15 Things I Loved During My Early Years and Where They Stand Now!

As a part of my inner child healing, which is something each and every one of us must do, as I have mentioned in an earlier blog for which the link is given here https://www.musingswhileunlearning.com/2020/04/healing-inner-child.html, I am trying to rake up as many memories from the past to be able to identify what made me and my imagination run wild and free- the things that filled me with wonder and came to me naturally, so that I may compare it to my present state and find out where and how so many limitations entered my free heart and mind. Once that is done, healing it would be relatively easy plus I just might find what I am looking for since all the answers we need are right inside of us! I am roping you in, my dear readers, to join me in this exploration and I hope it is interesting enough to be inspiring so that you begin your journey as well! Believe me, we all do need to take up this journey to rise up to our full potential!

1.  Collecting- A natural trait seen in most kids but taken up by few as they grow older, to make it a thing of value and I was no exception. I used to collect stamps but I think that was just because my brother had an album which was maintained so meticulously (Virgo habits kick in early!!) and everyone praised it so much that I got an album for myself after buttering Dad up and much to my brother’s dismay I used to fight for equal share of stamps that ever entered our home. Those days a lot of our cousins were abroad and there was no e-mail so we did get a lot of stamps. He managed trading with his friends to get stamps of other countries and actually put in a lot of effort getting hinges to place them well and I got mine by crying for sympathy from my mother or father, who used to ask him to encourage his little sister. No wonder elder siblings find their younger ones to be such pests!! I lost interest in it since I realized my album was nowhere near his and the stamps hadn’t really been so intriguing to me in the first place. I used to collect feathers which made it to my scrap book, pebbles, leaves and even snake skin (and to think I called my son a rag picker when he used to collect used paper cups and bottle caps at four!). Later on, I used to collect letters and cards and I had a whole collection since I had a large number of friends all over the country. I burnt them all more than a few years ago.

Credits: www.sportskeeda.com

2.  Hopscotch/Stapoo-This was the limit of my physical prowess apart from walking and forced jogging which finally made me hate all kind of physical activity since the sword of weight loss hung over my head from a rather young age. I was an expert at stapoo though and I loved the game. I think I played maximum number of outdoor games till the sixth grade mostly in the third and fourth since we stayed in a colony full of kids- /seven stones ( a game I hated for I could never dodge the ball and I have got mercilessly hit a number of times), Mr. Crocodile, may I cross the river was a favourite game only because my mother had knitted me a sweater that had all colours in it and I would never get caught. Hide and seek was a popular game and we had boys and girls playing these games and if I ever got stuck as the den, I’d never find any of the boys till sundown so I despised the game. I can see myself clearly, holding my breath sandwiched between bathroom pipelines in those old patterned houses, peeing in my pants on hearing the den, a grown-up kid, coming close to where I was but thankfully, he didn’t find me first.

3.  Dancing- I was in love with swaying to the rhythm from a really young age and it is one of the few things that I am crazy about till date. One good dance session keeps me happy for a long while. I am 46 with no formal training in dance and right now, with my current state of health it seems a remote possibility (this is a mental block too) but I haven’t given up on my dream.

4.  Acting- I have been in love with play acting for as long as I can remember, on stage, off stage and in real life! I love imitating and mouthing dialogues and transporting myself into a different world. I so wanted to become an actor and play out romances, running around trees and across farms. Even as I write this, I realize how stuck up I have become over the years -shy, closed off with all walls up. Hmm, here is something I must work on!

5.  Writing- I have written a diary from the sixth grade for all my happy and sad moments. It was like pouring my heart out to a confidante and to this date I record my feelings, deepest thoughts and fears in it (and it’s hand written which is therapeutic in itself). However, the really bad and sad hurts I don’t put down at least not without tweaking- for some reason it never left the safety of my head and heart. Yet, I am happiest when I write. Today, I might be listless or at least disinterested as I get on with my day but even as an idea crops up in my head, I can feel the spring in my step to get to the computer to write or shall we say type!

6.  Playing with dolls- I began once upon a time but carried on till ninth grade I think and maybe secretly even after that. I loved the idea of a home and kids. I loved the idea of nurturing and of being responsible for my babies. In retrospect, I think I always wanted to be a mother. Despite all the love and affection I have received all my life, I remain an absolute sucker for love not just to receive but to give as well. Motherhood seemed to be the perfect solution! Most importantly, I got to decide when we eat and what we eat!

