Anyone born in the 1990s can easily relate to a childhood that was more playground and less of mobile phones or playstations (PSP).
Advancing technology has often been a spoilsport for children. Sipping coffee and munching hot pakoras and biscuits on a rainy day, a colleague recalled how his childhood was all about playing outside the house. Being raised in Delhi, he has seen the city transform from playgrounds and parks into tall buildings and malls.
Whenever there was a power cut, all the children in his colony gathered outside as that was the time they could play unhindered by parents. He stressed upon how inventions like inverters and generators have shouldered the power cuts now but have minimised this togetherness for children.
He recalled how the children would get drenched in the rain, rather than complain about it. His house in Delhi is nearly three decades old and in all these years, nothing much has changed. Only the members in the house have reduced from 25 to five ~ comprising his grandparents, parents and him.
Everyone else has either shifted to another house or gone abroad. He said he cannot forget the joy of visiting his maternal grandparents in Uttar Pradesh and also for his innocent greed for a "bucket full" of mangoes. He recalled how his mother acquired her first phone, which later became his phone.
Everyone could feel nostalgia gushing through as he narrated the story of his childhood because somewhere and somehow everyone around the table could relate to his story as if it was their own. Each generation has its unique and special experiences. One often wonders how today's kids will recall their childhood a few decades from now, beginning w i t h , " T h o s e we re t h e days!"
Sundays for most people means a day of relaxing, away from office, school or college. It is almost one's right on this day to laze around, "doing nothing in general".
However, no one gives a thought to one's mother, for whom work actually increases ~ special food and meeting all the weekend requests. Things are worse for working women as they have no respite from household work and Sunday is never a day of rest for most of them.
Returning home on the Metro on a Saturday, a colleague overheard two women. When one of them sighed that she was looking forward to a holiday, the other lady replied that it made no difference to her. Her routine certainly changed but she ended up working harder. While the rest of the family got up late ~ catching up on their sleep ~ she had to get up early as usual.
Sunday is the day she caught up with a lot of housework, including cleaning up, washing, fetching vegetables for the week and replenishing provisions. Then Sunday special food is always more elaborate and so time-consuming.
No thought, she said, is given to working mothers, who are also tired and so entitled for some rest. But then, despite all this, the lady said, it was love for their homes and families that gave them the energy to carry on. Call it a paradox or contradictory, women do "lovingly complain".
Vacations, particularly the long summer holidays, are when children let down their hair, literally. However, an acquaintance chuckled as he recalled a couple of young boys trying out quirky haircuts taking advantage of the holidays.
As he patiently waited for his turn at the barber's, our friend noticed that a group of boys were getting some fancy haircuts. They were paying a handsome amount for some quirky cut that was sported by a popular film-star in a film.
An elderly gentleman, also waiting for the boys to finish, could not contain himself and asked the young ones whether they were studying. On being informed that they were all school students, the gentleman queried whether their schools allowed such eccentric hair-dos.
Pat came the reply, "We have our summer vacations now. By the time school reopens our hair would have grown and then we'll get a normal haircut. This is the time we can freak out!"
Overheard: Given the hide-and-seek that rain clouds have been playing with in the Capital, one wonders if Delhi'ites have forgotten how to do the rain dance.
Contributed by: Sadaf Mahmood, R V Smith and Asha Ramachandran