1947 on them and I liked them so much. And I kept two. And I didn’t use them and I didn’t spend them at all and I kept them… they were so beautiful.

When we finished in Poona, it was late in the afternoon and it was still hot. Of course it was hot. And it was going to get dark very soon. So we went back to the railway station and when we got there, it was just the same as before. So many people doing so many things. It was very exciting but you had to be careful not to go near the edge of the platform and there were still people having haircuts and there was a Sadhu, I think; a man. He was so dirty looking and he had long, long hair and he never had a bath... ever! He most probably didn’t have a bathroom; maybe not.

We had a bathroom at home.

He was very dirty and his hair was very long and all squidged up.

And when we got on the train, there was a chai wallah who was calling out, “Chai, Sahib... Chai Memsahib” and that was tea. He had a big teapot and he had a little glass and he poured hot tea in it, but we had just had tea in the big shop, so we didn’t want chai.

There were pani wallahs as well, and all the noise.

But I didn’t see the beautiful man with the pagri and the Sherwani, because he had probably gone back home to the Raja and that was a shame. Because he was so beautiful.

I was so excited and tired all at the same time, that I think I slept all the way how and can’t remember when we passed the village and the station at Shivaji Nagar,

A Glossary of Words used in this three part Story

Sahib:Used formerly as a form of respectful address for a European man inBritish India

Chota: little

Chota Sahib: Little Sir. Term of respect for a small boy

Memsahib: A married white or upper-class woman. Respectful form of address

Chapplis: Form of sandal with two broad leather straps: left to right and right to left meeting at the heel of the foot with a buckle. Leather sole.

Chappals: Open type of outdoor footwear, consisting of a flat sole held loosely on the foot by a Y-shaped strap, like a thin thong, that passes between the first (big) and second toes and around either side of the foot.

Degchi: A deep round saucepan traditionally made of brass or copper, but stainless steel is also available.

Tonga (Tanga) A light horse-drawn carriage used for transportation in India and Pakistan

Khansama: Cook

Bearer: Man in charge of the running of the household; under Memsahib, or Sahib. Also given the responsibility for a male British child.

Mali: Gardener

Poona: (Present day Pune)The eighth largest metropolis in India, the second largest in the state of Maharashtra after Bombay(present day Mumbai).

Sadhu: a holy man, sage, or ascetic.

Pagri

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Comments 60 comments

SilverGenes 5 years ago

When I saw this published, I became curious and went back to read the first part and followed with this. Mesmerizing. That is the only word that comes close to describing the experience of reading this. Your description coming through the eyes of a child makes it exceptionally powerful.


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Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you, SilverGenes. I'm glad it worked for you. I enjoyed writing it, and it certainly opened up a lot of pages in the book that is my life... some a little distressing, but regardless; better out than in.

Thank you so much for coming and sharing it with me.


Sunnie Day 5 years ago

Dear Ian,

I am intrigued with these stories as you write them from the eyes of a child. I agree with SilverGenes..I do not know anyother way that would be more real and facinating.

I sit here,read, and picture you as a young boy with your mother and father..going to new adventures, taking it all in..You can tell it made such an impact, as you remember such details in vivid descriptive passages. I just love this Ian..Thank you again for letting us share in a most remarkable world you lived in.

Hugs,

Sunnie


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Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

You're right, Sunnie. It made an enormous impact on me and I can still see the places and hear the sounds and almost experience the events. But as I write about them there are other details in the background, almost looking over my shoulder, saying. "What about us? Write about us!"


Sunnie Day 5 years ago

A wonderful tribute to you beautiful mother and handsome father and the people who touched your young life..I can't wait to read more..Many hugs,

Sunnie


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Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you, Sunnie. We must talk again soon.

What did you think about the little girl outside the shop? So true... so sadly true.


Sunnie Day 5 years ago

It reminded me of going to Mexico..I am afraid I am much like your mother..can not stand to walk by without putting some money in their hands..So sad..


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Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Mexico? The Third World on your doorstep?

My mother always wanted to go to Mexico... she liked the idea of a country without flies... or was it Mexico City?

The largest city in the world.

Tell me I have my facts wrong and I'll come and throw a brick through your window.

Or hypnotise your Peeps so that they believe that they are roosters and won't EVER lay any eggs.


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A.A. Zavala 5 years ago from Texas

Intriguing as usual. Onto the next chapter...


Becky 5 years ago

Exotic and fascinating look at another land.


