20 Dec

Lately I realised that there have been a lot of ocassions when I have found myself sharing some of my childhood memories, both embarrassing and heart warming, with a few friends, only to have them agree with a surprised and vehement head nod telling me that they used to do exactly the same. Both my siblings went off to boarding school before I was born and the only childhood memories I have of them are of those during their holidays. The rest of the times I was left to come up with games to entertain myself. Here is a list of ten things I remember from my childhood, with my siblings, my friends and my imagination, that always manage to make me sigh with a nostalgic yearning.

1. Screaming ‘ice spice’ having spotted a friend hiding under a desk while playing hide and seek. I clearly had no idea about what ‘ice spice’ meant, or that it was actually supposed to be ‘I spy’. Only the elated feeling of triumph at having discovered the hidden person was what mattered.

2. Pretending to be in a train compartment while sitting on the carriage trolley for logs at my father’s timber saw mill with bhaiya and didi. The only trick was to bend down as low as possible as the trolley approached the very sharp saw, to save our heads.

3. Waiting patiently for my turn to shoot down the ducks on the Nintendo video game. The only other goals in life were to ensure that Mario reaches his wife or the Ninja Turtles achieve their mission. There was an immense craving to learn new skills too, like learning the secret of how my brother manages to do the super cool turbo leg kick on Contra, (a secret he manages to guard till date).


4. Quarelling over the authenticity of spontaneously made up safe zones while playing ‘kumir danga’ (a Bengali phrase literally translating to crocodile and land), a cultural adaptation of the more well known game, ‘fire and ice’.

5. Playing cricket with my older sister and being allowed to bat on the condition that after hitting the ball, I run after it to fetch it and hand it back to her for bowling again. Yes I was both the batsman and the fielder. Score.

6. Sitting crossed legged in a hidden corner of the room with chart papers, sketch pens, glitters and other art supplies strewn around me the night before mom and dad’s anniversary or birthdays. I would then quietly place the card on their bedside table the next morning and shyly flutter around them waiting for them to discover the big surprise, till they scooped me into a big hug and told me how much they loved it.

7. Opening a few umbrellas and arranging them adjoining each other like a tent and then crawling in with an Enid Blyton story book and a snack. Yes, that was my idea of camping.

8. Spreading talcum powder all over the floor and pretending to ski with my socks on, complete with my hands locked behind my back and a flair only a professional skier could possess. That’s the closest I have ever got, and will get, to skiing.

9. Waking up on Sunday mornings to Rangoli and Chitrahaar on TV and religiously watching Chandrakanta and Disney Hour, getting irritated when there was a power cut on the time of these shows or when my Naani insisted on watching the very boring Shanti.


10. In pin safety pin
       In pin out
       Khelna hai toh khelo
       Warna get out.


One Response to “Nostalgia”

  1. Nicholas May 20, 2014 at 8:10 am #

    just so u knw … tht wasn’t Mario’s wife … it was Princess Peach …
    and i think u meant skating in Nostalgic Memory number 8 …
    Nostalgic Memory number 9 is common of course :3

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