Friday, May 9, 2008

A Regular Childhood

Aaaarrgh! A weekend post again. I am becoming a mere weekend blogger at this rate. Anyway, for some vague reason, I've been wondering what constitutes an 'average' childhood for us middle class Indians. So, I am curious to know how many people have done a bulk of these things when they were kids.

a. Peed in a pool. Fairly regularly, actually. It was just easier, you know?
b. Dressed up in white flowing robes, painted their faces white, called themselves 'Bhootneeta' and frightened smaller kids in the family/neighbourhood, perhaps unintentionally causing a lot of trauma in later life.
c. Called 100 just to check if the police would really pick up. Called them again a few more times before resting easy.
d. Pranced out of the house to play with the neighbourhood kids, your enthusiasm causing you to forget that you were only in your undies.
e. Adopted a stray cat or dog, and regularly fed them with milk and burnt cookies made in the microwave. Had your heart broken irreparably when one of them died, and no, it wasn't because of the cookies.
f. Developed a fixation for 'buried treasure', and spent hours on hot summer afternoons digging in the neighbour's garden for it. Finally found a dirty old bone and convinced you had discovered the remnants of a dinosaur.
g. Performed silly, never-ending songs at the drop of a hat. That bloody 'When you're happy and you know it, clap your hands' and others like it.
h. Refused to complete a homework assignment regarding the hair colour of your parents, on the grounds that 'my Daddy doesn't have any hair', only to have the class teacher scruitinize his head carefully at PTA and embarass him by informing him that he does have some hair left.
i. Attempted to teach yourself juggling, but choosing to do so ambitiously using eggs, and broken right on top of your mother's radio. Wiped the surface clean but still causing the mother shock when she investigated why it wasn't working by taking it apart, and discovering egg yolk inside.
j. Hidden under the bed regularly to read your mean brother's collection of books and thus forever associating the Hardy Boys with dusty darkness.
k. Rather fancied yourself a hairdresser and practiced on your sister's long, flowing locks, chopping them mercilessly and reducing her to blubbering tears. Hid in the bathroom while your Mom consoled her and tried to to fix it, trying to convince everyone that she had wanted a more stylish look and you were only trying to help.

So, tell me, is this a 'usual' childhood? How many of you have done things like this in some form or the other?


  1. Such a sweet and nostalgic post, Y. I am proud to say I have done them all! Phew! The pet was a squirrel, it was comic books in the bathroom, the treasure was a bee hive on the backyard tree and how we attacked it with fire(!), the hair styling was done with my dads hair while he was sleeping! :) Aww... those days!

  2. Nice blog you have out here.

    middle class??? with microwave and telephone back then??

  3. got me nostalagic...I did most of these things too, pool, scaring my aunt with rubber lizards, playing the bhoot and scaring my younger cousins who were so scared of the dark and the 100 number must have called a dozen times. And i usually read comics hidden inside my textbook esp during exams :)
    those were the tension free days...

    lurker here.

  4. a. No. No pool.
    b. No, but did go around covered in a white sheet chanting "oooooooooooooo" or something. Don't know about trauma caused to little kids.
    c. No. No phone.
    d. No. More sense :D
    e. A kid (baby goat) - yes. Fed it leaves or peels from vegetables, I think. No - it didn't die. Just ate all the plants in my mom's garden and was chased away by mom then. Plus - no microwave.
    f. No. See "d" again :P
    g. Yes. Even now, to the amusement of M.
    h. No. Dad still has lots of hair. Plus never got said assignment :)
    i. No. No eggs in brahmin parents' home.
    j. No. I had the said collection of Hardy Boys novels, so no need to hide under the bed.
    k. No. No sister. Brother sported a crew cut.

    Boy! I had a pretty deprived childhood, no? :(

  5. I will write a post about it.Your post brought back so many memories and made me smile.Thank you.

  6. Lovely post you have up here :)
    Meant to answer all the qs, but work piling up all over the place and my room is as dirty as any boy's. Eurgh!

    As for hair, I used to cut snippets off my own hair sometimes. Once kept the hair the stylist cut off and pasted it in my diary in various shapes :P. Still have the diary.

  7. proud to say, yes, i'd a pretty regular childhood too.
    sigh, i do miss those days!

