Days of innocence…

As I was cleaning my room today, I came across some of the old artifacts hidden away in a bag lost in the corner of a cupboard. It’s like archaeologists unearthing historical stuff. There were some coins – 5 paisa [the square ones], 10 paisa [the round cornered ones whose ends are like that of arrowroot biscuits  :P], 20 paisa pentagons, a broken ring, a piece of paper on which a coin`s shape was shaded. During those days these were called the ‘extra-ordinary things’ that gave us so much happiness;
When I looked at the imprint of the coin that I had shaded on to the paper, the happiness I used to feel was as though the coin itself was my creation 😛
In UKG or 1st std, we used to have painting classes where we used to paint fishes with finger prints, make flower prints by cutting ladies finger (Vegetable) horizontally and dipping it in paint & making the print on paper. Simple yet beautiful.
If we had 1 Re while returning home after school, sip-ups where the first priority – for thirst and for chilling out with friends  😀 (I liked red one the most)
Gold Spot was the orange flavored aerated drink –The famous one! (I always drank that whenever I had food from the Restaurant)
At school, Miss (Our class teacher) used to ask questions and for every right answer, she used to draw an ice cream or a butterfly or a star or any such cute shapes on the black board for the kid. And the kid used sit like he/she was a Nobel Prize winner 😛 (I was always one)
Being the ‘Class Leader’ and having the badge was like being the King. And of course ‘Asst. class leader’ meant being the minister :P. (I’ve been more of the ‘King’ and was a pretty good ruler too).
After games in the neighborhood, we had stories to narrate the way warriors narrated about the old battles. Stories of how we single-handedly or our team bravely won the match. (I had a similar story- Not of winning any match but of our kids’ gang bravely battling with a scorpion and killing it! I remember every single detail till today. But don’t understand why I claimed the scorpion to be pink in color :O)
A’ very good’,’ good’ and specially a red star in our books brought a broad smile to my face [Also words like neat, keep it up etc]. That’s when I felt that the red ink was so beautiful. Hang on! Some teachers used to even draw a smiling face ,sometimes with earrings :P.

Collecting those red seeds we call manjaadi kuru  was a favourite past time in those days. At school when it was the season we used to pick up those seeds and all used to be jealous of the one who had maximum.
Loved touching the green leaves of Mimosa Pudica plant [or thottavadi in Malayalam]. Loved the way they drooped down or fainted at my touch. It was another favorite pastime while walking home. And also collecting cat’s tail plant, appoopanthadi or grandfather’s beard etc.

It was exciting to keep the tooth, which came off, under the pillow and believe that the tooth fairy would come to grant boons.

Doordarshan was the only channel and all the shows were by-heart for me. Chitrahar and Rangoli were the main music shows. Sunday 4PM meant the prime movie time when all at home joined before the television.
Tele-tubbies, He-Man, Ala uddin & his magic lamp, Alif laila, The Jungle book were the best shows among kids. And serials like Om Namah Shivaya, Jai Hanuman and Sree Krishna enlightened the kids about the epics.
Santa Claus wasn’t an illusion. He was real and I believed for a long time that one Christmas he’d definitely come, or that he isn’t coming to my home coz we didn’t have chimney.
Birthdays were really my day. I was treated like The princess – Color dress to school, distributing toffees, extra attention, all singing for me- it also was a day to let my ‘best friend’ know that she was special coz she got extra toffees from me.
Those days all we needed was a toffee, a toy – a gun or a teddy, a paper, a pencil, drawing book, colors, stories, people to play with – be it dad, grandparents or kids from neighborhood etc. Sun could be painted blue and rivers could be painted yellow and still your paintings were the best for your parents.
Being loved meant the morning wake up kisses of mother, little loving punches from father and stories from grandparents. Tears meant skinned knees and broken pencils. Fights meant the boy next bench who pulled a plait 😡 or the girl who snatched my toffee.
And the biggest illusion was; there was only truth everywhere. Coz Gods and Angels were supposed to be really watching us and punished anyone who spoke lies. Irony being, Gods and Angels are still watching but as we grew we realized that truth is something seldom heard of.

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