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You can learn many things from children.  How much patience you have, for  instance.  ~Franklin P. Jones
A child can ask questions that a wise man cannot answer.  ~Author Unknown

My parents learnt all these and much more way earlier without reading any quotes,courtesy me
I have a brother ( 2 yrs 3 months younger than me…  a noticeable and respectable age difference which he never respected and we fought like vampires and werewolves)both of us were naughty but I was always full of questions even the most learned mind could not answer
like when I was 3 or may be 4 years old I once asked my parents if taxi grows up and becomes a bus
and then once  I asked my mom how the kid sitting behind me in the class could come first ( hey I sat in the first bench braving the questions,I had rights!)
but of course with each passing year the questions became more and more tougher and challenging…
Soon we were at the age when you would trust your friends, teachers and your parents in exact order
so when your friend told babies were dropped at the door steps or their parents killed postman you would have no reason not to believe them cos …well got to trust friends
In fact no one would even challenge whatever was being told in the class  and/or share all these top class information with any outsider( like parents and siblings)
so by the time we were in 3rd std. all of us were believing in a lot of things-
like every vacant house is haunted
or schools and hospitals are always built on a graveyards
or any new girl or boy is your enemy till they give you one extra candy on their birthday
or the person who did not cross fingers in time was the one who farted..
you know the usual…
and while we were growing up believing and  inventing things that had Einstein and Newton turning in their graves…. God was busy planning much bigger events as he clearly wanted more entertainment.
 so when we were in 3rd Std. he sent his special agent Lata
Now lata came into our life when  all the best friends, buddy groups were well established
loyalties were fixed( except Birthdays) and sworn on ..
but there was something about this girl that soon every one started following her.
when it came to writing an essay on my best friend no one would write about her
 but if lata said Our physics teacher was a vampire( something which she didn’t and you all know I am much more capable of spreading such news) every one would believe in it,no questions asked.
lata was quite a story teller and almost every day she would make up stories about something and that’s what made her so interesting..
Things none of us knew about, scary, funny, magical things
And within a period of 3 months she had spun a huge web of interesting ‘facts’ and stories and we were all hooked on to the web..
But of all the stories she ever told us the most interesting one and the one which has remained our top favourite to this day was  MAKE ERASER AT HOME
With Lata around,every day was interesting but this one season was bubbling with  information..
In every class some one was busy telling,adding more to the eraser recipe and in our class it was Lata..
we pleaded and gave her candies for this extremely valuable information and so started project eraser..
Lata told us to collect pencil shavings for entire week and then boil in a cup of milk till it was  thick and keep it out in moulds to dry for “exactly 3 days” for anymore drying would make eraser  brittle!
So after writing down each and every process in detail that day we all went home and tried it out
Yes dearies we all tried out our luck.. but no one could make it.
 But who would tell that to Lata !!
So after 3 days each of us went to school with a new eraser and told her and each other that the method had worked and from now on we too  will never have to buy erasers.
Am sure of all the people Lata had ever laughed at we were the ones who really made her ROFL.
Unfortunately for us she changed school next year and we never saw her again.
whenever I see kids making up stories and sharing tall tales can’t stop  wondering what more we could have learnt had Lata continued in the same school.
Every time I meet some old friend we invariably end up talking about her and have a good laugh …at our stupidity of course.
last heard she still lives in Itarsi( where we grew up) and has two kids… am sure all of them are boiling milk and making erasers
All These memories just make travelling back so much fun..

About Soma Mukherjee

I often say things that put me in a jam, Jams go well with Buttered Toasts, Toasts are great hosts, Ghosts not so much, Although they can dance, Not all dancers are serial killers, Serial killers do not use Body bags that often, body bags aren't leak proof, Proof is in the Pudding.

33 responses »

    I can’t stop…!
    You know Soma, it hardly takes any effort to make me laugh…I laugh at petty minor things that others may not find so funny…and I laugh like I can’t stop. 😀
    But this one I bet if it’s because I laugh so easily…!
    I mean the things we did as we all were kids…there is no end to it..I think a complete series of books can be made out of them. 😀
    great one…I just loved it!
    Please post some more of memoirs….they are extremely delightful!

    • ha ha ha Lopa seriously we used to believe in all kinds of silly things and now when i look back it looks like watching a comedy or errors…you are so right on this one…
      thanks Lopa will defintely keep posting here and trust me when i say i have more like this one 😆

  2. Thank you for allowing me to accompany you down Memory lane!

  3. I have never heard that recipe for erasers, but the story is absolutely hilarious! Your talent for story telling is always captivating!

  4. So true, there’s so much to learn from children, mainly because they like to keep things simple. A lot of becoming wise and enlightened simply has to do with coming full circle back to how we were as children.
    Peace & grace,

  5. I really enjoyed reading this Soma! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and memories with us. 🙂

  6. I’m Lata at home. Now my girls don’t believe a word I say. Such as fast food can be delivered through mobiles if you truly believe it will pop up. 🙂 Helps keep the inner child alive and I love the rolling eyes and disbelief that cross their faces. Thank you for sharing this delightful post my friend.

  7. I just love this, you wrote it so well and have me laughing 🙂 I wanted to run and boil some milk and try and make erasers 😉 Lata sounds like she really make school way more fun!!! You are just so talented with the writing, Soma!! Someday I hope to speak Bengali well enough to say more, but for now hugs and Ami tomake bhalobashi 🙂

  8. This was just wonderful Soma and I truly loved reading it! It was funny and also sweet, and a lovely stroll down memory lane. Lata sounds like she was a real scary, yet interesting girl. The eraser story was just hilarious! Thanks so much for sharing with us, this post was a treasure. 🙂

  9. Blood-Ink-Diary

    Yes, Somi, kids and I are making erasers (didn’t we call those rubber and foot ruler?!) and boiling milk in Toronto! Lol. Of course not — what a lovely post – perfumed with an air of nostalgia….

  10. Awww! Wasn’t Lata the best! I love the way you reminiscence and wonder if she and her kids are still making those erasers :P!
    I think we all have been, or known someone like Lata who spiced up our lives and made those years in class bearable, and even thrilling! Lovely post!

  11. Gabby and I nominated you for the ABC award, Congrats! Check out our blog for what you should do. hugs, Gabby and Autumn

  12. I love this post, Soma! I really enjoyed it!
    Hugs to you, my friend!

  13. Raven of Leyla

    LOL was reminding me of many stories I have heard from the Latas or Latos in my life! I may be a Lata 😉
    Great read Soma:D

  14. Great fun. Love the entire rationale of the young child’s mind. Unfortunately, I suspect my son is starting to learn ‘facts’ from questionable sources, i.e. his peers.

  15. This is a lovely post again Soma.

  16. Naughty,naughty Soma Mukherjee, You have opened Pandora’s Box. Now all the questions which I never had been able to answer will haunt me . Yes I am indebted to you to make such a patient bird out of me. All my tricks to take away your mind from answerable questions failed and embarrassed to no end.
    I enjoyed it thoroughly.

  17. That is lovely Soma, thank you!


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