A day in the life of India

My experiments with Life


with 15 comments

Having spent a good part of my childhood in india of the 80’s i know what scarcity and garibi is. I remember there wasnt any money atall, and all the ppl that i knew or were around me were all fucking garibs… My father was a small time railway employee and in those days u know they paid peanuts to govt. employees..

Coming to the title there used to be a thing called chingam, its only as i grew i realised its actually was called a chewing gum… everyone kind of in those days pronounced it as chingam..
As i said we were very garib, and chingam was something that i only heard of and never actually got a chance to eat for some part of my child hood. Now this chingam was a hot topic among us kids, and lot of rumours surrounded it, most of it were the khatte grapes thing, ppl made up things because they couldnt eat it.. and my parents too believed in them..they are old world robots, they will believe what ever you tell them..

Everyone used to say that these chewing gums were made from fat of pigs. And pig was something that was considered dirty by everyone. Some people went to the extent of saying that its made from shit of pigs.. one day we decided to investigate if it really were made from pig shit… so we went out looking for pig shit and at the end concluded that it cant be made from pig shit… There used to be so many pigs till recently, where the fucking have they all gone now. I remember how the gangs of sardarji’s came to catch pigs, it looked very cruel. I faintly remember sometimes they used to cut the testicles of pigs and leave them…

One day someone bought a chewing gum for my sister and she chewed it for a week secretly so that parents wouldnt know.. and you know where she hid it? in her shoes..she would remove that and eat, and again keep it there.. funny na, in a sad kind of way lekin..
Another chingam story that i recall was my sister had this red shoes with the picture of aligator.. of lacoste brand, obviously not the original one.. so its sole came out one day, and my genius father used chewing gum to fix it..

Also i had this friend T who used to make chewing gum.. he would take some wheat grains and start chewing them… after some time it would become gummy and look like a chewing gum..

I some how love these memories of garibis, i love the 80’s 70’s era, its something that i have strong fascination towards. Thats why i m a big fan of amol palekar movies, they bring out the better part of those eras beautifully, also most mallu movies of that time…

And, we need good politicians to stay.  http://supporttharoor.org/



Written by maya

April 24, 2010 at 3:48 pm

Posted in past

15 Responses

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  1. hahahaha…Seriously?Dude!hmm…NIce Chingam stories.Actually I thought its the Malayalam Month. Chingam.


    April 24, 2010 at 6:09 pm

  2. i hope the title attracts some more mallus here

    Uncommon Sense

    April 24, 2010 at 6:58 pm

  3. Nice read. In my childhood we used to pronounce it as "Chigam". Your chingam stories are quite relatable. Its being made from pig's fat, and the wheat grain thing.. That catching of pigs and sterilizing them… I know, I have seen it all, too. Btw, I have spent my childhood in Gujarat. You are also in Gujarat, right?

    Darshan Chande

    April 24, 2010 at 7:51 pm

  4. @darshan.. yeh thse are all gujarat based memories.., now i m very curious to know what were it been like in other states

    Uncommon Sense

    April 24, 2010 at 8:18 pm

  5. that was reall sweet post πŸ™‚


    April 25, 2010 at 2:08 am

  6. @vici glad u liked

    Uncommon Sense

    April 25, 2010 at 9:52 am

  7. in childhood I always wondered what chewing gum was!!! my brother used to get it from his frens somehow and I let him enjoy :)and the pigs sterilizing thing happened in my place as well…sardarji's used to catch them without any remorse!!! I never understood why though!!!


    April 25, 2010 at 11:24 am

  8. Hehe! Lovely post. πŸ™‚ The chingam was such a big thing, sort of a status symbol for the one who could afford to eat one. And my God, the stories about them being made from dog fat and stuff! Made it all look gross. A nice flashback. πŸ™‚

    Vittaldas Prabhu

    April 26, 2010 at 12:39 am

  9. @sweelie, vitthal thanks for sharing your chingam stories..

    Uncommon Sense

    April 26, 2010 at 11:01 am

  10. hmmmmm….. sahi hai.. yahan bhi jab me chhota tha tabhi yehi suna tha ki chigum.. na khavi joiye :Ppata nahi,, meko to achi lagti thi chigum chabana, so me to khata tha.. aur us se bubble banata tha, aur kabhi kabhi chigum ka ek alag use karte the.. jab gum na mile.. tab πŸ˜› i mean glue πŸ˜›

    cKrAzYy..! ;)

    April 26, 2010 at 2:34 pm

  11. At my place the pigs were caught by ppl from mehtaar pada (pada=community). mehtaars were the sweeper ppl. no such chingam stories from my childhood(90's)


    April 26, 2010 at 11:56 pm

  12. It is an inspiring story of how education and knowledge is so powerful. Without it, wrong information can spread through a community which would ultimately lead to a halt in progress. Thanks for sharing


    April 27, 2010 at 2:52 am

  13. I was told that excess of chewing gum caused cancer to stop my habit of chewing it. Chiclets was my dose.

    The Survivor

    April 27, 2010 at 10:23 am

  14. You created the 80s very well. I remember how we had fascination for this gum. It felt great to have it, even though there was a total ban on consumption from parents.Garibi may not be there, but the quieter life is what I miss most from the 80s. There was less money, but more solace in life. Amol Palekar, Vinod Mehra and so many other acts will still be in memories.What will never come back is the quiet life that we enjoyed. Lesser malls, lesser cars, no cellphone and so much outdoor fun without the internet. That was also some life.Glad you reminded all of that as well!


    April 27, 2010 at 12:58 pm

  15. Well its called 'chingam' at my place too…But there are no pig stories…We were told that If we swallow the Gum, we'd suffocate to death.

    Saurabh Panshikar

    April 30, 2010 at 8:52 am

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