Celebrating Friendships with Yaaron Ki Baraat

 By Somali K Chakrabarti

The story goes back to the late seventies and eighties when gizmos and gadgets were not yet a part and parcel of our lives. That was the time when landline phones were a rarity, mobiles and laptops were unheard of, we would wait for a whole week to watch a movie on the Black and White TV, and  we met people only in person, not virtually. Friendship meant strolling around, playing on the ground, flying kites on the terrace, exchanging books and chatting with friends on topics that would never end.

Every summer, I went to Lucknow with my grandma, to visit my uncles and aunts and spend my vacations with my cousins. I don’t remember how it started, but it had become a yearly routine for a couple of years. I always looked forward to those annual trips for a number of reasons which included living for two months with a bunch of cousins, reading a whole lot of story books, gorging on ice creams, savouring papdi chaat, batasa (paanipuri/ golgappe), watching movies, gushing over our favourite stars, and sometimes even squabbling over them.

Many anecdotes of those days are still vivid in my memory and bring a smile every time I recall them.

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The school that I studied in, had the practice of giving a lot of homework during the holidays. Diverting a part of the precious vacation time to homework meant less time for pursuing other activities of interest. Somehow, my cousins didn’t have such boring things to do. Maybe, their teachers were far more considerate.  So, Rumi, my eldest cousin happily extended her helping hand and wrote the Hindi essays for me, while Mimi, the youngest one would complete the pages of handwriting. Tuki, the middle cousin did some of the sums. Art and crafts were a result of combined efforts. With much of the burden offloaded, I would complete the rest of the homework. The collaboration helped to free up much of my time, which was used constructively in playing hide and seek.


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A star- studded dustbin

Once it happened that the crafts homework entailed converting an old tin into a decorated waste paper basket. Rumi got an empty biscuit tin from her mom, Tuki and Mimi got glaze paper, gum, scissors, colours and shimmers. We cut those into shapes and patterns and stuck them to the tin. It turned out to be the most star studded waste paper basket that one could ever think of. I carried it carefully all the way from Lucknow to Delhi and proudly showed it off at school.

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Listening to ghost stories at night

The eldest cousin was a master story teller. She would spin ghost stories at night, particularly when there was a load shedding. The rest of us would sit around her in the dark balcony, listen to the stories with rapt attention, and get scared at every rustle of the leaves on the creepers that crawled up the balcony grill. Anyone of us who needed a glass of water, would then want someone to accompany them while crossing the stretch of the elongated balcony to enter the kitchen.


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On every trip of mine, at least once or twice we children got to go to the cinema hall to watch movies. Once, my uncle took all of us to see Golmaal (the original one).  It was a sort of classic comedy movie that had us in splits. We thoroughly enjoyed the histrionics of Amol Palekar, Dina Pathak and Utpal Dutt. What also caught our fancy, was a quick scene in a song that showed a shoddily dressed Amitabh Bachchan, the great super star of the time, sitting in a corner, after having lost out his stardom!


Recalling shared moments

Many of the Hrishikesh Mukherjee films had superstars appearing in cameo roles,” my cousin had told me later.

Such anecdotes, however small or insignificant helped us to bond and even today those happy memories have not faded away.

Sharing sepia-toned memories and heart-warming anecdotes from a friendship that spans over four decades, two living legends of Indian cinema Amitabh Bachchan and Shatrughan Sinha will spill the beans on their friendship on Zee TV’s chat show Yaaron Ki Baraat on 8th October at 8 PM.

Don’t forget to switch on your TV to watch the revelations they make about each other….and more.

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43 thoughts on “Celebrating Friendships with Yaaron Ki Baraat

  1. Golmaal was my favorite too Somali…..Your nostalgic mood enlivened my spirits this morning. And ghost stories Fir sure! I could totally relate to them. Those were the best years and I feel happy that my kids are living those childhood moments thanks to the wonderful friends they have, despite technology.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Summers truly used to he great fun on the 80s and 90s. Playing with friends and enjoying small things in life was so satisfying. Watching Golmaal was such fun! Good read. Brings back happy memories!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This post stirs many memories Somali…those were the days! Grandma was synonymous with stories…the banyan and the peepal trees in the courtyards of extended families symbolised love and togetherness, where families sat together to share the fun. We had never dreamt that those favorite places of solace would be replaced one day with the digital devices we have around us! 🙂

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  4. Very nice to hear your childhood vacation stories, Somali. Very kind of your cousins to help pitch in with homework – they sounded like they didn’t mind helping you at all! They make homework sound very fun and like playtime 🙂 I was never that lucky during vacation as a kid and I had to do all my homework myself. On top of the homework given to me by my teachers, my mother brought along additional workbooks for me to work on during the holidays to our trips back to Malaysia (I went to high school in Singapore).

