January 28, 2008

Oh.. those years of clattering fun !

A couple of days back, my mind aimlessly wandered towards the years I spent in our ancestral house in the old city area of Hyderabad. Those were days when I was still in school and we lived in a joint family setup with almost 20 plus people in the house. The fact that there was no 24x7 idiot box transmission meant that all our free time was spent breaking window panes of neighbouring houses (and our house as well !) with sixes that might put Dhoni and Yuvraj to shame.

The time we spend blogging, chatting, orkutting on the web these days were beautifully utilized in running around the house, gathering all area kids and playing 'Test matches' in the school ground nearby after bribing the caretaker with some oranges!

And the most rewarding of those experiences came with the cycle rides. One did not need to own a cycle in those days. One had the services of a neighbourhood 'rent-a-cycle'-wala who would rent us cycles for as less as 50paise an hour (and we considered that costly!). We cousins would embark on our journeys through the lanes and bylanes of the Old City area of Hyderabad, where one could find more cycles and cycle-rickshaws than probably any other place on earth, or so we thought! We explored each and every bylane in a 3km radius from our house on our daily rides. It might have been prudent if the folks from Survey of India had hired our services.

There used to be an old magazine vendor near our house and our weekends were spent on buying old Tinkles and Amar Chitra Katha magazines at paltry 50p- Re 1 rates. Then it was the turn to number it, register it and add it to our library, which boasted of over 500 titles. It held a proud place in our house. Visting cousins and friends were envious of the same.

Moharram, the time to mourn for the Muslims, was actually a time to rejoice for us kids. The ten days preceeding the final day used to see small makeshift roadside stalls selling numerous varieties of play stuff for the kids.. whistles and 'pitpiti' being my personal favorites. All shapes and sizes of balloons, bubble blowers et al were sold at such exhorbitant (!) rates that our annual Moharram shopping bill crossed a huge ten to fifteen rupees! And it was fun to use those pitpitis on our friends from the New City areas of the city in school, who would jump and scream at the sudden noise!

Hyderabadi Irani chai was another very regular speciality we indulged in. It costed a rupee and we would collect enough to devour fatafats in the school canteen and have irani chai nearer home.

Today, we live in an area of the Modern Hyderabad, barely eight miles from the ancestral house, but the world is so totally different. Today, its the hustle and bustle of the busy crowds. The daily cycle rides have been replaced by car drives to the main road to pick up our folks. The Moharram shopping takes a backseat to the visits to the Lifestyle and Central malls. The irani chai is more often than not replaced by the Irish coffee and cappuchino! The window panes are now intact (can't remember the last one I cracked) while the keyboard gets rapped and the mouse gets tapped. The Faster Fane and Malgudi Days and the Mahabharats have been replaced by the CIDs and Indian Idols or even the nonsense news on India TV.

I wish there was a system restore facility where I could go back to those late 80s and early 90s ! Alas, the time for that has gone... I'd wish to write more.. but my friend has been continually buzzing me on yahoo messenger to chat with him !


Prasad said...

*Sigh* the gud ol days!!!! nd i do pirticularly remember the breakin of window panes and running away frm the scean!!! LOL..LOl!!!!

Chakoli said...


I agree olden days are really GOLDEN days....

but what I think that we njoy those days then these, as first we dont have any resposibilties on our shlders, everbody of our tender age is as FALTU as we are... nobody is vusy in their life, and secondly its a learning phase... where every offense is spared....isnt??

Evevry moment of childhood, is just awesome....there are no ifs and buts...
people love you for without conditions, there is no show of...just that we wanna be our own self...

waise Yeh chai biskut ka ad kyun??:PPP
humko cutlet bhi chaiye...:DDDDDDDDD

Vrij said...

Pras.. I echo ur thots.. crack and the field used to b empty!

Chaks.. welcome here.. hmm, interesting thots.. but we had the time to venture out, play, roam around, meet ppl.. today we chat wid our cousins on phone n messenger rather than meeting up.. and thats something thats missing these days!

nomad said...

me too was reminiscing the golden days in my own way... and have tagged you too

Chakoli said...


I agree...that today being in touch is restricted to messenger and phones.... but what cud be the reason....reponsisbilities and fast moving life....childhood has something which was far from all this, today if you working, u also need to prove urself that u r good.... u need to work more harder... which needs time and devotion.....as a child we hardly care about all this.....

Cutlet kaun se hain??:PPPPP

Morpheus said...

Dont we all miss those days..perfection, peace, innocence, silence, contemplation, magic, simplicity..I agree with Chakoli..its called Childhood.
As adults we get all this only if 1. we live in a remote location 2. we go on vacation..
Life gets more complicated as we get older..which gives us the right to look back and remember aloud...'when I was 12 yrs old..'to our grandchildren who will listen with wonder..just like we did to the 4 anna stories our grandparents told us..:)

Vrij said...

Chaks n Morpheus.. its not just about what we enjoyed in our childhood.. agree that 'those were the days'. But what I am talking abt is somehing more serious. Take today's children for example. How many of them do the things we did? Most of them have played more cricket on comp than in a ground. They have driven race cars and mad bikes a million kilometres more than they had cycled thru the streets.

Its fine to think that these are normal in today's world and they enjoy it. No doubt, but where is that 'real fun' gone?

Kachra King said...

nice tour back to old days .. yeah me to get nostalgic sometimes .. but sittin here in US .. it hardly matters with any nostalgia ... since things are no where near to visit :( ... good to catch up with u again .. let me keep this link so that i frequent here