May 15, 2010

dil toh bachcha hai ji...

It has taken me over a month now to get over the fact that I am a year older all over again!!! I am one step closer to stepping out of my 20's and it is a somewhat weird feeling.

I am not of the vain variety who dreads growing old. I do not hear an 'aunty... aunty... aunty' echo when younger ones call me 'aunty'! I do not freak out when I see that odd silver strand on my head. Well, atleast I do not yell loud enough to let the neighbours know :)

Aging, according to many other like minded people, is a state of mind. And thankfully for me, I have managed to keep the child in me alive and kicking! There's a thin line between holding on to the kid in you and being kiddish and immature. I am guessing I haven't crossed the line. Maybe the grown-ups around me can answer that. :)

I was reminded today of all the fun things I did as a kid. Took this chance to list out some of them.

School
I miss everything about school. From classes to special classes, homework to handiwork, black shoes to white sneakers, uniforms to 'colour dress' days, Open Days to Annual Prize Distributions, Class I to Class X... I miss it all. I still remember how we had this freeze bell rule at school. Whenever it was time for class after a break, we would hear 2 bells. The first bell was called the freeze bell. It was like a game of statue. You stand still and do not move for a good 30 seconds or so. On hearing the second bell we were to line up and get to class. Funny and peculiar it may sound, but we did it day in and day out. So much that I miss it till date. Loads of memories from school time are flooding my mind now. I think I will save them all for another post.

Summer Vacations
You call it jealousy or you call it reminiscing old memories but I simply cannot stop envying all the school kids in my apartment. Their summer vacations are on... and they are in the best of spirits. This part of the year used to be the best in all my years at school. I loved making that day long train journey from Bombay to Madras for a 2 month vacation with my grandparents. I miss all those long warm summers that I spent with them and everything they did to make my vacation even more special. Love you thatha and paati!!!

Doordarshan
Satellite transmission and DTH services have taken the television by storm. Channels have run into triple digit figures. Reality shows are the order of the day with melodramatic serials not far behind. Kareena Kapoor can throw a tantrum about missing her favourite saas-bahu serial, only to see Saif recording it for her to watch later!!! Cut back to a few years ago (few is not an understatement... the kid in me adds :D). Doordarshan was our only source of entertainment on television. DD-I and DD-II were more than enough to keep us entertained. I miss all the TV shows I watched on Doordarshan as well as the movies that were telecast over the weekend. Nukkad, Wagle ki Duniya, Mungerilal ke Haseen Sapne, Jungle Book, Circus, Fauji, Byomkesh Bakshi, Tehkikaat, Mahabharata, Ramayana, Superhit Muqabla, Chitrahaar, Daawat, Udaan Surabhi, ... Oh I miss them all!!!

Bedtime@9.30p.m.
The Parent's Rule Book at our house clearly stated that we needed to get to bed by 9.30pm. That ensured we caught up on all the sleep our body needed. Over the years I have been wishing my family a good night's sleep later and later on the clock. I cannot remember when was the last time I went to sleep as early as 9.30pm. It is well past midnight by the time I retire for the day. Crazy lifestyles need a little order too. I have decided to consciously work on this. Early to bed and early to rise (the bigger challenge!!!) will surely make me healthy, wealthy and wise... on second thoughts let us make that - healthy, wealthy and wiser :)

Fancy Dress Competitions
I miss the many fancy dress shows I participated in. My mum looked forward to these more than me :). I remember getting dressed up as Baby Krishna once and as a Hawaian girl on another occasion. I won prizes for both :). We had these annual functions in our residential complex for Diwali and New Year's Eve. The whole process of deciding on what we're going to dress up as, preparing for it and going up on stage and enacting it out was a wonderful experience. I also participated in some group dances for some of these functions but somehow the Fancy Dress Competitions linger on in my mind. I will look up some of the pictures and hope to P.S. them to this post.

