Childhood Reminiscences

Growing up we didn’t have access to the entertainment options that are available now. Television was mostly the single state run channel, Doordarshan where the weekly Chhayageet or Chitrahaar (a 30 minute back-to-back Bollywood m.usic show) or later on Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi (This is Life), a brilliant show helmed by Kundan Shah.

This meant that most of our time was spent playing outdoors. We used to have a big group of friends and in the holidays (summer and winter) all those who didn’t go for a holiday (holidays in those days meant going to your native place aka, your ancestral place to meet your grand parents), we’d have a schedule which went something like this:

Wake up by 7 and meet down at the building compound to play, run etc.By 9, the mums would have done their chores and would start hollering for the kids to get back home to bathe, breakfast etc. Then it would be in someone’s house to play indoor games till the call for lunch came. After lunch again we would meet either in someone else’s house or at the landing outside my house which was on the top floor (less chance of people disturbing us, you see). There we’d gossip, play games like word games, card games, traditional Indian indoor games like cowri etc and then in the evening after a snack we’d be back down playing hide-and-seek, running etc till we were tired and our dads came home from work. Evenings would be spent watching DD and bedtime would be quite early.

Life was fairly uncomplicated then and the biggest worry at the age of 12 for me was if my decided to fight with me or not play with me on a particular day…

I really miss those days and the friendships we had. The life got in the way and we became busy and as friends grew up and started high school, slowly all this petered away…

Today, when I look at GG & BB, they are so bogged down with work – playtime is an indulgence for them. I am happy that most days, given a chance, they would go down to play, but these days are becoming rare and I guess by next year, they’d probably disappear.

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