One of my earliest posts. Written in 2004
A JOURNEY CALLED LIFE
Let us take a trip down memory lane today.
Do you remember your first trip? I don’t mean the trip home from hospital as none of us would remember that!
But there must be some early outing which you must remember.
I remember a shikar trip with my parents and their friends. It was a duck shoot along the river side in a small town near Lucknow called Hardoi.
It was a densely vegetated area and so we went in bullock carts. The first one with my father and his friends: the second with the families-with many happy, giggling and laughing children. The last one had the servants and all the cooking and camping gear.
As soon as we reached there we ran off and I remember only running around near the riverside, playing in the mud, catching butterflies, unmindful of the dust, heat and flies. Even our mothers were very relaxed and did not scold us but sat under trees and as it was winter were busy with their knitting and lazily shouting out ordered to the servants.
We were so carefree and secure. Our needs were looked after and there were no worries about tomorrow for us.
Nowadays, our children are worrying about their home works and school and their picnics are much more sophisticated and less fun. They probably don’t even know what catching butterflies’ means.
Our journeys to school also were fun. They were on rickshaws piled up high with children. We were jolted up and down on the potholed roads of Lucknow, but it hardly mattered as we were busy ogling the different sights and sounds of the road. There were many brightly coloured balloons and kites to admire, wonderful vendors selling their wares by the roadside. We were forbidden to eat the totally yummy but totally unhygienic goods, yet managed to sneak them in once in a while. A churan seller was a particular favourite .That I had to give inspired excuses the next day for my upset tummy is another day.
We realized the theory of relativity, even though I had never heard of Einstein that time flies when we are coming home yet drags on the way to school.
As time went by our school bags became heavier and our play time shorter yet we ot maximum enjoyment out of them. We played in the parks .climbed trees and generally had a lot of fun.
Fun for our overworked children now means the latest video game or TV program. Where has the innocence of our childhood gone?
In the summer holidays there would be magical trips to meet our grandparents by trains; another source of entertainment for us. There was no AC in those days and the high treat was to sit with our noses glued to the open windows with the wind streaming in our faces, crying when coal grit went into our eyes and laughing at the antics of the villagers along the track. We wanted to buy everything at the stations on the way and inside the trains. Small mud toys, plastic utensils all of which cost little but gave us much joy.
Today we are affluent and can travel by sophisticated transport.
For me the plane ride was like going on the magic carpet. I could not get enough of the twinkling lights and sounds outside. Today it’s just a means of saving time and getting from one place to another. In fact I hate them and take tranquilizers.
In time came the transitory trip from carefree child hood to adulthood. For most of you it must have been to your first jobs for me it was to my husband’s house. I left behind the secure world of parent’s house to take up my own responsibilities. We were blessed with 2 beautiful children and now journeys became last minute checks of bottles, nappies, toys, biscuits etc. Yet we would somehow leave behind the most crucial item, making it a do or die situation for them and start of open hostilities between my husband and I. I have never figured out why Father’s disown responsibility at these time s and it becomes YOUR children.
Friends, as time has gone by like the rest of our lives our modes of transport have become better and more expensive, but not more fun. Our children hardly have as much fun as we did.
We adults are busy running from one place to another to meet deadlines. We hardly travel to enjoy the sights and sounds along the way, but just to reach somewhere.
In the business of making a living, we have forgotten how to live.
This life is a wonderful journey, let’s have fun. We pass through this journey only once.