Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Looking back, as a child...

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.


priya said...

Its awesome and beautifully written. Who can forget the seawaves, shell colelctions and dozing during class hours:-)) I am laughing reading about report cards thinking of those days.

jac said...

Beautiful narration ! Thanks for sharing.

alex said...

I still collect shells. Beautiful one sthey are, of varying shape and colour.

And i too have tied plastic covers to a string and tried flying them like a kite. :)

Was Besant nagar beach as crowded or more better than that of today??

Srijith Unni said...

@Priya: Happy to know that you enjoyed reading the post. Yes, truly who can forget those days. And report cards.. Oh!, god, don`t tell me about them :)

@jac:Thanks to you too, jac.

@Alex: Hi Alex, Thanks for tagging me in the first place. Nice to know that you still collect shells. I somehow could not keep on with that hobby. It`s so nice to know that we two have a lot of things in common. Beasant Nagar beach is sadly today not the old beach of those days. It is simply too crowded and more commercialized.

Thank You, friends, for stopping to share.

chitra said...

i wish we realised that our childhood is meant to enjoy and we would have enjoyed it thoroughly. I remember a 6 year old oy complaining that he has to go to school for which he pays the fees and on top of it they give him hw, while his father goes to office does nothing and brings back money!!

Many a times, even my son complains that i dont bring any HW.

alex said...

You are right. It is too 'too' crowded. The serenity is hard to find, but can be found. :)

I used to enjoy looking at the waves. Me and my friends even slept a whole night in auroville beach in puducherry. ;)

Reshmi said...

there mite b lotsa things that we dislike abt our childhood in our childhood days, but then now time makes us realise infinite ways in which we are blessed..leaving all our misgivings and grudges, we really do long back for those gone dayz...

a great piece Srijith..:))

Kittu said...

amazing scripting maa
keep it up

waving hands from kittu


U have come out blodly in thi8s tag..The writeup about children is so true too..I should reflect too. Was a great read into your childhood days! :)

Srijith Unni said...

@Chitra: Very True, Chitra. Now those little troubles look so trivial. They were not so then.

@Alex: Yeah, I too have heard about Auroville Beach. I heard that it is a very calm place.. Must visit once.

@Reshmi: We long a lot for those golden bygone days don`t we..?

@Kittu: Hi Kittu.! Waving hands from me too.. Welcome in here, my friend.. Do keep coming..

@Scribblez: Why don`t you just do that then..? Take up the tag scribblez.. I would love to read about your childhood too.

Keshi said...

This is what I mean...u make me go back in time and rem all my childhood days. Cos u write so well!


Palaniappan N said...

When you race back to home with your sister, I hope you'd have reached the near-by house instead of yours..Right?
I believe you still have "those experiences of being ignored or neglected" even when you ahve grown up. Remember?? ;-)
I accept. Last line of the second point of the second part is very valid.

:) Just kidding and remembering you something you missed out ;)
It was a very nice one.. Enjoyed a lot..

passerby55 said...

hi srijith

ellaborately done tag. looks like you were totally involved in it. that's what i love about childhood, for all its likes or dislikes,,,,it kept us involved.

i wish we could all hold on to it always.

i appreciate your small prayer.
very true srijith, TO be poor in the society, fighting daily for your needs is indeed bad. what is worse is to be a poor child.

Marutham said...

Hello srijith, :)
As always...a beautful description & explntn abt childhood.....
AM having my exams now- so am a little too late i guess :D .
And HAHA-- The template is so cool... Very smoothy look for a very sensitive & sensible blogpage.. :) Or should i say-- Blogger..
Loved the narration & the PRAYER espcly...

Lavanya said...

Really fanastic stuff! Took me down memory lane as well and especially liked what you wrote about how an english lesson would take you to a different world - coz it did the same to me as well..I suppose we had the same teacher?! Also hated getting up, in retrospect 7.50 am seems so damn early! Going to a 9.30 office seems tough today:-)

Sreejith Kumar said...

