Memories Of Childhood
We were middle class but I didn’t lack anything. The necessities were met very efficiently as my father managed finances at home and he was a man of his own principles. He made it sure that we spent just what is mandatory and did not learn to waste anything.
Our children lived a lavish life in comparison to ours and still, they took it for granted. We were brought up in a conservative environment. If we obtain good grades in our academics and got appreciated by our teachers, then we definitely were entitled to get something special from our father. That could have been a shared coke or just a pat on the back from him as he was very strict. It was a gift in itself.
Nowadays we just throw anything which gets bad and buy a new one. Those days were very simple. If our mattresses or pillows got lumpy we would hail down the man who came to our locality a few times every month. He had a long implement that resembled a harp, and we always heard the strums of that single string long instrument before we caught sight of him.
We used to call him mattress wallah. He would come and fluff the cotton in our pillows and mattresses. After that, they looked just like new when the lining was replaced with new ones by my mom.
When our brass kadhai looked bad we would call a polish man (Kalai wala) who came and put some Kalai(polish) on those brass utensils inside layer. The utensils started shining again.
Nowadays we don’t have to go out shopping as everything we need, we can order it online. Back then, there were these “wallah”s, who took care of all our small needs and we didn’t have to leave the comfort of our homes for small jobs. Slowly all these disappeared with the passing decades.
Newspapers got collected at home and a few bottles also but we were always keeping them in one place and when they were enough, we would call raddi wallah and give him in exchange for money. We got a few rupees in exchange for that raddi trade. He always called singing …kabadiiiii, kabadi wallahhh. So if it was today, how can we make calls on our mobile in such a noise…Just a thought came to my mind.
All these people kept entertaining us throughout the day. In the evenings we just played outside our home, in the street. Our games were pithhoo, Kho-Kho, skipping rope, Stapoo, or chhupan chhupai. In the hot afternoons, we played geete( pebbles), ludo, etc. inside our home. So nonexpensive things were all around to keep us entertained and at the same time, we learned many new things from our friends and elders.
We spent our time with our friends and family which is considered a privilege today.
I used to play with my dolls and liked reading “Chanda mama,” “Chitra Katha” and “Champak.” These were comics and storybooks and we all liked to read them.
Sitting on the roof with a friend and gossiping for hours was a favorite time pass for me back then. When I went to see off my friend and kept standing there for more than five minutes, my brother used to come angrily and took me inside on behalf of my mother.
My father was very strict and was considered an angry man. I liked writing from a very young age and used to maintain a diary in which I wrote anything which made me happy or angry. I mentioned all my feelings and small incidents in my diary and kept it in a safe and private place where nobody can find it.
My innocent mind was hurt by small things which made me cry and I only shared all that with just myself. I never wanted to share my sorrows with anyone. I preferred to keep them to myself. When I was happy I shared my happiness with everyone and made everyone happy around me.
To be continued…