The Magic of Childhood Nostalgia

By: Monali Dam

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“For in every adult there dwells the child that was, and in every child there lies the adult that will be” said Writer John Connolly and I could not agree more. As we grow older nostalgia is our only companion. We might have become adults now but the inner child is always within us and thus the nostalgia of childhood memories . The music we listened to, the games we played, the shows we watched on TV, the food we ate definitely defined our childhood days and shaped us as adults .The childhood experiences most valued by the people who grew up in 80s and 90s are the things that the current generation of kids are far likely to know.

Amidst all the chaos in our lives, the mundane routine, lies, an inert desire to take a trip down the memory lane. The net result is happiness for nostalgia beckons us to drown in it, cast away our worries and take a plunge into those sweet innocent memories. Life was simple for take out any old photograph from that time and you will realize we were happier. The innocence, the nonchalant blasé attitude on our faces were pure and required no instagram filters. Nostalgia is when before the advent of mobile phones and video games we played outdoor games which did not require any fancy equipment but oodles of fun.

From hide and seek to the Indian version of modern cricket, the humble Gilli Danda to spinning tops , Kho-Kho to flying kites ,or riding your bicycle through the neighborhood. Nostalgia is when summer vacations were spent at our grandparents house. The endless stretch of lazy summer afternoon gorging on raw mangoes and listening to interesting stories from our grandmothers . When everyone’s door were open all day. When people had time for everyone. There was no timetable to adhere too and no gadgets to keep us occupied. When birthday parties were not about return gifts and lavish theme parties but about celebrating your day with your closest friends, having Kheer made by your mother.

There were no fancy and frill food like burgers and pizzas, instead every birthday party had samosas, wafers and cake and we actually look forward to having it. There was no event manager unlike today to plan birthday parties. We organized everything from singing to dance, to games and what a show we put up! Nostalgia is when we wrote letters to each other’s in broken English and gave hand made cards to our friends on special occasions. That small piece of paper may have lost its beauty and replaced by emojis now. A time when love, friendships, joy, sorrows, agonies were expressed and exchanged through letters are still young in many peoples heart. A wave of nostalgia sweeps you when you remember those days when we used to have kala khatta or Pepsi sold at the school gates.

All we need was 2 rupees which had so much importance in those days. And remember those bright colored tongues. Aha!! What fun. Then was the colorful poppins and gems which were a rage among children of all age groups. From train journeys to boring lectures poppins, gems made everything bearable. Long before delivery apps and express meal counters took over our lives, all car, train journeys and picnics, relied on the puri and aloo that our mothers packed. Nostalgia is when we used to drench ourselves on monsoon and float our paper boats down the running stream with our friends.We used to tap our water- filled shoes on the streets,and watched our hand made paper boats sail in the streams of joy.

It was an era when the television and telephone were the only piece of technology. The golden age of Doordarshan. Remember those days when we had to climb the rooftop to adjust the direction of that long zig-zag antenna to get a clear reception on your TV. When on Sundays roads were deserted and the whole family gathered to watch Ramayana and Mahabharata on Doordarshan, leaving aside all our works. From “Chitrahaar” to “Malgudi days” ,”Shaktiman” to Disney shows to serials like “Humlog “to Buniyaad.” TV was an imperative part of our lives back then and so were those memorable characters which were etched in our memories for ever.

Apart from TV ,Walkman was another piece of our humble technology that almost every kids from the 80s and the 90’s owned. Listening to music while on the move was a mountainous source of personal entertainment in those days. Winding the cassettes reel with pencil is something which every kid of our generation has done. Going to circuses and magic shows and visiting zoos with our parents were also another source of fun before our lives were consumed by screen and smart phones .We all were in awe of the spectacle and grandeur these shows boasted of. It was an brilliant display and as a kid, definitely seemed like the greatest show on earth. A wild and wonderful experience where clowns piled out of a car just as elephants came marching out of a gigantic curtain.

The gigantic bear on the tiniest unicycle as the ringmaster announced the arrival of hundreds of lions and tigers. The trapeze artists swinging in the air, it was as if we have entered a magical world where the impossible was suddenly made possible. A time when kids used to be smart not their phones.

A world of games, friends, grandparents, chitchat, punishment, summer holidays, comics, books, fairytales, music, birthday parties, picnics, gardens, fights. A time when playing outside was a bliss, when friendships were real and not made on Facebook. A time when getting a rupee from our parents to buy that churan or toffee meant the world to us. A time when going to a photo studio our excitement was palpable and required no likes and filters:just our natural happy selves.

Remember that time ? When happiness was wrapped in every small little things we did, full of innocence. When the dreams were much higher than our expectations, when the world was canvas to our imagination. Nostalgia is when we yearn for those magical simple childhood. That golden era. For “We could not never love the earth so much if we had no childhood in it”.

By: Monali Dam

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