Friday, April 22, 2011

Seeds Of Nostalgia

Occasionally life does give us a chance to relive our past.I was given one last evening.Bangalore for the past few days is being blessed with the kind of rain called Mango Showers which has always been special to me.I have had strong desires and many reasons to get drenched under it.Despite my apartment watchman’s weather predictions and repeated warnings I set out for a walk.

The Saga Tree
The drizzle had just begun.Two streets away I stopped under this tree not because I needed some shelter but I had found something after years.A strange nostalgia crept in,the kind of happy feeling what Ali Baba might have had while he opened the cave.But I did not have to say ‘Khul ja Sim Sim’for all my treasures where at my feet;-)

The Dried And Cracked Pods With Seeds
Tiny red jewel like seeds lay scattered on the road.Memories of my summer holidays in Mangalore came flashing by when I saw them.The evening walks to Kadri Park,the many deers munching grass behind the fences in the zoo,the toy train ride,the coconut oiled Churmuri with extra spice and most of all these seeds which I used to fill my skirt pockets with!Me and my brother used to collect them all the way back to Bejai.This activity was more like a competition between us!

And this time too it was hard to resist,I started picking them up.People on the road were giving me curious looks but I could not care any less.And in fact a lady joined me and said “When I was a kid I used to collect these too,aren't they beautiful?”.I gave her a smile.Clenching as many as I could in both my fists and dripping wet head to toe I rushed back home more than happy with my loot .These gems are now staying in this box and in my heart for life:-)

Here in Karnataka these seeds are called 'gulaganji'.They are used to play a traditional board game called 'Chenne mane'.It is said that in olden days because of their standard weight the seeds were used to weigh gold.Their vibrant red color attracts kids and sometimes they do end up as foreign bodies in their nostrils[my mother's childhood experience:-P].In some parts of the world these seeds are the symbol of love owing to the color maybe.If you are the crafty kind like me you can use them for decorative purposes or you can fill them in a nice bottle or cup and let it adore a corner of your home.Let me know if you find and like them too:-)

For some beautiful botany and a not so heavy history about these seeds visit:
And some wonderful lines to make you smile:

Earth teach me to forget myself 
as melted snow forgets its life. 
Earth teach me resignation 
as the leaves which die in the fall. 
Earth teach me courage 
as the tree which stands all alone. 
Earth teach me regeneration 
as the seed which rises in the spring.

-William Alexander- 

I am off to collect them again today.
Aah bless this town's weather!
Good evening everyone:-)



Beyond Horizon said...

Sweet nostalgia :)
I use to love collecting shells
and quite a inspirational lines at the end!

Harish said...

hmmm..:) We used to believe that Gulaganji are used to bring rain!:) and collect them. But they were slightly different from these ones.. (They were red, rugby ball shaped with a black dot on their tips)
Nice right up... U will tempt everyone to take a walk in the rain, im sure :)

Viyoma said...

Indeed nostalgic, cud feel every word.
Infact, must have inspired me to write a nostalgic post now! Incase i land up writing one in the coming days, will surely mention you in the line of credit. :)

Raghu said...

Hey even I used to collect these..! Those were wonderful days.. thnx 4 making me remember them back..!

Sameera said...

Oh.. I love these beads!! We had this tree in our school and all of us.. all the kids used to collect them until of the teachers probably little scared that we would pop it in somewhere like you mentioned[;)] told us they were poisonous. After that day in 5th standard till now.. I have never touched them.

Prateek said...

Wow! That's sweet and that took back me to my nostalgia.

Raksha Bhat said...

@BH: I have more than a kilogram of them at home right now,shells are my fav too:)

@Harish: You are talking about the 'Abrus precatorius'...they are different:)..and yeah do walk in the rain:)call me if you catch a cold;)

@Viyoma: Haha glad that this post inspired you:)

@Raghu: You are welcome:)

@Sameera: Jao dhoondo milenge:)

@Prateek: Hmmm:)Thank you:)

Anirusan said...

Well, well, well...coincidentally , I too bumped into one "gulganjee mara" and collected a few! Have them at home now :)

dr.antony said...

We used to play with the seeds as kids.Now,as a doctor,I see kids being brought to hospital with the beads in their nose!

Sudha said...

These seeds are called Manjadi or gundumani in Tamil and my maternal grandmother used to invent games for us to play with these seeds.

Brought back lovely memories of the times with my grandmother and also the realisation that I have a bagful of these seeds lying somewhere in my house !

Lovely post as usual, Raksha.

Nandita Prakash said...

lovely post once again

Raksha Bhat said...

@Anirusan: Keep them safe:)Show it to the birdie.Whats the name by the way?:)

@dr.antony: Quite scary right..these kids with a foreign body!

@Sudha: Thanks Su:)

@Nandita Prakash: Thankooo Nandi:)