The chanawala of my childhood
sandesh samant | 24 Feb 2011
It's an article about how the world is changing and my childhood memories.
As life goes by some memories just never seem to fade away. And some of our childhood memories are still fresh in our head. Even we somehow try to let them pass us but they still manage to crawl their way back into our heads .these memories are everlasting. We have a lot of precious childhood memories in our neighborhood at the playground and many more. Well my childhood memories are very precious to me too!
I live in South Mumbai. When I was younger I would go to school in the mornings and get back home at one in the afternoon. Then my grandmother would make us take an afternoon nap, and then I’d get up at four thirty in the evening and then go down to play. Those days were just the best, now there’s no time to play at all! After we were done playing we’d sit under this big tree and chat about whatever was the latest buzz in school. Those days my parents would give me an allowance of five rupees and those days five rupees was more than enough! I would spend my allowance on chocolates and other little knick knacks but I’d always save a rupee to buy grams from the gram vendor.
I remember him so well, the old man that he was tall, dark and hair like silver wires coming out of his scalp. He’d come to our building everyday with his basket filled with grams. As soon as he’d walk through the gate we’d all gather around him and buy grams. It was so chaotic with all the little children getting hyper over something as simple as grams! What a sight it used to be! There were so many delightful memories shared over those snacks of grams. “Chanawalla Aajoba” as we called him had become a part of our daily routine. But then I don’t remember how and when he stopped his trips to our building and it didn’t really change anything for us. And then we completely forgot about him.
And then a week ago when I was returning home from college, I walked through my building gates and there I saw a tall dark man with hair like silver. Yes it was “Chanawalla Aajoba”. I couldn’t believe my eyes; I remember it like it was yesterday all of us gathered around him. All the memories of him just flashed before my eyes. We sat down and had a chat. I asked him what had happened to him over the years. He told me that he underwent an operation in his village and the doctor advised him to rest for four to five years. But he just couldn’t sit idle at home and so he wanted to come out and start selling grams in the city again like he always used to , to see the smiles on the little children faces as he handed them paper cones filled with grams.
But unlike those days there was no one to buy grams from him. No chaos no noise, just silence and a basket filled to the brim with grams. And as I spoke to him I realized that times have changed and I have grown up now. I felt sorry for “ Chanawalla Ajoba” and bought some grams from him a paper cone that used to be just a rupee was now three rupees.