BoTLot Challenge – Week 3 – Memories form Your Childhood

This week’s challenge is to dive back into your childhood. The experiences and places that have had a great impact on you. If you have been able to revisit it, how has that experience been for you.

I had started writing an introduction to the challenge by writing a little something about Wellington, one of the places my father was posted to when I was eight. The memories of the Wellington are very dear to me, and while writing, it turned into a long post. I didn’t want to clutter the challenge post with my ramblings about the place (and get your bored before you realize what the challenge is about) and that’s why I have my story as a separate post called My Wellington.

A few things that could help your post…

* Images are fun. Do not hesitate to pimp up your post

* There is no word limit to this week’s challenge. So reminisce away!

* The format of your post is anything that will help take your idea forward. It could be a dialogue, poem, a combination of both, etc. There are no rules.

You can leave a link to your post or write the post in the comments. (It is preferable if only the people who do not have blogs, but want to participate, use the comments for their post. Lets try to keep the page as neat as possible) If you like someone’s post, do tell them that you appreciate their work by liking their post.

If you are finding it difficult to post your piece, you can email it to me at and I will post it for you.

Remember the challenge closes at midnight on November 18th, 2014. Also, remember to hashtag your posts! #bitofthisandlotofthat. Do not hesitate to get in touch with me for anything at all at

Lets time travel people!

4 Replies to “BoTLot Challenge – Week 3 – Memories form Your Childhood”

  1. Post by Meghna Girish


    Today’s kids seem so smart- Computer wizzes, TV buffs, Jazz fans and Go-karting enthusiasts. We seemed to have grown up in an era when playtime meant running around outdoors with friends, and if we were lucky to have a rubber or tennis ball, play sweaty games like ‘seven tiles’ or ‘lagori’! Yet, life I think was exciting in the old days because of the wonders-of-nature that did not speak our language, yet taught us a great many things.

    Memories take me back many decades to when my dad was gifted a strikingly handsome jet black Ram as part of the Dushera festivities in his Garhwal Regiment. Since we were vegetarian, a white goat was brought to keep ‘Motu’ company. ‘Chotu’ was all delicate, coy female to Motu’s strong piercing looks and boy, were we excited when the gardener told us her widening belly meant ‘kids’ were on their way! We marveled at the perfect black and white ‘Pyari’ and ‘Chakori’ that soon emerged. Warm, soft and curious, they romped in the grass and played ‘hide and seek’ while Chotu kept a watchful eye on them. If they strayed too far, a sharp “Maaaaa” was enough to bring them bounding back for a lunge at her heavy mammary that nursed them to health. Carrying pyari and chakori in my arms as a ten year old remains among my fondest reminiscences!

    More fascinating was the really huge orange-red cock, probably a descendant of the ‘Fighting Feathers’ that provided gory entertainment in some villages. He had been peacefully rehabilitated with three hens and a brood of chicks, but never really forgot his fighting ways. God forbid anyone who wore white attire- he went for them with a shrill almost unending sounding battle cry of Kukudu koooooooo….’! In the hottest of summers, a white vest and dhoti were forbidden around the house for they were to ‘Sheroo’ what a red rag is to the bull! It was very funny to see grown men cowering beside the compound wall for fear of being attacked by a cock! My brother was a football fan and believe it or not, Sheroo would half jump, half fly off the ground and kick the ball back with his powerful legs!

    We also had pigeons on the roof that ‘coo-ed’ us to sleep, a clever little kitten that popped in and out of home at will, and wild rabbits in the garden. Then there were snakes, mongoose and dancing peacocks in the sprawling campus. Except for the kitten which was clean as can be, none of our pets were allowed into the house, as they couldn’t be toilet trained! But the night a thunderstorm blew the roof off the goat shed and toppled the coop, we had a mini farm inside our home. The goats, birds and cat launched ‘Operation Discovery’! Cleaning up the house next morning was a nightmare for mom and help.

    After the 1971 war, some soldiers found a rather big, not so young and very hairy calf lying in pain in a minefield. One hoof and part of the leg had been blown off when it had mistakenly trod on a land mine. The men used all their ingenuity to load the poor animal onto an army truck and transport it to our home. The wound was ghastly and a vet was summoned. It was amazing to see how the animal sensed that it was being helped because it cooperated so well despite the intense pain. As the beast recovered and soon regained its strength, it was fitted with an artificial hoof- the brainchild of the able vet. It seemed to have developed a huge appetite and a big belly. We learnt a lesson in biology when what we thought was a ‘bull’ turned out to be a ‘cow’! A calf arrived pretty soon and the cow gave gallons of milk, actually becoming ‘Gau-mata’ to the children of her rescuers! Fresher, tastier milk cannot be bought from any dairy.