    It did sound like you were very brave to listen to ghost stories, and I am sure you didn’t bump into anything on the way to the kitchen. Lovely photo at the end there, and must be a memorable one for you 🙂

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    1. Oh my god! You had to do additional worksheets in addition to your homework!! Now, I feel I was indeed lucky to have my cousins distribute the load 😀 Thank you for sharing your story Mabel.
      Yes, I had a penchant for listening to scary stories and then getting scared, 🙂


      1. Yes, you were very luck to have your cousins finish your homework in half the time for you, Somali 😀 Ghost stories sounded like a real treat for you. Hope you didn’t get a big scare in the middle of the night after listening to them stories 🙂

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  5. It’s such kind of friendship in life that are treasured most and you are lucky to be part of such simple joy to be cherished. It was a time when friendship was not defined by number of friends or likes, Somali. Aha! That was joy, selfless cooperation and story telling. I loved watching Golmaal. Amitabh-Shatru film which remains one of my favorite is Dostana,

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  6. Nostalgic, more nostalgic…so much in common and it appears as we all have seen the same movie, the story remains the same…so much so that one can see the mirror image. There was a world without these gadgets and demand of life, and it was not much before just few decades back where we all lived a life full of fun and frolic. It was with family and it was with relatives. Home town or village was the irrefutable destination during holidays, very unlike of today’s vacation where we think of only exotic destinations and going to foreign place has become a compulsion, as there are comparison and as there are options. It is different world we live today where everything is mechanical and get measured in monetary terms…family get together, friendship and simple joy of life in what we do and how we do things that were very much with us and around us…

    Somali, I can relate every bit of the activities you had experienced during your childhood and I am sure it is the case with each and everyone of us without any exception. As the school vacation starts and we were all off to our village and it was about experiencing the beauty of freedom in basking glory of nature…yes, many times we had encountered the black out and we all have our scary stories and some beautiful memories though it was night without light, thinking today life without light even for few minutes is irritating and we become restless…life becomes confusing when we are suddenly left with so many choices and in fact today we are lost in the plethora of things available at a click. It was the limitation that made us become less choosy, only entertainment was television and we all were hooked to that weekly movie schedule or the Wednesday Chitrahaar…

    Thanks Somali for sharing such a beautiful post and memories which has forced me to reflect and get little more nostalgic of the good old days.
    Hope you had lovely Sunday with Durga Pujo at it’s peak.

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    1. Thank you Nihar, and sorry for the late response. Yesterday being a Sunday and Mahaashtami, got enthusiastic about going to the pandals. Yes, we are the transition generation, we have adapted to the changes, yet sometime or the other, we all tend to get a bit about the simple joys associated with the pre- internet times.
      Wishing you and your dear ones very Happy Navaratri.

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      1. Yes Somali, it is tempting to go to these pandals, we also did it yesterday and it was good to be part of such lovely celebration and wishing you and your lovely family with joy and happy Dusshera.
        Perhaps we are lucky to have seen the two facets of the same world and the part we experienced in our childhood would never come back…we can only reflect and cherish those good old days, it is just that it has happened in front our eyes and we are unable to accept such a radical change.
        take care and have a lovely puja.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. It always feels great to read and share the “sepia-toned memories”! I used to visit my “mamabari” during the vacations and, yes, so much fun it was! I used to pose as a teacher while checking my cousin’s homework… 😀 So many memories…. thanks for rejuvenating some of them through this post… 🙂

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  8. Such precious moments of sharing treasured memories.. loved how your cousin would tell her ghost stories.. And isn’t it wonderful what we remember.. loved the photo share too Somali.. xx
    Love and Blessings xxx


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