The Blog and I

Thank you for visiting my blog. This is not really a blog, in the sense that I do not write everyday on things which concern me or the world. This is a site where I have recently begun publishing what I write. And I have not been writing for too long, maybe a year or so.

Most of what you will find here are nostalgia pieces from my growing up days in Jamshedpur, now in Jharkhand, where I was born in the early sixties. I like to write on places where I travel to, so you will find some travel pieces as well.  I love books, music and movies, so you will also find some of that stuff here.

I used to mail whatever I wrote to friends who suggested that I post these on a blog site so that they can forward the link to whoever they would like to forward it to instead of sending word files. So that is the genesis of this blog. I have been gradually uploading some older stories and adding the new ones I write over the past two months since the blog came into being.

I am a business executive based at Hong Kong.

And, by the way, please suggest a name for this blog. Till I get around to choosing a name, this blog will continue to be called Santosh Ojha’s Weblog!

Thanks,

Santosh Ojha

30 Responses to The Blog and I

  1. shumone chatterjee says:

    Hey Santosh – a suggestion for the Blog name – A cup of nostalgia, served half cut or
    A cup of nostalgia, malai markey or
    Santosh Cabin – Nostalgia served hot!

    I prefer the last one …let me know what you think.

  2. pawan patel says:

    Hi,

    My name is Pawan Patl, presently living in Montreal, Canada. I rea dyour blog which I liked too much. As your diary take me to my old memories which I left in Jamshedpur in 1994. I read your all pages of diaries. Wishing u and your family a Happy and safe Durga puja.

  3. santoshojha says:

    Pawan: Thanks a lot.

  4. Syed-Mohsin Naquvi says:

    Dear Santosh Ojha Saheb,

    Greetings

    The three stories you have listed are also some of my favourites. I had read USNE KAHA THA as my high school text.
    By the way, KAFAN was originally written in Urdu. It was transcribed into DEVNAGRI much later. It is still taught in Urdu here in the United States Unievrsities in its original. My daughter did so too.

    Thank you.

  5. L.V.Sridhar says:

    Namaste Santoshji,

    Your posts make me travel into the virtual reality of my childhood days in the 70’s and early 80’s, and make me feel so nostalgic about those happy days. I have spent a large chunk of those years , the first 21 years to be precise, in Benares .I am aa alumnus of IT , BHU .

    Every post or should I say story of yours is so vividly composed and evoke mixed feelings of sheer joy and tears too .

    I enjoyed the latest one on the service providers . Some others I can remember were the poor villagers coming to the doorstep of my house selling garden fresh vegetables at a throwaway price, with a large heart. And not to forget the halwai who used to prepare sweets and savories in the backyard on a choolah on festive occasions, even as the mothers chatted away to eternity and spicing up the fare with tips and instructions to him.
    Last but not the least the chaatwala and icecream wala who used to announce their arrival in our colony , even as we excitedly ran out to grab a bite.

    Keep the show going Santosh. God bless you for bringing back those fond memories so vividly .

    Sridhar ( Mech – 1985 )

    Perhaps life was never so full of happiness and contentment those days

  6. Ritesh Ranjan says:

    Santosh, I thoroughly enjoyed reading your pieces. I was startled at the apparant similarities between you and me. Like you, I grew up in Jamshedpur, not in 60s and 70s but during mid-late 80s and early 90s. Like you, I studied in BHU, Varanasi and like you went on to do my MBA after that. Like you I stay in Bangalore now and like you even I love to wear my middle class upbringing on my sleeve. I liked your posts and being from Jamshedpur, was able to relate with most of them. However, the one that I absolutely loved was the one where you describe your mom’s coin collection with which she bought you a watch. It brought a lump to my throat. I can relate to this. Even I got my first watch when I passed my Board exams and I was aware of the kind of difficulties my parents were going through to give me and my two sisters a good education. Sir, you’ve got me hooked onto your blog. I’ll be a regular visitor here. P.S. Even I’ve started writing recently. You can read my ramblings on riteshjsr.wordpress.com

  7. Prem says:

    I like most of the Hindi stories you mentioned on your blog, especially, Parda by Yashpal. In fact, Hindi short stories like Parda, Haar ki Jeet, Pariksha, Idgah, and others by contemporary authors, including Munshi Premchand (http://munshi-premchand.blogspot.com)have molded my character and permanently impacted my outlook on life. I wonder if you could post complete text in Hindi of Parda on your website or suggest one that may have it. I thank you for the opportunity to enjoy your blog.

