angola patangola

angola patangola
bini bini changola (or mini mini?)
az taraf-e-arabi
…. jan rokhshana! (or bikhiza!)

*

had i had a blog as a 7 year old, this children’s song would have been one of the posts. a trip down the memory hole this morning prompted me singing this aloud in bed, which in turn prompted my wife to join, and before soon we were playing the game all over again, some two decades or so after we decided as little self-serious kids that we were too grown up to play it any longer -with the only variation in that last word of the last stanza. she remembers “az taraf-e-arabi, so and so rokhshana” while i insist on “az taraf-e-arabi, so and so bikhiza”.
i recall playing this game in my maternal grandparents’ massive backyard, along with my little army of cousins. the baaghcha or garden has tall apricot trees and fields of alfa alfa. there was a well in the middle, which we were always warned against going near, and a chicken coup in the corner with some very proud and colorful roosters that always gave the chicks a bad time. and there was always the admonishments from grown-ups not to spoil our clothes, not to destroy the tomato plants, not to scare the chickens away, not to go near the well, not to play. at the end, we did all of this, and all was still right. and for all the grass stains on our knees, and the frowns it earned us later, it was all worth it. the idyllic world of children at play, carefree, ignorant, innocent, rebellious.
i visited the garden three years ago, and everything had shrank. the trees were not as big anymore, the yard itself looked to have shrank ten times smaller, and the well had collapsed. there were places where the wall had crumbled where the rocket propelled grenades had landed, and the plaster on the wall in the back of the house was pockmarked with bullet holes. the place had lost all the color and looked washed out too, and the shadowy corners were not the world of mysteries they once used to be.

*

angola patangola
bini bini changoloa!

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~ by safrang on April 18, 2009.

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