7.  Tidying my room- My kids will cringe if they read this but I was obsessed with a neat and tidy room. I am very basic in the aesthetic department but then that’s how I like it. Today, I might appreciate extravagant decors, tastefully done but for my own home I like it simple but neat even though I absolutely despise dusting! I got a single room to myself in the sixth grade even though my brother left home for the hostel two years before that. I was elated with the idea of a single bed in a room only for me. For a kid who always woke up to nightmares, it might seem surprising but I reveled in that personal space for myself. I had a little idol of Lord Krishna which I used to take to my bed and hold him tight if I woke up in fear. I always felt peace then. I used to make beaded necklaces for him. One fine day, this little clay idol fell and broke and I was heartbroken. A few months later, we got the most exquisite idol of Lord Shiva in dull gold. It remained in my room and I was drawn to it like a magnet. He became and still is my only diary that knows me 100 percent- even better than I know myself. We gave away the idol to the temple when we left the place but it is vividly etched in my mind.

Credits: www.whistlinghound.com

8.  Nature- I do not remember being actively obsessed with nature or craving for it as a kid (because kids act more and think less which is why they are always happy) but my earliest memories are of Wellington which is one of the most beautiful places one could ever live in. The land of the blue mountains or the Nilgiris, was where I spent four impressionable years as a kid and perhaps my love for nature, the hills, Eucalyptus trees and Eucalyptus oil stems from here. My love for trees and flowers, parks and dogs, clovers and grass, ladybirds and snails, mushrooms and touch me nots, all find their way to those lovely days in Wellington. I learnt about marshes, quick sand, avalanches, creeks and waterfalls during this period and lived the Enid Blyton dream here (in retrospect that is for I never touched a book those days). My friends and I have taken grains from our home and run down the hills and planted them in some corner. I revisited the place in 2011 but that hill had so much overgrowth that it was unapproachable. I am a homebody and Newton had me in mind when he gave his first law of motion on Inertia- that is my other name and it is a task to get me out of my home but once out I thrive in Nature. It is therapeutic and I thank my parents for ensuring that we went out and played. I love being in nature till date, the feel of grass, sand and mud, the pleasure of blue skies and greenery fill me up with immeasurable joy. I loved our journey from North India all the way to Kerala, by train. I used to fight for the window seat and I loved to see the change in landscape (as long I didn’t have to answer geography questions) and the sight of paddy fields and coconut palms as we entered Kerala filled me with excitement, like nothing else!

9.  Playing in the rains- The rains are a part of nature but I needed to mention it as a separate entity for I absolutely love the downpour- to watch it, to feel it, to smell it, to get drenched in it, to dance in it, to watch the leaves and the greens getting greener and cleaner, the ripples in the puddles after, the water gurgling down rain gutters along the roof, rainbows in puddles when droplets of fuel have fallen in them, the clouds, the thunder, the lightning, the occasional rainbow, the frogs, the paper boats, the colorful umbrellas, the uncomfortable raincoats, the idea of gumboots (we never did own them) and as I started growing its association with food and of course, romance- the flutter and the heartbreak! To this day, I love the rain but again I hold myself back more often than not. With my son and I being asthmatic and usually allergic during the rains and with the smell of fungus, I am paranoid about the health aspect but deep down even I know, there’s nothing more enriching and invigorating like a bath under heavenly showers! Alarm bell!! Loosening up required! Come to think of it, my parents were pretty cool in comparison (in these respects) when we were growing up but they do get over protective of their grandkids!

10.Listening to stories- I loved listening to stories. I used to visualize everything and I would believe anything. Somehow, despite being an Aquarian, I never questioned anything- I didn’t have the curiosity to know my father’s favourite five questions-what, when, why, how, where? I just believed everything I was told. Why would anyone lie to me? My mother has used this tool against me in scaring me to do a lot of work as a kid! Gosh! Was I dumb! My mother, paternal aunt, my eldest cousin and a much older friend come to mind come to my mind as the best story tellers in my early years, the cousin and friend mostly telling me haunted stories or the suspense types.

11.Playing with Candy-Our pet, a cross between a Pomeranian and a Lhasa Apso, she was the most beautiful companion to have. She gave me courage when I was alone and when my parents used to leave me home for shopping, I’d hug her and sit the entire time. I was a scared child. Hmm, red flags!

12.Playing indoor games- A complete indoor game (no physical movement, mind you!) freak, from snakes and ladders, Ludo, all card games except bridge and poker, chess, checkers both Chinese and American, Scrabble, Name, place, animal, thing and more, I enjoyed myself thoroughly and was extremely competitive. I was really good at it and I still love to play them all.

13. Listening to music and Daydreaming- I loved daydreaming while the music played and I don’t think I did it consciously but if I wasn’t dancing, music always transported me to some place else. Some settings were truly bizarre. As I entered my teens it was usually about giving speeches after winning some award or the other and being famous! I still daydream a whole lot and the settings are different but just as bizarre and no, I do not intend sharing them here. I am a bit too shy now!

