I remember the great times i had with my lil friend Rayudu (he must've grown now) . My dad was posted in Andhra in a remote town called Gudur for about six years. He decided that it was time i went to a school, though i'd ve loved to play on my mom's lap for a few more years.I was put into the only "English" medium school - the Rose flower English medium school. I was among a few privileged children that wore trousers to school- the others wore nothing.
Gudur was famous for its lemon export business. The roads would be filled with hay and lemons, and i'd pick up a few lemons on the way back home and proudly give it to my mom to be used in cooking.
As soon as i get back home, i'd run to play with my dear friend rayudu. He didn't do any schooling, because i think his parents couldn't afford it. We always preferred the road to play for it had a nice hay cushion on it. We'd jump off the sunshade on to a heap of sand, aim stones at the pigs and frighten them away, and would sincerely imitate all their actions.
For some reason, the pigs looked more contented when they were in the drainage,and we always wanted to jump into it like them. Rayudu had done it many times though, but the thought of my mom holding a cane prevented me from joining the adventure.
My mom must have found it difficult to identify her son among a group of pigs but luckily i wore a shirt. rayudu's mom could never find him. Sundays were special to us because it meant more time together playing. We used to play the whole day unmindful to the burning heat. We used to collect burnt beedis (cigarettes) because we were fascinated by the smoke that came out of nostrils when people smoked it. I wanted to know if i was capable of producing brilliant white smoke myself but i was caught in the heroic act by my mom and punished badly :( ouch
My dad got his transfer orders in 1991 to madras. I remember it well because he used to tell me about some Gulf war and show me pictures, as if i understood. My mom was jubiliant, because she was happy in taking her son to a new city which had better schools. What she did not realise was that her son would be missing his best friend.
I am sure rayudu will not read this post. He must be working in his fields or perhaps has found a job somewhere to support his family, but i miss all good times i had with him. The thoughts however will stay with me forever.