Every time winter approaches a Nepali short story comes to my mind entitled “Timro Baa sitah Paisa chaina ” (translation: Your Father does not have money) written by Bir Bikram Gurung. Reading the words of the description about my hometown and of those hill kids still tastes magical just like crystals of sugar melting inside my mouth. He describes the red rhododendrons which adorns the bright green trees, the cracked red cheeks of
Recently I was having a conversation with my sisters about how during our childhood days our cheeks cracked and burnt. I still remember how my cheeks cracked, turned into red and then blue. Those running nose days of winter when we used to play “khednay chori” (chasing game), how we played “Bhara kutti” (dolls kitchen set) and at night slept tucked inside 2 or more blankets with of course hot water bags clutched tight. These days I hardly see kids with cracked cheeks during winters. Why not, thanks to the baby winter creams and stuffs! It’s really sad that they don’t get to feel all those things. There was a good feeling about cracked cheeks and cracked lips. Yes it did burn but reminiscing those days brings an instant smile to my face.
My house is located near the jungle so it’s pretty much understood that half of my childhood days were spent “tarzaning” and fantasizing myself as Mowgli. Almost all the kids of my village, about my age and ofcourse my sister’s would go into the jungle for our mini
Jungle adventure. Sometimes we wouldn’t be able to find hanging creepers of the trees so we would pull down a strong extended branch to swing through. I know that sounds crazy but that’s what 90’s crazy kids did. The tallest one amongst us would pull it down standing on a high slope and bring it down to our level. Turn wise we would swing and the joy of swinging through the branch was mixed with the pain felt on our hands . Did we fall? I never did but some definitely did.
These days what do kids play with? I am sure there must be some kids game about jungle adventure in “Playstore”.
We also used to play “gaddi” (pebbles), that was a strange game though. We had 3-4 pebbles of similar size which we had to flick and Balance in our hands. I was terrible at that but near the opponent I would act as if I was really good at it. My hands really pained when those pebbles landed on my knuckles and since it would be winters you can imagine how much
a skinny hand would pain.
Sadly today’s kids have better things to play with than mere pebbles. But I see my childhood in pebbles.
Do you remember that game where a person would give fruit names to 4-5 (depending on how many are playing the game) others and one person would have to close his/her eyes to guess which fruit is whom? That game where the person who has given the fruit names would say “Aija mero aiphal” (come my apple) and “aiphal” (apple) would come, pinch that eyes closed person,go back to his/her place and that pinched person would have to guess who it actually was?? That was one of my favourite game as I would get to pinch some of my play mates whom I didn’t much like. It was such a good game to take a revenge! And today if a kid has to take revenge..lets not even think of the consequences.
So many games we played and so many memories we carry of it. There are memories of some incidents which gets imprinted on our minds. When we cross those similar areas where those incidents have occured we stop, play it all through again in your minds and have a hearty laughter.
We had this friend who was typically hysteric in a funny way. Whenever he got angry, he took out his slippers and threw it in the jungle so whenever we found a slipper in the jungle we would know whom it actually belonged to. Outside my house there is a road which then was fenced with weak railings since there is a jungle below the road.One day that particular friend of mine, my other 2-3 friends and I was having a conversation about something outside my house. Since I was quite small I Sat on the railing, seeing this that particular friend also did the same thing. After some time I heard the leaves of “sisnu ghari” (a type of shrub whose leaves are thorny and when you touch it the hands burn/itch /pain at the same time) rustle loudly below. I was confused as to what happened but my confusion was soon clarified when I found my friend no longer sitting beside me. Yes he had fallen down! All of us started shouting “_____ laryo!!” (_____fell down!). Soon his grandmother went to pick him and as soon as he got up ,crying he did his signature move, the slipper throwing one. Imagine how funny that might have looked.
Another day my friend, my helper who was of our age and I decided to play blind fold in that same area. By the way the road was irregularly fenced, the full road did not have railings, there were gaps in between. We decided that we would blind fold my helper who happily agreed. We blind folded her and ran a little away and soon forgot about the game as my friend and I started talking about some things. After 5-10 minutes we realized that we were playing the game but strangely we couldn’t find my helper around. And then we suddenly heard my helper ‘s voice calling out my name, she was saying “Ow Priyanka moh ka chu?? Khutta ley bato chukoi chaina tah!!” (Priyanka where am I?? My feet is not touching the ground!!). A chill ran down my spine thinking she too had fallen down but when we actually saw what had happened we rolled with laughter. She had slipped from the road but she had not fallen down in the jungle, she was hanging with both her hands tightly gripped on the edges of the road and Ofcourse with her eyes blind folded. Instead of helping her we kept laughing at the scene and my helper kept dangling her feet in mid air not knowing what was happening. Soon my laughter filled eyes turned into tearful eyes when mother came outside and smacked me hard. It was only then that my helper was pulled up who was still smiling unaware of all of it. When she came to know that she had actually been dangling she too started laughing but her laughter did not last long when mother smacked her as well (still blind folded). And the famous dialogue came “Chara hunchas toh haru!!” (I cannot translate that for translation will loose it’s proper meaning).
Thousands of memories swim inside my head,
those days were more of real life then it is now. No doubt today’s kids are much smarter than we were but being not so smart was much better and surely more fun. We didn’t have mobile phones to download games but our own systems were loaded with games.
No videos to see while eating but parents to create imaginary rockets with food which went straight inside our mouths and landed inside our tummy. There’s no comparison of today’s kids with us when we were them.
If I have to write about my childhood incidents I am sure a novel would be formed so why not save that for later…