2013// Today I went out for a walk along with Jessica, it was hardly five or six houses away, but we had a lot of fun while walking.
she talks non-stop tells me everything as if I am a little kid, I feel its nice to be treated as a kid sometimes, wah, she was telling me that I should not walk on the road but only on the foot path, for which i exclaimed and pretended as if I come to know of that new piece of information just then.
She cautioned me not to walk near the water holes, and I should be very careful there. later she picked a number of acorns telling me that she would like to plant them and see how they grow into a tree.
I told her she better take a little seed and plant and see how it grows. The acorns were in the dried up flowers, so she was so excited to see them, saying that she never knew that the acorns will be in the flowers like that. we had a nice inspection of different flowers all through the foot path,
I told her we used to play with marbles the play named “Gachchangayalu” and showed her how I could play the same game with the acorns.
she was astonished the way i played by throwing an acorn into the air and picking another one from the table and also catching the acorn in the air at the same time.
I told her we used to play the same game with tamarind seeds, and with nice stones, and also marbles and with gray colour seeds which just look like acorns in our area.
She was so happy to know that and asked me whether i was playing that game with my dad, i told her ,no it was was with my friends.
It was really nice to recollect all those old childhood plays once again and playing them with my grand child.
We also used play a game called Dhadi, where we used to make chekers on the ground, with a chalk piece, if it is in the sand we used to make the pattern of the game with our feet. we have to jump and play that game all the time. It was the most wonderful game.
and another game Ashtachemma, and also dhadi sitting on the floor. we used to play hours together, and another game called Vaikunta pali, that is the present day “Ladder and snakes” game like.
We used to play carems, cards, and dhagudu muthalu,
and many others. I used to have a lot of clothe pieces for my toys. Most of the time the we were making them of with the palm tree leaf, or some times wood toys too, we used to have one male and female toy we used to dress them differently with the clothes we have and perform marriages to them.. and used to bring some rice and cook on a three stone oven. without the knowledge of our parents.
I learned to prepare kites and so me and my friend Manorama used to fly them and enjoy a lot. me and my another friend Sobha used to have a lot of fun on summer afternoons, when elders were taking rest in the home we both used to sneek out and throw little stones at the palm trees and get nice tasty ripened Eetha kayalu. and chinthakayalu, and seema chintha kayalu.
These trees are in and around our compound. some times we used to make paper boats and see them how they travel in the puddles of the rain water in front of our house.
Once when I was in my fifth class I read a story book , in fact I was reading books right from my 4th classon wards, like chandamama, and many story books which were braought by guests to our home. those stories were about the Bhoja raju kadhalu, and Bethala kadhalu, every month we used to get chandamama to home, in one of the story book i read one of the prince became a stone and could not move, then another princess found him as a stone and she cut her finger and poured that blood on the statue of the prince and he became alive.
This i liked very much and I thought it was true, so I took my toy prince and pricked my little finger with a needle and rubbed that blood on it. Alas nothing happened, I was really really disappointed .
In our school we used to have a lot of green ground, so we used to roll on over it make our clothes so dirty. we used to play Sthambala aata too. On our way home from school there was a tall tree with white flowers with a long tail , we used to pick them in our frocks, and we used to make long garlands, by plaits of those tails, we used to call them Thokamalli puvvulu. My mom used to take the seeds of pumpkin and rub kachchika podi and spread them on cheta, and dry them on the top of the roof, after two days, we used to sit and open those seeds and eat the inside pappu, it was so tasty.
Life was full of mysteries, we used to make fans with palm leaves and run on the streets so that they can whirl round and round.
Later I learned cycling, in our town Machilipatnam., only me and daughter of the District judge used to cyle to school, The judges bungalow was in three acres of land, whereas ours was in half an acre only, she was such a beautiful girl, we both studied in Lady yampthil school in Bandar, another name for machilipatnam.
