My Earliest Memory

I have been tagged by the suave Tulika for this post which is about one’s earliest childhood memory. While I was thrilled to see her post and read her precious little memories with a smile plastered all over my face, but when the thought of the task ahead loomed over me, I  sat totally foggy and clueless for a while.

I wondered about the task of sifting through millions of childhood memories…

But, I am not the one to give up so easily, so I raked up the memory cells a bit deeper and they didn’t disappoint me.

As my heart took a time travel, it paused the journey when I was around 3 year old. Dad worked in a large Central Government enterprise and and we lived in the company’s colony. The colony was a self sufficient one and had a dispensary, a small market, temple, gurudwara and club facilities which boasted of a sports arena, theater and a library for the employees and their families.

I was bright and smart even as a kid. Do I see some smirks? The legend has it that I used to get vegetables from the shopping centre, all on my own, since I was 3-something-old. Yes, the little me would go all alone with a bag and a list of vegetables (No, it was not like 2 kg onions and 1 kg potatoes…. kind of shopping) to be bought in one hand and a few coins clutched in the other.  Retrospectively, how safe it was then for a little child to be on her own for a little while. I shudder to think if the same was done by a child, in today’s times!

The shopping centre had a bakery, a barber shop, a general store and 2 vegetable shops. This was some 250 meters (0.25 Kms) from our home. I would walk as fast as my little feet would take me. My first stop was at the bakery where I’d buy toffees/candies of my choice, with the coins in my hand. Yeah, that was my incentive for helping Mom. After the goodies were safely tucked in a pocket/bag, I’d move towards my next stop.

I remember the name of the vegetable vendor which Mom and Dad frequented, he was called Lachhoo. So, I’d go to this Lachhoo fellow and hand him over the list of vegetables to be bought. He would weigh and put all the required items in the bag and write the prices against the items in the list. In case, some thing was not available with Lachhoo, I would go to the second vendor (he was called Mota, because he was one! And no, we didn’t knew his real name even then). I would ask him for the missing thing or sometimes Lachhoo would tell Mota to give that item to me and like Lachhoo, he too would jot the amount of the said item on the list.

I would carry the bag home, give the list to Mom, who would check and then keep it in her purse and would settle the amount when she went next to the shopping centre.

Mom tells me that once my bag of vegetables was pretty heavy and I was dragging it along with me. Pal aunty, our neighbour saw me struggling on the road. She told me that she’d help me by carrying the bag for me. And I simply refused. I didn’t let her carry my bag despite her repeated requests and continued with my staggering walk till I reached home and Mom took the bag from me.

Later, Pal aunty visited us and was very upset at the way my Mom was bringing me up!

After the initial mundan, my mom never cut my hair, so, I had pretty long hair. Sometimes, my mom would tie my hair like a little Sikh boy (in the pic). Once, I was dressed up in a shirt and a trouser with my hair tied up like a Sikh boy and I went to Lachoo’s shop as always and gave him the list. He looked at me for a second longer. I still remember the knowing smile he gave me and the little me understood that he had recognized me despite being dressed up like a Sikh boy.

A young Sikh boy

No, that’s not me!!

Aah! The lovely and beautiful memories of childhood, I can feel the warmth of nostalgia seeping inside me…. As I continue to smile at my laptop and have that faraway look in my eyes… KG is looking at me strangely as he sips his morning tea.

I am so happy to continue this chain of memories and I now tag the ravishing Richa to share her earliest memories with us!
myearliestmemory

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81 thoughts on “My Earliest Memory

  1. I’m first!!! Yay! And loved that Sikh boy.. He.. Sorry she… Sorry you are soooo soooo huggable. Can just picture you dragging a bag of vegetables home. That kind of no nonsense upbringing is the best way to do it. Loved the post.

    • Yessss, you are first 😀 Ohho… that’s not me!! Sadly, there isnt any pic of me as a Sardar boy 😐 Thank you, glad you enjoyed the post and yes, I am proud of the way my parents brought me up too 🙂

    • I was given cash in hand to do shopping much later and yes, the left-over change was used to buy toffees/chocolates. But that was after it was discussed with Mom. Sadly, we didnt had Chips and Kurkure and juices in tetra packs then! 🙂
      Welcome to this blog, Danny 🙂

    • Absolutely. Sending a small child alone anywhere now-a-days is unthinkable. We would be so sick with worry! Wish we can get those totally safe times back!! Yes, mom tells me that there were lots of happy and surprised and proud smiles 🙂 Thanks Kathy, so glad that you enjoyed reading this one 🙂

    • You are spot on, Suzy. Those were the days when we frequented only one shop… one tailor, one grocery shop, one barber… I remember that these shopkeepers even called us in their functions/weddings at home!!

