There often come instances in life when you end up doing an intentional childish prank, or your do (or forget to do) something out of sheer absent mindedness which ends up making you feel like you rewound the clock of time all the way back to your childhood. I can bet it happens to you as much as it happens to me, just that the frequency and impact of such occurrences might differ from one person to another.
It was one such incident which happened to me recently which made me think of one of the earliest “lessons” (literally..!) I learnt in my life. I would rather not make you endure the torture of what happened to me, but the incident reminded me of a character who was present in my English text book in primary school – Kutchu. Kutchu and his family occupied a good portion of my English textbook in my primary classes. I think his wife’s name was Kamala, I can’t be sure about it. I very distinctly remember his son Ramu and his daughter Sita. One of the more popular and humorous lessons was Kutchu’s glasses which I believe, was in the syllabus for Class Two. The story was about Kutchu searching for his glasses, and eventually he “discovers” them on his nose when he looks in the mirror.
There was another one “Shake Well” which also has a Kutchu exploit in it. I only have a vague recollection of that one but it involved Kutchu shaking his mother (or was it his grandmother?? Scratch, scratch….!.) after she had some medicine because it was written “Shake well” on the medicine label. Those stories seem innocuous now but I am truly impressed by their impact that I remember a lot of it even now, more than two decades after I first (and last) read them.
Allow me to ramble along a bit more. I have peppered my nostalgic part of my senses and it is not going to go away soon, not at least till I put a final full stop on this piece for sure.
English was a subject I really liked at school. I’m not quite sure what made English take the crown for me, maybe it could be attributed to my English teachers, maybe it was the language I felt closest to (since my school, a Kendriya Vidyalaya had a policy of not teaching the mother tongue), maybe it was the quality of the course syllabus. Whatever it was, English remained one of my favorite subjects at school and as a result I do recollect (and reminisce) a lot of what I learnt in my English textbooks at school.
There are a lot of stories that I remember bits and pieces of but importantly they introduced me to a varied number of authors and the differences in presentation styles. I remember reading Nadine Gordimer (Ultimate Safari), Satyajit Ray (Barin Bhowmik’s Ailment), Anton Checkhov (The Beggar), Sarojini Naidu (Coromandel Fishers), Robert Frost (TheRoad Not Taken)….. these are but a handful of what I recollect.