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attemptedhumour 5 years ago from Australia

All those scenes must have been so fascinating to your young eyes. Innocent young eyes unable to look beyond the wider implications. Well i must press on.


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mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

What a powerful transporting machine you have turned your pen into. A different time, different place, an all seen through a pair of keen innocent eyes. The sensitivity of the child that you once were is gratefully present in the tone and tempo of the story.


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Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Keep in there, Augustine, and make sure you enjoy your jelabies.


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Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Becky, this is why India was called the Jewel in the Crown. An amazing and wonderful country, filled with beauty and lovely people.


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Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

The violence and the horrors that soon were to surround us and overwhelm India and horrify the world.

Remember this, Keith, I saw myself as an India, as I do now, and to discover soon that I wasn't welcome in the land of my birth, was a dreadful thing.


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Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Mck, you are so right. I usually write straight onto paper or onto a computer screen and do not edit much at all. I suppose it is because my mind has been assembling my story lines subconsciously.

This time I decided to use a Sony recording machine, a tiny little thing, half the size of a mobile phone. I sat in the car on Streatham Common and dictated.

I started to tell the story into it and spoke and spoke and spoke, but when I played it back (The whole thing was in three large sections), I discovered that although the vocal chords were those of an adult male (Me) the words, the intonation, the whole thing, was that of an eight/ten year old child.

I had actually "time travelled" back into the mind and soul of a little boy living in India before Partition.

I was always an articulate child and spoke at length (and in many languages) to anybody who would listen to me, and I hear the "voice" of a child speaking in this.

I hope you enjoy it for what it is worth.

Ian


mckbirdbks 5 years ago

Well, Ian that is a remarkable feat. To dictate a story in a sitting or two and then transcribe it with little editing is fantastic. Your ‘inner’ child’s voice described the events in meticulous detail. That indicates a sharp mind, and brought us vivid images of a time long past.


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Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

This second part is simply charming, with the small-child relating the details which captured his attention and his impressions of all that was there and that was being done. Amazing story and perspective, Ian. Your mistaking pani wallahs for pain water and it being redundant is so cute. I think of the mistaken impressions my own son had, such as thinking meat loaf is a very tender, luscious cut of beef. haha. I've wondered if it made pleasing him with a special meal easy for his wife!

I could imagine your dismay watching that man cutting a baby's hair with a sharp unsheathed razor - and your relief when it went well!

I've often wondered at the situation which necessitated your father and his men being stationed there. I suppose it was similar to more recent military occupations of countries where unrest and political turmoil seethe. It doesn't quite fit a model of a peaceful occupation, and the suggested details in this segment with many soldiers milling about seem to fit a more risky situation.

The beautiful raja's servant in his elegant clothing is quite vivid, and your illustration of such a man certainly justifies your impression.

That little girl is the saddest visual. Poor thing. Wonder how she was moved from the entry door to one of the exit doors. . . Did you ever figure it out?

Poor baby - having to settle for milk and a little chamomile tea in it! hehe As a kid I adored the smell and taste of coffee and they'd put a few drops in my milk (of which I was much less fond) to quieten me. I really accepted that I was having a special cafe au lait, just like a Parisian.

Speaking of Paris - the sequined gowns and the mysterious shop lady may have been from there! Your thinking they were little mirrors and the salvaged single sequin in your pocket - so charming. I still find sequin hearts I collected from a step-granddaughter's wedding reception table decorations now and then. What a memory-jogger! Yours remained a memory even though it slipped out of your pocket.

It's fascinating, too - about the denominations of the coins. Complicated!

The tray of ice under train seats for special persons - clever.

So Chota Sahib was exhausted and slept through the return train trip! No wonder! It was quite a day! It truly reminds me of forays across the Rio Grande to Villa Acuña in Mexico when I was a child. The sense of wonder, the amazing aromas and sights, along with a kind of awed fearfulness, all so "other" and interesting.

High votes!


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thougtforce 5 years ago from Sweden

I enjoyed this story very much and also the way you wrote it. Thanks for the journey to an interesting country and to another time!

Tina


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attemptedhumour 5 years ago from Australia

I was an unwelcome guest when i first arrived in Oz, to a minority of course. It must have been much harder for you, and also for the many Indian people who would have happily shared their world. Must dash off to work. See you.


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Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I seldom edit, Mck. I am not being arrogant. I am just a very slow writer and my mind is constantly going so quickly. It is not cleverness; simply laziness. The main editing I do is to get rid of my typographical errors, as I am deplorable on the keyboard.