  8. Tana says:

    My child has an elocution competition..in hindi..titled ‘Dosti’…can you help me please?

  9. ANANT says:

    Someone asked the other day, ‘What was your favorite fast food when you were growing up?’

    ‘We didn’t have fast food when I was growing up,’ I informed him.

    ‘All the food was slow.’

    ‘C’mon, seriously. Where did you eat?’

    ‘It was a place called ‘at home,” I explained. !

    ‘Mum cooked every day and when Dad got home from work, we sat down together at the dining room table, and if I didn’t like what she put on my plate I was allowed to sit there until I did like it.’

    By this time, the kid was laughing so hard I was afraid he was going to suffer serious internal damage, so I didn’t tell him the part about how I had to have permission to leave the table.

    But here are some other things I would have told him about my childhood if I figured his system could have handled it :

    Some parents NEVER owned their own house, wore Levis , set foot on a golf course, traveled out of the country or had a credit card.

    My parents never drove me to school. I had a bicycle that weighed probably 50 pounds, and only had one speed, (slow).

    We didn’t have a television in our house until I was 19.

    It was, of course, black and white, and the station went off the air at midnight, after playing the national anthem and a poem about God; it came back on the air at about 6 a.m. and there was usually a locally produced news and farm show on, featuring local people…

    I never had a telephone in my room.The only phone was on a party line. Before you could dial, you had to listen and make sure some people you didn’t know weren’t already using the line.

    Pizzas were not delivered to our home… But milk was.

    All newspapers were delivered by boys and all boys delivered newspapers –my brother delivered a newspaper, six days a week. He had to get up at 6AM every morning.

    Movie stars kissed with their mouths shut. At least, they did in the movies. There were no movie ratings because all movies were responsibly produced for everyone to enjoy viewing, without profanity or violence or most anything offensive.

    If you grew up in a generation before there was fast food, you may want to share some of these memories with your children or grandchildren. Just don’t blame me if they bust a gut laughing.

    Growing up isn’t what it used to be, is it?

    MEMORIES from a friend :

    My Dad is cleaning out my grandmother’ s house (she died in December) and he brought me an old Royal Crown Cola bottle.. In the bottle top was a stopper with a bunch of holes in it.. I knew immediately what it was, but my daughter had no idea. She thought they had tried to make it a salt shaker or something. I knew it as the bottle that sat on the end of the ironing board to ‘sprinkle’ clothes with because we didn’t have steam irons. Man, I am old.

    How many do you remember?

    Head lights dimmer switches on the floor.
    Ignition switches on the dashboard.
    Pant leg clips for bicycles without chain guards.
    Soldering irons you heat on a gas burner.
    Using hand signals for cars without turn signals.

    Older Than Dirt Quiz :

    Count all the ones that you remember not the ones you were told about.

    Ratings at the bottom.

    1.Candy cigarettes
    2.Coffee shops with tableside juke boxes
    3.Home milk delivery in glass bottles

    4. Party lines on the telephone
    5.Newsreels before the movie
    6.TV test patterns that came on at night after the last show and were there until TV shows started again in the morning. (there were only 3 channels [if you were fortunate])
    7.Peashooters
    8. Howdy Doody
    9. 45 RPM records
    10.Hi-fi’s
    11 Metal ice trays with lever
    12 Blue flashbulb
    13.Cork popguns
    14. Studebakers
    15. Wash tub wringers

    If you remembered 0-3 = You’re still young
    If you remembered 3-6 = You are getting older
    If you remembered 7-10 = Don’t tell your age,
    If you remembered 11-15 =You’re older than dirt!

    I might be older than dirt but those memories are some of the best parts of my life.

    Don’t forget to pass this along!!
    Especially to all your really OLD friends….

  10. Sudhansu Pathak says:

    Ojhaji,

    it was good to go thu the blog. The writings were quite vivid especially some of the stuff of teh school days. Being a batchmate I could recall many of the moments & see you as you were during teh days.

    Great stuff!! carry on.

