Memories of the Golden Years…

“If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older.”
- Tom Stoppard

My very dear friend Silverine created this excellent tag (The Wonder Years Tag) and tagged me. I am supposed to write 8–10 things about childhood (1-12 years) that I miss and that I disliked and then tag a few people. This is one tag that I thought I could finish under an hour but took almost four days. Nice tag Silverine. Thank you very much for making me realize how fortunate I am.

While my list of things that I miss went from 10 to 14 while the list of things that I disliked contain only 5 items. Except for two stints—fist one for 8 months and the other for one year—at two boarding schools, I spent my entire childhood home. Since my home is in a small village where the main occupation is agriculture—nature, plants, and agriculture work has a very prominent place in my childhood memories. If you don’t have an aversion of nature, agriculture, farming, and village life, read on…

My Home

What I miss about childhood

01. I miss my home and the land. Our home was a single plot of 10acres out of which about 3 acres was paddy fields, which was in front of the house (see Figure). Immediately after the paddy fields was a canal. The road to the house started with a bridge over the canal and was through the centre of the paddy fields. I miss the paddy fields (replaced by cocoa and nutmeg plants), the mango, tamarind, guava, cashew, and other similar plants, most of which (except the ones in the plots next to the house) were cut down to plant rubber trees. I miss the pineapple plots and coconut gardens, which also gave way for rubber trees.

02. I miss the innocence, lack of worries and tension, simple pleasures like catching a butterfly, smelling a rose, seeing a chrysanthemum flower, bathing in the canal, catching fish with the towel, etc. I miss the absence of TV and the lack of knowledge of characters like Karma, pokemon, transformers and gadgets like bayblade, concussion rifles, etc. Life was much simpler and more enjoyable with Bobonum Molium and other characters from Balarama and Poompatta like Kapish, Mayavi, and stories like Manu Prathap. Also I miss characters like Mandrake the magician, Phantom, Tarzan, etc.

03. I miss the paddy fields and all the activities associated with farming from field preparation, sowing the seeds, water management, spraying pesticides and fertilizers, weeding, harvest, processing, storage, and so on. I miss the excitement of a good harvest, the anxiety about an untimely rain, the agony over nonexistent rains, and so on. All these events—field preparation, sowing, weeding, harvest, grain distribution, hay drying, etc.—involved more than 50 of people and a used to create a festival atmosphere. I think, I could write a separate post on this topic.

04. I miss exploring our land (parambu or thotam) with my brother and the sheer joy of finding things like wild orchids, bird nests, beehives, etc. We used to climb trees, watch birds, rabbits, and other animals that shared our land, make secret hideouts, and roam around the land during weekends. We never disturbed the bird nests, and so there were my types of birds who thought it safe to build their nests in our plot. But beehives were another matter; we would run to tell dad so he can come with a worker a get the honeycombs. Drinking honey straight from the honeycomb is a really wonderful experience.

05. I miss my stay at my mother’s home during the summer vacation. I miss reading the newspaper to my grandfather. I miss sneaking into my uncle’s library and reading books. Most of the books were the one’s I was not supposed to read—novels, short story collections, etc. I used to get caught often. But that didn’t prevent me from going back and reading the books. By the time I was in the eighth standard I had managed to finish about 40-50% of the books there. My uncle’s library was a major factor in nurturing my love for books and reading.

06. I miss the driving lessons from my dad. First sitting on his lap and then with him seated next to me. The only reason why I learned to drive at a very early age is because my dad encouraged me to do so. Once he was sure that I had learned to drive properly, he would allow me to drive during the various trips. He would allow me to drive at very high speeds on good roads so I could enjoy the thrill of high-speed driving. He used to give a lot of freedom, which I think made me more responsible.

07. I miss the hands-on experience and on-the-job training on a variety of trades—automobile repairing, plumbing, electrical work, masonry, carpentry, etc.—that I gained while working with my dad. He used to show how to do the various tasks and made me do it. I learned all these things and along with that learned one of the most important lessons of life—all jobs are respectable; there is nothing like an inferior job.

