Thursday

A leaf from my childhood-- Special post for The Kissan 100% Real Blogger Contest in Indiblogger

Indiblogger is a group of Cool Indian bloggers who meet and greet each other and also organize such exciting contests and allow talented bloggers to win prizes. Although This is a food blog, I guess some diversion is allowed and today's post is one such diversion. I always felt while growing up that Life in the  US of A was cooler and much more exciting than the life I was living in my home, a very modest and humble suburb of Mumbai. I went to school in Goregaon East, Mumbai a place where people went to work at 8am and came back home at 6 pm, had tea , then dinner at 8 and good night at 9pm. It was a routine that no one changed for multiple years and if you were on the streets at 9pm, you would be walking with the street dogs and drunkards to keep you some company and amused at the same time. It was a very boring place to be frank, no excitement and no joy and nothing changed in this pattern for many many years.

There were rows of Bungalows who were not huge or big, but independent houses with coconut trees, few mango trees and Jaam trees. I have no clue of what the English name for Jaam would be. There were few apartment buildings and ours was such a society a cluster of 3 buildings. During school vacations the kids spend all days, afternoons and evenings out of homes till a search hunt was send from home for someone to come back home and eat dinner. What we did all that time is interesting as there were so many things to do and so little time. We started the day with badminton for solid 2-3 hours till someone cried over a lost game and  a fight broke out, the noise is what made our caretakers realize the time and then we were summoned home for breakfast, bath and morning rituals. We went home swearing that never do we play again with that kid and made groups and gangs against them. After about an hr or so, someone yelled someones name and again the whole gang came down to play cricket.  We had only one ball which we contributed like 5 paise or 25 paise ranging from how many people were playing and whoever was lucky to have his bat, we kind of collected the stuff and played on the badminton court smack between two sides of the buildings which had the kitchen windows facing us. Some were good at the ground cricket who played wisely taking care that no windows were shattered and no food was spoiled because of our balls, but some were very enthusiastic and it was normal for 2-3 windows breaking and the moms chasing kids with sticks used to hang washed clothes on the lines. Such accidents resulted in the ball and the bat being confiscated by the person harmed and we had instances when such cute homemakers came out on the field with pots and pans of food where the ball landed multiple times. They even tried cooking with shut windows, but the Kapils and Gavaskars amongst us were overpowering a few shut windows.

Once again we were sent home with warnings of complaints being made to Moms and the usual,, "aata Bagh aai kai karel tuzha.. tu gelas re " meaning wait till your mom knows this, you are gone today!!!! So whoever was the unlucky one that day got patted sympathy as well as assurances that we will tell your mom what she did before she can tell our deeds..LOL little Rascals that we were...next game was dubba is pais.....more like hide and seek, but instead of counting, we threw empty dubba/tine at some distance and the person taking the den ran to collect it and bring it at one spot, while he did that others hid and took spots, the game began, the kid taking the den ran and found people and came to the dubba and yelled their names and spot where he was seen, he was out of the game. The first person to get caught had to take the den after all kids were out and fresh game began...Only if this was not easy enough, if he made mistake in taking the name and spotting the place, the whole series was restarted...There were 12 boys and only girl i.e yours truly in the gang of kids in our society, so obviously I was very pampered by all the boys, whenever I was out the first, they united to save me from taking den, and changed their shirts when they heard their names called out, they were so fast in doing this, that 99% of the times, I was saved. The 1 % that I had to take the den they all got out one after the other.

We discussed random things from what is cooking in whose house to what his dad did was right or wrong to who was dating whom from the youngsters in the society. We even blackmailed those lovers about telling at home which movie they were spotted together at. We had all our free wada pav parties in this fashion. Lazy afternoons were kept for stealing mangoes and Jaams from the adjoining bungalow after its owner slept. Every afternoon about 2 pm, two of us would climb the fence, and on to the trees and steal as much as we could and start throwing them to us who were waiting on the other side of the fence. Few of us managed to get salt and red chili powder from home after moms slept and we enjoyed the mango and jaam

Coming back today I think I was so wrong about the little I knew about Kids in USA that time, I was having much more fun and building long lasting friendships with my gang, no one ever taught us to plant trees for mothers day, make your puppets or even decorate your cupcake. We did and learn so many things on our own. Our Friends taught us to be kind,  to feed the street dogs; that it's OK to be angry and have fights and then hug and forget everything. Today I run for my kids activities, wait till the class is over only to pack them and bring them home, they DO NOT get a chance to explore nature, steal mangoes  and jaam or break a window and get beaten by elders for spoiling their food. Another things is we never ever had play dates at someones home, because the concept had not been introduced back then, video games were for people living in foreign countries like wearing jean pants/Denim was. Coca Cola was foreign while Thumbs-up was very desi, apna drink... life was simple, unprotected and carefree, people were honest and trust worthy, they watched kids not belonging to them like hawks and loved them equally. Now I am in US of A, I feel that life I had as a kid was much much cooler than the life I am giving my kids here in the land of dreams.

Thanks Kissan and Indi blogger for giving me a chance to share a leaf form my childhood and I am sure that you will relate to some of it as we all belong to the generation that was a bit closer to nature and spend lazy afternoons under some mango tree or laying on the lawns staring at the blue sky, thinking of what we will do and who will be able to get to pay for the free wada pav's, scheming about evil pans to scare someone and watch the fun.

If only God grants me one wish, I would wish such childhood for my US born kids.


If you are a part of IndiBlogger, you can vote for my entry here.



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