When i first grabbed the book ‘Half Pants Full Pants’, i wanted to know what are the tales of shimoga which are so different compared to my up-bringing in nearby state of Goa. As i try to refresh my memory with author notes, some 90 days typical households memories have just got refreshed. I guess though we were not so connected socially (via internet/social websites) most 90 kids have common memories like Doordarshan, Indian household gimmicks, discussion on religious castes and frowning on visits, sumeet electrical grinder, the first television etc
The author has set the story in the nice backdrop of shimoga in railway quarters. He is able to recollect his time from his childhood days the different unique experiences he has gone through ( Be it is strategies with friends at school, fights with brother/parents/friends, strategies to become smart etc ). Strategies at school or at home or with friends are nicely in display. They might sound stupid to us when we become adult but as a kid we definitely feel proud of them.
Having a younger sibling and having roots in konkan coast of karwar, i was able to relate to Sriram a lot , could understand the frustrations of the author with his family and most important the food habits narrowly matched my upbringing. The tales of Shimoga in ‘Half Pants Full Pants’ are well captured by the author. Though not deeply trying to cover the situations with the flow of words, i still feel the words woven to cover the situations allow the user to get aroma/feeling of those days.
I was bought up in a colony of defense/police quarters and envied that the author spent such a long time with his friends while i lost them every time my dad got transferred. Another revelation for me is that Kannada language had some common terms like for eatables like Candy floss which is called “Buddhi ka baal” or ‘Old womens hair’. As recollected this memory with my dad, he reminded me that across most part of india candy floss is called the same.
The bonus read at the end in the book ‘Half Pants Full Pants’, just reminded me of the generation which our parents were born in. Though we love them, it is difficult to understand their mindset which goes into so much minute details of each and every thing. Though it sound annoying/irritating at the end it is for our good but we cannot imagine what they are aiming for . Though they ridicule us sometimes, the bigger lesson behind those situations are clearer only in the longer term.
A good read and enjoyed the stories as they gave a glimpse of some of my old memories. Do grab a copy and get amazed at how an indian boy is bought up in a middle class household of shimoga along with his elder brother during the 90’s.