14. Reading- This one makes it to near bottom of the list because I naturally did not take to it. Books meant studies unless someone was narrating stories (which I loved listening to). I ran away from comics as well. I’d look at the pictures but would never read. In the sixth grade I was forced to read an entire Enid Blyton (Brownie Tales) aloud like a science book perhaps, over tears for I was tired but my father wouldn’t let me stop or read softly (he rightly knew that I would doze off) and I thought he was hard hearted till I came to the second half of the book and then I actually enjoyed the book. I thank my father for this rather strict approach because it got me reading! I read the same book a number of times over the next few weeks and then I ventured into the school library. Before the term came to an end, I had read all the Enid Blyton books they had. I had started rather late, as you can see but the habit remains. I am a slow reader and not one that remembers lines and dialogues but I thoroughly enjoy books that hold my attention which is why I do not enjoy very many overtly descriptive books. I like to get into the character and his/her head but I don’t care too much for the setting and this is the weakness that seeps into my writing as well. The world of books is a beautiful place to be in and it doesn’t matter how old you are, if you haven’t started, begin now.

15. Love, Affection and Cuddles- Saving the best for last! As a kid, all I wanted was to hug my mother, who by the way wasn’t very demonstrative in her affection till we grew up beyond our fear of her and bulldozed her into giving in! Ma didn’t like sweaty children breathing down her face plus she had a super sensitive nose that picked up every mild odour from anywhere and shooed us away. She was absolutely distressed with the saliva of our kisses. In short, Ma was fastidious about cleanliness and she liked everyone at one arms distance at all times. She was warm and affectionate though and she knew we needed physical contact too so there were rules on flutter kisses sans saliva, our position while hugging that didn’t compromise on her paranoia for hygiene. Her love poured out in the form of our favourite foods, waiting for us to get back from school and patiently hearing all that we had to say. This was my favourite part as I always had lots to say. I loved the time when she snuggled into bed with me at night since I couldn’t sleep until she sang to me or patted me to sleep. I had this habit of putting my leg over my Ma or Dad depending on who was being good to me- it was meant to be a privilege for them while I was lying down with them. I used to nestle between them on the occasional afternoons that Dad wasn’t working. My father had no issues like my mother on cuddling and he was demonstrative but he wasn’t good at conversation which was a bad sign. His affection used to end up in asking about school and studies and I had to vanish if I did not want to start our own personal “Mahabharata”.

These are a few things that come to my mind immediately and considering how lengthy it has turned out to be, I should stop here. In the course of writing this blog, I have been able to earmark some areas that need addressing, while relishing every bit of it. Hope you enjoy it too despite it being rather extensive. You must try it sometime- nothing like a random walk down memory lane!

 






 


Comments

  1. I have seen you enjoying most of those 15 fun things even as a grown up, some more than the others. Being able to do that is really wonderful...for the child like spirit keeps to young and lead a happier life.

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    1. :D I agree after all I have a supportive family ;) and yet, wherever i have indicated, I can see the change!

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  2. Do you and I live in a parallel universe or what!! While reading , I kept thinking only one thing.....Oh ! This is so me. Keep writing my dear soul sister...you give me umpteen reasons to reflect and fathom my life.

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    1. Love you Sweetheart! You are what girl power is all about! Thank you so much for being with me constantly and egging me on and yes! we do have a soul connect!

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  3. One of my absolute favourite reads so far!!! And imagine.. This was the one blog i kept procrastinating about.. Each and everyone of these resonated personally indeed! Couldn't help but think of a few memories which flashed by in my head as I read through your blog.. The samosa wali Aunty who would come by every Sunday with her bag full of savoury goodies for sale on a Sunday evening only! The pen friend mania which has gripped me as a kid.. Loved writing to my pen friends from lands I only dreamt of visiting.. Ramayan and Mahabharat times on Sunday mornings.. Trekking up the local mountain and hills.. Absolutely loved those hikes and treks.. especially during the vacation time.. But the fondest memories are the train rides to Kerala.. and exactly what you have written.. The changing landscapes.. The vendors yelling 'Sud paal.. Sud paal.. Idli.. Vadai.. Dosa... Hahahahaha! Some memories can just never be replaced.. Even after the many travels abroad or scenic countrysides you have visited and trekked on so many years later!!!!

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    1. You should write a blog yourself!! I just realize how many of those memories I missed mentioning! "Sud paal' wasn't my thing but "pori, pori, pazham pori" and 'kaapi kaapi kaapi" definitely caught my aarti filled attention!! :D We should meet! Thank you Toxicheaven!

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  4. Lucky you!!! Goodwishes always!

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