Aishwarya Rao
It was a quiet afternoon and one of her favorite TV serials Shanti had just ended. There was no particular reason why it was her favourite. Of course she was captivated by Mandira Bedi's large eyes and impeccable attire. And fascinated by the lives of 'rich people' as shown on DD2. However these weren't reasons why she watched Shanti. In an odd sort of way she didn't have much choice. The only other serial during that time of the day was Swabhiman where the Tamil dubbing was worse. Well, she could have done other things; like build a toy kitchen with Cheruba (the only other pre-teen in Officers' Colony) or play running and catching with her baby-sister (who had just started kindergarden) or solve that week's crossword in The Hindu, Young World. But she chose to watch Shanti instead. If not anything, Shanti's life was richer and more exciting in all senses. After all, as a 11 year old, she better get trained to face the real world soon. 

Once the serial displayed its customary 'To be continued tomorrow' message, Parvathi would spend the next half hour reading Champak or Gokulam sitting on her jula. She could never really understand why Swabhiman wouldn't immediately follow Shanthi. That half hour in the middle seemed like days. Although she preferred Shanti over the longer and weepier Swabhiman, she yearned to see the handsome face of Rishabh. At 11 years, her secret love for Rishabh was one of the most promiscuous things she had ever done. And she tried to conceal her impatience to see Rishabh on screen as she read the moral stories in Gokulam. Honestly Nancy Drew and Five Find-outers would have been her idea of 'reading' in the afternoon. However she made a conscious choice to reserve the thrillers for the night. It somehow made the entire experience more chilling. And she liked that edgy feeling...the goose-bumps on her hand when Nancy decides to explore the ranch by herself...

And so she continued on her jula, humming the Shanti title song that was stuck in her head...
24 Responses
  1. Anand S Says:

    Gokulam and Champak, Ah! pure nostalgia, she did not read 'Wisdom' eh? It had the best quotes.

  2. Hemamalini Says:

    I know her!!!

  3. @ Anand - She didn't like them as much as Champak or Gokulam...

  4. @H - Really ;-)

  5. Raghavan Says:

    Shanti !!! o my god.. I used to watch it with my patti and had no other option... And in the night it became junoon :D

  6. Seshadri Says:

    that was the most promiscuous thing Parvathi had done at 11? Vishnu was better evolved at that age then.. I read excerpts from Vishnu's diary just now..

  7. RUCHI MANN Says:

    I loved rishabh too :)

  8. @Raghavan - Talk about Junoon...For a long time I thought my kids were going to be called Mini and Keshav. Lol.

  9. @Sesh - Hmm..Interesting..You are giving me an idea for my next about we say what Parvathi and Vishnu wrote in their diary's on the day they met ;-)

  10. @Ruchi - Ah! Rishab! Yes Rishab! Rishab my childhood dream! Now Rishab OUR childhood dream!

  11. Seshadri Says:

    Vishnu's diary is huge and it is particulary hard to locate what he'd written the day they met. It must be more or less similar to Parvathi's entry.

    However, there are a number of entries on what happened when the got together at later times. You'd let me blog on Coffee House? :)

  12. Girish Says:

    This reminds me of the Story of Muthu which I wrote! :) :)

  13. Haha..G! Yes, now that you say fact I went back and read your story again..strange both Muthu and Parvathi are/were 11 years old...

  14. @Sesh - You have given a wonderful idea and our school mate from PSBB is interested in taking it to another level..So let us explore that idea I say...

  15. Sesh Says:

    padhinoru vayadhinile..

  16. 'She' is me (too?!)! I still hum..ek pal, hai zindagi..!! Gokulam, Champak..aahh..nostalgic bliss!! Well written!

  17. I was of the Sherlock Holmes breed
    But did catch Junoon while I feed
    Nostalgia, worse than Israel, strikes
    When memories of Oliyum Oliyum spikes
    Miss the comic Valayum Vaazhvum
    But Rayil Sneham was gumm!

    Random Access
    The search has just begun !!!

  18. @Oxymoron - Lol! She is a lot like a lot of us..isn't she?

  19. @RA - Welcome back! Have missed you for so long!!!

  20. Thanku thanku thanku.. You know I walk internet I talk internet, but for the past year its all been in recession.. Now that I see a lot of ppl have disappeared without a trace, its sad. I cant bring them back, but atleast I can bring myself back.. lets see..

    Random Access
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  21. Sesh Says:

    what prevents you from blogging regularly these days? broadband speed in Chennai is frustratingly slow? That's probably one of your reverse-cultural shocks.. :)

    Hoping to read your posts in Queen's English from the small Island..

  22. Gosh, your post left me feeling nostalgic!
    I guess I'm not the only one who used to watch Shanti and Junoon with my patti....she went on to pet-name my cousin 'Aditya' after one of the lead characters in Junoon!

  23. @Sesh - it is more like people shock! Lol.

  24. @Sangeetha-Good one. I am told that a aunty in t.nagar used to call her little niece 'mini' after a character in Junoon!