The schools were located at two- three kilometers away from the residence. Children from the neighbourhood converged at a convenient point before setting out for the school. The to and fro journey on own two-wheelers[ two legs] was much more interesting than any other fun. The sceneries and greeneries on the way, the stories from fellow walkers, petty eatables packed in paper bits etc. smoothed our movement to school through stony roads. The children carried their books in their hands as bundles tied with broad rubber band. The boys took the support of the shoulder where as the girls that of the loin just like village-women carried kids in journey. School bags with the children were very rare rather seldom, unlike today when even the play school inmates have to exhibit a camel like show.
Fares and festivals were indeed wonderful, as they provided real mind- blowing curiosity to both the little ones and grownups. These occasions the siblings ,cousins, friends, relatives and neighbours celebrated in unison with a lot of spirit. Dip in the pond, new apparels, palatable plantain-leaf feast etc. were some of the main features. Deep feeling of oneness and togetherness bound the children during celebrations. Onam being a distinct festival was attributed with numerous activities for the kids and kiddies. Floral decorations added magnificence to ‘Onam’. Girls moved round in search of flowers in village, swinging baskets in hands. The very thought of flower gathering made them come out of the bed with a bright countenance, even if lazy they were. Swing area was another point of charm. The heroic event of standing and touching high branches of the swing- supporting tree by expert ones, during swinging, was lucidly adventurous.
Coming to cultivation sowing seeds , harvesting, bundling, arranging , threshing, winnowing etc. of paddy crops enthused the children much. Songs and tunes hummed by reapers turned the atmosphere admirably lively. The little ones consumed all their might in troubling the workers, as their little limbs fell in everything and everywhere they came across. Besides all these actions, sleeping together on mats, spread on the floor of the quadrangle inside and falling down in its sandy ground, snatching the fish piece kept for the end part of the meal by some smart guys, catching small fish from pond in bath towels etc. had their significance.
Sights and scenes as currents of events flow to the computer’s monitor in the form of words and sentences. If I continue like this, the conclusion will be far away from me. So now I would be away from the mouse of the computer. Sure the then children had a joyous colourful childhood of very long duration. But our offspring had an adulthood of long duration from their childhood itself. The parents stuffed their brains with academics to fulfill their aspirations and ambitions. Heavy load of books and works weakened their brawns.. They might not have saved much in the memory ,so I don’t know whether they can recall this much amount of infancy with this much cheer and pleasure. Let’s hope at least they may not follow the foot prints of their parents in rearing their offspring. May the Almighty sprinkle the flowers of His blessings on all of them