Thursday, August 8, 2013

"Sanga Two Piece" ... what is this?

Just in passing I happened to mention, in an e-mail "Sanga Tooo", which was a signal/gesture to end friendship and start 'enemyship'   My friend Kumar wrote back "Another subject for your blog."  I looked up at the ceiling, fingers of both hands interlocked behind my head and thought for a while. Why not?  

"Sanga Tooo Piece" was a common thing, unwanted, but part of childhood. It was gestured holding the the tips of index finger and middle finger tips, curving the fingers so that there was a gap through which we announced "Sanga Tooo Piece". It meant friendship cut into two pieces!  Enemyship.

Speaking or playing in the same playgroup suddenly became uncomfortable because of the presence of an enemy!  Touching an enemy was taboo!  So kids maintained a good distance!  

Oftentimes, enemyship were temporary lasting as short as one day!  When senior members of families came to know about this, the enemies were called together for a reunion, which was the most uncomfortable act, but we obeyed elders.  One of the kids would curve the two fingers the same way, but not in front of the mouth. The other kid passes one finger through the gap splitting the two fingers thus symbolically ending enemyship.  Friends again!  Feelings returning to normalcy took time and a tough period to endure!! 

Friend, unfriend and re-friend!  Thanks to facebook, we have such terms!  'Unfriending' is so easy now on facebook and not as embarrassing as our old-time reality.  

My classmate Rajagopal [Gopi] living in the nearby street was my regular companion to school, both ways, even from the early school days.  It continued till our seventh class.  We had some wonderful memories of our stroll back and forth school almost every day.  We used to go to each other's homes often mostly for playing various games like chess, carrom and whatnot.  

While in 7th we became enemies!  Neither of us cannot recall at all, the cause.  But luckily and strangely not long after, a gooseberry became instrumental in ending our enemyship.  

I now have to take you to the 'Gooseberry' story. But I'll tell in brief.  While playing, a gooseberry pickle was in my mouth, many waiting to be eaten from the pocket!  It got stuck in the gullet. Minor operation cleared the obstruction. Throat became septic after 2-3 days.   Sickness. No school. 7th Public Exams closing in.  Gopi comes with Zakir to see me lying on bed. End of enmity.  [Click] for the full story, if you wish to read. 

Gopi and I were normal friends again.  Though we met as team mates in tennis ball cricket matches and also cricket in his neighbourhood, we were no longer going together to [high] school. We had our own friends by then.  He did his degree and moved to Madras [now Chennai] for greener pastures which became truly green for him.

  For as long as his parents continued to be in the same house I was abreast with his welfare.  His brothers and mother moved away some years later, thus information on Gopi was cut.

After many years one fine afternoon, Gopi turned up at my house with a  "Do you remember me?" look.  What a relief it was with his surprise visit!  Shyly we exchanged some old memories to begin another chapter of fresh friendship. We exchanged addresses and then letters once in a while to stay in touch.  We have met many times since then, with families, at each other's places.  When nostalgia gets the better of us, we never miss reminiscing our wonderful enemyship!!  "Sanga no piece"!  


Kumar Sharma said...

Really nice to read, Dear Dinu! Thanks for taking the cue and blogging!! Thoroughly enjoyed this brief 'piece' of writing, on 'Sanga Tooo'. This was typical probably of Mysore School Kids of the 1960' be sure a legacy of our seniors!
Far away from CKC is the Nirmala Convent in 'Vontikoppal' where I did my schooling and this same practice of 'Sanga Tooo' prevailed. For non-Kannada Hindi readers, we can elaborate that 'Sanga' was and is the Kannada term for 'Sangh' or Saath...& Tooo added to that meaning 'mein tumhaare Saath ab se baath nahin karoonga'. All for some silly disagreement on some point between friends. This was not just between 2 friends, it would enlarge to 2 groups in the same school. Some would manage to 'sit on the fence' and remain neutral....friends with both parties. Playing 'Kalla Police' was the most favourite game we played in the school before the 'Bell' rang for Assembly and start of classes thereafter. The game would resume during the One-hour Lunch Break. The two Teams for Kalla-Police would large comprise of 'only Friends' in a Team. We could not be comfortable with an 'enemy' in our Team.
Though I never really liked this practice of 'enmity', it was enforced as my first-ranker friend Hanumantha would 'emotionally blackmail me' was my Weakness that was being exploited....I did not want to lose his friendship. He too has been my 'Enemy' on many occasions.
Generally, after the 'Enemyship' was 'cut' by a neutral messenger, each would psychologically be sort of 'obligated' to the other and the initial re-union would be very pleasant each pleasing the other!
Good Piece to read, Dinu....brings back memories. I wonder it this 'practice' prevailed in any other part of Mysore State, let alone India or the World!

Susan Hirneise Moore said...

Enemyship! I love this post, Dinu. Love that you and your buddy got back on good terms!

Susan Hirneise Moore said...

Great post, Dinu! I love that you are your friend reconciled!