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  • Writer's pictureCapt SN Ahmed


Streets are really turning out to be a big treat. The other day while walking, the child in me was reborn.

The bright colours of toys, masks, phirkis..., oh it was so tempting. The improvised dugdugi was so good. Just swirl it in your fingers and the threads with beads start the musical rattling of drum beats.

I wandered in my childhood. During summer vacations I used to visit my Nana's (Maternal grandfather) house in a village called Bahariyabad in UP. A small village where we had to walk down at least 3 kms from the nearest bus station. (Now it is far more developed and buses come right next to my Nana's house).

In those sultry afternoons we had nothing much to do except hanging around on trees or finding some cool place to plank in with some gud (jaggery) & murmere (rice puffs). The only thing that used to break this monotonous routine was - the sound of the dugdugi


Our ears used to catch the sound from far and we all used to run to the direction the sound was coming from.

It was the madari who used to play that dugdugi to catch attention of all in the village. (who said advertising and promotion is a new subject). We used to surround the madari in a circle waiting for him to begin the act.

But madari was a star. So how can he just begin? He used to take out his chillum and smoke for sometime. Then he used to ask some of us to fetch some water. And once he used to cool down then he used to start his act by introducing the superstars of the afternoon - his pet monkeys.

Monkeys used to be dressed like humans; the female monkey used to wear ghaghra-choli and the male monkey a kurta.

Madari used to rattle out dialogues, "bol jamoore shaadi karega" and the male monkey used to somesault in happiness. Madari used to ask, "ladki ko ghumane le jaayega" Male monkey used to approach the female monkey and kiss her. And with a great 'thud' female monkey used to slap the male one.

We all in the audience used to burst out in laughter. Claps and whistles used to fill in the air........suddenly I found the claps and whistles converting into honking of horns and noise of the crowd. I came back to the present and merrily bought one dugdugi.

Childhood is so much fun. I don't understand why should we ever grow up. I think we should always try to meet the child that's sleeping inside each of us.

Try once, and the same world will suddenly get a new meaning. A new look. A new perspective.

So while you explore the child in you, I will go and enjoy my dugdugi.

C ya soon

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