Real play time I had had when I was in the 4th class on wards to 9th class, i.e., from 9 years to 13 years of age.
we used to play many other games like Chemma Chekka, oppula kuppa voyyari bhama, vaana vaana vallappa, gudi gudi gunjam, kaalla gajji ,dhadi ashtachemmata, carems, cards, collecting guru ginjalu, so on and so forth. and even once i made dung cakes along with my friend shoba to put them on muggulu in front of our house. We used to wake up early in the morning and wait for the cows to cross over our ground, and waiting for the dung of them we both used to run to them and bring them to make small balls and keep them on the muggu we made in front of our house with some flowers on them. and in the evening we used to take them and hit them on a wall , and make a hole in between them. later when they were dried, we used to make them into a dung garland to burn them to a special festival called Bhogi, Coming back to Guntur, at the age of 4 years , I have a very vivid incident in my memory, It was the time that my mom beat me with coconut broom sticks. As I was very fondly child to my parents, I used to show authority over the constables who work in our home, and the servants who help my mom. My mom used to teach me all good manners etc, she never allowed me to use foul language at all. She particularity told me that i should not show authority over the workers in the home or use any bad language. I do not know where i picked up a foul word, but once I used it on the servant in the home. When my mom heard it, she came with the broom stick and gave me left and right with it. I cried and cried aloud, but without mercy she punished me, that was the only incident i remember that my mom beat me at all. But it was very good punishment for me because I never used that foul word in my life again.
there were little boys and girls in our street, and mom never allowed me to go out into the street to play with them. But without her knowledge I used to go out, may be when she was taking siesta, and used to play with them the game named Bachcha.. a game where we used to pile the cigar pack covers and hit them with a flat stone from distance. wow it was a thrilling game for me, I used to play with them. and get scoldings from mom for spoiling my dress with dust.
My dad used to have all gadgets of entertainment in our home. Like we used to have a very BIG gramaphone, I used to sit near it and observe the picture on the records, a dog and a speaker, with words, my Master’s voice. My dad told me those words and meaning. We used to have a very Big radio too. And my dad got an extension for it with small speaker box, into the kitchen, where my mom can listen to the radio while cooking, this extension box was so fascinating to me, some times i used to beg my dad to give me that box to keep it in my lap. I wondered how it can speak like that. One day I mad my dad to open it to see whether there were men inside, when i saw some small wires and nodules, i thought those must be the little men in side the box who are talking out.
I used to spend hours together keeping the box in my lap.
My dad bought Nail cutter, and it was great fun to me , as my dad himself used to cut my nails and colour them some times. My mom was very much against me having nail polish and lip stick, but I loved my dad for he was the one who used to bring all those things for me. He used to buy the best dresses for me, like silk skirts, and red and green velvet blouses, and two finger rings with red and green stones, and nice gold chain etc, Once we had a photo me sitting in between two chairs leaning on my dad, he kept his hand on my shoulder and talking to the photographer, he was just feeling the velvet blouse of mine while he was talking, and i felt so cozy, and i did not move an inch , lest he may take away that hand from my shoulder, u can see that picture and can see me how obediently i sat there, enjoying the warmth of my dad’s love.
Once dad wanted to have my photo so he called the photographer, you know in those days the photo was taken with much pomp and glory, we used to get ready atleast for an hour, choosing the dress, ornaments, etc. Even the photographer used to take lot of time to set his equipment to take one photo. Ultimately every thing was ready and I was asked to stand on a stool, my mom tied my hair into two plaits with red ribbons, and dressed me with wheat colour silk flowery disigned skirt and blouse. When i stood there I was much fascinated by the spects of the photographer, and i wanted them immediatly, However my parents and the photo grapher tried to convince me not to ask them, I did not listen to them it seems, and my mom told me later that they asked the photo grapher to take me a little bit fatty as i was too thin to look at. I do not know was it possible in those days, but it seems i am chubby in that photo
My mom was joined in Khuglar’s hospital in Guntur for the delivery of my younger sister, whom we called her Baby, she was a premature baby, born in 7th month, When I was taken to the hospital, to see my mom and sister, there were two nurses namely Leela and Rani, who took me to the room where my mom was there. She was laing on a very white bed with white clothes. the baby was kept near her in an incubator. Mom told the nurses, “Leela may be afraid to see the baby, do not show her” But any way i managed to look into the incubator, and there lies a little one very very thin , in the white cotton folds, and with a electric bulb on top of her. Later i heard my mom telling her friends, that the baby was born after cutting her stomach, and they used to ask her to show it, she used to show the stitches on her stomach and they used to show their astonishment by saying ” oh my cutting the stomach and taking the baby, it is a wonder.” Then my mom used to describe the baby, when she was born she was like a little mouse, with thread like fingers, and big head and small body, the foreign doctors told dad that the baby cannot survive so leave the the child in the hospital and take mom home. But dad said,” No i will take the baby and take care of her in the Incubator at home. I will not leave my baby here in the hospital.” so he arranged a room for her with incubator, friends of mom and dad used to come to see the baby tip toed and used to see the baby from distance, and go. Because often they used to say that i will be afraid to see the baby in the hospital, even though i was not really afraid to see her, i pretended that i was afraid and hid my face in the shoulder of the nurse who took me there. and all of them said, ” see see, she is afraid and took me out of the rrom. though i did not like to to go out, i had to go out because i pretended taht i was afraid. Funny. Later in the room Dad brought VAttivrellu and hung them all over the room to give a cool climate in the room. he used to wet those root curtains with water for coolness of the room. My dad used to take me into his lap and teach me many things, especially English language. He used to bring books for me with A B C letters and pictures. I still remember the letter C and cup B and the bun. I used to have a very big doll which i never leave anywhere.
