Saturday, December 10, 2011

The simplicity of childhood

Little Tanya, my friend's daughter, all of 3 years, attended her first sports day at school, where all the kids participated in various sports activities and regardless of their victory or loss, every child was awarded a medal as an appreciation of their participation. I was amused to know that Tanya refused to take off her medal, proud that she was of her achievement. She wore the medal the entire day and even went to sleep wearing it.

This took me back by about 26-27 years when I, a little girl at that time, had had a similar experience. I grew up in a small village in Kerala, where my dear Grandfather was respected and loved by all, and was treated as the village head!

When I was around 4 years old, I, along with the other kids of my age, was sent to the village school, also known as Anganawadi, which served as the starting school for all kids.

By the virtue of being the granddaughter of the man the villagers loved and respected, the teachers were always partial to me, so much so that while all my classmates were made to sit on the floor in the classroom, I was given the teacher's chair to sit. This continued  until one day, my Mother saw this and requested the teachers not to treat me any different from the other kids.

On the annual sports day of our school,  my Grandfather was invited as the Chief Guest and I, instead of participating in the various sporting activities, spent my time sitting on my dear Grandfather's lap, sharing the refreshments offered to him.  At the prize distribution ceremony, all the kids who participated, were presented with steel tumblers as a sign of appreciation, by my Grandfather. In spite of not having participated in any sporting event that day, I was taken aback that I had not been given the memento of appreciation!! When we returned home that evening, I bawled and cried my eyes out until finally my Grandfather 'presented ' me with a brand new tumbler which had been bought for the household. Instantly, my tears gave way to smile and my day was made!!!

As kids, we valued such simple joys and were proud of our little achievements. Today, we are more materialistic and fail to find happiness in the simple joys of life. I miss those days!!   


NRIGirl said...

That was a lovely recapturing from days past Mangala!

Childhood is the best! The memories stay with you the rest of your life!

It comes as a surprise you are from Kerala! We are neighbors after all! :)

Mangala said...

Thanks NRIGirl! Yes Kerala is a very important part of my life!


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