Bits and Pieces from Childhood
One more tag post, this time created by me 😉 May be it has been done before, but I am yet to come across one. In this tag, I post 3 special childhood memories which are long lost among drudgeries of life.
1. Reading adult books
I started reading books since the age of 5, right after I learnt the basic alphabets in both Bengali and English. I was a super-hyper kid and my parents knew that if they hand me a book, I would sit quietly with it in one corner, forgetting all my antics. By the time I was 12 years old, I had finished reading pretty much all that a kid of that age group would read.
Both my parents were voracious readers and hence used to subscribe to a number of literary magazines, especially the Autumn Special Issues. I used to be very curious about the stories therein, since I was forbidden to touch those books.
I remember how I used to read them at all possible opportunities. Whenever my parents used to go out, I used to stop studying and open one of those. Once I got caught by my mom, who declared that from then onwards, no book fairs and books (of my age group) for me. Obviously the adult books also got locked out of my reach 😦 I didn’t miss out on much due to my school library, but I failed to make my parents understand the simple fact that no book is adult.
For the records, I read my first Sidney Sheldon novel when I was 14 [Tell Me your Dreams] “Shesher Kobita” by Rabindranath Tagor when I was 15 and “Na Hanyate” by Maitreyi Devi (based on which the movie Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam is supposed to have been made) after my Class X Boards. For the uninitiated, these two Bengali novels, among many others (all of which I have read) are considered ‘adult’ in middle class Bengali household. Add to this, some of the novels by Sunil Gangopadhyay and Buddhadeb Guha, all of which can safely be termed ‘adult’. In fact, I finished Buddhadeb Guha’s famous novels like ‘Madhukori’, ‘Sobinoy Nibedan’ ‘Koyel-er Kacche’ while in school. Thank God that my parents did not know what all I was reading in English 😉
2. Local playground
I stayed at a certain locality from the age of 4 (ever since I shifted from the North-east to Kolkata) till the age of 10. It had a huge playground and all my afternoons used to be spent there. I used to return home from school, freshen up fast and run to the playground. I was the leader of all the kids of my age and younger and would decide what game we would play every day. My favourite pastime was exploring corners of my locality and fight with the neighbourhood boys. Not a single day passed without me picking a fight with the boys on some issues or the other, be it on sharing the ground or using the swing exclusively or such other petty issues. I made some really good friends during those days, who were my constant playmates. I now realise that all my leadership skills (if any) were developed and honed using those friends as guinea pigs. I always missed the playground after I shifted to my present home, where I could never have the kind of local friends I had previously.
3. Classroom antics
As the class-captain, I never asked the class to stop talking; instead I used to close the door and myself indulge in gossip. I once bunked class to watch a inter-house badminton tournament in school, along with few other friends. Later, I was caught by the class teacher, who expressed serious doubt on her own decision to make me the captain. 😉 I had once broken a tube light in the corridor while playing tenniquet and got away with it. I always used to read story books beneath the desk in any boring class. I once listened to cricket commentary over FM radio sitting in the last bench in a Maths class during an Indo-Pak Test Match and almost shouted “Saeed Anwar is out” in excitement. I used to finish off my own tiffin by third period and used to eat out of others’ tiffin boxes during the lunch time. In primary classes, all my report cards used to carry the remark “She is extremely talkative”. I can go on and on and make it into a full-fledged post. After all, these are just the tip of the iceberg of “classroom antics” by me 😉
[All images are from the internet]