A Memoir of the Bygone

I wasn’t born to live the life I am living right now. I was born in a different world; a world where the resonance of those meteoric MiGs was routine, a world where adventure was assumed, a world where discipline was universal!

How satisfied we were riding that tricycle which evolved into a big-girl’s lady bird and a basket was the final addition. And we were strangely graceful flaunting those mesh baskets and bringing our mum’s dals and bread from the market and that essential sense of victory which we innocently looked forward to every single time. The world literally stalled when those brakes screeched after a rabbit/snake/wild boar (not a bovine or a canine) decided to make the street his own. They stood there, only to make those pretty handles, the style of which changed every week (for this was also a competition), turn and continue to oppose the wind on those endless roads towered by those hoary, deep-rooted trees.

How we always knew that the return gift at a birthday party was the best ink pen we could have ever possessed.

Excitement levels were always high when those middling slam books saw a new entry. It was after all a much needed documented proof for friendship. In retrospect, the funniest rule was to ensure that the first name, in the only interesting column which read ‘your best friends are:’ just had to be yours! The glee it led to, my, my.

How we used to be always annoyed when entry into that magnetic drawing room (where all the snacks lay untouched) was strictly prohibited. We kept quite because we were kids and the consequence of violation was punishment only because, we were kids!

How completion of homework was no less than a religion. It was a matter of pride to sit on that royally organized study table with all the needed material. An alpha was precious and an alpha demanded maximum craving!

How we managed with hide-n-seek at every party which was meant for “adults”. Did we never get bored? Weren’t we enterprising enough to think of something different, even if it was playing ludo?

How comfortable we were in those hand-me-downs, even if they came from male siblings. After all, they taught us the rare art of “safety-pining”. And yes, the mother is right when she says, “they taught you ADJUSTMENT!”

How important it was to arrange the starched uniform before we hit the bed at 8! And every time the eyes turned in that direction the prime motive in life became to earn a new badge now and make it a member of the “large badge- family”.

Am I drawing comparisons between the extinct and the extant?

Was that the desired life? Was that the required life?

If yes, then why am I happy living this one?

Aditi Malhotra