This topic is so vast that it’s so hard to sum it up in a few words and restrict it to one memory. The moment I think about it, so many memories flash back at me.
That was the time when day cares were not very common and the nuclear family set up was just evolving. Both my parents were working and my uncle and aunt were working. I was the eldest, then my sister Roomina (she is my first cousin but I hate to refer her like that cause she is just my sister and not cousin), and then my brother Mayank. We used to get together during the vacations and I being the elder one had to take care of these two monkeys. I took my job very seriously even thrashing these two at times or scolding them and giving their report to parents in evening – remember those were the days without cell phones and we didn’t have landline either.
These two are my first kids, now being mother to a six year old son, I actually re-live those memories through my son in his mannerisms. I have always been a strict sister, and may be that’s the reason these two were always scared of sharing their things with me, they used to gang up against me at times, but as time passed that gap narrowed down and we started sharing talks, friends, crushes, experiences and so much more. We had our own games- some that we are ashamed of and never mention anymore, we had our own slangs, our own songs and our own movies.
I remember this one incident when we sneaked out of the house at the canal nearby and my sandals floated away in the water. We came back home and lied that we had gone to temple and that someone stole the sandals from there. We thought we were super smart but our neighbors told the whole story to our parents (neighbors were next to parents then and had all the authority to scold the kids around).
Summer vacations were the best when we used to wait for our other cousins. Dehradun being the place of beautiful weather and nature, we had many picnic spots. But lacchiwala and robbers cave were always our favorite. It was customary visit every year to these two places, these were our designated camp sites. We used to enjoy endlessly for hours in the water streams without any worries of food, or someone watching, or hearing us. We would be in our home stitched simplest of the swimsuits and play with the fruits that would fall down from the trees into the stream.
I have so many memories of schooldays with Prabhjot as well, but the one I remember distinctly is when we had lied at home that we got late in coming back because the tire got punctured. The next day, Prabhjot got a pin from home and while driving to our coaching class we tried endlessly to puncture the tire but in vain. After a few minutes of ride, one guy signaled us that the tire is punctured, what joy we had on our faces. I still smile every time I think about it.
We have come a long way since then, everyone has got busy with their own lives and daily routines. But thankfully to the social media we are all connected in one way or the other and at least know what’s going on each other’s lives. So many people come and go but even today when one distant friend of childhood sends a friend request on facebook a flood of memories come by.
Childhood is supposed to be blissful and carefree, but in today’s world it is being interrupted by gadgets. I always keep thinking if my kid will be able to make the memories that I did, whether he will have the same connection with his cousins the way I have it?