Children are the faces of the next generation. In their shining eyes and innocent thoughts, lies intertwined, the future, our tomorrow and the world`s history. Now that I realize this, I often wonder whether what I thought and did as a child has ever been a testament to this statement. Perhaps not. I have been tagged by Alex, yet again to write about the things I liked and disliked about my childhood. After knowing what it was about and reading his post, I could not help feeling obliged to do the same.
Things, I liked about my childhood
* The bird`s eye view from the apartment window – Strange isn`t it.? But yes, much of my childhood I spent in an apartment on the second floor. I did not have many friends other than those at school and life was at times lonely too. What really used to bring colour into those dull days were the panoramic view of the world below from that window through which I looked at the slums below, the children flying kites, in a ground opposite the house, the temple festivities, the bullocks which were cleaned and bathed daily. At times there used to come a street circus group or a catfight used to erupt between the women for the water from the tap. The papers or plastic covers I used to tie to a string and let fly through the window, my own version of a poor man`s kite. I can never forget those days and that long window.
* The frequent trips to nearby temples with my family. The sheer joy in running around those dark deities, praying for nothing in particular and yet feeling entirely purified of soul. The few minutes spent in the park near the temple upon a swing, or a see-saw, the anxious wait to grab the prasadam or offering and race back home on the roads with my sister.
* The occasional outing, with our father to the Beasant Nagar Beach in chennai to wade in those waters, collect shells and come home proudly and proclaim that I had a new hobby, Shell Collection!. However those shells took only a few days to lose. The packet of Maggi Noodles on the way back home, was another treat which was greatly desired.
* Those days when it rained heavily in the morning and the school closed due to rains. Those were moments of sheer ecstasy, the eagerness to look at the rain, to drink hot tea and read some stories looking at the rain used to be at it`s heights. However rain used to stop quickly and days were usual in a very short while.
* Those wonderful summer vacations and the journey to Kerala, the “pazhampori”, from the railway station, the magnificent sights outside the window, the mere presence of being on a train, where we slept and ate together. Those moments of going out with my grandfather, meeting my uncles, cousins, all have been and will remain the most vibrant and colourful memories of my life.
* Again I guess people of my age are among the most fortunate, because we are of a generation where we learnt the brilliant Indian epics Ramayana and Mahabharatha, on television every Sunday. Sunday Television was considered a god-given gift. Today however I am surprised at myself how quickly each television channel can bore me.
* Those days in school, when we drowsily listened to the english teacher reading out from those beautiful lessons, which took me to another world. A world I was not aware of, a world I had not seen yet.
Things, I disliked about my childhood.
It is not easy to compile such a list, because looking back now every single moment of my childhood seems priceless to me. They seem to be much simpler, and a much easier life, now when I look back. However as a child there were the sadder moments, things which I did not like then.
* Our school used to start at 7:50 am in the morning and go on till 2 pm in the afternoon. Therefore we always had to wake up early at 6 `o clock, something I really detested. Every day used to be a struggle, every day there used to be complaining and whining. I remember looking on jealously, while my sister acted like she`s sick and took a day off from school.
* The trips back to home, back to school after the summer vacations. These were mostly sad forlorn journeys. There used to be the sadness of parting from everyone at my native place. Added to that there was this fear of getting the exam paper results when schools reopened. I never got good marks.
* The wait until evening on the day, I receive my report card, to get it signed from my father. A most agonizing period of time, when everytime, I used to make resolutions to get better marks next time. It never worked..
* Those experiences of being ignored or neglected just because I was a child. I have had trouble getting change from a shopkeeper. Fights with bus conductors and what not. It has been a tough life even back then.
Those are all, I can think of as of now, but I am overall more than satisfied with my childhood and also today understand that many children have not had even these little happy moments, which I have most happily cherished and enjoyed.
I end this post, now with a prayer on my lips that all children should always have a smile on their faces. May they never go hungry, orphaned or sad.