  8. hehehehe, I played hairdresser with my own hair... suffice to say I went about with crooked pigtails for two months... but since I never looked in the mirror or let the looking affect me, didn't matter. Adopted a stray cat when I was nearly a teen and had it driven away by the father for stealing milk, was pretty heartbroken alright! Silly songs? ALL the time!! Silly words were more the rage in the summer when cousins visited us... oh and also secret codes, secret languages, taking sides and being two different parties... yup, definitely a regular Indian childhood there!

  9. lol defff spilled orange juice on the tv..
    and defff called 911 to see if the police would respond loll it was a nightmare after that (they came and my mom opened the door with a knife in her hand becuase she was cooking)

  10. Inappropriate urination? Egg juggling? Head shearing?

    Let's just hope, for your sake, that Peanut takes after Vijay.

    PS: Poor G :(

  11. peed in pool..check
    white robes ( or bedsheets)...check
    stray dog...check
    hair cut ( tried to give myself a "Sadhana cut"..check

    I also ate chalk when I was in kindergarden..dont know how many people did that.

  12. Yeah...pretty much regular from my end...her's my addition to the list:

    1. Asked my younger bro to leave the house and then justifying to a bawling bro and parents that I am the elder and I have a right to do naive!!!

    2. Smashed the classroom tubelight while practicing soccer in the classroom during break...smashed the junior school window...stole clay from window panes of the arts and science block to make aeroplane models

    3. Crank calls to random people in delhi advising that tey have won a 10 lac ruppe lottery...crank calls all night

    4. Got a stray dog into the house for a free bath

    5. Lost a cousin in Lajpat nagar as we were all busy hoggin on Puchkas

    Aahh!!! the oh so kind Arrow...

    Thanks Y...on the nostalgia


  13. Now i feel i was shareef as a child! :D

  14. All of the above with minor changes in script. Also collected tadpoles in a glass beaker in the monsoons. Drank last droplets from cola bottles that the guests finished on the tables and...and...and...

  15. Microwaves weren't available in India when I was a kid, and swimming pools didn't feature in our middle-class lifestyle then (they do now certainly) - but yes to c, d, f, g, k (on my own hair!) and j - but the books were mom's Mills and Boon - waste of effort, in retrospect! :-)


  16. Ganju - thanks for the sympathy!!

    Y - the head shearing wasn't as traumatic as the fact that you hid in the bathroom afterwards and made me tell mom and dad that it was all MY idea.

    Never a dull moment though eh?

  17. Gitanjali: Helloooo :) I'm glad to hear that it wasn't all that traumatic. Personally, I'm mortified by the prospect of my head being shorn. Then again, I'm called Ganju.

  18. Hmmm... wonder where I was! I hardly did any of the things you mentioned!!! Hmmm.. but I had other interestng stories.. I guess boarding school life is quite different!

  19. lol! i cant beleive you did all of that!! i havent done even one of those things!!except for the juggling bit- but i dint use eggs, i tried it out with oranges.
    you must have been a riot as a kid!

  20. Such a sweet post. A few from what I can recollect

    Got kicked in the tummy trying to tame a stray cow.
    Drowned a cat trying to feed milk
    Ran around the house holding to my undie with my sister behind my back claiming its hers

  21. LOL lovely post.
    Didn't do the pool, but bucket doesn't count?
    I had to LOL at the digging for treasures, do all kids fancy themselves as investigators then? I used to look for clues a la- famous five.
    I've done most of them in this list in some form or the other..

  22. hahahhaha... the police thing was soooo true... our paternal grandmother was soo fed up of the big sis and me during summer holidays tat she would wait for my parents to come home n complain abt us... so the sis n me came up wit a brilliant idea to call the police n complain that a crazy lady came into our house... Alas, they called us back n my granny picked the call.. needless to say she was furious n complained to my parents again (Sigh).. we got the spankin of our life time that night by our dad... the only time he has ever spanked us both...

  23. Duh duh, Duh duh, where for art thou duh duh?

    The net has lost a little bit of its sheen due to your continued absence. An immediate return (ideally armed with a little bit of polish) will help undo most of the damage. So hurry back.

  24. lol@ Ganju's first comment!

    Done a few of those but yeah microwave back then? :o

  25. haha...part i loved most - hardy boys association with dusty darkness..Books give birth to strange and beautiful associations


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