Chewing Gum @ 64

                                                   Chewing gum @ 64


Chewing gum @ 64! Sounds rather crazy, bizarre? Maybe, but I don’t think there is an age limit for chewing the gum. After all, why should kids have all the gum?

One fine morning, before setting out for my morning walk, as I was shuffling through my book shelf, I suddenly noticed a polythene bag containing some kids stuff. On scrutiny, I discovered some chewing gums.

I immediately recalled, I had got them for my grandkids, Aarushi, 8, and Avi, 4 when they visited here during summer vacation. Instead of handing over the entire bag to them, I would open the treasure bag to them to make their pick, one at a time. They were happy by the arrangement and would come many times in the day to have it. That made a good pastime. Chewing gum was quite a favourite item among those, but…

But chewing gums easily become an instrument of nuisance in the hand of one who relishes teasing, harassing others, especially females. Avi loves to stealthily tuck the chewed gum in his Didi’s (elder sister) hair. Normally, it could be a cause of sibling quarrel and violence, but I saw Aarushi coolly taking the scissors and clip off the affected strands of her precious hair. And the matter rested at that.

When that occurred twice, I said enough. I immediately removed all the chewing gums from the bag, and to my surprise, nobody objected. The kids were happy with the other varieties of sweets and relished them thoroughly. Then very soon, the vacation was over. In a jiffy, one whole month flew away and it was time for back to pavilion. They left, leaving behind the unused stock and memories of a delightful summer month.

Now, after the passage of about two months, I happened to accidentally fall upon the chewing gums left behind. Without much thought, I picked one, peeled the wrapper off, and popped it into my mouth. It remained in my mouth, giving thorough exercise to my gums, for about the whole hour I was in the walk. Finally I spit it in a roadside drain so that it does not stick to somebody’s shoe sole.

That was not all. I repeated the act every morning until the stock was totally exhausted. That reminds me of my own childhood days when I used to buy sweets and chewing gums from my pocket money, and loved especially to chew while playing cricket.

Ashok Misra


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