Reminiscing those countless beautiful childhood moments!
As we grow older, a thought and longing to relive those wonderful years of our childhood is one that most of us unanimously vouch for. What an irony - when we were young we couldn't wait to get older- to graduate to high school and start using ink pens instead of pencil, and then go to college and wear all the lovely clothes which lie unused in our wardrobe and do away with the drudgery of uniforms and then we wait eagerly to get a job and make money so that we can buy all that our heart desires. Strangely though as we reach that stage, realisation dawns that life was the best when we were children.
O those carefree days filled with laughter, mirth, joy where we basked in the glory of the sun, gobbled up mouth watering delicacies till our stomachs could take them no more, played, ran, skipped, sang. It was truly memorable and looking at kids today I often wonder -no doubt this is a beautiful phase in their lives but there are things we did in the 90's which they would probably never experience, given things have changed so much. These little things added so much joy and if I tell the kids of today they may probably just laugh it off, but for me and I am certain for most of those who grew up in my time, would vote that these indeed added to the fun quotient of childhood. The advent of the I pad, mobile phones and penetration of Internet has no doubt made our life super easy, and with the increase in disposable income these days, children are exposed to so many technological innovations. Life is more about comfort, you can do anything and everything right from buying groceries to paying bills to buying a house as well with the click of a button. Our children are very much a part of this tech savvy generation and you would hardly see any kid who cannot aptly navigate his way through a tablet. They would be scandalised to know that no such thing existed when we were kids. So how did we survive without Internet, they ask baffled? Well we did and not just survived kiddo we had a ball.
Its really difficult to think of any one childhood memory just because there are so many of them, each precious in its own way.
For us playtime was all about hide and seek, sakli, chor police, dog and the bone, kho kho. And yes, those power cuts which then meant that all of us would open the doors and gather in a neighbor's house and sing songs, play Antakshari, dum charades and make various shapes using our hands and watch our shadow in amusements as the candle flickered. There never was a dull moment and one could hear so much of banter and when the light finally came back all the kids would shout in excitement " light aa gaya yeah yeah!" Nowadays we hardly have the issue of power cuts and even if we do, we have generators which ceases any interruption and people carry on their work as usual. But we are missing out on those good old days, aren't we?
Those days going out to have dinner at a restaurant was a big event in itself. I fondly recall "Gokul "a restaurant near my house where our dad took us occasionally and we ate dal fry, rice and papad and how happy were we. These days we are spoilt for choice- Chinese, Thai, Continental, Mexican,Lebanese, or North Indian there are too many choices and eating out has become such a regular thing , kids no doubt enjoy going out and having a meal but the joy we experienced on eating dal chawal once in 2 months at Gokul, I don't think my daughter would echo the same sentiment when I take her to Mainland China.
The time of festivals, Bombay was all decked up for Diwali, Ganesh Chaturthi, Holi and for us as kids the best part was new clothes. We only got new clothes twice a year one on our Bday and second on Diwali . You can imagine how much we looked forward to it and the happiness we felt on wearing a new dress. And then waking up early, taking a bath, wearing new clothes and going to burst crackers with our friends during Diwali . Shopping for clothes now is no longer on a special occasions, just browse any website when idle, like something, click a button, swipe the card and lo! Your dress is delivered at your doorstep in a day. It's no doubt fun having a wardrobe full of clothes and a closet full of shoes but having been there and seen both the worlds, the joy factor was much more getting those 2 dresses a year.
The joy of watching the Jungle book, Chitrageet and a Hindi movie on Saturday night, those were the days of good old Doordarshan and how eagerly we used to wait for these programmes and enjoy them together with family and neighbours in tow as many did not own TV sets. Today there are countless channels but we spend most of our time browsing channels and finally switching off the idiot box or just blankly watching something for the sake of killing time.
One find day the telephone came to our house. Just one telephone at home and calling abroad meant booking a trunk call. When we called up to speak with our friends we inadvertently ended chatting up for a bit with their parents or anyone who picked up the phone. And since very few people had phones, we ended up getting calls from neighbours relatives and then as kids we were super excited to run one floor down and call Dongde uncles son " Dada phone aaya hai".
How can I forget the fun of having that pepsi cola or ice cream cone for which we paid in coins, sharing it with friends after school hours, or the packet of Bobby (haven't seen it in any store since ages), going for a movie once in a blue moon and watching in awe as action unfolds on the gigantic screen, visiting grandparents house during vacations, all these blissful memories of the days bygone bring a smile to my lips and I wish I could relive them in fact I earnestly wish my daughter Angel can experience this.
Life has moved on and I am no doubt thankful for technology that is making life so easy, happy with the extra income which doesn't require me to question myself when spending it, but it has also led to less of human contact, people value each other lesser, things are taken for granted. The good old days take me back to a lost era where life was simpler , needs were few and we all were truly content. Ah the beauty of those golden days shall always linger in my mind like a sweet fragrance.
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Bhagwan you speak English with your daughter? What is happening these days?
People want to show off and are forgetting their roots”. I have heard this many times. Earlier my
reaction used to be - apologetic. I would keep quiet and try to ignore the comment
and find an escape route. But now if someone dares to talk to me about this
matter, I snap them off then and there. I am unapologetic I don't think I have
done anything wrong which I need to feel ashamed about. So yes I do speak in
English at home and this is my first language. No qualms about it. And
it's not because of an inter caste marriage in fact I have been speaking
English as a first language right since childhood. To give you some background
on how this came to be. My mother’s parents belonged to Mangalore ( it's a
coastal town in Karnataka) they migrated to Bombay in search of a livelihood
when they were young. They married, had kids and their kids were brought up by
a maid. As my mom and her brother lived…
Now let me confess- I am really NOT someone who loves watching
daily soaps. I know reading the tile you thought- what the heck, if it’s a
daily soap on TV it is bound to be stereotypical, full of nonsense and drama
and if you watch such stuff why complain, and if complain why watch? There was a
time when I was in college, all naive, and this was when internet was all about
going to the cyber cafe and getting all excited about entering the chat room
and typing asl (age ,sex ,location) and talking to strangers. At that time, the
only source of entertainment for young people like me was the idiot box so I won’t
lie- I used to watch the Ekta Kapoor soaps and probably even like that at that
point, that’s why I use the word Naive. As I grew up, met
diverse set of people, read and experienced new cultures, my thought process
changed. With a hectic job, I hardly found time for any TV watching. My Mom who
is also a working woman used to watch a few Marathi soaps. She always told me
A visit to the shopping mall and all kinds of people dressed in
varied shades and type of clothes is what catches the eye. While the guys
longingly ogle at pretty girls and women check out each other from top to down-
right from how has she done her hair to her toe nail and the shade of nail
paint, one cannot fail to notice some middle aged aunties all dressed up in a
pair of jeans or a skirt, some of them look around awkwardly, adjust their
dress and try to look comfortable but it’s apparent that they are not. How
could they possibly be? For around them are so many eyes scanning them, some
are whispering to others and guffawing. It is quite evident that people find it
amusing when a fat lady wears jeans. She's your regular
woman who has those tires around her waist and some generous dollops of flesh
on her thighs. She is the one always trying to hide these so called flaws by
wearing an ill fitting salwar for hasn't she heard time and again from
everyone- “you are FAT, you are…