08. I also miss accompanying my dad to the various plantations to supervise the work. The best part was going with him for harvesting the coconuts. I used to ask for tender coconuts every hour and the climber will get the best tender coconuts and will cut the top so I can drink it coconut water. Then he will cut it open and fashion a spoon from the outer skin, so I can eat the tender coconut. I used to polish off 6–7 tender coconuts on such a day.

09. I miss sharing my dad’s workload. I used to go for supervising the coconut collection by the time I was in the fifth standard. I used to go with the workers and the climbers during weekends and vacations. I used to supervise the counting, settling the ‘missing coconut account’ with the watchers and counting and handing over the coconuts to the buyer. Same with the paddy. After the harvest and separation of the grains, the people who came for harvest were given their share. So while our workers used to measure the grains harvested by each group, giving their share was my job. I had the discretionary power to give bonus to top performers, the needy, the elderly, etc. It was nice to be in charge and I learned the basics of bookkeeping and accountancy during those days.

10. I miss playing shuttle badminton with my dad. When we started playing (while I was in fourth standard), the score used to be 15-0, 15-0, 15-0 in my dad’s favor and the game would be over in a matter of minutes. He was the college badminton champion and I was a novice. Any service or service return slightly above the net would get smashed down. Slowly I learned the ropes and the scores and duration of play improved. By the time I was in the sixth and seventh standard, I was able to reach 15-12, 15-13, etc. But only during my tenth standard I was able to beat him. But playing with my dad gave me an edge at school where I was the champion.

11. I miss my bicycle rides to school with my brother. Our school was about 6Kms from our house. We would start from home at 8.15AM and cycle very slowly enjoying the scenery and talking until we reach the school. The same while returning. It was real fun. I also miss playing cricket and shuttle badminton with him. Since we didn’t have any close neighbors and there were not many children in our age group in the neighborhood, most games were two person games. So when I was batting he would bowl and vice versa. Many of my mother’s potted plants were destroyed due of the lack of fielders.

12. I miss helping my mother in the kitchen, flower and vegetable gardens. I used to slice vegetables, do dishes, make tea, set the table, and do almost all the assistant’s work in the kitchen. My favorite activities were mixing the cake batter (which I used to taste often) and stirring the halwa mixture while making the halwa. My mom had (she still has) a beautiful garden. We had all kinds of plants—roses, chrysanthemums, asters, bougainvilleas, dahlias, cactuses, euphorbias, orchids, palms, anthuriums and so on. I used to water the plants, prepare the potting mixture, repot the plants, carry the pots while rearranging, mow the lawn (with a manual lawnmower), etc. I was the manual laborer and was assigned the jobs that involved physical effort. My mom and brother were the experts who used to bud roses, layer the jasmines and begonias, graft cacti and bougainvilleas, prune the plants, and so on. Similarly, in the vegetable garden, I used to dig the pits, trenches, make the beds for planting, spray the pesticides, add the fertilizers, water the plants and so on, while my brother and mom did the planting, pruning and other activities that required a delicate touch. My brother has a magic touch—whatever he planted would grow without any problem. So I will fill the pot or dig the pit or make the bed and wait while he carefully and with a superior air will draw a cross over the sapling and will plant it. But it was fun and good exercise :-)

13. I miss working along with the workers—raking the soil, weeding, etc. All of us used to stand in a row and will start raking the soil from one end of the plot. Since I was young, I will be allocated only a very thin strip of land. Even then, the workers on either side of me would help me out when I used to fall behind. They even made me a rake with a short handle. I learned the art of making perfect circular platforms around the trees, making beds for crops like ginger and turmeric, erecting fences, and several other skills from them. The love, sincerity, mutual respect, and camaraderie that existed between workers and employers are gone. Now it is all business.

14. I miss the monsoon rains. The rains will cause the canal to overflow and soon the water level will rise so the entire paddy field will look like a big lake. With the first rains came the rush of fishes for spawning. As soon as the freshwater reaches the river, the influx of fish of different sizes and shapes will start. All along the canal, people would have prepared traps and nets for catching them, but several them will escape these traps and make their way up. We used to prepare the nets, one-way cages, dams specially designed to catch the fish trying to jump over them, etc. Once the fish start arriving it is like a carnival. While we will be busy catching the fish, mom and her assistants would be really busy making various curries, pickles and distributing the fish to our friends and relatives who do not reside by the side of the canal. At night the entire area will be lit up with lamps and people carrying variety of weapons and equipments to catch the fish will be roaming the fields. It was very exciting and the fish used to be very tasty.