  11. Namskar Ojhaji,
    It is realy very nice to read your Bhojpuri Song Selection in your Blog.I want to collect the CD of Baja Baje Boys can u help me in this.

  12. sourav894 says:

    It’s pleasing to know that there are thinkers in my country keeping the great culture alive. Even I’m a published Hindi poet. To catch a glimpse of my work, visit- http://souravroy.com/poems/

    Keep Walking…

  13. You have a really nice blog .🙂 Although I have never been to Jamshedpur, 4 of my flat mates are from this city ( I am the 5th🙂 ) . Btw, can you tell where can you buy Sattu in Bangalore ? I live in Bangalore as well .

  14. Dr Sahir Pall says:

    Santosh, this is Sahir, hope you can recall. I am in JSR these days.
    Regards

  15. Richa says:

    I’m a fellow Loyolean and a fellow Bihari living in Chicago, US. Your Deccan Herald article on Bihari food was sent to me a mutual friend and I really enjoyed it. I really can’t recall ever having seen a mention of maad-bhaath-chokha or patal in the popular media. Very well said, and very entertaining!

    Richa

    • santoshojha says:

      Thanks, Richa! Our cuisine does deserve some promotion! Hopefully, the part 2 on Sattu et al should show up soon in DH.

      Btw, who is the mutual friend?

  16. Deepak says:

    Hi .Santosh !!

    Why have you stopped writing after May’11.
    Hope all fine with you.

    Deepak.

  17. Asit Kumar says:

    I am Asit kumar. I am with Steel Authority of India staying in Ranchi. It was a pleasant surprise to find some one who still remembers Parag , Nandan etc.mags that puts us in a time machine in a reverse mode and get the smell of printed pages that still gives nostalgia soaked aroma . I write in different news papers and recently wrote a book on history of Ranchi named Ranchi ka Rupanter. You can get its reference on internet .
    You have mentioned about writer Avtar Singh of Parag and who is now no more. I would be thankful if you provide further details of the late wrriter..

    • santoshojha says:

      Thank you for writing. I really have no other material on Avatar Singh. I wish someone published a collection of his stories.

  18. sunny saurav says:

    Hi Santosh,
    I am Sunny from hazaribagh bihar now jharkhand. I’m feeling lucky to find your blog while searching bihari in google. It won’t be a surprise as I read it for whole day. It really recalled each and everything of golden old days. Gr8 blog hope to continue reading it.

  19. Salil Bahl says:

    Hi, great to see your interest in this area.
    i am doing a research on Shri Harivansh Rai Bachchan and his poetry. As you know most of the youngsters dont read much and hardly understand pure hindi in literary form. instead of books should we try new mediums like visual or audio or anything else?
    >> According to you what is the best way for promoting such legendary works amongst youngsters (and everyone else as well)? your opinion would be really helpful.
    >>
    >> Other than this:
    >> 1)Your Name?
    >> 2) profession?
    >> 3) qualification
    >>
    >> A) Any works of Bachchan Sahab that you are familiar with?
    >> B) Do you read (books, poetry etc) often?
    >> C) Do you read hindi authors?
    >>
    >> based on this research i will develop and try promoting Shri Harivansh Rai Bachchans poetry to continue his legacy
    >>
    >> Awaiting reply – bsalil@ymail.com
    >> Thank you
    >> Salil Bahl

  20. Aditi rai says:

    Is it possible to get old editions of nandan magazine maybe of 80s n 90s or maybe earlier than that too n how.? Regards

  21. Shashwathi says:

    Hi Sir,

    My name is Shashwathi Sandeep and I work with ‘Parent Circle’, a three year old parenting magazine based in Chennai, India.
    We cover all issues related to parenting and for our October issue, we are writing an article on ‘Unique Diwali Traditions’. It is in this regard that I wanted your permission to use these pictures along with a credit for you. I would be truly grateful if you could help me out.

    Will be waiting for your positive response Sir.

  22. aanchal says:

    Hi Santosh, I am part of a television show called Raja Rasoi aur anya Kahaniyan aired on EPIC channel. We are looking for food experts, food authors,history professors, food historians from Bihar to talk about the history of Bihari cuisine and give interesting stories or anecdotes on the same.
    Came across your blog and really liked it but also read that you are in Hongkong..can u suggest some names of people from Bihar and Jharkhand to help us.

    I will be grateful
    Thank You

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