Monday, October 3, 2011

I miss those days..!

I miss those days when Classic Cartoon Network and Discovery Channel used to play all the time on our 14-inch TV sets. My holiday schedule comprised of watching Tom and Jerry, The Flintstones, Dexter's Laboratory, Powerpuff Girls, I R Weasel and Mystery Hunters, with some holiday homework and outdoor play thrown in here and there. Living in a joint family meant spending whole days playing Ghar-ghar indoors, Gallery on the terrace or Hide and seek in the street. I would go upstairs to my cousin's place to sit there chatting for hours or watching TV, until Dad called for the tenth time for me to come down and have my lunch. And then would begin our frantic search for my slippers in every nook and cranny of the house. Only to realize after 10 minutes of mad searching, that I never came wearing them! My cousins still tease me over that.


Holidays homework meant reading novels prescribed by school and writing their reviews, searching for stuff (not on the internet) to help write essays on disgusting topics, making simple science models with my own hands (never took anybody's help in that!) and cutting up newspapers and charts to fill scrapbooks. I almost always failed to finish my homework by the last day of the vacations. And yet I always managed to save myself from scoldings at school. I was a smart kid back then.

April Fools' Day would have us wondering how to and who to make a fool of. And we'd end up trying to make a fool of each other by shouting out things like "look, your brain's lying on the ground!" Once, though, we came up with this brilliant idea. We called 161 from the landline phone, which immediately resulted in a call back on the same phone. And we picked it up and called out to mom that it was for her. She came and took it from us, only to be faced by the dial tone. And we shouted, April Fool banaya! And then got scolded for disturbing her like that. Yeah, that was the kind of April fools we made.

Relaxing for me usually meant listening to the radio. Or if we go back a little more to the time when I was a little child, I would listen to my Dad's collection of pop music of his time - MJ's Thriller, Abba, Boney M and the lot. Hindi music included the legendary Mohd. Rafi and Kishore Kumar's hits, that too on cassettes.

Weekends were family's days out. We would sometimes dine out at Dilli Haat or Udipi Restaurant with masi's family. Or have full fledged family get-togethers at India Gate, complete with awesome food, ice-cream and boating on the lake. Or visit friends and family.

That's me, elder sister and Mom on a trip to some hill station when I was maybe 6 or 7.

Festivals were another whole lot of fun. Holi would ideally involve bombing people with water-filled balloons, but we usually were too timid to risk a stranger's wrath. So we would just hang out in the balcony, choosing targets and having fun but seldom ever firing. Diwali would entail me and my same-age cousin brother bursting crackers, not the huge ones though, and our respective sisters cowering in a corner with fingers tightly plugged into their ears. This would be followed by a family dinner and sometimes a card party. Those were the best days of my life, indeed.

But now the times have changed. Completely.

Kids watch Ben-10, Phineas and Ferb and Sesame Street. Holidays homework is commissioned to professionals in exchange for what I deem to be an obscene amount of money. Kids seldom even know what lies in their homework books. They have coaching classes for every single subject, right from class I.

Come April Fools' Day and the internet serves up a zillion different choices of ways for people to fool other people. No need to use your grey cells and come up with ingenious ideas yourself. What will Google do if we started applying our own brains? Same goes for everything else. You want anything, right from the lyrics of a song to the song itself or even whole movies in different qualities of print, and you will find it on the WWW. Life seems so easy, right? Alas, it was easier back then. And simpler.

Weekends now mean lazing around at home, sleeping in, watching award shows and movies on huge LCDs and ordering in food. Weekend family outings are becoming a rarity. We tend to hang out with our friends more. We see much less of our cousins living in the same house now. But I still crave for those outings with Mom and Dad. I still get all excited at the idea of an outdoor trip with my family like olden times. Festivals are now celebrated at my place with less fervor than before. Yet we try to have as much fun with each other as we can on such days.

I sometimes wonder if it is just I who is so trapped inside the bubble of her comfort zone that she isn't comfortable conforming to the changes happening around her. Or has the world become too changed a place for such a person as I to have a satisfactory existence? I do not have the answers. But I miss those days...a lot.

P.S. This post was posted after zero editing. It went up as it came. And all through the process, the one song that was playing in my mind was Bryan Adams' Summer of 69.

22 comments:

Keshav Huria said...

The Best blog from u I have come across till date :) There is so much of in-depth reality lying in the words...Standing Ovation for u :P
And yes Times have really changed now...Aajkal ki zindagi to jaise ek band Dibbe me kat rahi hai :) School time was treasure !

Mahima said...

Wow. People can even give standing ovations accompanied by a ':P'. Never got that one before.
Seriously Keshav, do you really have to include that ':P' in every sentence you write, no matter whether it makes sense there or not? I mean, really? :P
(now that ':P' made some real sense!)

P.S. Thank you. :)

Mahima said...

P.P.S. What's with those caps in the middle of sentences? That 'Times' really had me wondering how you could possibly have managed to bring in the newspaper into your comment. :P

Keshav Huria said...

Oh come on...,the reason behind adding a ":P" was obviously giving standing ovation via comments !!! which is sort of funny...
P.S. Times wala i didnt notice...sorry for that :(

Mahima said...

Well it's okay..! Lol..

Keshav Huria said...

haha..yea
I didn't know u 'll take even a small blunder like that too seriously...after all it's Mahima's Blogs ;) Aage dhyaan rakhunga :P

Rahul said...