What I disliked about childhood:-

01. Sunday school and the long sermon during the Sunday Mass.

02. Boarding schools

03. Being told that I was too young to read a novel or book. I never listened to that advice and read almost all the things that were forbidden.

04. Public speaking (school assembly, annual day, etc.)

05. Visits to the Dentist

I can’t think of anything else. I have many good memories about childhood, but very few dislikes and bad memories. I think I was lucky in having such a great, simple, and fun filled childhood—the advantage of growing up in a small village among simple, loving, caring, and unsophisticated people.

“The older I grow the more earnestly I feel that the few joys of childhood are the best that life has to give.”
- Ellen Glasgow -


  1. Mind Curry Said,

    November 5, 2006 @ 1:43 pm

    wow…what a house to you still have it? can you buy it back if you dont??

    awesome..this has been such a wonderful tag…knowing eachothers childhoods and then trying to relate it to the blogger we know now eachother as..

    last time i had trouble posting comments here..hope this works..

  2. Mind Curry Said,

    November 5, 2006 @ 1:43 pm

    ooh..i am first? so much for last times troubles :)

  3. mathew Said,

    November 5, 2006 @ 2:14 pm

    wow..Alexis..I just envy the spectacular settings you had in child hood..something straight fromt the perfect way I wanted it to be..Let me confess ..after 25-30 years..I just want to live in a house like this..with paddy fields around..a small house in the middle.. far far away from the madding crowd..

    The dislikes sound as if you mind read my thoughts!!

    this was the most elaborate I have read till now..and am loving it!!

  4. poison Said,

    November 5, 2006 @ 2:58 pm

    wonder years indeed!
    u lived a dream in ur wonder years :)

  5. Unnikrishnan G Nair Said,

    November 5, 2006 @ 4:18 pm

    It was really fun and great reading about your childhood days… Liked it a lot and I was trying to visualize myself in your place… U had such a great growing years that I feel jealous!! The best thing I liked was the coconut supervision with a regular inflow of the best of karikku. The very thought of that waters my mouth!!!!

    Unnikrishnan G Nair.

  6. Quills Said,

    November 5, 2006 @ 5:17 pm

    Lovely Alexis! Enjoyed reading about your childhood. You know it was such a lovely period and like you said no complications. And then…we all grow up.

  7. Suji Said,

    November 5, 2006 @ 7:18 pm

    Alexis, it was great to read about ur childhood. I too miss most of the thingsabout Kerala that you have listed, even though I have never lived in Kerala. The only time we went to Kerala was during summer vacations, but I still miss all that old world charm.

  8. Alexis Leon Said,

    November 5, 2006 @ 2:10 pm

    Mind Curry: Yes, we still have the house and the estate. Never thought about selling it. My dad and mom are still living there. It was an amazing experience doing the tag. Am waiting to read yours…

    Sorry for the trouble in posting comments last time. I disabled comments after Ramzan as I was getting too many spams.

  9. Alexis Leon Said,

    November 5, 2006 @ 7:55 pm

    Mathew: Thanks Mathew. I had a very wonderful childhood and hence the very long post. In fact I could elaborate each point to a post. Had to restrain myself to limit the number of points and to limit the length of each post…

    Paddy fields have a certain magic which the rubber plantations cannot provide. So your idea of to settle is perfect.

    poison: Thanks buddy. Yes, I had a wonderful childhood. How is work?

    Unni: Thanks Unni. Yes, drinking and eating Karikku part was the best part.

    Quills: Thank you Quills. Yes, it was such a lovely period…

    Suji: Thanks Suji. Kerala then was God’s own country. But now it is slowly becoming a concrete jungle…

  10. thanu Said,

    November 5, 2006 @ 8:51 pm

    this was such a great tag to write… so true

    Visitng mom’s place was alwaz the best, where grandkids are alwaz rite…

    We used to wait for Malayala Manorama to read Madrake too..

