Whenever I see kids play and can’t stop myself from comparing their childhood to mine. I’m sure people from my parents’ generation did the same when they saw us play. Over the years technology has gone on to dictate the games we played and the transformation has been so smooth that noone noticed when and how the humble Holi
turned into a water gun.
I was really blessed the way I was brought up. Born in Latur and raised in Mumbai, I had the best of both the worlds. The urban influences on me never overpowered my rural roots. I spent all my vacations, be it summer, Diwali or Christmas breaks in a remote village called Babhalgaon, 8 kms away from Latur town.
Holidays were stress free. Eat, sleep and play, is all we did for days. Cricket and football were the only urban games we played. Rustic sports such as
(game of seven stones), marbles,
(hide ‘n’ seek),
(gilli-danda), climbing trees, riding a bullock cart topped our priority chart. Sunrise to way past sunset, we spent hours outdoors without the sunscreen lotion or moisturiser. We used to come back to Mumbai, totally charred but we didn’t complain because every hour spent in Babhalgaon playing under the sun was worth it.
Today kids play all these games on a TV screen. They might have mastered all these sports on a joystick but guys, nothing like the real deal.
Let me share a holiday secret with you. During Diwali, as a ritual the courtyard in the house would have a daily formation of cow-dung. It had some religious connect, of which we were unaware as kids.
So we would secretly shove firecrackers into it and blast the dung all over the house. This was done so discreetly (minus the sound of the blast) that no one ever knew how cow dung hit the ceiling. Timing was of great essence; over the years we had mastered this act and my mom still doesn’t know who did it.
Generations will pass, technology will progress, life will become more dependent on gadgets but for me few things will never change. Outdoors will always be chosen over indoors, real games will outdo virtual ones, milking a cow will always be a better experience than opening a bottle, a mud floor will always be preferred to the Italian marble and ‘adulthood’ doesn’t stand a chance next to ‘childhood’. Roots will always remain roots, no matter what route life takes.