Reflection: For the child in you

Remember the feeling of flying high on the swings or the peace of sleeping without any worry about what lay ahead? Read on, as we explore the essence of childhood!

The blaring ‘Trrr’ sound of the alarm becomes the source of my involuntary motion in the morning. As I endeavoured to hit the snooze button on my phone, with one open eye, I saw the time which gave the green light to this alarm. It was still early, and as I lay there pondering about what the day had in store for me, my mind indulged in a loopy thought process of the similar disgruntlement which dawned my face ten-fifteen years back. From everything I can recall, the whole concept of going to school early in the morning was highly dreaded (just as it is today) and Mondays, as a rule, should have been banned from a child’s calendar. I guess, mornings are the recipient of a mutual dislike for all age groups.

I then proceeded to abandon the comfort of my bed and got ready to live another day as a collegiate. As I kept two-three books in my bag, a vague visual of the drawing books which I used to smear as a child with my horrific artistic skills came before my eyes. Easy days were those. Obviously, this was not comprehended at the time period in question, but now the idea that all day every day we spent solving addition/subtractions sums or learning about the solar system or struggling to make a collage out of those tiny pieces seemed effortless. A Yoda-smile emerged on my face, and a part of me yearned to hold those colourful-glossy books in my hand once again. Far-fetched dream, indeed. I made okay with the dull books I had and hurried for the class, naturally, being on time was not my forte. On the way over, with songs pouring in my ears, I noticed a few children struggling to walk with their oversized bags. How cool were those huge rectangular bags, with proper compartments for the plastic deck pencil box and bottle, carrying them in all their glory. My eyes drifted from that bag to my handbag, carrying nothing more than a book or two, and looking at other people who carried nothing at all. The former was carried out of necessity, while the latter was picked out of choice.

Now, it is a known fact that college life is miles apart from its school counterpart. But it bears even reduced resemblance to the life of the Junior Classes. How courteously we would welcome the teacher in our presence with a practiced tune of ‘Good Morning, Ma’am,’ how earnestly she would monitor our lunch breaks while we sat in circles to eat, and how innocently we complained to the teacher if anything was bothering us in the classroom. Fast forward to today, where you might just be sleeping when your teacher walks in, or skip lunches altogether, or finally assimilate the many anomalies of ‘complaining’ to the teacher. A stark difference, my friend. It’s as if the world grew with us too.

Coming home, overcome with exhaustion and a strong desire for sleep, I couldn’t help but think how I mocked adults when I was young of always being fatigued. There was an energy to being a child, always running around, longing for pranks and occupying hours with some new cartoon which had graced the channel. As opposed to the gadget exodus which seems to be the entertaining highlights for kids nowadays, my evenings were spent playing Hide-n-Seek, Hopscotch, Chor Police or Pitthu-like games. A wave of nostalgia hits me when I think about the hours spent laughing and playing in the fresh air, without any care for the world. It’s a magical feeling, the memory itself. This is what I miss and remember the most, the carefree and elated feeling of worrying about nothing and no-one but yourself, of using cycling races or odd-even to settle any tiffs between friends, of being excited to go to a summer camp, of being able to fall asleep due to being sleepy and not suppressing it for the sake of completing assignments/studying/whatever crap.

Those were good days, embellished with innocence and cheer all around. But it’s time to grow up, and find the joy in what we do now. What we liked before can’t amuse us in the same degree today, but we can find something which might bring back a similar delight in our eyes and our hearts. Children can spend days eating, sleeping and playing, and get away with anything on the sole merit of being cute (which all children are). The idea of responsibility was dismissed with a passing thought, which today forms the crust of adulthood. As someone who has accepted the various aspects of this notion, responsibility presents itself with a set of cons, but it is rewarding at certain points which we are yet to discover. The fact that we’ve outgrown our clothes and ages does not make us adults, for within us still lingers that spark of energy which is more easily showcased on weekends and some evenings. Find that, use that, revel in that; all for the child in you!