    The mysteries of life, procreation, the joys of caring and sharing and survival skills, we learnt from nature. We did not know the meaning of the words “I’m bored” as discovery and anticipation and exhilaration were constant companions. Then, one day, we had to leave all our pets with friends as we moved far away into a big city. And there we found ‘Gypsy’ followed by ‘Teeny’, ‘Scotch, Zee, Bholu and Zoya’. To put down on paper what we have learnt from them……..Ah well! That would need another story.

  2. Post by Meghna Girish


    Sixty days of Kargil brought back vivid pictures of another Indo-Pak war witnessed through the eyes of a child. My father was then commanding an Infantry Battalion in the Jammu Sector and my mother and I were among the few families, still staying at a semi-field station, when war broke out.

    It is impossible to erase memories of the first night of the 1971 conflict that tore apart the still of a wintry December night. Our lovely home and dream shelter for almost two years suddenly seemed unsafe- even dangerous. As the doors and windows vibrated noisily to the sounds of intense artillery shelling, my mom and I moved into an adjacent underground bunker readied for our protection. The damp cold inside was forgotten as the sky lit up with the brightest firepower display that reminded me of Diwali. It was scary, awesome and yet strangely beautiful. I was worried about our goats Chotu, Motu, Pyari and Chakori who lay huddled fearfully in their shed nearby. We were too excited to even think about sleep. At daybreak, we ventured into the house. Scattered window panes and shell splinters around meant that we were well within enemy shelling range. An Army Subedar came to tell us to pack a few clothes as we had to be shifted to a safer place.

    As we took a last look at Ballol Nala that overlooked our home, a great deal of dust seemed to be rising from its sandy banks. I watched in fascination, as the rumbling of heavy vehicles became a roar. Battle Tanks! Moving in for armoured support of troops!

    On our way to the Jammu Airfield which was to be our new temporary home, we had to be driven very slowly as the roads were filled with a sea of humanity- villagers fleeing their homes along the border with whatever little they could salvage and carry. Old couples, young children, teenaged boys carrying tiny siblings on their shoulders, infants wailing in their mothers arms, cattle, goats, country fowl and pet dogs hurried along. Able-bodied men carried cots and steel trunks on their heads. The displaced people were later sheltered in camps – tiny tents pitched on open grounds in winter cold. And even six months after the war had ended, those tents continued to be their homes.

    At the Airfield, it was community living for the few armed forces families who hadn’t left for their home-towns before war started. We stayed in a building with window-panes painted black and had little candles for light. Air raid sirens reverberated late at night or at the crack of dawn and made us jump out of bed and dive into bunkers, to escape the intense bombing of the runway used by Indian Jets for sorties and refueling. Sky battles or ‘dog fights’ between Indian and Pakistani fighter aircraft left us gaping and wide eyed! A sense of adventure and courage replaced fear as we children collected shell shrapnel and splinters as souvenirs. Many of us wove imaginary stories and talked about joining the armed forces when we grew up.

    Every evening, families sat around the transistor to listen to the news – of battles at Suchetgadh, Shakargadh and Nawapind. Massive fighting raging on in Chamb and Jorian. So many killed. So many wounded. Is my papa safe? I would wonder and cross my fingers and toes. My mother would accompany other aunties to the Jammu field hospital to do their bit for the wounded soldiers and they always spoke of rejoining their fighting units at the earliest.

    Fourteen days of war saw the birth of a new Nation- Bangladesh. A great Indian victory. Humiliating surrender for the enemy. Twenty-eight years later, we had Kargil. This time the media did a great job of fuelling the spontaneous wave of patriotism that arose. Our heroic soldiers once again braved the harshest conditions at grave odds to push back a wily enemy.

    It’s been a long while since May 1999. A number of positive developments have seen India’s stature grow in the eyes of the world. Yet, our courageous soldiers have had to maintain a constant, perilous vigil on the highest, coldest, most inhospitable battlefield on earth. We live in safety because hundreds of them continue to make the supreme sacrifice year after year. Their thoughts can never be far from my mind or heart. Long live peace!

  3. Done. Blogged about one of my favourite childhood dishes growing up. I cook it like a pro now but growing up, I used to think it was the most complicated thing on the planet, with all those different tastes how could one make it as simply as mom did. But I did.. ta-da…

  4. […] here to head over to her blog if you want to know more about the challenge and contribute. And […]

Comments are closed.