Monday, November 21, 2011

Reasons why I think I had an awesome childhood

1. In all the different schools that I studied, there was no holiday homework given which meant I could actually enjoy my summer holidays and not have to worry about writing one page of essay everyday or solving the recap exercises of my Maths book. Every summers mother, sister and I used to go and visit our Nana-Nani, accompanied by cousins of our age, playing hide and seek in our maternal house.

2. Going to my hometown every Diwali. Jains celebrate Diwali as an occasion when Mahavir attained Nirvana. On the morning of Diwali, everyone in the family (actually all the Jains in that town) used to go out to offer Coconut Laddus in the different temples (there are 6-7 of them). And on the next day - Rama Shama - my grandfather, father, sister and I used to visit different acquaintances. Those were the days when my sister and I used to judge a household by the sweets that they serve. There were brownie points for those serving chocolates. We use to sleep on the roof every night, sometimes counting stars, wishing for the tall neem tree in the next house to sway and waking up in the mornings to see other people sleeping on their roofs. Sometime, we my grandfather used to give a glass of wheat to me and my sister which we then used to feed to the pigeons wishing they would come in numbers and getting disappointed when they didn't.

3. There were play grounds near the houses that I lived in. This may not sound as a reason for which I should actually go to lengths as writing a post. But when I see our metros, I see apartments, offices, club houses, community centers, malls but never a play ground. A place where you can go along with your friends, play some sport, engage in some petty quarrels and come back home, all sweaty. I still remember the days when I use to go to the playground every evening and play football or cricket.

4. I never went to tuitions. Thus at home, I could read those lessons of  History or Geography which were, as told by our teachers, not in the course. Or could read those stories of Hindi and English textbooks that I really enjoyed reading. It also meant that I didn't have to read Physics, Chemistry or Maths everyday - one reason which helped preserved my interest for these subjects.

5. I didn't have mobile phones and internet as companions. Thus, I had all the time in the world to myself. It also meant that to complete an assignment of General Knowledge, I had to actually take out old newspapers and read through the news.

6. I got a chance to travel across India - an advantage that you enjoy when your father is working for a PSU. Those trips really make for some of the most vivid and vibrant memories that I have of my childhood. Whether it was walking through a wooden house in Shilong, or standing at Kanyakumari and watching the water in different colours,  or sitting on a beach in Trivandrum and watching a sunset or walking through the Cellular Jail in Port Blair or playing in pristine, untouched shallow waters of Andaman or standing in front of a giant Golden statue of Buddha at Rajgiri, I remember it all.

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