My childhood was mostly spent in loneliness and restrictions because of my ill health. I had gone through difficult times when I had nothing to do and no one around me. Yet, I praise God that I didn’t feel bore because I invented things to entertain myself.
I grew up in my maternal grand parents’ house and I used to stay upstairs with my grandparents and their daughters, my aunts. And stairs have been the biggest draw back I had from the very beginning. I was restricted to go down to play with my cousins or watch TV as there was only one TV in the downstairs living room. Either I used to study or day dream throughout the day. Apart from that I had nothing to do. Sometimes my cousin Anupam used to come upstairs to play with me and we used to play cricket on the terrace. That’s only in the afternoon for a limited time of one or two hours. But in the morning time as my grandpa and aunties used to go to their work and my cousins go to their schools I used to stay all alone with my granny. Those were the times when I invented something that became very popular at our house later.
I used to sit in the middle of the staircase and play. As a fan of the game of Cricket I used to play MINI CRICKET by making small paper bats and tiny iron balls which usually we found in the wheels of a bicycle. I used to hold a bat in the right hand and throw an iron ball towards the other hand. So you can say my both hands were playing against each other in two different teams. I had a diary where I used to record the names of the players of countries and their scores. And my mouth was the commentary box announcing everything in details about the game I was playing. And slowly Anupam also adopted that MINI CRICKET from me and started playing alone or with me. He used to play on his bed. I had also played on the bed when I was not allowed to go down even to the middle of the staircase.
Slowly, we developed better bats and balls for us to play more effectively. There was a small wooden plank which I used as the bat and marbles or Chinese Chekker small ball-like pieces as cricket ball. Now, my loneliness became my entertainment as I played World Cups after World Cups all alone with my invented MINI CRICKET.
When my youngest auntie got married we had relatives came over two days before to stay with us for the ceremony. And our terrace was covered with clothes for the occasion. We both Anupam and me literally enticed our uncles to join with us for a tournament using those small bats and tiny plastic balls to play MINI CRICKET.
When I look back at those phases of my life now, I feel amused and wonder how I entertained myself and stayed happy instead of feeling sorry for my condition. Although I did not stay upbeat all the time, most of the time I overcame it. When I feel negative today at the age of 42, I should look back to my childhood and learn from the strategies that I had applied that time to stay happy at all conditions.
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