I am lifting the concept and the title from Orwell’s essay “Such, such were the joys”. I think as a kid joys of life are much simpler and it remains engraved in our memories forever. Here I try to go back to my Childhood and bring those beautiful moments and probably these joys may resonate with people of my generation.
I spent my Childhood in a small rustic place called Boleng in Arunchal Pradesh and to make it chronologically in order I am talking about late eighties to late nineties.
There are many joys that were so small but probably made much of our childhood fun filled. Here is a small list that is still fresh in my mind.
It used to rain a lot in Boleng and those rainy days helped us to kill the monotony of wearing the white colored shoes. We used to wear Gum Boots, big black colored oversized ones and the fun part was while going to school we will fill it with water and jump around making crazy sounds. Water left in the gum boot for a whole day would make your feet swelled up and completely which was quite a different feeling.
Then there sunny days and you can imagine Boleng as a hilly place and our school was on a hill flanked by valley on one side with a river called Simang flowing down. While coming back there would be fun again. Instead of taking normal route to come down, there was a competition to take the difficult ones. There was a natural slide that we were really fond of, we will push the bag first and it will be full of dust and then we will slide ourselves and zoomed down. There was a cleaning done for the bags and our clothes but Mom would always catch as to what has happened to these kids and their clothes. How come the school is so dirty. We never exposed that secret to anyone.
There used to be under construction road called “Damda road” and we never knew why it was under construction for so many years and never knew if there was a place called Damda. But whenever we get chance it was a great hangout place for us. We will just trek to that place and the major attraction for us was a natural stream called “Rabung”. We would spends hours looking for small fishes, colorful stones and just be there listening to the gushing sound of crystal clear water. Our parents would always warn us that the water is kind of polluted due to some huts upstream but we never saw any of those htts and never bothered to their warnings.
Boleng being so remote we didn’t get the Coca Cola or any of those bottled cold drinks. In summer which was both hot and humid we used to get “Frooti” which used to be in Tetra Packs and whenever we got those it was real bliss.
As a kid there used to be a game that we used to call marble. It was basically small spherical balls in different colors. There were various version of games based on marble and one can keep wining and you get to keep the marble from other people as well and grow your own treasure. Those days one used to get 10 marble for a rupee which isn’t that costly but parents again used to discourage as it was considered a smaller form of gambling and makes you greedy. I remember that I used to count my marble every other day and it was just great fun.
Another place of great fun was the school library from where every two weeks we can get one book each. Somehow I used to get so amazed inside the library that it was quite difficult to chose one from so many from the classics published by S Chand and Company, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Enid Blyton’s Famous Fives, Agatha Christie, Doctor Who, PG Wodehouse and many more. There were few other libraries where it was difficult to get access but some we did manage to get few books sometimes. It was interesting that many of these stories opened up different worlds for us which wouldn’t have been possible for kids in such remote areas.
Video games were another life changing thing in my childhood. We were really crazy about those games Mario, Contra, Islander, Tetris,Tank, Pacman and so many more. So much time was spent completing levels, competing with each other and making strategies to clear difficult situations.
There may be many more that are somewhat hazy in my mind now but they keep coming back once in while. Its amazing that these memories are something I am still so fond of. Probably now the generation have changed and way kids see the world when they grow older would be quite different. Hopefully they also enjoy like us 🙂