Kid Books
Tintin, Asterix and Obelix, Noddy, Chacha Chowdhary, Target, Tinkle, Champak, the complete Enid Blyton series, Secret Seven, Famous Five, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys - I am sure all or most of these feature on your list of favourite childhood books. I used to eat, drink, walk, talk, yawn, sleep and breathe books. Somehow, over the years I have not been able to devote as much time to books. I still love reading all of these books. I actually enjoy it even more when I read them now. I remember bringing down the library shelves in our clubhouse to find the best of books. Since I could get only one of them issued per week I would hide my personal selection behind some books that were rarely ever touched by the others. This would ensure they remained there for the rest of the week :). The best part would be the glances others shot at me when they saw me climb up a chair to reach the top-most shelf. The glance would be followed by a feeling of awe and shame put together when they noticed that the top-most shelf stocked books as heavy as micro or macro economics, physics or nuclear research. They thought they needed to learn a few things from this whiz-kid called ME :)

Fun Games
There used to be a host of games we kids would play every evening. Played a lot of interesting outdoor games like Catch 'n Cook, Blind Man's Buff, Kho-kho, Lagori, hopscotch (Googled this out... we used to call it 'Tippar' or 'Tipri' :D), Kitty Kitty Coming, Chor Police, Saakhli, Langdi, Hide 'n Seek, GoooooooollllllddddddSssssppppppott (that's how we used to yell it out :D) and many more. It has been years and years since I have even made a mention of these games. I have not seen kids playing all of these in the last so many years. Let your kids be kids and let them come up with silly yet interesting games like these and give it a name of their choice. Urge them to use their PC games and TV videogames as stress busters when they are much older.
*******

Wow!!! This post has been such a refresher. It took me back down memory lane and brought back many pleasant memories... each with a smile on my face. There sure are a lot of other things that may come to my mind. Will share those on my blog space later.

My take on growing up would be - Grow up as you are doing anyways but remain a child at heart always. I love to pamper the kid in me. I try as much to do everything I loved doing as a kid. This post has only helped me strengthen my stand. The kid in me is happy! The kid in me is jumping with joy! The kid in me is waiting for more! The kid in me is nudging me to hum along... 'dil toh bachcha hai ji' :)

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May 11, 2010

Have you seen your golden house yet?

Got this story as an email forward. Food for thought I must say!!!

the house with the golden windows

The little girl lived in a small, very simple, poor house on a hill and as she grew she would play in the small garden and as she grew she was able to see over the garden fence and across the valley to a wonderful house high on the hill – and this house had golden windows, so golden and shining that the little girl would dream of how magical it would be to grow up and live in a house with golden windows instead of an ordinary house like hers.

And although she loved her parents and her family, she yearned to live in such a golden house and dreamed all day about how wonderful and exciting it must feel to live there.

When she got to an age where she gained enough skill and sensibility to go outside her garden fence, she asked her mother is she could go for a bike ride outside the gate and down the lane. After pleading with her, her mother finally allowed her to go, insisting that she kept close to the house and didn’t wander too far. The day was beautiful and the little girl knew exactly where she was heading! Down the lane and across the valley, she rode her bike until she got to the gate of the golden house across on the other hill.

As she dismounted her bike and leaned it against the gate post, she focused on the path that lead to the house and then on the house itself…and was so disappointed as she realized all the windows were plain and rather dirty, reflecting nothing other than the sad neglect of the house that stood derelict.

So sad she didn’t go any further and turned, heartbroken as she remounted her bike … As she glanced up she saw a sight to amaze her… there across the way on her side of the valley was a little house and its windows glistened golden… as the sun shone on her little home.

She realized that she had been living in her golden house and all the love and care she found there was what made her home the ‘golden house’. Everything she dreamed was right there in front of her nose!


The little girl's story higlights the fact that we tend to, more often than not, take what we have for granted. We tend to conveniently overlook what we have and how much it matters to us. The grass on the other side of the fence always seems greener. What is not ours appears to be bigger and brighter than what we have just earned.

It pays to be ambitious in life with newer milestones being set everyday. But it pays even more to spare a few moments to celebrate what we have already achieved.

The little girl in the story represents each one of us. I am only hoping each one of us have seen our golden homes... shining back at us with a smile :)

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