Best perk of being in school. Oh the word brings back such fond memories! J. Summer and winter, the highlights of both this season was vacation time. Time off from school, meant that I could spent more time reading storybooks, cycling and exploring new areas, playing cricket or dip-dip. And of course, watch Chutti- Chutti on Doordarshan after completing my holiday homework.
Remember Nancy drew, Hardy boys, Secret Seven, Famous Five, Phantom, Mandrake, ChachaChaudhary, Tinkle, Chandamama, and my favorites Tintin and The Three Investigators. I have always had a very healthy reader’s appetite, and enjoyed reading and collecting books. Saving my fee from the small errands that I ran for Ma, I used to buy Chandamama. But as years went by it was not enough, what cost only Rs. 2, has raised to Rs. 15 by time I finished schoolL.
DoordarshanAs a school student I had about 1.5 half hours set aside as viewing television programmes. With no cable connection, Doordarshan was only savior, but I am not complaining! My favorites shall always remain ByomkeshBakshi, Potli Baba Ki, Duck Tales, Tales Spin, Chekhov Ki Duniya, and EkTha Rusty. As I write this down, I begin to understand that my love for stories goes a long way back, and I need to thank Doordarshan for introducing me to Ruskin Bond, Chekhov, Tolstoy, Mark Twain and the Bong sleuths.
At 5.15 my house bell used to go off, our eight member strong gang rushed out for our daily playtime. All time favorite game was Dip-Dip, Chain-Chain, Lock-and-Key. Then there were the girls-only games like nine box. At times, when the boys insisted we played football and cricket in a small stretch of land at the end of K Road in Sonari. Winter season always meant endless games of badminton. When in mood for adventure, we used cycle around exploring new areas, away from our parents prying and concerned eyes. And this went on until 6.30; the street lights would come on, our mothers would repeatedly shout out for us to get back home.
In sans cable connection era, BBC, Voice of America, Akashvani, and Vividh Bharati were my source of information. Apart from the regular news and music, plays, interviews with famous personalities, science info were some very interesting segments in the programme format. While Ma cooked, and I studied, the radio played in the background. Back in my home, the radio was an integral part of our daily routine; it spelled the hour of the day for us. :)
Revisiting your childhood is always very nostalgic; it brings back a lot of memories, goood and bad. I look around and can see how much has changed since then. I guess just as I am growing old, the world is ageing as well. But there remain certain things which I cherished as a 14 year old child, hold the same charm for me as a 24 year old.