How I grew up singing country songs and studying stars…

I don’t know if its a common trend in India or its just my family, but my ma and I would spend the summers in “her” home. By this I mean her brother’s home in Jabalpur. I am not going to go on and on about how we had an awesome time there, a dozen cousins, playing in the big open garden, swimming in the Narmada, playing pranks on the elders, roaming around everywhere aimlessly. The one thing I recall all the time is how my mama brought my brother and me up. He was the big guy in our life. The one who taught us to fight the mighty Narmada, swim across its currents, worship it and feed little fishes. The man who taught us everything there is to know about each Indian bird, making sure we remembered the Latin name with the common name. We watched Superman and Star Wars every year!!! We knew all the dialogues by heart and owned light sabers and tried to fly wearing red scarfs. At night, we would watch stars. You can see a lot of those because Jabalpur was a really small town at that time. On a clear night, he would open up his book and teach us all the constillations of the North summer Sky. But the best part was when mama would turn on his music player, bring out those self-recorded cassettes and play his favorite American country songs. Oh those Kenny Rogers to Big Bad John And I’m just a country boy. Every evening, after dinner, the three of us would surround his player and sing out loud those songs. Till today I remember most of those songs and every time one of them plays in a music system somewhere, I smile.

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