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Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Keith, I experienced a form of racism when we first went to Perth. Perhaps I will make a hub of it. It might explain why I have "forgotten|" all the languages I knew.

I only realised why the day before yesterday when I was telling my neighbour about things.

Yes! A hub.


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Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you, Tina. i think that it benefits in being told completely from a child's point of view. It would be interesting to write a "follow up" from a more detached viewpoint, and see if it worked as effectively.

Thank you for coming and reading.

It certainly was another time and another place, but some things in that glorious country have not changed at all.


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Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Commenting on the following: "I've often wondered at the situation which necessitated your father and his men being stationed there. I suppose it was similar to more recent military occupations of countries where unrest and political turmoil seethe. It doesn't quite fit a model of a peaceful occupation, and the suggested details in this segment with many soldiers milling about seem to fit a more risky situation."

India was the Jewel in the Crown of the British Empire. Britain had gradually taken over the sub Continent over a matter of years; first with the East India Company (and all its permutations), and then by Imperial Expansion.

The Indian Mutiny against British Rule or 1857 had turned into a bloodbath yet the British held on; due somewhat to the loyalty of some of the Indian Sepoys and their regiments. The resulting treatment of the Indians was cruel and unnecessarily harsh.

Ghandi and Congress party and Jinah were pressing for the British to go (The Quit India people). As one of the conditions of fighting on the side of the British during the War, primarily against the Japanese and also against the Germans and Italians, deals were made that the British should leave as soon as possible after the War.

There were so many military personnel because India was an occupied country and part of the British Empire.

At this stage I can be heard to mutter, "And that bastard Lord Lois Mountbatten, last Viceroy of India!!!"

The time I am writing about is 1946 - 1948. Partition (India leaving the British Empire and becoming two Republics - India and Pakistan) took place in 1947, so we were in the thick of it. "Civil Disobedience" was the weapon employed by the Indians under the direction of Ghandi, a pacifist.

So I was running around in the cantonment with no one making sure I was safe or that I didn't get into harm. I think my parents were very negligent of my safety, yet there was Krishna, making sure that the Chota Sahib was safe, when he could get away from the bungalow.

And yes; there is another story there.


Sunnie Day 5 years ago

lol...well Mexico is pretty far from here..not Mexico city..just a safe area near Mission Texas that you could go shop..but not so safe anymore..most are discouraged to go over now..

NOT MY PEEPS IAN!!! I was praying I did not have a rooster in the bunch..now Chrissy thinks she is a chicken and sits and waits for bread crumbs among them..I think she will need a dog therapist soon..lol


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Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Poor Chrissy. First she thought they were dinner, and now she thinks they are friends. Wait till she tries to roost on that pole at night.


Sunnie Day 5 years ago

hahaha....I can't imagine....One chicken came up to her nose to nose today as she took the hens piece of bread...like, "what cha doing?" She just gulped it down...I am so relieved though she is not going to eat them..


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Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

She will. I sent her an e-mail, and told her to wait until they have put on a bit of weight first. I said that they would only be a mouthful,. She agreed.


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steve of ian fame 5 years ago from Essex

It matters not to Ian whether a story is real or fantasy or a combination of the two. In Britain, we call if psychotic.


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Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

You call it psychotic; I call it verisimilitude.

By the way, Mr Jack Lincoln-Palmistry, my hub 'Steve Comes to Dinner ' has had more views than anything else I have written on Hub pages... and it's only recent (That means I've just done it during the last few days, Steve, in case the adjective "recent" or the adverb "recently" confused you).


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Shalini Kagal 5 years ago from India

TL - those days seem to be imprinted in your memory! It was a different age, a different world - but like I said, there are vestiges of the old life that linger on. And unlike 47-48, you will be very welcome today :)


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Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Shalini, i was born there and I still feel that I am an Indian. This is the land of my birth; even though I was born a long, long way from Maharashtra.

I never felt unwelcome there, as I was surrounded by people who loved me. Krishna especially.


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Nikkij504gurl 5 years ago from Louisiana

I love how you tell the story, like you are still that young boy, that chota sahib. voted up and useful. On to part 3!


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Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Phew!!! I thought you were disappointed. Perhaps not.

I almost read the teacher's note at the bottom: "Could have tried harder!"


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Nikkij504gurl 5 years ago from Louisiana

Na, I liked these. I just kinda forgot it was in 3 parts haha


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kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

As I am progressing with the story...

