Saturday, 4 May 2013

Window AC, soan papdi, and motte maadi

It's countdown time in my world. I am down to the last few exams and presentations. Also that means time at home is coming soon and I can't help but make long lists of places to visit, projects to work on, people to meet, food to eat, and things to do.

I have been curating my list and just in time, a close friend sent this video. I don't care so much for the romance that goes on as much as for the things they do! It brought back memories of weekends with friends and family doing what the couple does, in Chennai. Apart from the video contributing to my never-ending-list-of-trivial-to-dos, it led to the three highlights of this post - window AC, soan papdi, and motte maadi.

Window AC was the highlight of summers as a kid. The thing with old age window AC is this - you can sit right in front of it and let all the cold air blow the summer away in seconds. As kids, me and brother used to fight for the place that receives maximum AC inside the room. This problem of positioning had become the root cause for K-5 war MMCCCLXXXVII.

We would of course not always fight. Mom would never let us turn the damn thing on if she saw us fighting. So instead warriorraja and warriorrani would compromise to set aside our differences till we got the permission to switch it on. We'd march into the room basking in our success, and turn the red knob down. You had to wait one whole minute for the regulator to take its own sweet time to get ready. The shoving and pushing starts as soon as the loud regulator starts humming the tune of heaven, bringing the breeze with it. We'd again resume to compromise and figure out a way to mutually benefit from an arrangement in front of the blades.

Soan papdi a.k.a Indian cotton candy was for the good days. If we had finished our homeworks on time, studied what we had to with focus, and if mom was in a happy mood - we'd swoon when we hear the soan papdi guy on the streets. Mom would send one of us to get the money from her purse and the other to go stop the guy. The three of us would rush down to buy the candy that would be packed in perfectly symmetrical cones of newspaper. We'd rush back, sit around in a circle and hog. If such a thing as nirvana existed, it probably tastes like hot, fresh soan papdi. 

Motte madi a.k.a terrace is that place on earth where you can lose yourself. I have never been on expensive holidays to exotic locations where I rejoiced in the wonders of earth, as a kid. But I have been to the terrace. Every time I needed to think, every time I needed some breeze, every time I felt like showing some love to my parents' little terrace garden, every time I wanted to sketch in daylight, every time I needed to get away from home, every time I felt the need to jog away my excess fat, every time I wanted to be happy, every time I wanted to see the sun set, and every time I wanted to see the moon glow.

The window AC has long been replaced by the split AC (always thought it was the most unimaginative name for a piece of technology) and the soan papdi guy found better prospects of employment - needing me to find a replacement to relive these two moments. But the motte maadi remains. And I can't wait to go back and indulge!

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