14th Nov…Comes again. Besides hopefully reminding us of the birthday of the first Prime Minister of Independent India, it brings with it innumerable memories of innocent days. When asked to write this article, I never knew the simple task would make memories of lost years flood back and clamour for attention even as nostalgia caused my heart to grow heavy over the irretrievable past. In those days it were the little things that mattered, and when you strain your memory now what you remember most clearly are precisely those ‘insignificant’ little joys.
A brief mention of Little Lulu’s cheeky dialogues should be in order here. And we can’t forget Barney and Fred’s bowling games in Flintstones, the innovative aircrafts in Jetsons, the lovable cowardly Scooby and Shaggy and the all time favorite Tom and Jerry. I’m sure just like me, you all also went through the fever of collecting Tazos from every Cheetos packet. Playing Stone-Paper-Scissors and hand cricket(with rolled up foil acting as ball) during the long school bus journeys and lunch breaks. I’m sure you’d all secretly agree to have having read Sweet Valley Junior High or Baby Sitters Club in your tween years or pairing Barbie with handsome Ken. One thing which never seems to go out of fashion are collectible trump cards, though they seem to have evolved from the beloved WWF cards of our days to Pokemon cards or something equally alien.
Well, those days really had a charm of their own and once in a while reminiscing about them is a wonderful thing. However all said and done, life is beautiful and each stage is enjoyable in its own way. So now that you’ve read this and hopefully day dreamt a bit about your own childhood, lets live our college days with gusto and build more memories well worth cherishing in the far distant future.
I am at a loss as to where to start recounting my childhood memories from. I miss every little weird thing! Insisting on having a happy meal at every trip to McDonalds; listening to the backstreet boys on the walkman at the back of the class; collecting tazos and trump cards only to trade them for more; Going to Appu Ghar for eight out of the ten odd school ‘picnics’ we had; Collecting G.I. Joes. Favourite cartoons such as the Adams Family and Captain Planet! Complicated ways of selecting the ‘denner’ in Tag: In-pin-safety pin, inky-pinky-ponky, etc. Watching Nickelodeon from two to six every afternoon. Collecting little cars, the ones you pull back to make them go vroooom! (The ones my brother ran over my hair for fun, sigh). I’m glad I’ve grown up.
I never thought much of Children’s Day as a kid. Since it was never a holiday it wasn’t any particular fun, except those rare occasions of course when the school inexplicably decided to be nice to us, and took us to Children’s Park or Lodhi Garden. Oh, those times were fun! Now when I sit back and reminisce, distinct memories flit by. I realize with a pang that I miss being a carefree child, embarrassing memories and painful ignorance notwithstanding. Disney Hour, Full House, agonizing over marks, buying large plastic balls and candy floss from the cycle- wallah bhaiya and so much more! There is so much I miss, so much I wish I could go back to.
I think I owe much of the initial stages of my fluttering imagination to Enid Blyton. I can recall umpteen evenings, huddled in some corner of the house, devouring stories of English boarding schools or adventures of the Secret Seven. How I longed to be a part of a secret society, have passwords, own a pet like Scamper! I spent the summer holidays wishing that I too could go to a boarding school. The most fantastic of Enid Blyton’s books for me is The Faraway Tree. Mr.Whatzisname, Moonface, Dame Washalot, Saucepan Man…they were magical stories.
Then there was the freckled Archie and inquisitive TinTin. I gradually moved on to Sweet Valley and Nancy Drew. Another fabulous author was Agatha Christie; I doubt I have read better mysteries than The Crooked House, And Then There Were None, Sparkling Cyanide and so many more.
Also, I think a mention of Harry Potter is in order here; 10 year olds are children are they not? But then, I grew up with Harry Potter.
I miss being a kid and just getting away with everything. You could be digging your nose, jumping into every mud puddle on the way, singing your favourite nursery ryhme for the millionth time in a silly squeaky voice- doing practically anything you wish. All the reactions would get would be “Aww so cute!” As children we were complete nuts, doing the most random stuff like dipping fingers in fevicol, waiting for it to dry , then peeling it off with the utmost sincerity. No one ever wondered what the point of the exercise was, we didn’t need a thing to be meaningful to enjoy it in those days. I miss the simplicity of doing things just because you liked to do them, with no one to roll their eyes or scowl at you.