Banish your blues

VI-‘D’. History period it was, but my Computer ‘Miss’ had come as a substitute teacher. Our mid-term tests were about to start the next day and so she told all of us to read and prepare for the exam. A girl from ‘B’ section came into our class and announced that we had to study one extra chapter for the exam. “Aiyyoo!” sang everyone in chorus. All of us could guess that surely one ‘Detail question’ will come from that chapter. The chapters we already had were quite big and this one extra chapter, only made things worse. When she saw all of us cribbing and complaining about having loads to study for the exam, she asked all of us to close our books. We were in no mood to study anyway and so we happily complied.

 

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Cluny Mat. Hr. Sec. School

 

Mrs. Indira Kanagasabai, then opened the little blue book that she had, and began reading aloud. “The most courageous boy is the boy who smiles when his two front teeth are gone! The name of this book is ‘Banish your blues’. To feel blue, is to feel sad. When your two front teeth fall off, will you be sad?” she asked us.

“Yes”, all of us answered.

“But this boy is smiling. This is courage! Courage is to keep smiling and face the world when things are tough”, she said.

It has been 10 years now and this is still fresh in my memory (Not that I’m super old now, but hey, 20s is a crazy phase!). Words like these, that too when they are from your favourite teacher, have a huge impact on you.

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For our school’s annual day that year, we were doing ‘The Sound of Music’ themed play. I love the movie and my favourite part is when Julie Andrews sings ‘My Favourite things’. Till date, whenever I feel blue, I do think about my favourite things and feel better. When our ‘singing sister’ was teaching us this famous song, she had to explain few words in the song because we had no idea what they were. The song goes like this:

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woollen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favourite things

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favourite things.

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favourite things

When the dog bites, when the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favourite things
And then I don’t feel so bad.

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Julie Andrews in ‘The Sound of Music’

In this song, I get why she is happy. She’s singing about all nice things and food too. Sister had to explain to us what strudel and schnitzel meant. Strudel is a pastry, we learnt. Schnitzel is food too, fried meat slice. Fair enough reasons to be happy. Well, this is a nice, sweet list and these are HER favourite things.

If I were to sing a song of MY favourite things, the lines would be very different and so will be the tune (a peppy tune, maybe). And the lines would be these:

[Disclaimer: It doesn’t rhyme like the original. The things mentioned may be taken as ‘possible matches’ to the things in the original song. This version is to be taken as a sweet parody.]

Morning dew on Tulsi and Bournvita moustache on my face
Bright copper dabara set and my Amma’s warm saree
Diwali cracker boxes tied up with strings
These are a few of my favourite things

Cream coloured calves and crisp bajjis on a rainy day
Cowbells and kulfi-bells and Mor Kozhambu with vadai
Pet hens that strut around with little chicks near their wings
These are a few of my favourite things

Girls in pattu paavadais wearing green mirror bangles
Marudhaani that accidentally gets on my nose and eye lashes
Hot pepper rasam flowing on my banana-leaf like a water spring
These are a few of my favourite things

When the dog bites, when the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favourite things
And then I don’t feel so bad.

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Yes, that’s me. A long time back.

For my dear non-Tamil friends:

  • Mor Kozhambu – Tamil version of ‘kadhi’, but better
  • Dabara set – tumbler and flat bottom katori
  • Pattu paavadais – Silk Lehangas, the Tamil Nadu version
  • Marudhaani – Mehandhi
  • Rasam – Mullagatawney soup/pepper flavoured water

So what are your favourite things?

A few other favourite things which didn’t quite ‘match’ with the things in the song, but are seriously AWESOME:

     Mannvaasanai, kathi kappal, stumper rubber ball, beach sundal, kaathaadi, panjumittai, vadumaanga pickle and curd rice, chettinad chicken and mutta parotta.

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