I read Flavours of Team GingerChai by Mani Padma and felt quite silly about my starting off with a bang as an author at GingerChai. Well – I immediately resolved to be a regular er…gingiblogger. Hence this Gingipost.
Back in 1982, (when most of you were perhaps not even born), I used to have a curly haired neighbor whose name was Gingi – 6 years old. Hearing the word “gingi” reminded me about a hilarious episode.
Whenever my 5 year old niece visited, the two of them would play quite happily. Then one day, after about an hour or so of energetic yelling and laughing and what not, my niece – let me call her D – came back into the house, sobbing. We were worried, naturally, because my cousin sister, her mother, can be a complete devil if D cried – especially if she didn’t accompany her.
So we all – my uncle, granma, mom, aunt – all of us took turns at cajoling her, cuddling her to find out what was wrong. D was a very cute thing – chubby and utterly spoilt, being the only child back then. My mom told her amusing stories – but D continued to sniff and sob. My uncle cracked silly jokes – and D just glared at him through her tears saying “pongo mama” (go! Uncle). Then my aunt got her something to eat – and D pushed it away. I tried attracting her with an outing – to no avail.
What to do? If she went back home like this, my cousin sis would have my skin. An hour passed. The child continued to sniffle. And when it is a 5-year old, it just breaks your heart, you know. She was all rosy from the effort. Gradually she lay down, and slept. After she woke up, we hoped she would have forgotten all about it, as little girls do. We convinced her to have a glass of milk. No sooner did she take her first sip – than who should breeze in, but our very own curly haired bratty neighbor – that naughty Gingi! He said “eyyyy D! irukka?” (hey D, is it there?)
All hell broke loose at that remark. D resumed howling and sobbing – this time it was highly vocal. Nicely refreshed from her nap and half glass of milk, she brought the roof down. In fact, it seemed like she brought the neighborhood down. Now we were also quick on the uptake and managed to figure out that Gingi must be the culprit who was making her cry this way. So we went after him, grabbed the little boy busy playing marbles in the street and brought him back, captive into the house. In her sternest voice, my aunt asked him why D was crying. He shrugged, naturally. “Teriyaadu (don’t know)” he said.
Well, the moment D saw him, she raised the volume higher. So, I thought, no point upsetting Gingi as well, who was a kid after all. I shepherded him out of the line of the family’s collective fire and took him outside. We sat on the step at the entrance and pulling him into my lap, I cuddled him and tickled him. Gingi used to love that – and he began to laugh and enjoy himself.
Then I asked him “Dei, Gingi, just tell me why D is crying. I won’t tell anyone”.
He smiled and looked down, shy. That freaked me. 6-years old and shy, when asked why 5-year old D was crying?
So I said “Dei dei dei chollu da (tell me)”.
He said – he told D he wanted to pee – and coolly went to the side of the house and pee-d into the plants. D also wanted to do it. But when she lowered her panties, Gingi found she didn’t have what he had. So he asked her where hers was. D said she didn’t have one and looked deprived.
So our hero Gingi told her “D, you have been punished. You are a bad girl. That’s why you don’t have it.” And that’s why D was crying – because she thought she was punished for being a bad girl.
Sigh. Today, D has two kids, is a high-flyer workig mom. And if she ever remembers Gingi, am sure she knows what the truth is now. 🙂 As for Gingi – well, I never knew what his real name was then, and certainly not now. Everyone called him Gingi. That’s life.