(I am not really progressing so well with shredding, so I took a time out)

I was wondering when did you write this story?

it made me think of the only oriental place I have been - Uzbekistan/Tajikistan

Tashkent/Buchara/Samarkand

And Samarkand is hardly like India, but it is nothing like Russia either

the bazaar, the business, the tea houses - it is very very interesting.

How did you remember all this details? How old were you?

Back to shredding/laundry/blah blah blah... I will come back to read Part 3 later tonight.


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Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Those are places i would love to have been to. I think that Tashkent, Buchara and Samarkand are more like the country I was born in and stayed till I was about four or five. Baluchistan which is in the north west corner of Pakistan; on the border of Afghanistan. Rough and wild tribal areas in that part of the world.

My memory is good. I was in India (Maharashtra) between early 1946 and early 1948.


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kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

So, you were about seven or nine? Just like Daniel?

My mother was born in Tashkent, but she was a baby and then the family left for Siberia - my grandfather was a Captain of the First Rank in the Marines (equivalent to Colonel). But he was Engineer-Captain, so he was involved in the production of ammunition. He was responsible for the evacuation of the plant and went there where the plant was headed. He ended up in Siberia and then when "he was retired" (against his will), his family went to live in Alma-Ata. Or the plant was relocated again? You see, I don't know everything.

But the first evacuation was from Zaporozhye (the Polish-Ukrainian border (maybe not Polish, I have to look it up)).

I don't think my memory is as good as yours, but I know that I retain more than I can recollect.

I remember strange things - my mother calling me "a sophist" - on the street, it was winter and I am very upset. After she called me such a name I had no defense against the argument could not go any further. I had perfect logic (according to my memories) and to tell me "you are a sophist" was equivalent "the argument is over because you are a fool".

Ok, back into the tides of the day, laundry, shredding and wrapping it up - to clear my bed so I can sleep today - all this paper is covering my bed... Oh, you should see my room! Better not...

I will get to the third part of the story when I win "The Paper Battle".


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neeleshkulkarni 5 years ago from new delhi

i go to poona often and boyy how it has changed in the years that have gone past since you were there but yes sometimes a little bit of the old poona does flash through you will be glad to know.

keep writing friend


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Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Neelesh, thank you for coming for a little walk through your history as seen through the eyes of a young boy. A young boy who still has the fondest memories of the land of his birth.


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Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

You should write about your own history, Svetlana. There is nothing so gratifying as writing a simple outline and suddenly finding that more and more details and smells and incidents start to crowd through; all saying, "Write about me now and make me look good... or bad".

I have learned so much over the last few months about "what makes Ian tick". I have even realised through writing these hubs, why I can no longer speak in five or six languages. It all became so crystal clear about a week ago, Just through writing a few hubs,

Ah! Therapy.


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kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Ian, believe me I don't have the time. What I write is an absolute necessity for me. It is "a way through a mental block". And I am banging my head against brick walls and mirrors.

Writing my life story might be a good idea, but not now.

I did not take care of my life for almost three years. All this "my room is a disaster" is a sign of psychological impasse. It might make no sense to you whatsoever, but it is true. My messy room reflects the mess inside of my soul, which I am desperately trying to find.

But I am really glad that you can write what makes you happier. Otherwise, what writing is for?


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Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

There are few things more therapeutic than tidying a bedroom or a kitchen.

I can get into quite a muddle, and my bedroom looks as if a teenager lives in it, but my kitchen is always clean and functional.

I have a method which really works wirth me. I give myself a number,,, it doesn't have to be large (6 for example - or 24... I know you) and then I promise myself not to do another thing until I have THROWN AWAY that number of articles and PUT that number of articles IN THEIR CORRECT PLACE.

It really works with me. I get such a buzz from throwing stuff away... stuff that "might come in useful" but never do.


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kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Interesting. I never tried to work in such a way. I actually have an excellent ability to organize things at home - everybody else get stuff lost, misplaced all the time, but me. Even in my MESS.

And I had it all until 2008. When I broke down - I broke down. It is hard to understand why "cleaning up and organizing" became such a problem - but it is a huge MENTAL block. I just cannot FORCE myself to do it. Maybe it is the same feeling that once you get sick from one food (beer in my case) - I cannot even think about it without being nauseous.

When I was a teenager, my room was tidy. Now? Oh. But I am on the right track.

But what surprised me - "keeping things that might come in useful" - do you know it is a personality characteristic?

In the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator - you probably know your type (I am ENFP for now - I keep changing the diagnosis since nothing fits, but E--P should be right, I am not sure about -NF-).