Do you think that my christian life started since then, and I am a blessed girl to love God from that very tender age? oh no, It was only a little seed of faith, It did not sprout till 20 years after. I just come to know that , ” Only Jesus Christ is the real God, and none other idols I see around do not have any meaning for me, and in heart of hearts I know that they are not gods, but man made statues.”
Before coming to Guntur, we were in Vizag, after my birth in Madras, Egmore hospital in 1952. My dad was given an optioon whether he wants to be in Madras, a tamil state to work , or else whether he wants to work in Andhrapradesh. My dad opted for andhra pradesh. so they came back to andhra , and to vizag.
My mother used to tell others how i was born, I remember those incidents, very much. It seems my mother was trained Higher grade teacher and was working in an elementary school in Eluru, but as my dad got job in Madras, he made her to resign that job, and made her to go with him. Both of them were from a small village in Andhra pradesh, they do not know how to live a posh life in that great city. Mom was telling that once they went to market to buy vessels, and bought clay vessels to cook, she cited this incident to quote how innocent they were without any guidance from any one. It seems once my dad had had an accident, he fell under a lorry, there were major stitches on his upper lip, my mom was too innocent to react in any way. If u see the oldest movies before independence you will understand how women were not expressing their sorrow or joy out wardly. My mom used to tell others about the entertainment they used to have like they used to go real wrestling , boxing games. I do not know, or I cannot explain all that but I still remember that I too went and saw those type of entertainments along with my parents. Oh but i was only an year baby, then, but I do not know how I remember that. May be because my mom often describe those incidents that was pictured in my mind and imprinted there. Do not know.
It seems my mom’s blouses were stitched by the tailor who used to stitch for the cine actresses in those days. My dad was very very updated man, fond of fashions and liberty of women. But my mom was very conservative and very limited tasted person.
My parents used to have a very close friend, Police Inspector James, he was a B.A graduate. and very good looking person. It seems once he went on a camp and when he came back before the scheduled date , he found that his wife was unfaithful and he caught her red handed. He without another word sent her home and married another woman from his village. It seems my parents were the elders of that marriage. later his family and our family worked in the Police department in vishakapatnam, Machilipatnam and Eluru again. The friends between these families continued all those years, He is not more now, but His wife and my mom are still friends as they both are in vizag now.
My mom used to tell others, about my birth too. It seems she was pregnant and was playing throw ball in the school where she was working, in Eluru. then she was hit very hardly in the stomoch by a ball in the play, she fell unconsious, and her friends come to know that she was pregnant then. No body knows that my mom was allready married to my dad, when my dad came to see her when she was in the hospital then everybody come to know that she was married. see theirs was child marriage u know, dad was 9 years old and mom was 5 years old, for their marriage. Later mom went for teacher training, and dad for Police officer traing to Malabar, Kerala, They used to meet secretely now and then because their parents were angry with each other, at that time. It means my mom’s mom and her brother , that is dad’s dad were not in good terms after the marriage, due to petty quarrels.
umm that was the story of her first pregnancy, she delivered a baby boy in Madras, when she went away with my dad, to put up a family. But that baby boy was still born, mom used to tell that the boy was just like my dad, tall, fair, with long fingers, big eyes etc. I wonder how my parents took the death of their first born, but , in deed those were the most innocent days of my parents. Later mom conceived me , in those days it seems the pregnant lady used to be joined in the hospital as soon as she got pains. So dad took mom to the Egmore Hospital , and it seems no body , even husband was not allowed to visit the wife in the delivery rooms. All the husbands used to stand outside the hospital and waiting for the bell to ring. whenever a baby was born they used to wring a bell very loudly. and all the husbands used to run to the door. and a nurse used to come out and announce the name of the husband that he got a baby. so my father waited for me for five days, out side , and running to the door whenever the bell was wrung and was anxious to hear the name of his from the mouth of the nurse. it means my mom had labour pains for five days, to deliver me.