  11. Alex Said,

    November 5, 2006 @ 9:38 pm

    Public speaking, dentists- i was terrified of both.

    But, i enjoyed boarding school.(Joined only in my 8th though)

    Paddy fields, bicycling- sweet memories.


  12. Alex Said,

    November 5, 2006 @ 9:40 pm

    Were you a thakur?? So much of greenery!

  13. Ganja Turtle Said,

    November 5, 2006 @ 10:37 pm

    wow! alex…after mine, i think urs is possibly the best childhood that I wouldnt mind going thru!

    “all jobs are respectable”…dad used to say that if bobby kennedy worked in a gas pump, u guys can atleast fix the burnt fuses…the dignity of labour…so true…

    after water, tender coconuts remain the next best drink in town for me too!
    “do almost all the assistant’s work in the kitchen”…same same!!

    looks like you were the kid that all moms dream about but never get!

  14. Ganja Turtle Said,

    November 5, 2006 @ 10:38 pm

    Dat from

  15. Anju Said,

    November 5, 2006 @ 10:43 pm

    Woww!!!! This was such an interesting read!! I can relate to so many things here. Kids these days don’t know what they are losing out sitting at home with the gizmos.

    My mom to has a lovley garden and I am the head gardner ofcourse. I must check on my plants first thing in the morning, in fact have my tea in the garden. The fishing still happens in my Dad’s house where there is a canal, and the freshly caught fish as you said is really tasty!!

    Really great great read!!

  16. Anju Said,

    November 5, 2006 @ 11:24 pm

    Just wanted to thank you again that I can come and read this again and again… it’s like going back in time to a better place

  17. Alexis Leon Said,

    November 5, 2006 @ 11:22 pm

    thanu: Thank thanu. “where grandkids are alwaz rite…” very true…

    Alex: I first went to the boarding school when I was 5 years old. It was a terrifying experiences and lasted only 8 months. Were you a thakur?? LOL, No, we don’t have thakurs in Kerala. Let us say that I own a reasonably large area of land.

    Ganja Turtle: Thanks GT. Yes, I was a good kid. But the credit should go to my parents. Yes, the figure is from Google Earth.

    Anju: Thanks anju for the tag. Kids these days don’t know the joy of the simple things. If you have observed they always want more—powerful toy cars, gizmos with more features, weapons that make more noise, and so on. It was a nice to write about those golden days.

  18. James Bright Said,

    November 6, 2006 @ 1:12 am

    Dear Alexis,
    Sorry for being late here.
    That was an exciting account of your childhood1
    The surroundings are majestic and equally rich with nature and character. The experience you had was probably the reason for your sound and caring character! You definitely had an ideal childhood.
    It was a very touching experience to read this post.
    I think you should write some separate posts regarding your memorable moments especially the encounters with the nature!

  19. Sreejith Kumar Said,

    November 6, 2006 @ 1:33 am

    Really, a pleasant tag! And a good job done too…. I liked your frankness in saying that there was more good than bad in your childhood so that you cannot point out 8-10 distastes. I am also tagged on the same! :-)

  20. kajan Said,

    November 6, 2006 @ 5:09 am

    Wow, your wonder years sure sound fabulous. I wish all kids can get those pleasant atmospheres. Even though you didn’t have too many kids in the neighbourhood, you had all the greenery a person could wish for.

  21. Fleiger Said,

    November 6, 2006 @ 6:04 am

    That was a good one… visits to dentist? I didn’t have to do that luckily. But apart from that, you must have had a great time living in open spaces (Won’t say country life because of its other connotations) I love greenery and farms too, though I have only “trips and treks” experience of them…

  22. Sarah Said,

    November 6, 2006 @ 1:31 pm

    Reading Phantom and mandrake!.. I remember waiting each morning for the newspaper just to read the Phantom…
    When I read your tag, it felt exactly what I miss about my childhood( minus climbing the tree ofcourse…).. U wrote it soooooo well..