Anyways - The difference between Judgers and Perceivers - the last parameter (letter) J or P -

when I was reading the book I was laughing at myself -

Perceivers have messy desks, they keep everything "they might need", see deadlines as elastic...

I don't think if there can be a better portrait of me. Even though before I would not "tolerate" a messy desk, as it turned out to be - I can and I can navigate in my mess perfectly well.

[However, there is an opinion that "clean desk is a sign of a boring person, unimaginative, not creative - there is a quote somewhere, maybe you even know it]. I even wanted to write an article - on cleaning a room, a life.

The last time Daniel called my room "a pigsty" (he should talk! He would not be able to clean anything yet) and suggested how he can help to put this in one pile and that in another pile - good initiative and some impulse to use organizational skills, but I said: "Thank you, sweetie, but nobody can tidy up anything here. If you tidy up, I will never find anything. It is chaos, but it is chaos that makes sense to chaos.

When my mother put her things away or anybody's - chances they will be found a few years later. And she keeps bringing all kind of stuff home in such quantities...

But not to bore you with details - I laugh at myself. I have started cleaning up - I don't like mess.

I sometimes act like a dog that used to search for certain things - when somebody loses something - I would be the one who will find it, the one who employs logic where possibly it can be and I "see" whereas most people don't notice.

Once Daniel hid "pepper" - because Grandma told him to make sure Grandpa does not use pepper for porridge. Daniel made sure. He hid pepper and forgot where. It took me a day. Once he hid his medication. I was the one looking for it. Knives keep disappearing.

But once, Nikolai was screaming at me, that he "lost" his book in my mess (that was before "my messy days". I looked everywhere and I knew that I did not touch the book.

Eventually I found it between car seats - he put it there four days prior. And know what he said? No, not "Thank you, I am sorry I blamed you and yelled at you."

He said: "It's your fault. You put it there too carefully."

(I DON'T put books between car seats. EVER).

Well, I am sorry to write you a long story

- maybe just for entertainment.

(And to postpone starting cleaning up again!)

Please don't feel obligated to respond in kind - I know that being on HP feels like a full-time job. Writing and reading and socializing. That is the reason that it is so hard for me to find the time.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I also can live in a muddle, because I have quite a photographic memory, and can sweep across those pictures and find things quite easily. I am always annoyed when it doesn't work.

I have a mantra that I use when I "really" lose something. A friend told me about it and I still use it:

"Allah, you know where it is; please show me". and it works.

There is also the prayer to Saint Anthony of Padua for Christians. He is the Patron Saint of Lost Causes and Lost Things. I suppose you just ask him to help you.

But what does and Atheist do? Or an Agnostic?


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

I am probably an Agnostic.

Options for those who don't pray:

1) learn that you can really live without thing that you have lost;

2) develop organizational skills (at least some basics) not to lose at least important things;

3) be extremely happy when finding the lost thing three years later;

4) develop a contingency plan - how the lost thing could be replaced;

5) weep senselessly, then calm down and realize that nothing can be done.

The most important lesson - to realize once and for all that you can be stripped of all your possessions, but your body and your mind.

Talking about things, the most precious things are photos - but I realize that something can happen.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I have never met anyone with such deep insights... and all at once, in two entirely different people; coming from two almost polar (you know what I'm getting at) directions, I find you and Nellieanna.

I am not deep, myself, In fact I can be bloody shallow, but I admire (and am a little apprehensive of) depth.

I skim along the surface like Semi (My dog, not the deepest thinker, but sensitive to the nth degree) going "La-la-la-la-laa!"


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

I think that we all belong together, in the same club, as if the Universe made sure we all met.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I'll make the tea... in a samovar, of course, and you and Nellie can discuss the meaning of life.

Do you take milk?


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

Oh, how nice. An English tea party!


Lady Wordsmith profile image

Lady Wordsmith 5 years ago from Lancaster, UK

Brilliant.

So, you actually think up your stories in this structured way before you've even written a word? Do you see the story as a whole when you think of it, and then fill in the details quite easily because they're already there in your head? That's a rare gift I think - not everyone can see in such a clear way. I wouldn't say that it makes translating your story onto the page easier, because the words still have to be found to convey the pictures in your mind's eye. But other people could have a similar sort of material to yours (these beautiful memories) and write and write for pages and pages without achieving this structure and flow that you have. I do believe that, although we know that anyone can write and everyone has the right to write, not everyone can be taught how to do it so skillfully - some people are just naturally talented at writing down what they want to say and making it beautiful and captivating. I don't think that's really something you can learn, only something you can refine if you already have it.

