Thursday, November 14, 2013

Happy Children's Day!

Today is my 30th Children's Day but the first one as a mother. And I cannot help but relive my childhood days today, and at the cost of sounding like an old woman, wish those days would come back. After living the past decade in a blur, what with studies and jobs and marriage, I now have time to sit back and reflect at the past 30 years and reminisce the 90s and cherish those beautiful memories. Now I understand why every generation laments to go back to the golden days when as kids there was fun in everything, even if there wasn't much, and no worries or responsibilities. Recounting 30 of my favourite memories of what my bachpan used to be like - maybe some day my children will  read this and know what it was like for us!
  1. When i was a toddler i did not have a tricycle of my own. my neighbor did. to be allowed to use it, even if it meant sitting in behind her and not on the wheel, was awesome! even more than when i got my own bike :)
  2. The small, basic yet cute preschools; the stupid fancy dress costumes; making first friends in the first school... some of my best friends today are the oldest - known them for over 2 decades.
  3. the first barbie i got - cost Rs 99 and was such a big deal. after that i was so mesmerized, i pooled in all my gift money (rakhi, bday etc) for years and finally bought a basket full of barbie stuff!
  4. playing ghar ghar, kitchen set etc, and later board games ... memory, hungry hippos, lay-an-egg, operation. much later came the countless hours playing video games with the guys.
  5. never tiring of playing outdoor games, whether in sun or cold or rain. chain chain, pakdam pakdai, corners, stapu, gallery, stone gallery, cut-the-cake, vish amrit, oonch neech, fire on the mountain, farmer in the den, doctor, ice pice :P
  6. of course how can one forget the crazy Indian hand games... uma joshi, categories, aao milo, zip zap zoom, jab miss mary, poshampa, gud chipak chipak, oranges and lemon, dhakka diya, princess in the palace.... list is endless, so was the fun!
  7. during summer vacations we used to wake up early in the morning and play sports like badminton, cricket, or cycle around the compound
  8. one of our favourite pastimes was to spend time in the recreation room, playing tt or carrom. and of course, spending time getting to know the opposite sex ;)
  9. come rain and all kids would run out to play in the water and kichad.. pet dogs in tow!
  10. the legendary birthday parties, where chips, samosas, cutlets were staple, apart from the cake of course, which everyone used to keep staring at till it was cut. and the best part was tearing open the gifts after the day is over!
  11. adopting stray dogs, cats, birds; getting pets like rabbits and turtles gave us our first training of responsibility and childcare.
  12. learning marble painting from dad, and then painting ourselves and the whole bathroom with colours without producing a single useful piece of art
  13. during power cuts, finishing homework by candlelight and then stay outside till wee hours playing antakshari
  14. going for excursion trips to the museum or maybe a movie from school was such a big deal and an amazing adventure!
  15. wonderful times celebrating festivals... lohri, holi, janamashtami, rakhi, durga puja, dashehra, diwali, christmas! 
  16. watching pak vs india matches, or when India win the titan cup and running out on every 4, 6 or out!
  17. getting up and getting ready on time on a Sunday morning so we can watch mowgli, ducktales, talespin, potli baba ki, stone boy, malgudi days, gayab aya, etc etc etc. and later cartoon network - flintstones, jetsons, captain planet, scooby doo, pingu...
  18. dad used to make all our charts and do our artwork... even covering new books and copies and sticking labels was so much fun!!
  19. wearing hand me down clothes from older cousins was a done thing, and in many cases exciting! and i cant forget the outstanding sweaters etc my aunts and grannies etc knit for us... so intricately done with bare hands!
  20. sardi ki dhoop mein going out/upstairs on the terrace to study. but of course enjoying the lazy morning time daydreaming or sleeping more than studying.
  21. looking forward to festivals more for khana than anything else. Chhole puri, aloo puri, halwa puri. especially in winters, when mum used to make tomato and vegetable soup every evening, which we used to relish with home made bread crumbs and sticks.
  22. even falling sick was fun - no school, lying in bed watching tv all day, mumma taking extra care of us!
  23. eating all sortsa chat papdi at the local aggarwal sweets, chuski and ice cream at india gate.. going for drives in teh nights or picnics on holidays
  24. the vacation to the hills every weekend - us driving down alone or with family friends, chilling by the river, trekking the hills; or going to visit vaishno devi - each kind of trip was fun in its own way. esp spotting monkeys and other animals when diving up the mountains!
  25. chilling out ideas during summer - eating lots of watermelon and other cooling fruits. and of course .. sitting with the mighty COOLER on... after watering it, there was no match for it! also matchless was eating mangoes by the dozen, cooled in buckets of water!
  26. going to nani's house and getting bombarded with awesome food and loads of pocket money :D
  27. waiting for weeks for the music cassettes to be released, buying local cassettes and getting favourite eng and hindi songs recorded
  28. making plans months in advance for the annual gift buying on birthday and clothes buying on diwali. gotta be on your bets behaviour in few weeks before to ensure good results!
  29. having a warm bath at night in winters before sleeping - led to the best sleep ever. hated getting out of the cozy blanket to go to school in the morning! :(
  30. flying kites, or trying to, on 15th august every year... guys wd do the flying and girls wd hold the chakri or give kanni! :P