Those were the days! Bangalore 1980-1982

My earliest memories were of Bangalore where I was staying with my family (My mother Mrs.Suvarna Mampilly and my two brothers – Ajay & Vijay) in a house in a army locality called the GUN TROOPS OFFICERS COLONY, AGRAM. This colony was used for housing the families of officers who were serving in parts of India where they couldn’t take their families. We were in this colony because my father then Major E.A.Mampilly was stationed in the Northern Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir. Our colony was in close proximity to all the ancillary facilities supporting the defence forces such as hospitals, administrative and logistical services and schools. I was in my Lower Kindergarten (LKG) in a school inside the close-by Army base which housed what was known as the ASC Centre (Army Service Corps – a logistical arm of the Indian Army).

Me in the sitout of our house in Guntroops

I now break from the story so as to introduce the main actors of my narrative:

My father was from a family of doctors and landowners. His grandfather Dr.Ephraim Mampilly had started a dispensary in Kochi in the early 1900s called the Mampilly Dispensary. And his father Late Lt.Col. Dr. A.E.Mampilly was a dentist in the Royal Indian Army (later Indian Army). My Dad probably got inspired by his dad to join the army, and this in turn probably inspired two of his brothers to join the army as well. In the end, there were quite a few Mampillys in the Indian Army from the 1930s till the mid 2000s! Two things I especially liked about Dad was that he loved eating and travelling and throughout our travels, he made sure that we tasted a majority of the cuisine and saw a majority of the landmarks of our great country. He enjoyed his job and always had a great sense of humour!

Mom was from a wealthy business family in Kerala. Her father Mr.K.L.Ouseph (a native language variation of ‘Joseph’) was one of the owners of a company KPL Oil Mills which manufactured coconut oil. Her family background meant that she was hardworking & industrious and most of all she was a very good cook! Her cooking would earn her many fans everywhere she went. She generally ran a tight ship with the help of either the ‘batman’ (a soldier provided by the army to assist an officer’s household) or with a servant. One of her most interesting assets was that she always seemed to have some uncle or cousin or acquaintance from her family somewhere in India who would invariably help us in some sort or the other. Her only limitations were her health problems – Asthma and varicose veins.

mom & dad
Mom and Dad in the early days

While I was dropped and picked up from school by my mother, my brothers went by an Army Bus to the Army Public School which was a little farther away. Though my father was far away, we were in safe hands because my paternal grandfather Late Lt.Col.A.E.Mampilly (Retd) was settled in Bangalore after retiring from the Indian Army in the 60’s. He and my grandmother Mrs.Ammini Antony made it a point to occasionally come over for a visit and similarly we went to their house in Koramangla (then a developing suburb) which was roughly 10-15 kilometres away, during festival days or other important occasions. Like all grandparents, they were a treasure trove of information & instructions and they did their best to control their unruly bunch of 3 grandsons.

Grandfather — “Appapan” as we called him in our native tongue Malayalam, was especially particular in channelising our excess energies towards physical pursuits like gardening, cleaning his car or walking his 3 dogs (three Apsos named Gypsy, Tiggy & Lassie). For our exertions we were rewarded with compliments, titbits from his army life or biscuits & other snacks which were otherwise kept out-of-bounds for us. My special interest were the small toys (an assortment of cars & planes) which were kept in the glass case in the sitting room, which previously belonged to my father and my uncles. Try as I might, these toys were only to be seen and rarely touched, let alone played with. My father’s youngest brother Dr.George Mampilly who was then studying to be a doctor in the St.John’s College, would occasionally be found at my grandparents house but he preferred to let us be and generally kept to himself.

My mother being from an extended Business family from Irinjalakuda (Thrissur, Kerala), had a couple of her cousins who were studying or working in Bangalore. And she being much elder to them, she often donned the role of their unofficial guardian. There were 3 of her cousins that I was particularly fond of – Ephraim uncle, Alice Aunty and Sabu uncle.

(…work in progress)

Those were the days!

Introduction

These posts are related to my memories of childhood as I travelled the length and breadth of India along with my family as we followed my Dad – an Indian Army officer, to his various posting locations. Each post will contain my memories location-wise and with the year of stay, since there are some locations where I stayed more than once in the course of my life. So read on…

Book Excerpt – In this City

Introduction

Between the years 2004 and 2008, I suddenly found myself writting poems on different topics. The trigger for this poetic spurt was a Valentine’s Day event in my office where I wrote a small poem on the spur of the moment as part of a ‘Secret Valentine’ game. But after that, the poet in me took off and lasted for about 4 years and then suddenly died a natural death. In the last one month, between publishing my first book and working on my second book it struck me that I should probably publish my poems as well.  So here they are… poems written on a variety of topics including poems spawned from impromptu Valentines Day & Birthday wishes and each poem with a small introduction of the background in which it was created.

 

1

A Secret Lover’s Plea

 I wrote this poem when we were having a game in our office in Whitefield-Bangalore, a few days before Valentine’s Day (2004).  All had to secretly present a rose and a small gift to a person of the opposite sex we were especially fond of and the names of the secret admirer were to be revealed on Valentine’s Day.  I had sent across a rose to a particularly beautiful woman and this poem was my way of telling her why I wouldn’t be revealing my identity even when required.

Why can’t it be that we remain unknown?

And this admirer’s face could remain unshown?

So that this story could then go on,

From my heart then more dreams could spawn.

O’ tis a joy this love unrequited,

No fences to mind, of bondages I’m acquitted.

It shall then be my endeavor,

Your secret lover I’ll remain forever.

 

Click to purchase the full book

 

 

Book Excerpt – Never Stop Dreaming

Introduction

It was in 2016, in the midst of repeated failures and frustration that I stumbled upon the concept of the power of the subconscious mind. What followed was journey of exploration deeper into the power and the possibilities of the subconscious mind, which opened my mind to what ‘I’ could do on my own instead of relying on anybody else or an external power to make things right or make things better. The concept of using the power of the subconscious mind to change one’s circumstances is not easy to grasp or easy to practice and the paradox is that it is difficult…because it is so easy. My journey is not complete and so I cannot claim to have reached a state from which I can authoritatively talk on this subject. But from the moment that I discovered this power, it has always been my effort to share my knowledge with others so that they may gain similar or more benefits than what I was gaining from my understanding and amateur practice of this power. Admittedly, people have viewed my proclamations on this topic with range of emotions from disdain and mockery to utter rejection. This reaction was probably a natural outcome of the fact that people viewed me as one of ‘them’ and not necessarily as somebody who had achieved the kind of fame & fortune which allowed me to preach and coach others. However, the reaction of other people has neither dimmed my enthusiasm for this concept nor my willingness to share this knowledge with others. And it is the eagerness to share this knowledge that has spurred me into writing this book. This book is the distillation of all the books, articles, videos and audios I have assimilated on this topic and so I have tried to lay it all down in as simple terms as possible.

Click to purchase the full book

Introduction

This blog is to discuss my writings and my poems which have been published in my books “Never Stop Dreaming – my experiences with the power of the Subconscious Mind” and “In this City – poems inspired by daily life in Bangalore”, both of which are available on Kindle and Amazon. I shall be sharing excerpts from both the books here and also including my thoughts on other topics as they develop, so as to brainstorm ideas for future writing projects.