  23. Jo Said,

    November 6, 2006 @ 2:01 pm

    01. Sunday school and the long sermon during the Sunday Mass.

    I can fully relate to this. :-D

  24. anoop Said,

    November 7, 2006 @ 8:24 am

    “James Bright Said,
    I think you should write some separate posts regarding your memorable moments especially the encounters with the nature”

  25. anoop Said,

    November 7, 2006 @ 11:42 am

    seems my comments did not come in full.. as james said u should write separate posts for each item ( just like the driving memoirs).. also u shuld write non-technical and non-managerial books also ( fictions, stories!) .. it would certainly make great reading

  26. Jithu Said,

    November 7, 2006 @ 12:06 pm

    Man, the view of ur house and the area surrounding it, itself caught me by it. when u live in such a place, wt u have will be but nice memories like this! great postez!

  27. Alexis Leon Said,

    November 7, 2006 @ 1:12 pm

    James: Thanks James. Yes I was fortunate to have a great but simple childhood. Yes, I will write separate posts about my encounters with nature, especially about the paddy farming, monsoon fishing, etc., which can be seen very rarely these days. I almost edited out about half of what I had written so as to keep the size of the post reasonable, but barely succeeded. Now I have material for a couple of posts.

    Sreejith: Thank Sreejith. Yes, it is a pleasant tag, but it will take more time that you think, in my case it did.

    kajan: The absence of kids in our neighborhood was not a major worry, when there are a lot of ‘grown up children’ around you who share the same enthusiasm and love for nature, work and play.

    Fleiger: Visits to the dentist was a terrible experience. Until I was in fifth or sixth standard, I used to go to a dentist near our home. He had equipment from the Stone Age. So instead of the pneumatic drills currently used, he had a pedal operated one—it was slow, painful and used to last a life time. Now with modern equipments and medicines, there is no pain. A few months back, a dentist friend came to my home and extracted a molar without any trouble. You can say village life or rural life if you want to be politically correct :-)

    Sarah: Thank you Sarah. We too used to run to the newspaper agent to get the paper. But we would only just enough time to read Phantom and Mandrake as my grandfather would be waiting for it. So we used to walk back very slowly :-)

    Jo: Thanks buddy :-)

    anoop: Welcome anoop or should I call Poonaji ;-) Yes, I am planning to write separate post on those topics. Non-technical and non-managerial books, I have started a couple of projects. Will update the progress here :-)

    Jithu: Long time no see. Hope you are fine. Thanks buddy.

  28. neermathalam Said,

    November 7, 2006 @ 1:34 pm

    your house seem to a perfect location to shoot another aaram thampuran…
    I envy..the power you had to declare..bonuses..
    However I just dont envy all the hardwork you have put in to gain those..he he..I was like the one..who always..planted saplings..
    See it requires a great skill..;)(me running for cover…)
    It was a great tag indeed…it was like a trip through your formative years…..u are definitely fortunate..:)..this hug for your dad.
    And after reading this…I m flat..becaause..i too has to do the same job…awwh…!!!..
    it seemzzz. u have not tagged anyone..??

  29. Alexis Leon Said,

    November 7, 2006 @ 11:04 pm

    neermathalam: Thanks bro. Yes it was fun to have that power, but it was difficult to please everyone as everyone thought they deserved a bonus—so it was lesson in diplomacy. Hugs accepted and conveyed :-) I have not tagged anyone because Silverine did a very good job at it. But it is a nice tag to take up. So anyone interested can consider this as an open invitation…

  30. venus Said,

    November 8, 2006 @ 3:55 am

    WOW!! What a wonderful post you’ve written!
    If I can go back in time, i will definitely re-live my childhood again. The 10 acres of land with all kinds of trees, wow, that is like a dream come true :) I love lush green landscape.. This post makes me feel more home sick :(

    the innocent chase after butterflies, bicycle rides, badminton with dad, watering plants, no tv days, I am feeling like I am reading my own story… :)

    very good post Alex!

  31. emmanuel Said,

    November 8, 2006 @ 10:41 am

    it’s been a long time i replied here……..i told that i’ll try meeting you at cochin…..but my parents had other plans (i had to be a child once more!!!), i had to abide and travelled a lot during the holidays……….most of the time we were out of cochin…….

    i really enjoyed reading this……i wonder how the childhood memories of today’s children will be, if they describe in future………

    anyway, wonderful post as always……..and expecting nice writings in the future….hope u r fine and great going….

