How often have you rushed to email the author about a book that’s appealed to you ? How often has each line written in those pages spelt out “Nostalgia” in every nuance. Well, it has happened to me, now with a Paper Boat Drink Company (aka Hector Beverages) which so dearly sponsored this Book – Half Pants, Full Pants , written by Anand Suspi.
If Nostalgia and memories are the corner stones of this company, they have certainly nailed it. From creating non-alcoholic beverages like Chilli guava / Neer Mor to sponsoring books on the simple joys of childhood, like this one, its certainly a joyous and appealing journey to boot ! Thank you Paper Boat Drinks for this wonderful book that you sent a few days ago. I devoured the book overnight and couldn’t wait to email Anand about what I felt 🙂
There’s not one place throughout the book where I felt bored. Rather, could relate to the incidents when ‘he’ came home and how he was treated like royalty, wrapped in cellophane paper and thermocol and not used at all (I am not going to spoil the fun if you are reading the book), or those instances of Mara Kothi (monkeys on the tree) game which was my childhood favourite.
Although I couldn’t climb the tree for nuts, I remember spreading out a largish towel to collect the Kachcha (unripe) guavas, half bitten by the squirrels or the small Chakkotha (grapefruit) that my friends used to pluck from a neighbour’s garden (obviously when the neighbour was asleep or gone out , but hey THAT was the fun isnt it :p)
Or the fact that life growing up back then didn’t necessarily mean gadgets – It meant paper kites, living in a colony (which also taught kids a LOT about tolerance and social mingling – something for which we have ‘courses’ today (sic!) ), eating off a dining table (or not even that) that was meant to serve you for a lifetime, cleaning up your own mess at home / or with friends (no gender bias there), or even perhaps the simple joys of listening to a local orchestra playing during the festival and wanting to be a drummer.
In all this, the author has captured the essence of living in a railway colony and the punctured tyres, the Kalla-police (games that we played too!), experimenting with different dangers , calling your friends by their nicknames (without degrading them)… ah these were somethings that stayed in my mind.
If I (need to) have just one negative (hey, its a (paid) book review, remember ??), it was just that it ended too quickly… I needed more episodes of the author’s quarrels / showdowns with his brother (remember quarrel no 540!!) , more instances of the simple Middle class household happenings (which could have happened in ANY middle class house of Karnataka – Bangalore / Mysore / Shimoga during those years), and then we cuddle up for more time with the book with a paper boat drink (perhaps next time, the chikki can be replaced with a crate of Paper boat drinks :p) and switch off to nostalgia !!
Thank you Mr Anand for your insightful writing, thanks to Balki for that wonderful foreword, its indeed a “Malgudi-reborn” kind of a book. The ones that lull you back to innocence, just like Paper Boat Drinks 🙂 Look forward to more such books by Mr Anand / Paper Boat !
Au revoir !