The first thing I noticed this time was the change of template..... :-) Pretty good...

I liked the plastic cover kites the best! :-))

One more, due to official responsibilities, I may not be able to blog or visit yours that often. Please bear with me.

Balaji said...

Very nice to read about your likes and dislikes...

Avi said...

Wow ! A too gud blog man ! Happened to chance on it. Will surely look fwd to more posting from u :)

This article is very very very well written.

Srijith Unni said...

@Keshi : Thanks Keshi. I`m real happy to know that. I would like you to take up this tag.

@Palaniappan: Hey.. I understand all the double meanings.. Nice stuff. Good to know that you enjoyed it..! :)

@Passerby55: Yes I guess childhood was a time, when there was a lot of involvement in every aspect of life, because everything is so new. Yes the poor child`s is a story of pity. :(

@Marutham: Thanks a lot dear. I would like it if you take up this tag.. and I get to know the child in you.. :)

@Lavanya: Very true.. it is pretty strange.. things that seemed tough then are a bit easy now and certain things are tougher now.. Yeah, I think it must be Anita Charles Ma`am or Arockiaswamy sir.. or in Hindi Munjal Ma`am or Bose Ma`am.. I really have not forgot all those days.

@Sreejith : Nice to know that you liked the template. Yeah, please finish your official responsibilities and get back buddy..!

@Balaji: Thanks :) I would like to read yours too, my friend, so please take up the tag if you`re interested.

@Avi: Nice to know you Avi.. Do keep coming back..!

Thank You, friends, for your great comments.. Really enjoyed reading all of them.

Nishi said...

Great narration. Good work of nostalgia.

Helen Wang said...

Good to read your childhood stories. I was a daydreamer as a child. Maybe someday I will write about it too. Wonderful post and pictures!

Marutham said...

Aha.... U sure?? [;)]

starry nights said...


Ajay said...

makes one nostalgic. childhood is d best phase in life.

Coffee-on^the-housE said...

"Those days when it rained heavily in the morning and the school closed due to rains...."

It is absolute thrill when the school declares a holiday just after you are all dressed up in your uniform and ready to leave home... :)

Well-written. Am here after a long time! Guess who!

Maya Cassis said...

Hi Sreejith.I looooooooove shells.I am as fascinated with them even today.if I go to a beach, i end up stuffing all my friends pockets with my shells and then make them empty each and every one of them out once we get back home.
my favourite one's are the screw shaped ones.I don't know why but i love them.
I like to collect those smooth pebbles too, if they are coloured then I have something to stare at the whole day
Good narration :)

jac said...

Pray continue the 'yathra'

Srijith Unni said...

@nishi : Yes.. very much a work of nostalgia.. thanks..!

@Helen : Yes I knew you had to be a person with great dreams.. Without dreams you wouldn`t have achieved so much in life..! I`m so inspired by you.

@Marutham : Very much..! C`mon.. I`m waiting..

@Starry Nights: So nice to see you back, Starry.. Also happy that you are recovering well. Wish you`re back in full form soon.

@Ajay: Very true.. Childhood the very best.. Ajay, why don`t you take up this tag, in case you`re interested.

@Coffee on the house : Who else, but the great coffee lover, DV..? So nice to see you back.. Thanks a lot.!

@Maya : Yeah, I remember the screw shaped ones too. There used to be some kind of a snail like creature inside it.. It used to come out of the shell once in a while and wet my things, inside the table.. Hee Hee.. those days were real fun..! Thanks for coming back Maya.. I sure missed you..! :)

@Jac: Thanks a lot, for the prodding Jac.. Don`t worry I shan`t keep you waiting for long..

Soumya Menon said...

Very nice and nostalgic.. This blog takes me to my childhood too.

Srijith Unni said...

Thank you Sowmya. Glad to know. Enjoyed reading your web blog too. :)

Have Fun, take Care and God Bless!