Dad and mom were so happy to have me in their lap it seems. later they thought of giving me a name. They wrote hundred names and picked my name by lot. this name Leelavathi was picked by my parents, and it seems that was the name of an actress in those days.
All this story i heard from mom when she was telling others, like her sisters and friends etc.
Coming to the memories of vishakapatnam when i was only till i complete 5 years. we came to vizag in my second year.
I am just observing the people around me, and when I voiced out my opinions to any one, funny, they just think that statement of mine is , may be about them. And they look confused, I find this very funny in fact. why people are all ways think that the statement of any kind is only about them. Its like when we read the symptoms of any disease in any medical book , many times people think that they too have all those diseases. so is with psychological problems, the symptoms of any mental illness , is attributed to some people for themselves.
Well now this blog is again the continuation of my sweet childhood once again.
Well, in those days of my schooling in Guntur, I used to feel that I am the queen of the world, it was how my dad used to treat me all the time, giving the best I need.
My aunt, kantha mani used to stay with us whenever she gets a school holiday. I used to love her very much. At the same time we both used to quarrel over little things, which I really do not remember now. but those quarrels i remember very well. Funny thing is I could not stay one hour also away from her because we both like each other very much. she was 9 years older than me. We used to have a very nice tendril which was planted by my dad in our house. We used to call those tiny little white flowers as Ginni puvvulu, because they look like as little saucers with a small bud like thing in the middle of the flower. They used to give us nice scented smell. It used to climb over our terrace, so my aunty and me used to go up there and pluck those flowers some times. Once I remember that we got angry with each other. I do not know the reason but she said if I go alone to the terrace her devil will come take me out. I said if u get down from the bed where u sat now, my devil come and bite u. haha, that was the threat but I really used to be afraid to go up to the terrace or get down from my bed in the nights.
we used to make funny face showing all the teeth , and make fun of each other. in guntur.
I remember that another aunty called by the same name came to our home for some teacher training to be completed. her name was Kanthamma. She used to take me to her tuition teacher many a times. That teacher skin was reddish, and shining. I used to admire so much , and wonder she might have the same skin of my lip if i turned it out. I all ways used to see the inside of my under lip and wonder this might be the skin of that lady.
But this kantham Aththamma made a lasting impression on me about Jesus christ in my life.
I was hardly 4 years old. But she used to tell me so many stories of Jesus, which I liked them very much. She taught me that whenever i am afraid of any devil or anything I can shout louder like” yesu rakthame jayam, apavaadhi kriyalaku layam” ( In the Blood of Jesus I claim victory over the deeds of the Devil) She told me that I can have victory over the Devil, and he will run away if I shout like that.
so whenever I am afraid of darkness or anything like that I used to shout like that , and i never was afraid of anything. She taught me the morning prayer, evening prayer and prayer for the food God has given me. She made me to learn the prayers by heart.
She used to write letters to me when she went away. Her writing was like pearls. My mom and dad liked her letters very much and they used to read those letters to me again and again. In those letters she used to tell me about Jesus all ways, and about good habits etc.
I owe to her so much, because she was the one who planted the seed of love for Jesus christ. I believe since then , that there is no other God but Jesus christ .
People used to tell me and my parents that I am exactly look alike my dad. They uesd to say” Oh Leela is just like her dad, the very print of him. see the nose, its just like his, such big nose.” they used to laugh also about that. The first part of comment I like very much , that is ” she is exact print of her dad” but the next part about my nose, I was hurt once, for the way they were laughing. may be it was just a comment for them. but for me i was hurt. /so one day when i was really laughed at , i went from them , and went inside the room of my dad and i bolted the room and lied down on the bed of my dad. Because of kanthamma athamma, Dady bought a big portrait of Jesus Christ, and hung it in his room , you know the one usually in every christian house of the old it used to be there. That comely face of Jesus showing his heart with one hand and showing two fingers with other hand.
so when i lied down there and looking at the comely face of Jesus Christ, all the tears in my eyes dried up, which i got due to my hurt in the heart. and I was seeing the face and found the nose of Jesus was very nice, its very sharp and nice. So seeing His nose and face and those kind eyes, i just slipped into sleep. In my sleep i got a dream, which i never can forget even now. Jesus came and sat in the sofa which was in that room. and He was smiling at me. I went to Him and i asked HIm why He gave me such big nose. He was jut smiling at me, then I heard my mom banging the door and calling me ” Leela Leela, loudly.
