On the occasion of Children's Day in India, a friend of mine shared her blog post on FB on her favorite childhood memories. It was such a wonderful post that I instantly made up my mind to steal the idea and do my version.
And here are a few of my favorite
things memories from what now seems like Utopia:
- My earliest memory of childhood is waiting in a van with the driver outside the hospital on the day my brother was supposed to be born. I was about four and a half years old then. I remember wondering what was taking so long and infact even getting worried in the middle. Little did I know that a devil awaited me :D.
- I remember going to the gurudwara in Karol Bagh, Delhi with our then neighbors in the late 80s. They'd tie a handkerchief on my head and we came back with yummy halwa for prasad.
- On Diwali, dad used to scatter puffed rice all around the house, after the puja and before the fireworks, for the gods and goddesses and their vehicles/chariots who'd visit you on that day. It was so funny, and I am sure we did not do this out of hunger but we used to every once in while pick up few and pop into our mouths :D.
- My favorite movie going experience has to be Jurassic Park with my brother and mom. Dad was out of the country on an assignment and given all the peer pressure we refused to wait till he was back. Poor mom had to take us all the way from Rajouri Garden to the old Priya at Vasant Kunj all on her own in an auto. It was such a fun day. I have never had a better ice cream than the one we had at Nirula's that day!
- School picnics in Delhi were the obvious forts, zoo, the planetarium etc. One particular trip, I remember being irritable about something. I was in Grade 2 or 3. And I remember our teacher trying to perk us up and saying Yuvika look at those monkeys. I retorted, saying, yeah they look great. Infact they are so much luckier than us that they don't have to go to our school. Ouch. Ofcourse this was shared at the PTM (Parent Teacher Meeting) :(.
- I remember playing Dynamic Duo (a toned down version of Famous Five) with a neighbor - I was in Grade 4/5. Every evening at play time, we used to walk around the compound to scout for something suspicious - a broken bangle, a half burnt cigarette butt and what not, build a story around it and then "solve" the case. It sounds crazy to me now, though :).
- We grew up in days sans McDonalds and Burger Kings. Nirualas was the hep and happening place then. And I don't know how many remember, but in the early 90s, a chain known as Wimpy's opened at various locations in Delhi. One was right round the corner in Rajouri and that's where I tasted my first pizza - mushroom pizza. Heaven it was :)
- While on Nirula's, my brother and I used to love going to the one in Connaught Place (CP) after we got our annual report cards - because if you got above 80%, you'd get a free sundae! Year after year that was such a looked forward to event.
- In junior and middle school, for any competition, we used to get coupons from the St. Paul's book shop. Dad and mom used to take us there and buy us books (putting in a whole lot of their own money too) and that's how my bro and I collected the Why, What, When, How series that were huge hard bound books with nice thick glossy paper and lovely pictures. They were such a source of pride for us. And mom used to paste a copy of the coupon with our names et al. on the inner cover page :).
- I used to love going to school, always. I used to love arranging my uniform, school bag etc, the previous evening. I was so obsessed that even when cousins came over, I'd hate to take leave, with the result I was very unpopular with some of my first cousins for a very long time :D. My books and notebooks would be covered in brown and plastic paper, and very neatly maintained all year round :).
- Summer vacations were fun too. My fondest memories of summer holidays are lemon icebars and orange icebars, board games (Chess, Chinese Checkers, Ludo, Snakes n Ladders), and visits to our home town in the hills of Kumaon.
- Circus!!! Oh god, how we would pester mom and dad to get us the front circle tickets. The travelling Gemini circus, is still around?
- There was a 3-digit number that one could call in the 80s and 90s and an automated voice would give you the current time. We were such cheapsters - my cousins and us. We'd call that number and ask all crappy questions. For example, How many children do you have? And the automated female voice would say 3:10 PM. And we'd laugh our guts out and bang the phone down. You can call us retards :P.
- I was in Class 7, when the Internet first came home. Mom, Priyank and I sat all huddled up as dad initiated the dial up connection. It was a good five minutes and there was a constant noise, which dad explained as this computer is "talking" to another. And then WWW happened to us :).
- Finally all those times with my bro! Having a younger sibling meant having a lot of fights too. My brother would almost always physically overpower me and if I began to call for mom or dad, he'd challenge me, saying I should win a battle on my own and not take help! The funniest fight memory is that he had learnt this whole Dussehra meaning and all - He pounced on a peacefully sleeping me and shouted, "Victory of good over evil." Oh and let me also tell you this - we used to have a lot of games with pretend and play - teacher-student, mom-dad, etc. During one such time, he was the doc and had to perform a surgery on me (the patient ofcourse). I think in the middle, he got bored or something, he just covered my face with a bedsheet, and said, "Sorry, she's no more!". Influence of bollywood?