Those days of innocence…….

Childhood days are perhaps the most cherished days of life. Unfortunately, when we were children we always dreamt of growing fast, our role model were young people living life fully. But now when we are older we seem to feel that good old days of our childhood were really the best days of our life. Even an old man near completion of his earthly sojourn yearns for the childhood days. We tend to forget so many a things, but those childhood days, those memories – good or bad, we never tend to forget.

My childhood days memories take me good two and a half decades back. Those were pre-liberalized days. Nineteen Eighties was quite different an era from today’s. Even a Black & White Television was Luxury Item. A person owning a Color Television was envy of neighborhood. A person telephone was shared by the whole locality and the poor owner more often than not used to regret for having installed one.

My childhood days went in Naval Colony, it was Government Colony, my dad being a Navy Man. In Govt colonies residents stay for a short tenure, till they retire or get transfer. The Children of these colonies are most affected one, unfortunately nobody tends to realize this. The kids make good friends, only to realize one day that the friend has left him because his dad retired or got transferred. I made and lost so many friends. My friends too lost me when my dad retired.

My schooling was in St.Xaviers at Bhandup, a typical strict convent school it was. Those days were really nice, the school used to start at 7.15 am and lasted till 1.15 pm. Thursdays and Sundays used to be holidays. Thursdays holidays because they used to have prayers in church.

After reaching the school the first thing i used to do was to part away with my school bags, and hurriedly gulp something and rush to the playground in that scorching heat. I made many friends and our ‘team’ used to consist of around 20-25 kids of both gender. Our games lasted till 6 pm, then with heavy heart and unwillingly I used to go to tuition class, which lasted till around 9.30 pm. Reaching home i used to complete the homework etc and by 10.30 used to go to bed totally tired.

All kind of games were played, though cricket was the preferred one, but during monsoon, football was our favorite sport. Then in vacations carrom, cards, housie and other games. Exploring newer things were our favorite past times. During those days, IIT Mumbai area was not too developed and our colony was located at the base of IIT Mumbai. The Central School which is now functioning used to be our playground once, The playground itself was an abandoned graveyard of Christians. Those innocent days, stories of ghosts and evil spirits were abound, so a sense of fear mixed with good amount of curiosity was always there.

On one such fine day we went on to explore the jungles of IIT in search of coconuts. Somehow we waylaid, and reached an old dilapidated structure, which was a graveyard of christians, one of our senior member climbed the tree and got the coconuts for us. Just for our misfortune, we found ourselves being caught by the Father of the Church. But in that scorching heat, at a deserted place, seeing a person standing behind you in milky white gown, gave the impression in us, that it was a ghost and we started running helter skelter. Poor guy who had climbed up was caught. When we came back to our senses we realized that it was not ghost but the father. We assembled all our guts to go to him and apologized, the kind-hearted father accepted our apologies and allowed us to take the fruits.

Rainy season were the most boring season for us, for it kept us inbounds most of the times, and we were not the kind of people who used to stay indoors. Though we played indoor games, our preferred games were outdoor ones.

Most of my childhood days my memories and my heroes were the cartoon characters, phantom – The Ghost who walks, Chacha Chaudhari & his Sabu, Bahadur and of course Chandamama shaped my persona. I had joined the library to read these books.

Television was a premium thing then. Even seeing the intro logo of Doordarshan was very eagerly watched. The news at 7.00 pm was watched by the whole family. Telecast of Ramayan could result in empty streets. Javed Miandiad’s last ball six on Chetan Sharma’s delivery created him a villain instantly. Kapil Dev was our hero and Grahame Gooch and David Boon our villains for they would not get out so cheaply.

Everything has changed now, life became more fast, communication more direct, but are we really able to keep up with the pace? Do we not feel exhausted by this pace? And why such a haste, for more money, for money brings happiness? but does it really bring it? We waste our lives earning money, to find it that someone else is enjoying it.

Why not live the life like the way we did in our childhood days, live life with carelessness and enjoy every bit of it, thinking less about what happens tomorrow. At least, even today, i live life the same way i did yesterday, may be that is the one reason, people around me at my place, at my office always comment that Vijay has remained the same, he has not changed. Is that not a compliment for me🙂

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