:-D Ahh,Dexter's Lab!!!!DeeDee would come springing into the lab and shout "What does this button do?"!!!! And PowerPuff Girls...Don't know why,but I just found Bubbles,Buttercup and Blossom so endearing....They were the toddler version of Charlies'Angels :-D

Mahima said...

Rahul,

Exactly! Not just the powerpuff girls but each and every cartoon character of those days was adorable. To think I even liked mojo jojo. :D

Anonymous said...

Angel,

Nice post. However I feel change is the law of life and the only true constant in life. Everything has its Time-To-Live and after that something will definitely change.
No doubt the times have changed now. Life has become faster and complicated. But you cannot deny the fact that you still enjoy your life the same way you did in your childhood days or may be even more. It's just that the ways have changed. The way of expressing joys and happiness might have changed but life is still as lovely as it was always. :)

Anonymous

Anonymous said...

And here's the new anonymous, who hit the 5k mark on your blog!
Feels awesome to be the 5k th view(er) of your blog!
Quite a long post, but yes, very true! :D
Detailed analysis on its way ;)

And I really don't understand if this is a personal chat interface for few(a very few) people here.
Keshav, you really make the author and the readers, gradually, lose essence of what has been intended here. Generally a reader would go through every comment as well, to see various perspectives of what has been written, and the following take of the authors. Makes you understand the author, that is.
But aise ool-julool kuch bhi likh ke you make the readers see absolutely no sense in reading the comment section. Moreover, if you didn't see the frustration of the author yet, I wonder how dumb can someone be! Forgive me for explicitly saying everything, and that please be more specific while commenting, if you really appreciate what she writes and have an original point of view, rather than posting comments(just for the sake of it), that too which are so general. Just a thought!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,

Loved that!! :)

Anonymous (:P)

Rahul said...

Ahhh yes......Mojo Jojo!!!:-D Sugar,spice and everything nice-that's what CN was to me those days....

AzzArun said...

Before cable TV made inroads in every household, there was the cartoon slot on DD with Teletubbies and Donald Duck being my favorite. :)
And this was a nice post, a journey from the awesome childhood days to the reality today.

Mahima said...

With the kind and frequency of comments I've been getting, my mind's whirring. Was scared to even start replying. Okay, here goes.

Anonymous The Original,

You're very right. Change is the only constant in life, and very much inevitable. And I indeed have tried to keep my traditions and emotions from the past still alive in things I do. Thank you. :)

Anonymous The New,

Well...you've said it all. I wouldn't comment on this. But I appreciate your concern. :)

Anonymous The Original (again),

A bunch of sadist Anonymous readers have I got! I should rename my blog as "All Anonymous Unite". :P

Mahima said...

Rahul

To me too! CN had a charm that no other cartoon channel ever has had for me. :)

Arun

I haven't watched much of DD, as we got cable very early, yet I remember trying to get signal on DD channel to somehow catch some Teletubbies episodes. Lalaaa, Pooo :D Loved them! Thank you. :)

Dazediva said...

The cartoons these days are just beyond me .. I don't get them ! They don't even seem like fun ! but my nieces and nephews all watch random stuff like Ninja Hatori, Pokeman and other things that I can't even recall.

Hmm family holidays - our family has never been big on them, since it was always my mom taking us kids for vacation, but those were fun.

As for homework and assignments, I remember going through my entire encyclopedia collection to get info for my classes, and then the Internet came about :) I absolutely love being able to get all the information I need in a matter of seconds via the web :) so I can't complain there.

I suppose we all 'grow up' at some point and our priorities change. It's nice to look back and smile at all the things that became 'our youth' .. cos years from now our kids/grandkids will be wondering how we survived without teleportation devices !! (how I wish that happens!)

Mahima said...

Dazediva

Hahaha..I really loved the last thought. Who knows that might even be the truth a few decades down the line!
And well I don't really mean to complain about anything through this post. Who doesn't prefer a more comfortable life after all? I love the internet just as much as you do. I know times change, and that is inevitable. I just meant to relive those moments and highlight the drastic changes that have happened from our childhood to that of today's kids. Although they are much better provided for, they are surely missing out on all the great times that we've had. :)

Rose said...

Hi Mahima!
Firstly, I loved the concept of AAU :D

I also want some anonymous admirers, so the original anonymous, if you happen to read this..*hein hein hein*

You reminded me of my childhood days( bachpan wale :P) as well. I remember playing the same pranks on my parents on April Fool's day! The cartoons we watched, the kind of relaxation we had. Aaah..divine.

One of the reasons why we had interest in books was because we didn't use the internet. We looked for information, we searched for them, in books, in journals etc. It was never a click away for us. And yes, I know, we enjoyed it. It was never a pain for us.

Cheers to our bachpan

Hugs!
- Rose

Anonymous said...

Anonymous!
Thanks! I was so expecting you to give such a reply. :P
-Anonymous :D

Mahima said...

Rose

You put it down very well. Childhood days were bliss. Cheers to them! :)
Btw, what was that AAU again?

Rose said...

All anonymous Unite! :D

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,
I hope the purpose of that comment was to raise a genuine point. And that is the only reason I loved that not because you meant to hurt someone. I had checked his blog. He has just started and doesn't know how to publicize his stuff or how/what to comment on others' blog. Hope he got his lesson. Cheers!! :)

Rose,
Let us not make fun of anonymity. Thanks.

Anonymous