  32. flyawaymind Said,

    November 8, 2006 @ 6:56 pm

    a beautiful post reminding abt the simple pleasures of those begone days.. ur home reminds me of my ancestral home with paddy fields n canals..i miss the monsoon rains too now…i never used to realise the valueof all these simple joys until i started staying away frm kerala… now even to think abt the greenery
    of kerala is so refreshing……

  33. Kesi Said,

    November 8, 2006 @ 9:07 pm

    reminds me of the fun times i had at my grandparents’ place in kerala…the paddy fields, coconut trees, mangos and pineapples,cocoa trees, watching men making rubber, streams, small fish, going to the attic and discovering old photographs, acres of land to roam around in and so much more…still feels like a fairy land to me even when i visit now.

  34. vijaya Pamidimukkala Said,

    November 8, 2006 @ 11:27 pm

    Hi Alex,

    My name is Vijaya. You don’t know me at all. Even if you don’t know me my name is still Vijaya. My friend Pradip Somasundaran has recommended me to visit your website. I had you book marked in my favourites then as I could not find time. I am back again now to know about you. I enjoyed all the stuff you posted except the ghastly accident you had. You are brave and courageos person having lot of self descipline. I really admire you.

    I like anything and everything that is Indian. I am a mother of two wonderful kids and I work here in Toronto. This is a little about me.

    Jasmines and Yellow roses are my favourites. I had lots of them in my garden when I was growing up. I remember watering them everyday.

    Now here, I have my garden open only during summer time from June to August when the weather is suitable. I love to have my tea in the deck watching flowers and plants after I come back from my office. This is one of the best things I still do.
    This is how I relate myself to your childhood.


  35. Ashley Said,

    November 9, 2006 @ 10:40 am

    Wow… those are real wonderful memories.
    There couldn’t be more bliss than spending all your days on lush green estate. Me is from an area where you see greenary only during rainy days. I felt jealous while reading your description :D

  36. Kusum Rohra Said,

    November 9, 2006 @ 2:42 pm

    You’ve had such a wonderful childhood, I have printed this one so that I can read it again. It’s like a fairytale childhood. The feilds, your uncle’s library, the bicycle rides, the working in the feilds I am so awed reading this. * deep sigh * AWESOME!!

    we have never had any garden or plants :( Hopefully after marriage I may bring in some plants.I would love to have a child like you :) who did help me in the kitchen and respect every job that is assigned to him. Kudos to you :D

    I really really enjoyed reading this, now all I can think of is singing :D

  37. Alexis Leon Said,

    November 9, 2006 @ 11:21 pm

    venus: Thank you venus. Yes, if we can go back in time, but that is the problem :-( Nice to know that you too had a similar childhood… Yes it was fun chasing butterflies, riding bicycles, playing badminton and cricket, and so on.

    emmanuel: Hope you had a nice vacation. I am writing a series of post about those golden days…

    flyawaymind: Thank you. Yes, we all miss the greenery when we stay away from Kerala. There is something different about the greenery here. When I was working in Pondicherry, while coming for vacations, my bus used to cross the Kerala border by around 6.30AM. You could immediately feel the freshness in the atmosphere and as soon as you look out of the window the first thing that strikes you is how green it is.

    Kesi: Very true. You at least had experienced those pleasures when you came for vacations. But these days, kids (even the kids in Kerala) are not that fortunate.

    vijaya: Welcome to my blog Vijaya. Thank you for dropping by. How is life in your part of the world? We have 3–4 varieties of jasmines in our home. One variety has flowers as big as rose flowers. We all do what we can. I watch the trees and flowers in my garden (in my house at Cochin) from my portico.

    Ashley: Welcome Ashley. Yes, it was fun.

