Reminiscing Childhood… who can ever get bored of that? For everyone their love story is different and unique. The same applies to childhood also. When seeing the kids in the city I live in sometimes I feel blessed that I did not grow up in the era of Xbox and Ipods.
Recently I wrote this post, on songs in my Tamil blog. There are so much things to tell when you grew up in a small town. We lived in the Southern Tamilnadu, a town called Tirunelveli. We used to get up with the suprabatham played in the temple. The early morning’s scenes are typical with women with a bucket of water and rice powder to decorate the front of their house with beautiful small drawings which we call as Kolam.
Having coffee at the door step looking at the Temple tower and the dawn was almost a practice for 17 years for me. That temple was built in eleventh century. From childhood, I am an agnostic and my brother was a non-believer. But we still go to that temple at least thrice in a week. Just for the experience the spacious temple with a well maintained garden gave us.
Then on the weekends there was the river. The river that was irrigating our town is Tamirabharani. I doubt even honey cannot match the taste of the water. We used to start early in the morning as a group with a towel, to the river and have a super duper bath in the river. Though it was a luxury on weekdays, we wont miss a chance to go there for bath in weekends. That was the weekend fun we knew at that point of time. We had a strong belief that only females took bath at house and all males should come and take bath in the river.
After a hour long bath we would come out of the river with red eyes and burning stomachs. Back home we will be welcomed by hot idlies or dosas. We had no Xboxes and we don’t understand the regional language films aired in the afternoon time in National Television. Not one boy of our age will be at home at that point of time. We and also our parents didn’t care about the scratched elbows and complexions then. We find all our school mates in one common ground, playing cricket for different teams. The otherwise strangers will become close buddies with the games and the friends circle was ever expanding.
There were lot of gardens with trees where we would go and play lot of games which are non-existent now. Recently I saw a mother scolding her child for taking hand full of sand. In our childhood we used to play games like goli, with three holes and five holes which we dig with our own hands and we never bothered about it. The usual rest drink was sugar cane juice and the fried groundnuts were the usual snacks.
If it rains, then its another kind of enjoyment altogether. We had a nice terrace. Most of the time when its raining you can find me and my brother outside in the raining. Its not like we dance or play in rain. But standing silently in the rain and letting yourself get drenched automatically brings a smile on our face. On few occasions we had a long discussion while walking in the rain to the tea shop where we would have a steamy cup of tea just for the sake of getting drenched.
Living in a concrete jungle we are now travelling so much distance for trekking and camping. But with our home town in our childhood it was almost a routine. We used to climb to top of the falls and had spotted much wildlife so many times. We lived in perfect harmony with nature not disturbing them except for getting some mangoes to home from the forests. Night camping was fun and not a adventure as we had done it so many times. The terrace dinner on full moon days were mandatory with no other lights. It was heavenly experience which I deeply miss. Having all your cousins with you and carrying the food to terrace and enjoying the dinner only with the moon and no other lights is something words cant express.
The dinner usually comes with some great stories by our grandma. It’s really difficult for me to tell a story to a kid. But I wonder how my grand ma was able to tell me that much of stories daily. After the dinner, the usual resting place would be the lap of mom or grand ma listening to the stories and then waking up in the morning surprised to be in the bed.
Then there was my uncle’s house, built in usual style of Tirunelveli. At the rear end of the house will face a small canal. And at the other side of the canal will be a big field of paddy. The breeze and the smell of the vegetation and sipping coffee in the early morning with the water caressing your feet is just bliss. Those were few moments, where I felt I was blessed. I am really sorry for the kids who grow up in city for missing all these things.
Being close with nature will teach us many things. There will be no soft beds to fall like the theme parks when you fall from a tree. True that it will hurt, but also it will make you strong. Almost all of the guys at our age in our town knew how to navigate their way to a peak. It came with instincts. We were never afraid of getting lost because the wilderness is where we felt secure. It was like a second home for us.
Living in this concrete jungle, each and every week I have the temptation of getting lost into wilderness. There were some successful attempts with Chennai Trekking Club. But living my life in total wilderness with water bodies, mountains and breeze is the dream I have for retirement.
How was your childhood? What are the moments you felt so close with nature? Comment me.