Katti to katti, bara baje batti’. Kids, especially in Mumbai, could not have escaped this rhyme. Be it the local neighbourhood or school playground, it was too catchy to go unrecited. ‘Katti’ and ‘batti’ are terms indicative of the intent of affection towards a friend. Katti meant that it’s sour and declaring batti indicated all is well. An approximate translation of the rhyme in English would read ‘If sour be sour, come noon it be fine’. Relationships are that easy to manage for kids. Even in dour times, noon was the constant hour of hope.
Growing up escalates complications proportionately. Perspectives change gradually. While as kids the purpose of tarred roads were for riding bicycle or playing cricket or marbles now it’s a means to reach some place. Home was a shelter, now it’s treated as a sanctuary. Trains and buses were fun on wheels, now it’s a choice topic for gripe. Objects are perceived in significantly derivative and segregated purposes then their original intent. This is apparent in the story of any urban neighbourhood with a worthwhile history.