Of chewing gum & a value system !

Do you recall seeing / eating this stuff? I got so nostalgic spotting this guy vending his merchandise. It used to be called “Javvu Mittai” ( Gum Toffee ). Perhaps this was the forerunner to the chewing gum !

I recall, every vendor of Javvu Mittai used to have a special kind of bell. As a kid, the very ringing of the bell used to make me salivate. Much later i read about Pavlovian experiment of ringing a bell and making a dog salivate. So, i was no different in the altar of science !!

Some days back, i spotted this guy outside office, memories rushed back to my mind. Of javvu mittai. Of full day cricket. Of shorts and T-shirts. Of petty quarrels that would seem to last forever. And forever wouldnt be more than a minute. Endless TV. Lessons. And more than anything else an age of innocence !

Compare it with the present day. A far cry i guess ! Life was much simpler back then. As a kid, the only worry was if dad / mom would allow me to play ! A care free wind used to blow through my hair. An era where smiles and laughter was a way of life.

That desire for play, has just not abated ! The wind continues to blow. It isnt care free, and it does blow through quick. There is less hair and more wear you see !!

The Javvu Mittai brought out memories that were buried away. As various scenes of my life played by in my mind, i walked a slow walk. Times. They had indeed changed.
I quickly thought of my day to day struggles as well. I realised that i wasnt compromising on elements that mattered. This strange sighting of the Javvu Mittai vendor made me walk some inches taller. As realisation dawned that the values that dad / mom / grandma drove in me had still endured !

As much as the times & the scope have changed, the good words had stuck. Just as the salivation. At the sight of the javvu mittai !

16 thoughts on “Of chewing gum & a value system !

  1. Mumbai Guy says:

    Do not recollect this stuff around mumbai. Maybe it is called by some other name here. But yes, these bring backs our memorable memories.

  2. Another thing that drives me crazy is the “Kappilandi Muttai”…don’t ask me what it is in English…Bad in translations!!

  3. pria says:

    They do come in different colors isn’t it. Its more like jello but soft and sticky.

  4. Swatantra says:

    Very touching!! Amazingly written thoughts!!

    It feels so good to recall the sweet memories of life…..

  5. “Life was much simpler back then. As a kid, the only worry was if dad / mom would allow me to play ! A care free wind used to blow through my hair. An era where smiles and laughter was a way of life”.-

    Kavi, well said. True! True! True! Even last evening I was thinking on the same line while I was walking back home and saw few kids gigling and laughing while they were back from school. A care free wind is still blowing. Is it the change in life in us, is leaving that to be unnoticed.

  6. Much later i read about Pavlovian experiment of ringing a bell and making a dog salivate.// so true…this is for humans!

    Actually my javumittai is all the packed sweets in stores…thats all…not the street vendors. Would really love to get the original ones!

  7. Mark IV says:

    i feel the old feelings rush back when i hear the balloon guy pulling that rubber thingie and makin that annoying noise… always wanted to punch him hard right on the nose when i heard that back then… now only stronger and harder on the nose bridge!

  8. if my laptop goes kaput because of Jollu shortcircuiting my keyboard, you are solely responsible!


  9. heard sivaji’s teaching new way of chewing gum!!!

  10. Jam says:

    Hey there Kavi,

    A brilliant post capturing those small things that make up one’s childhood.

    Back then, my only worries in life were the sun setting in the West too soon. The only thing that kept me going during the day was all the fun I had on the playing field during the day with the guys, either with cricket or soccer to keep me company.

    I miss those extremely competitive days where the only thing that mattered was giving it your all on the field without worrying about the consequences.


  11. Sriram says:

    I hate it when people say that life was simpler back or our childhood was so innocent…its all a matter of perspective. My father told me about his life being ‘simpler’ than our life and it looks like its our turn to scorn at the children of the current generation. Times are changing and we have to learn to live with them. If you don’t walk along, you would be left behind. And then you can sit on park benches and crib about the so called good old times.

  12. shark says:

    Sounds interesting.. but have never had this… wonder if they were there in bangalore?

    Are they chennai specials :)?

  13. Took me down memory lane.I used to love this mittai also.

  14. KK says:

    I never had a chance to eat this in my childhood days 🙁

  15. Kavi says:

    MG; Well, i am not sure if that is available there..But it was a great treat to eat that here !

    Life Rocks..: What was that ? I havent heard of that..

    Pria: yes they come in colours. The vendor makes a watch kind of design for you and sticks it on to your wrist…hmm !

    Swatantra: Thanks so much ! Yes it does !

    Balaji: Thank you ! We share a similar nostalgia for the old times. And i draw strength fromt the old times for survival now !

    GP: The orginal is much better than the duplicates. As usual !

    Mark..: Oh yes, the balloon guy. He was some guy with some lung power !

    Sundar..: 🙂 That would make two of us !

    Life Rocks: Thaliavar..will have to watch the movie..

    Jam: Oh yes..the competition for the sake of competing not quite worried about the mistake or the result. These days, it is one mistake and you are dead !! You are bang on !

    Sri: Yes ! It is a matter of perspective. Your dads childhood is so ever green to him. So is mine to me ! The time and spirit of childhood is ingrained in me, and i miss that part ! Of being carefree and reaching out for everything. It is no crib. It is no refusal to walk along. It is nostalgia. A matter of perspective dude !

    Shark: The snap is very much from Bangalore ! clicked at Basavanagudi !

    Starry Nights : Glad have you for company..

    KK: You have missed this ! Try getting your hand at this..!

  16. Shiva says:

    This is cool. I remember buying the wrist-watch version of Javvu Mittai, with all colours in it. Wish I could one guy in Chennai, so that I can buy a wrist watch:)

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