    Kusum: Thank you Kusum. Yes, I was fortunate to have such a childhood. Marry a guy with a big farm / estate and nice garden :-) Thanks for the compliments… I join you in singing ;-)

  38. pophabhi Said,

    November 10, 2006 @ 9:07 am

    Alexis – That was a treat. I’m sure that you took each one of us on a beautiful journey that took us to a wonderful era. I could very well touch base about the coconut harvesting (thengukettam) exercise, which I still do in my native, the fishing in fields and working with the laborers.
    The thing that was most impressing was the simplicity in applying a clever conscience in describing the best things to detail, and masquerading the dislikes to a small sentence. You made us smile and kept us smiling.

  39. anu Said,

    November 10, 2006 @ 2:24 pm

    that was very beautiful.. u r a real nature lover..

  40. LI Said,

    November 11, 2006 @ 1:14 pm

    Alexis , Had been following this tag for quite sometime with so many people . Whatsurprises me is that , we have a thousand words to write about what we like but very little to say about what we dislike :) .

  41. kyra Said,

    November 11, 2006 @ 5:29 pm

    i never had to attend sunday school…thanks to cathechism classes at my school which were i think, (slightly) better. atleast i got to sleep in on sundays.

    i always wanted to go a boarding school (used to be a big Blyton fan…stil am methinks) but my parents wouldn’t let me go.

    nice write…i love reading about memories.

  42. Arjun Said,

    November 11, 2006 @ 5:59 pm

    this was a wonderful read… can’t think of a better place to spend childhood in. you also had such wonderful people to be amongst. perfect. how you should be mssing it! written wonderfully too, even we who read can feel a certain nostalgia…

  43. flaashgordon Said,

    November 13, 2006 @ 10:00 pm

    I’ve been following your blog for some time- This one is quite an amazing account of an idyllic childhood- best one could have – could relate to many of what you mentioned there- But now, all the places we used to run around, learn cycling, fly kites, do fishing etc etc are all no more open spaces. All have concrete houses now. I remember the song ” This used to be my playground” when i walk around there….And we used to play doubles in badminton on a makeshift court in front of our house – dad and my younger sis in one team and me with my elder sis in the other- i used to use every trick in and out of the book to try win those ;-) ) and sulk when i lost

  44. Alexis Leon Said,

    November 13, 2006 @ 11:48 pm

    Abhi: Thanks Abhi. It is nice to know that you are still able to enjoy those simple pleasures.

    anu: Thanks Anu, Yes, I am…

    LI: Hi Li, welcome to my blog. I think it is better to write the good memories in all its glory while keeping the bad ones short. I don’t think people are interested in hearing sad and distasteful stories and that might be the reason why we say very little about the things that we dislike :-)

    kyra: Welcome Kyra. I had to attend both. I didn’t mention the catechism classes because then people would have thought that I am an atheist. The most frustrating things about the catechism classes at school was that those marks were also taken to decide the rank :-( After my 8 months at a boarding school when I was about 5 years, I hated boarding schools.

    Arjun: Thanks and welcome Arjun. Yes, I really miss those days, but I still have that place, so I can spend my retired life there :-) At least that is my hope…

    flaashgordon: Hi flash, welcome. Yes those were the golden days and most of those places are converted or getting converted into concrete jungles. Yes, we also used to play badminton on the makeshift court during those days. Only when I was doing my engineering (fourth semester or so), my brother and I made a proper court, with flooring tiles (the one made using the clay used for making the roofing tiles) and proper lighting and so on.

  45. Ganja Turtle Said,

    November 15, 2006 @ 12:25 am

    Hi alex…given the kind of reader that you are, why dont u write a post about ur 3 fav books…or authors..or something similar…when u do have the time!

  46. Ganja Turtle Said,

    November 26, 2006 @ 9:15 pm

    Picking up a cue from mindcurry elsewhere…
    We want nu post!
    We want nu post!
    We want nu post!

  47. Pradip Somasundaran Said,

    November 27, 2006 @ 2:09 pm

    When I was in the 5th or 6th, I remember my father and his brother who had just 4 years of age difference between them. But still I remember that in my memories they were adults who were looked upon by me as almost aged(my father’s brother was retired from the Air Force by then). They talked about life, my father was then struggling for us in the gulf. My whole memories of my parents were as if they were old. And the biggest wonder is that here I am of the same age as they were when i speak of them and I still feel young and am agahst to know that I am of the same age now as they were then! Am I old? What do I look like in appearance and habits to my kids now? Here I am writing scraps to people half my age and posting songs on my blog with the spirit of an school boy! I do not feel old but am afraid to ask my kids what they feel about me now! Same as I felt about my parents? Am I different? Or are the times different? Were my parents more serious about life than me? I really wonder!!!

