It’s amazing what reminiscing can do to you! When I look back at some of the most beautiful memories of my life, it almost feels like a dream. I remember wanting to grow up fast when I was little, and mom would smile at me and say “live it up because these are the best days of your life.” I never really understood what she was saying then, but now, I know exactly what she meant. Those days were truly magical. And today, as I am swamped with impressions from my childhood, I am grappling to focus. Take a look at my favorite few.
1. High And Mighty
Being mounted on dad’s shoulders is where you really feel “on top of the world.” I remember waiting to go out on the streets, sitting on my favorite throne. I would get a bird’s eye view of the world. I also felt this profound sense of belonging that he was MY dad, and, of course, “My Daddy Strongest!”
2. Peek – A – Boo
Running around in open grounds was sure a whole lot of fun. But when it came to playing the famous hide-and-seek, there would be a whole new take on innovation. The big question being – where do I hide? Burrowing oneself in those big trees, or looking for tiny, undiscovered corners was always a quest. But what was even more challenging was the time limit – 10 seconds and boom! Oh! How I miss that innocence!
3. The Big Bully
Having a sibling makes growing up so much more fun. I had the opportunity of being the sweet older sister of an amazingly cute, yet incredibly naughty younger brother. And when I say older, I mean 10 years older. Yet, I became a complete kid when I was around him. He left no stone unturned to make sure I lost my patience all the time. I was a bully in my own way. However much we screamed, cried, and tore the house apart, fighting with him made for some of our best memories together. It was only last week that we laughed about fighting over a cheap cotton blanket. He wouldn’t part with it, and I wanted to sleep in it, only because it was his. Can someone please invent time machines?
4. A Food Trail
I have always been the clumsy kind. I don’t remember a single day going clean and neat. I always had food on my clothes, and I would wonder, “why me?” Little did I know that I had my butter fingers to blame. But there is no fun in eating an ice cream on a warm summer day, and not sharing it with everything around you – clothes, hair, and face included! This is a story that holds true for every child. When you are young, you are bound to leave a food trail behind you. After all, you must share the joy!
5. It’s A Pet Thing
When you are the first born, life could get a bit mundane, with only adults around you. Unless, of course, you have a pet. If you come from a family of pet lovers, the pet becomes a sibling. Till date, mom laughs about me spending hours on end with my dog in the garden, rejoicing in the wonder of what we did. We discovered life together. He was my best companion – we ran around, played together, and even ate the same food. I adored my beautiful black Lab. Wherever you are, rest in peace Zorro!
6. Bedtime With Granny
I used to wait for summer vacations. Come May, and we would make our way to granny’s house. It used to be the best time of the year because she had no rules for me. I could eat what I wanted, play as much as I could, no homework, no studies, and to top it all, her amazing, magical stories. I remember being transported to the world of kings and princes. She spoke about warriors and wise men, and elephants and strange exotic animals. She even made me believe in tooth fairies and Santa Claus, and bought me ‘presents’, as she called them, every time I lost a tooth. I still owe my sense of imagination to her. She made me believe that I could believe in anything I wanted to.
7. The Grand Birthday Parties
If there were big balloons, lots of kids, and a delicious looking cake, it had to be a birthday party! These were events I looked forward to whether I knew the person or not. Simply because there were beautiful balloons, colorful streamers, yummy treats, and, of course, the ‘back presents’. I would not leave the place if I hadn’t collected mine, and I remember cherishing it, no matter what it was. I would be so grateful for the gift, and totally not prejudiced about it. Whatever I got, seemed the best. It was true for all the kids around me. Kids are beautiful human beings.
8. Baking With Mom
My mother was known for baking some beautiful cakes. She had a simple formula that worked – 200 grams each of butter, sugar, maida, and eggs, with a teaspoon of baking powder and a good swig of vanilla essence. The other flavoring was subject to order. But I would wait for her orders because apart from being the part of the process and creating a complete mess in the kitchen, licking off most of the batter once it was made was my specialty. But what I didn’t realize then is that I always doubled mom’s work, and she never complained. In fact, she loved spending time with me in the kitchen. Mom – if you are reading this, please know that I did too!
9. I Believed I Could Fly
Parks with swings and seesaws are not easily found today. I was lucky enough to have a beautiful park in my neighborhood. While the boys preferred the slides, I remember that every dainty, two-ponied girl with ribbons in her hair loved to swing. I was that girl. I loved to swing high; it gave me the feeling of being free. I felt like I was taking the flight of pure happiness! I wish my kids can experience playing in the open grounds.
10. Punishments Were Fun
Whoever said punishments were bad, didn’t have a clue! Being the chatterbox I am, I was always caught talking during class, especially if it was Chemistry! Not only was I pulled up, but the whole gang was asked to leave the class and stand outside with our hands raised. Sounds horrible! But it was actually a whole lot of fun because we would invariably continue our chatter, without having to be soft, and giggle a whole lot about being punished later. Finally, the teacher would give up and call us back in, in the hope that we would listen to her and gain some knowledge at least. What is H2O again?
11. Setting Paper Boats To Sail
The first challenge – learning to make paper boats. Once I learned how to make one, I would always look for streams of water to set them to sail. I remember pestering my mom to fill water in a basin once so that I could set my paper boat on its way. Colorful little boats bobbing on buoyant water was such a sight!
These memories are so precious. They are filled with purity and innocence. Just like a sip of the Chilli Guava drink from Paper Boat. The flavor is so real – one swig takes you back to your childhood. I was instantly reminded of summers at our family farmhouse. Us cousins would hit stones at ripe, pink guavas, and then wait until those huge black ants crawled away. Then, a quick, forceful wash (only because mom insisted), a slit, a dash of salt and chili – sheer bliss! Paper Boat drinks are not just about flavor, they tell stories too – stories like these.
It’s true! Paper Boat – Drinks And Memories.