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Indian Childhood 101

Warning: Nostalgia may hit you hard.

Did you feel a wave of nostalgia hit you as soon as you saw this photo? Did you travel back in time to your childhood days when the only thing you had to worry about was which game you will be playing with your friends in the evening?

This photo has surely brought back memories of when you were younger. A lot has changed since the long-drawn ‘Gooood morning ma'am' in class and rock-paper-scissors.

Things were completely different back then - the air was different, the charm was uplifting, and children were able to experience the joys of childhood without having to worry about online classes or smart-tech tuitions. Life was much simpler and easier back then. We all found pleasure in the most insignificant of things. I'm sure nostalgia is running high right now.

I still vividly remember coming back from school, throwing my bag and shoes, changing my clothes and running off to play with my colony friends. “Eat something and go” my mother used to say but I never listened to her and ran outside the house to the maidan where my friends and I played all sorts of games- chor police, lock and key, lukka chuppi and what not. Sunday’s were especially very memorable because all of us would go to one of our houses where aunty would serve us samosas, chutney and hot-hot bournvita.

Thinking about those simpler times makes me think about how our lifestyle was so much better than what it is now. There is something about having a sleepover with all your cousins, eating ice gola on a hot summer day and sweating your ass out while playing galli cricket. There is a reason why aunties and uncles are always asking you to enjoy your childhood and that life. Being out of my childhood years, I now understand that completely. If I could go back to those golden days, I would.

The Indian lifestyle has always been changing with time. For instance, a lot of people now prefer jobs in the city and while not everyone can afford to provide for the entire family in the city, older people prefer to stay back in their hometowns. They are used to that way of life and find it difficult to get accustomed to city life. Hence, there is a shift from joint families to nuclear families. The feeling of waking up on the morning of a festival to see your whole family working together - be it on the rangoli or decorating the house- cannot be compared to anything. The constant chitter chatter, us kids running around the house and all our chacha-mamas watching the cricket match intensely and cussing every time Tendulkar dropped the ball- was something most of you might have grown up with.

As seen in the article on spirituality , Mark Zuckerberg identified Indian lifestyle as collective, attributed by togetherness, which is true. India is a country that celebrates togetherness and unity.

Do you remember every year during Ganesh Chaturthi, everyone would get together and celebrate it, dancing our hearts out? Or when India was playing the World cup, do you remember going to that one person’s house with the biggest tv and sitting on the floor and cheering for Dhoni?

The point here is that, although a lot of these are just memories now and it has been years since you might have done any of these activities, they still live in your heads rent free. We have become so busy with our city lives and jobs that we remember these memories as “yaar, woh din acche the”. Well, they were good days indeed. In this job driven world, people hardly have time to focus on anything - be it just visiting family and friends or even eating on time.

If hustle culture were to get its way all the time, no one will ever live. Everyone will just try and survive. The need to bridge this gap between our busy schedules and our roots is getting stronger each day. So let's just try and remember those good old days, a memoir of sorts for you to always stay in touch with your roots, no matter where you are.

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