Bravo. On to the next chapter :)

Linda.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Yes, Linda, I do; generally. I seem to have the whole story in my head and write it as I come "from the back of my head to the frond" as it were. I am a very slow writer, and that might help; I don't know.

If I just sit down and start to write, it flows and takes a life of its own. i sometimes have difficulty stopping it.

This story was a departure. I sat in my car and dictated it into a little Sony digital voice recorder, and I actually dictated it almost exactly as you see it written. It was in this story that, when I played it back, I heard a child's words and even intonation breaking through the man's voice. It was little Ian!. It was a very strange and emotional experience.

I am in the middle of writing a story now which is going so slowly, because I actually planned it with lots of little notes... never again. It is going so slowly. I hope the end result is OK.

Regardless, thank you for your lovely comments.


Lady Wordsmith profile image

Lady Wordsmith 5 years ago from Lancaster, UK

Ian, that is exactly why my masterpiece novel is not finished. Notes are all well and good, but they don't 'arf slow up the actual writing. I'm not doing it that way again either.

Are you going to work with the dictaphone again? It's worked so well this time. It'll be interesting to know if the voice you hear back begins to grow up (insofar as you have grown up, which, thankfully, is not too much!)

I'm going to chapter 3 of this story now. I'm awake! :)

Lxx.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Linda, I am going to write another much briefer story, and strangely enough, it almost mirrors the 'Going to Poona' trilogy. This one is a whole year later, almost exactly, and I think it should be in the first person singular, but with an adult's perspective.

I think I'll let it rest for a while, though. It's not as if people are flocking to my little corner of HP and banging on the bars of my cell... er... room, and demanding more stories, is it?


sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

sunilkunnoth2012 2 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

Very interesting story telling. It gave me a nice read. I totally enjoyed it. These are what we call nostalgia! You have brilliantly narrated your memories. Keep on writing such one in future also. All the best.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 2 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Sunil, please do me the honour of reading this story in its enirety. This , above, is part 2 and it quite depends on your having read part 1 (Going to Poona - Part One: Shivaji Nagar). Then, of you like it, you can go on to the 3rd and final chapter.


Surabhi Kaura profile image

Surabhi Kaura 4 months ago from Toronto, Canada

Oh my, Ian, what a real picture of India you have painted! Rich and vivid. I am smiling as I am writing it to you. I don’t know of anyone here who writes with such clarity and affection. You are such a lovely soul, and I am not just saying it, I truly mean it. I am entranced with the depth of your writing. Just wondering – have you thought of writing a book that deals with your stay in India? You have an Indian soul, really. I can feel it in your storytelling art.

I have never seen a picture of an old Indian currency. Thanks for that. Your Daddy talks like my Dad, in the sense that whenever we go to Mata Chintpoorni, we are confronted with many beggars and my Mummy can’t resist but to give them some money. It burns my heart to see them on the floor with ripped clothes. So I make sure to keep a separate purse full of coins for them.

A very sweet, charming, and an exquisite hub. Aw, so you didn’t find that Raja, eh (smile).


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 4 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Surabhi, I've just read some of the above and remembered how I wrote it very much from a child’s point of view. With the sort of sentence structure that a child would have used. I think that it really worked, and I remember Hanifa contacted me and told me that she liked Little Ian (Chota Sahib) telling the story.

The picture of the little girl outside the shop in Poona (forgive me, it was Poona then) still haunts me. I have a very good memory for incidents, colours, feeling ... the whole gamut of experiences, and they come up at any time of the day or night. It’s lucky for a writer, but not so much for a thinking caring person.

Thank you for the question: “Just wondering – have you thought of writing a book that deals with your stay in India? You have an Indian soul, really. I can feel it in your storytelling art.”

Yes, I have thought of it, and I would most probably include almost everything I have written on HubPages, as much of it is a telling of the story that is me. Of course it would have to be edited in part, and of course, I would have to “take my finger out” (Ha Ha) and start it.

But yes, I might, just might, try to do so.

Much love and respect,

Ian

(By the way, your comments, support and interest have brought me very close to starting to write again. Thank you)


Surabhi Kaura profile image

Surabhi Kaura 4 months ago from Toronto, Canada

Ha ha. Ian, Dear One. You must come then. I miss the Chota Sahib; that cute innocence. Come back to HubPages. I would bring a flood of comments (giggle). Love ya!


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 4 months ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thinking about it.

Mind you, I am trying to finish my novel (!) and have reach quite a writer's block.

Ho hum.

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