I had a perfect childhood.
Which was the reason for a lot of angst in my teenage years because I had nothing to rebel against and that was excruciatingly frustrating.
But it was what it was. I just had to learn to live with it.
We moved. A lot.
Cities every year. Houses every few months. Seasonal friends. The works.
There was always this sense of excitement at every corner with no room for boredom.
Even in a place like Bamrauli which was off Allahabad (that says a lot, doesn’t it? ‘Off Allahabad’. Its not even grand enough to be a part of Allahabad). I remember it clearly because once Dhruv and I were cycling back from the station pool around twilight and a bug went up my nose. That’s also the year Dhruv learnt to swim and wanted to venture out towards the deep end of the pool. I thought I’d swim alongside him, you know, give him company. I was 10, he 6. Halfway through the journey he decided he couldn’t hack it, so he used my head as a platform and slithered out of the pool. I thought I was going to die. Who stands on their sisters head to get out of a pool???!!!
Then there was Srinagar. I was much younger, so my parents decided that I could skip a year of school because ‘It’s so beautiful. And we don’t really know when we’ll get posted out’. Also, my nani was coming to visit us. So HOW could they possibly send me to school? There was so much sightseeing to do. Besides school was so 1984.
There are some memories which remain etched in your head like photographs. No movement, absolute stillness. A high resolution snapshot.
Like Dhruv eating sand in Bhuj. The glee on his face was on the right side of awesome.
When we took a road trip from Delhi to Ooty in 1988 and stopped in Goa for a few days. Calangute never looked more beautiful.
My mother icing our birthday cakes.
My report card when I failed in math for the first time.
Dhruv’s report card when he failed in math for the first time.
My dog Josephine taking a nap in the winter sun.
School was bunked with ease. And permission. If we didn’t feel like going, we could stay back. My parents didn’t really think very highly of the CBSE format of education. Infact, there were instances when we were usurped by these guys from school to go watch a film if my dad got a mid week day off.
Or, Dhruv and I would just bike till near the air-strip in Bamrauli (yes, I have more than one memory of that place), go under the barb wire near the locked gate and watch HPT-32’s take off and land all evening.
Assam had more adventure. We were a few kilometres away from the Brahmaputra and there was always this danger of rogue elephants coming and trashing the station. It never happened (It never would have). But it was fun to think we were living dangerously.
There was also the case of the monkeys. There were a lot of them. And they were bad ass. They slapped my dog once. And grabbed my friend Reem’s leg while she was cycling to my house. I remember her scream even now. I think that monkey got scarred for life.
There used to be days without electricity and cable tv was still a phenomenon we weren’t aware of. So we’d roller skate and read books. And …… um …. bike a lot.
It was all about endless summers and sparkling winters.
I’m trying to chronicle it in a little book called Pirate & Josephine. It’s taking me a while only because I want it to take all the time. I get to re-live every little bit that I want. It’s more fun than I thought it would be.
Sigh! End of soppy blog entry