For which sound i was waken up from my beautiful dream. and found that I was alone in that bed, so i jumped out of the bed still looking at the sofa and the portrait, suspiciously whether Jesus really came there. That dream was so vivid, and I preserved it in my heart ever since.
My stay over here with my grand children is wonderfully colorful, thrilling, and reflecting my dependence on God. It teaches me so many lessons everyday. How I wish I could have a language which can describe every step of my life over here with them.
I see angels hovering over me while I take care of these two cute little ones. I know God often comforts me by sending His angelic children many times in the past. They were there to lift the burden in my heart. Now Jessica( God sees) and Jayden( God hears) gives me immense joy, and I forget all that stress I am facing in my life
In my childhood I faced much agony in my parents home. There were quarrels, over the money matters, and many other things. Jesus was not in our home, those days. Most of my childhood and youthful days I suffered nervous weakness, and lack of stamina in my constitution. After the marriage, though there were some rifts in my family I could manage them by prayer, and forgiveness. There were never any arguments, or shouting in our home, as far as I remember. There were many disagreements because of cultural differences, but we all ways remembered that ” A family that prays together stays together>” and I was the first one all ways to seek peace in home by having a family prayer at the end of the day, whatever be the misgivings, or shortcomings in our family.
Family prayer was the pulpit for us to rectify things in amicable way, understand each other in the light of the Word of God.
So after the demise of my dear Husband, whom I loved unconditionally all the time during our 22 short married years, I am obliged to lead a very peaceful life without any arguments, or rift shifts affecting my soul.
The job I enjoyed thoroughly as I used to teach the wonderful subject Social Work which is a humanitarian subject, about the human behaviour and Problems of the human beings ,physical, psychological, economical, and social. As my students were young girls , I enjoyed rather a very young age in my career. I laughed with them, I joked with them, I taught them the Higher values of life. I saw the stars in their eyes while I taught them, I sang with them, I danced with them, I even acted with them in college dramas. so life never gave me rough side to face.
The only loss was the death of my husband, and my continuous lonely nights. Even they were full of silence and peaceful. I spent 10 years like that. But now if I hear any argument, between the near ones, I just could not tolerate psychologically and as a result even I’ve been affected psychically . Psychosomatic disease has become the way of my life, now. I am getting bouts of head ach and sever body aches,and a rise in the body temperature and Blood pressure. This I see now, a recurring of my life in my parents home. where there were all ways shouts of one nature or the other, where the male dominance was the order of the day. Where the authority, disorder, wordiness, and military discipline ruled over my life. I was a rebel in heart, but lived a very submissive life. There fore I suffered very much in my body, I suffered with bronchitis, doctors thought I would die soon with TB. I was taking a course of medicine till Jesus came into my life, and He touched me.I suffered sever abdominal pains every month, I was twisting and crying aloud at those days, for which I took lot of medicines all my years of youth. I used to get horrible cramps in the legs, and I could not walk when I was attacked thus. I used to have nightmares and used to get up from the sleep, shouting ” there is victory in the blood of Jesus”
I found the more calm and quiet I am and enjoy the company of friends, with good rest and good food, my life goes perfectly well,Now, Even if there is any small ups and downs I find it very difficult to adjust. I prefer the places and people with whom I feel comfortable with, and live in. After all, there may be a very few more years for me, should I spend my days, still adjusting to different people of different temperaments? Is it necessary at all? Can’t I live the rest of life where I am more needed, who would never take me granted, but need me to the utmost like the Poor and needy, and diseased, and dying? I do not know what is kept for me to my end days, but I have decided that I need to spend the rest of life with the downtrodden and least respected in the society. I come to know that I would never find any rest to my soul, and peace to my heart if not in the presence of these people.
Oh Lord help me!!