    • Wow! You did that too, Kalpana! No, I never selected the vegetables on my own. The shopkeeper would select the best and give. If he didnt give fresh or right vegetable, Mom would take it up with him the next time. 😀

  2. ooh! I used to feel so grown up when my mom used to send me to get one or two things from the corner store!!
    😀
    I think my mum grew my hair after I started school.. she used to tie them up in braids and that used to itch so much!! LOL!
    Pixie recently posted…In a minuteMy Profile

    • I know, it seemed like a huge responsibility. And I saw the same with my kid too. Earlier, whenever, I asked him, if he would get something from Easy Day store, he would get up even from his sleep. Of course, now also he does it but with some groans! 😀
      I can relate to it… the freedom the hair felt after opening the braids… 😀

    • No sardarji pic. Mom used to make me a sardar till I was 4 or 5. And that time, we would go to the studio to get ourselves clicked. Unlike today’s times, when we think of clicking everything, capture everything in our cameras, sadly, mom-dad didnt think of capturing me as a sardar! 🙄
      Yes, the seeds of independence were sown pretty early 😀

  3. Lol…could totally picture a tiny 3 year dragging a bag of shopping along the road…funny how it was so normal when we grew up to do stuff like that but nowadays it would be considered oh-so-wrong to bring kids up this way! And do we get to see a real photo of you as a little Sikh boy? Lovely earliest memories Shilpa!
    Psych Babbler recently posted…My Earliest MemoryMy Profile

    • I know, those were different times. Of course, now such a thing would be considered outrageous. No pic was ever captured as a sardar me 😥
      Thanks PB, glad you enjoyed reading this post 🙂

    • It was such a heartwarming experience, remembering the good old days!
      Thanks a lot Asha and Hugs back to you from the elder version of that little girl 😀

    • Yes, these memories are the treasures that we keep locked deep within the storehouse of our souls, to keep our hearts warm. Unfortunately, I was never captured as a little sikh boy 😛

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    • Thanks Veens and welcome to this space. Oh yes, you must share your earliest memory too!! Looking forward to it. Agree, our parents did their best and we definitely turned out good! 🙂

    • That pic is a Google image… that’s not me! I was never clicked as a Sikh boy, sadly!! 😐 Oh, yes, the times are sooooo different and sending a kid alone is simply unthinkable!!

  5. Pingback: My Earliest Memory - Coffee With Mi | Coffee With Mi

  6. “Dragging the bag” I can well imagine it. That reminds me of my daughter who used to take a bottle full of water for her dad to his office ( Our quarters and his office wee located in the same compound). She was just around eighteen months old then. His colleagues on seeing her would offer to give him the bottle. But she would refuse. The bottle safe in his hands, she would run back.

    Lovely post Shilpa. It’s amazing how each one’s post brings back one memoyr or the other.
    Geeta Nair recently posted…My earliest memoryMy Profile

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  8. When we were young, shopping was so simple and unpretentious. The grocery wala uncle was as a father figure who would take care when we were around. These supermarkets and malls have absolutely no personal touch. I even saw a 2.5-year old with a mothercare leash in a mall!
    Nisha recently posted…Loan a little. Change a lotMy Profile

    • Aah! Those were the times… when you could trust anybody blindly and had no fear… Mothercare leash!! I have seen it on websites, but never seen anybody using it!! Gosh! The times we live in!! 😐

  9. Awww Shilpa!! childhood evokes fond memories always, your post made me go to the land far far away and think of the good old days 🙂 I can picture you dragging along your veggies matter-of-factly with your hair tied up like a sardar kid and a sense of achievement after handing it over to mom 🙂
    Reshma recently posted…Wasted.My Profile

  10. 🙂 It was nice reading about your childhood memories. You remember what you did when you were 3 yrs old? wow.. I don’t remember much until my primary school days. You must have looked so cute with that turban and a bag with vegetables in hand 🙂 Do you have any picture of yours with that cute turban?
    Avada Kedavra recently posted…Death Valley – Part 1My Profile

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