These childhood activities are now a part of nostalgia. Most kids today have not experienced some of these facets of life.
By Disha Roy Choudhury
More often than not, you may have come across both parents and kids complaining about the generation gap. Your parents hail their years of growing up as the golden era while your kids may have already started expressing the need for you to be more updated. With the world constantly evolving, our values are changing too, and who knows, the generation gap might not be a myth after all. Think, for instance, of how today’s children are growing up in a way much different from that of their parents.
From games to food, most children today are missing out on a lot of quintessential things that once comprised childhood bliss in India. Here are some of them:
1. Roadside delicacies outside school
We are referring to those small thelas outside the school premises, which constituted a world of delicacies waiting to be savoured after class—colourful ice lollies, variety of chaats, and tasty digestive candies, to name a few. Not many of these thela-walas retain their popularity among school children today.
2. Making paper planes and boats
Competing with your friends for making the best paper airplane was deemed more important than securing the highest marks in the annual examination. Children would eagerly wait for rainy days to float their boats in puddles of water.
3. Plucking fruits from trees
Apartments have replaced houses today, making gardens gradually disappear too. The sheer excitement of stealthily climbing trees and plucking fruits is now only a thing of nostalgia.
4. Storytelling during power-cuts
Listening to fairytales and ghost stories from your parents or grandparents while staring at the starry sky, brightened by the flickering flame from a candle or lantern, is a childhood memory that many people cherish. Today, a child would, perhaps, prefer whiling away time by completing the last game on their mobile phone instead.
5. Five-rupee chips packets
Chips packets worth five rupees were a yesteryear luxury that children today have been denied, thanks to changing economic conditions in the country.
6. Fascination about the window seat on trains
How often have you seen parents travelling in trains, trying to pacify toddlers by showing cartoons on their mobile phones or tablet? Gone are the days when children would nudge parents to give them the window seat so that he or she could observe nature with a wide-eyed gaze.
Another luxury of the past was a walkman, during the times when advanced mobile phones were still a fantasy.
8. Recording songs in cassettes and MP3 CDs
Recall that one shelf at home, which still carries your favourite cassettes from your childhood or those tailor-made MP3 CDs that were recorded from the nearby store. Downloading multiple songs was unknown in pre-Internet times and later a rarity, thanks to slow internet speed.
9. Popular Indian fictional characters
One is reminded of the favourite superhero of the 90s, Shaktimaan, and a host of cartoon series that children earlier would devour. These fictional heroes are no longer a part of one’s childhood today.
10. Nineties’ pop songs
The wave of pop songs had breathed a fresh life into India’s musicscape in the 90s. Alisha Chinai, Adnan Sami, Lucky Ali and other popstars became overnight stars. The singers made it to the posters in a kid’s room, and their songs made it to the annual school functions.
11. Making the Indian flag on Independence Day
Earlier, children would buy chart papers and colours to make Indian flags that they would flaunt all day with friends, either by wearing them as badges or flying them. Do children today still have enough time to indulge in crafts? We wonder.
The idea of childhood has evolved but that is not to say that children today are not experiencing new things and collecting new memories that they would narrate to their children some years later.