Caught up in a stressed life, we run behind responsibilities, job, money, meeting needs of family and various other things. It is a constant race against the time to do it all and be it all. We have forgotten our dreams, passion, hobbies, friends, and every relationship has become a mere namesake with no deeper meaning or connection. We have given up many things in the hopes of getting some that probably is not going to spread cheer or smiles.

Looking back at my childhood memories I recall some of the simple joys of life that made childhood special and memorable in spite of the hardships and struggles we went through.

A starry night during power cuts

night_skyI used to have a candle lit dinner with my family every time there was a power cut. And during some seasons when the weather is pleasant, the front yard would turn into the dinner table and mom would feed us. Post dinner, we would sleep on the terrace gazing at the stars while I used to pester my dad to tell me a folklore story.

Playtime

Growing up one game that brought us together as a family was Carrom. My dad used to play in his office tournaments and would encourage us to play as well. Every summer holidays, I and my brother used to fight a lot and Carrom game brought peace as we used to play non-stop. And apart from this, we played a lot of board games that were fun and entertaining. When nothing was available we could still play “Name, place, animal thing”, “Raja Rani Police Chor”, snakes and ladder,  Alugulimane, pagade, etc which didn’t cost much, kept us busy, and entertained.

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Movie time

theatreFor a middle class family eating out or movies or any sort of entertainment was a luxury back those days. But my dad had a tradition of taking us out for a movie and lunch every month. It normally would happen the very first week of the month since he would have received the salary. The day I know it is an outing, my happiness knew no bounds. I would get ready first, and force everyone to leave early so we could get the tickets. With no online reservations back those days, we had to stand in line to get the tickets or had to pay extra to buy in black. Unlike today where most of us prefer to watch in multiplexes, watching movies on the single screen was a different experience. You can see the true fan following and craze in single screens. I miss it at times now.

Candies

I love chocolates and desserts. My mom used to fear taking me to shop as I would always pester her to buy me Cadbury 5Star which was not affordable for us. To satisfy me, she would buy peppermints and local candies. Today my mom is known as chocolate aunty in the neighborhood as she stocks chocolates to give away to anyone who visits especially kids. Even today she doesn’t give me for a different reason altogether worrying about my weight but I still continue to eat. Some habits never die.

5star      peppermint

Classic TV shows

I guess I was in higher primary when we had TV at our home. As a kid, I remember watching DD channel in the neighbor’s house and come back home and talk to my dad about it. Later when we had our own TV at home, it used to be a ritual every night to have our meal watching the serials, Thursday/Friday night special chitrahaar which was our only chance to view latest Bollywood songs. Sunday would start with Rangoli, and end with a Kannada movie in the evening. Lot of serials that is still favorite are Ramayan and Mahabharath, Heman and the masters of the universe. Mungherilal ke haseen sapne, Nukkad, Karamchand, Bhyomkesh Bhakshi (better version of CID), Flop Show (those days Comedy nights with Kapil), Hum Hindustani, Vikram Bhetaal, Dekh Bhai Dekh, Malgudi Days, Fauji (my first love SRK’s serial), Hum Paanch and many more. No one would fight for the remote…on yeah there was no remote…we had one of those B/W manual operational television. Happy days…:)

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Eating out

As mentioned earlier, as a family it was a once a month affair to eat out after the movie time. I used to love that time and eagerly wait for first week of every month. Meal outside for us was a Veg thali and it sounded like a fine dining experience to me then. To end the meal my dad would always buy us an ice cream. Wow…such lovely memories. Closing my eyes, I can go back to Malleshwaram (a locality in North Bangalore) which used to be our adda for movies and food. Malleshwaram was and still is the favorite for shopping, and food. Sometimes when I get caught up in childhood memories, I take mom and go window shopping to reminisce the past memories and we have our favorite masala dosa and coffee every time.

Sibling love/hate stories

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With my twin brother

Well having a twin brother was both an advantage and disadvantage. It was good when he would would cover for me, get beatings/scoldings from dad for our mischievous acts, help me with my studies, and be my partner in crime. It was not so great to have a twin brother, because without much age difference we both wanted to have our word as the final word which always led to fights. Holidays meant more fights. Since we both studied in the same school, same class, he would try to control me saying I was younger by a minute.

There are many more childhood memories and sweet moments that I miss now. But I am glad I still carry them in my heart and treasure for life. Whenever I feel low and miss my family, I recollect them.

I am thankful to my parents for giving me such lovely memories and taking care of our needs in whatever way possible for them. I will cherish it for life.

Never take your childhood for granted. Your parents sacrifice lot of things for you that you may not realize as a kid but when you have your own children you will recall it. Respect your parents and take care of them when they get older. All they look out from us is love and care.

There are many times in life when we go behind big ticket items to find happiness. We forget that smaller joys of life adds deeper meaning and brings happiness better than anything else. Family and friends are a part of your happiness. Respect them, and treasure them for a beautiful life. Learn to enjoy the small pleasures which will always stay in your memory.

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