Monday, September 22, 2008

Sounds I loved

Recently I was thinking about the sounds that I grew up with and that I had loved, while growing up--in both Bombay and Calcutta.
There were the early morning Bhajans, if you woke up early enough; there was the Muslim Call to prayer, beautiful and haunting; then, as the day went by, various vendors with such musical calls--'Appoos, appoos (Bombay during mango season); the man seliing seetmeats door--to-door, the chiudawalla (selling spicy crispies)the knife sharpening man with his humming, flying wheel; the key repair man going 'chinnkk, chinnk, chinnk' as he swung the big ring with all the keys on it; then there was the man who fluffed the cotton in one's pillows and mattresses with and instrument I don't the name of but was shaped like a big single string musical instrument. You heard the low 'boing, boing, boing' and knew who it was. Along with this was of course the ice-cream and kulfi cart. I also vaguely remember in Bombay, the gaiwalla--milkman--who came with his herd, maybe a couple of buffaloes and a cow, and stood outside folk's gates and milked the animal of choice in front of you and gave you the milk so you knew you weren't being cheated.
When I got married and came to live in Kerala I realised how much I missed these sounds. But then those sounds were replaced by the sounds of local vendors. Here, now if I get up early enough, I do sometimes get to hear the early morning prayer from the nearest temple and occasionally a very faint Muslim call to prayer in the evening. Besides, as I am working, I no longer heard the regular day sounds because I am not at home anymore at the time when the vendors go by. Ah well, time goes on and the world has changed.

5 comments:

starry nights said...

So true each sound holds a different memory, some good and some bad.

Bimbimbie said...

Hello Hillgrandmom - I came to visit you via your regular blog but blogger says you haven't enabled access to your Profile and I can't visit you by clicking your hillgrandmom ?

hillgrandmom said...

sorry. It's ok now.

Rohini said...

Nice post. Mumbai has changed too. Not so many street vendors selling aapoos these days...

Dotm said...

Familiar sounds from where we grew up are often good memories. I remember listening to the trains slamming into another car to connect it to the train. Where I live now we can hear the piggy-backers ( double semi`s) and the rattle banging noise they make going down the Northway ( a speed road that is higher up above the regular roads) sound a lot like the trains coupling together. Neighbors had a hard time getting used to the loud noise, but to me they had a familiar ring to their noise. So I was able to sleep through the loud noise.