  48. abhishek Said,

    November 28, 2006 @ 4:20 am

    Sounds like an enviable childhood.

    “I miss exploring our land (parambu or thotam) with my brother and the sheer joy of finding things like wild orchids, bird nests, beehives, etc. We used to climb trees, watch birds, rabbits, and other animals that shared our land, make secret hideouts, and roam around the land during weekends.”

    Except for plants, many of the wild animals in my grandparents’ backyard have vanished…Where have they gone? There used to be parrots, snakes, frogs and many others…now there’s hardly any.

  49. quills Said,

    November 30, 2006 @ 7:28 am

    Hi Alexis, Long time no post. Missing your great writing. Hope u are well.

  50. Alexis Leon Said,

    November 30, 2006 @ 11:56 am

    Ganja Turtle & Quills: Sorry for not posting for some time. Very busy with the book…I am on my third extended deadline. If I don’t submit the manuscript in about 10 days, my publishers will have me for X’mas dinner :-(

    Pradip: Are you old? It is all in the mind. If you feel young you are young. If you think you are old, you will feel and act like an old man. You are evergreen :-)

  51. Alexis Leon Said,

    November 30, 2006 @ 1:04 pm

    Abhishek: Yes, I had a wonderful childhood. In my place there still is enough greenery and the animals, but slowly they are also disappearing…

  52. chekku Said,

    December 2, 2006 @ 4:13 pm

    Alex..awaiting a blockbuster post from u!!

  53. anu Said,

    December 5, 2006 @ 1:12 pm

    where r u ?

  54. venus Said,

    December 6, 2006 @ 4:54 am

    I hope, everything is alright with you alex.
    havn’t seen any activity on this blog lately…

  55. anoop Said,

    December 6, 2006 @ 8:54 pm

    No updates.., and also no comments these days!

    Waiting for ur next one!

  56. Malayalam Blogs Said,

    December 7, 2006 @ 2:49 pm


    That is a one huge list dude!

  57. chackochan Said,

    December 20, 2006 @ 8:09 pm

    Hello Friend howz u :)

    am back after a break :D

  58. chekku Said,

    December 22, 2006 @ 6:12 pm

    Dear Alex..merry christmas..and wish you reasons to smile for next year!!

  59. Sreejith Kumar Said,

    December 23, 2006 @ 2:54 am

    Merry Christmas!

  60. anoop Said,

    December 23, 2006 @ 3:55 pm

    Happy Christmas and Happy 2007!

  61. Kesi Said,

    December 23, 2006 @ 11:52 pm

    my holiday greetings! merry xmas and a very happy new year to you!!!

  62. Geo Said,

    December 24, 2006 @ 2:10 am

    Wish you and your family a merry xmas and a happy new year!

  63. neermathalam Said,

    December 26, 2006 @ 12:02 pm

    merry xmas chettayi…

  64. Jo Said,

    December 27, 2006 @ 12:03 pm

    Have a blessed year in 2007, Alexis.

  65. Martin Said,

    December 28, 2006 @ 7:55 am


    You write very well. It was a very engaging read. Hope your well.
    I’m okay by god’s grace.

    Wish you a happy 2007.


  66. Mind Curry Said,

    December 29, 2006 @ 11:16 pm

    hey al..thanks for ur sweet xmas wishes..i hope you had an awesome xmas..and i hope the new year brings you a lot of peace, joy and love. take care buddy..and enjoy the party!

  67. Geo Said,

    December 31, 2006 @ 12:41 pm

    Time to wish you a happy new year :)

  68. Alexis Leon Said,

    December 31, 2006 @ 7:16 pm

    To all: I wish each and every one of you a very happy New Year. May God bless you and your family in 2007 in an excellent way far beyond your dreams and expectations!

    With love, light and joy,


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