My recent trip to hometown Bangalore had me going through the photos of my childhood and student days and lo! Nostalgia has gripped me like never before.

The house we stayed in, or shall I call it a farm house – complete with a beautiful garden having coconut trees, pomegranate, banana,mango, guava, jackfruit – Yes, u name it and we had it in our garden. The 2 parallely running betelnut trees served us the perfect posts for a hammock and it was indeed bliss to do our early morning studies [Donno how many times it put us to sleep though :P].

Papa works for Bharat Electronics Limited[BEL] and the Officers Colony where we had our quarters allotted was one of the most beautiful locations I have ever seen. Infact, when we shifted to our own house few years later, the pain in leaving this beautiful home for sure did conflict the the happiness of staying in our own house. But then, life moves on.

The Mango season and we used to get one person for picking all of them and storing them in boxes , come Jackfruit season and all of us @ home would be ready with hands smeared with oil to open the same. We used to climb the terrace using ladders [all were ground-floored houses with no staircase to go up] and get to the other houses which had jamun trees, climb the guava trees. Yeah! The whole colony was like one household and nobody did ever controlled us kids from eating what we want. What a fruitful life we had.

We even grew few vegetables in our backyard and I remember competing with my dad and sis to water the garden. All of us wanted to do it then. Mom ofcourse used to be busy with the kitchen and stuff in midst of her busy schedule @ office. The yellow colored lilies, the white, pink and red roses, the beautiful hibiscus, we had it all. The tonic for our hair too came from our own gardens – the mehandi, neem all go into the mixer and the paste goes onto our scalp.

And how much we played – Being a colony and BEL having its own State and Central Board schools, we had most of our classmates staying around and we knew whom each house belonged to. Come from school, gobble something and run outside. No exaggeration that around 50 of us kids were there and what fun we had playing hide-n-seek, help-n-chain and so many of those games.

We played cricket too, the huge sheet doors of the car shed forming one wicket and the oppsoite gate being the other. Shuttle was ofocurse and obvious choice given the huge open spaces we had and also the sports club, many parks and also a playground all in the vicinity. The way me and sis played Shuttle with our immediate neigbours Vini and Viji was wonderful. Vini and my sis were gr8 fans of Jadeja and Viji was crazy about Tendulkar. Am not crazy about any player as such anytime, but Tendulkar was indeed my favourite player at that time. So, it was Jadeja vs Tendulkar. No parents stopped us from going anywhere in the neighbourhood well guarded by the Nepalese Gurkhas.

Cycling to school was so joy giving, what with the no. of stops we had, at each person’s place who used to join us and we used to reach school as one big batallion. And yeah, one funny pastime I developed in 7th or so when I first laid my hands on a two wheeler [Probably Amma had a TVS then] was going for rides with sis riding pillion all thru the colony. Now dont ask me if I did enjoy the rides or was it to show off that I can ride one ;). M accompanied me with the mom’s luna and her brother P riding pillion. We even had cycle racing – girls vs boys – LOL :)). What a playful life we had!

And yeah, the adjacent houses in the colony were all connected and there we had shortcuts to all the places we wet to often – the school, the ground, library, temple and each others houses, thru other houses, thru the fences. Amma sorry, let me tell u something today. We had left the back door open one day by mistake on one such day when we took the back door to school and nobody knows this till date other than me and dear sis. And yeah, how rakhi brothers I had there and S bhaiyya, the beautiful hair clips you got me with ur meagre pocket money are still the best Rakhi gift I have ever got.

There were two shops – Central and Indian stores, where we used to get everything starting from groundnut chikkis to icecreams to ribbons, hairclips everything. Appa used to humorously address these streets as Commercial street and Brigade road and ask us “Any work in Brigade Road?” and we used to happily rush there to eat kulfis etc.. Amma’s kai-thuthu [where one person gets curried rice in a huge bowl andall others sit around the person in circles and are handed over big balls made of the food in their hands in turns]in the big garden where all of us aunts, cousins used to meet and eat together. Priceless moments indeed!

Roops, Ramya, Vishu, Pinky, Maala, Pannu, Santosh, Srinand,Abhi, Deepthi, Ashwin, Hemanth, Neha,Tasneem wherever and whatever u guys are all doing , I miss u guys and hugs to you all.

What a wonderful period of life that was when we thought studying and writing exams was the only challenge we can have in life and mind was so free from all other botherations. Pocket money, how much ever it was, brought a smile on our face and here we are, earning on our own and still wait for the 1st of next month on the 10th of this month itself 😛 – grocery, bills, savings, insurance – what all find a place in our minds and thoughts?

Kiddos out there, do enjoy these golden days of ur life before they are over and u miss them. Theres life beyond the toy cars,the computer games and all stuff. Go explore!

There are indeed many, many things money cant buy 🙂