The best part of human life is undoubtedly the childhood. To be very precise say the 6-13 year age group is by far the best. I too enjoyed this time of my childhood doing all kind of stuff. One thing I loved about childhood was the summer vacations. It was that time of the year when exams were no tension and growing up quickly and trying to boss over people had been our utmost desire (though now I feel I’ve grown up too early!). But summer vacations were something special. For me it gave an opportunity to travel to our grandma’s place. I was brought up in the cities of Hyderabad and Delhi and going to Grandma’s place meant going back to the rustic roots of a place called Deoria in eastern Uttar Pradesh. The place is a small town, a district headquarter and pretty close to Kusinagar-the place revered by the Buddhist community. Okay now coming back to my grandma’s place, the funny thing was both my paternal and maternal relatives live in the same town. I am just guessing that majority of the young kids like staying at their maternal folks place than their paternal and I was no exception.
For me my maternal grandma’s place (nanis) held some special attractions courtesy:
First and the most important factor was the comic shop right in front of my nanis house. The guys name was Manoj. He had no issues with us taking any number of comics. Infact we used to get a dozen of them and finish them in a days’ time. While most of the people spent the good times of their lives reading Archies and DC comics, I was relishing some other homegrown masterpieces Nagaraj, Super Commando Dhruv etc. Actually in some of the comics these guys would team up with Spider-Man and Super-Man against evil forces and some cases even save them from the clutches of the Satans. (hehee that counts for some heroism). The graphics too were certainly no match to DC comics but nonetheless they were great! Apart from that I used to enjoy reading a lot of Chacha Chaudary, Saboo his friend who was from a planet I think Krypton ? That was Superman right? hmm. I forgot :( Then there were the detective duo of Ram-Rahim. There was also Pinky, Pluto etc which were on the lighter side and were pure fun. Back in hyderabad it was Tinkle, Gokulam, Jataka tales but none like Raj Comics On the whole reading these comics were a delight and I spent a good amount of my childhood summer vacations reading them, enjoying to the fullest.
Second there was a video game centre where you could play any console game for as cheap as Rs.1. So I used to spend major portion of the money and time playing games such as the Super Mario, Battle Tanks and Iceman. (Later my mom got it for me as a birthday gift so this attraction subsided gradually)
Third there were these large number of cousins, I actually cherished that the electricity was cut (power cut is a major problem in this UP) so that we could all gather on this huge terrace we had, water was sprinkled all over the place and cots and mattresses were put up, where we had fun time. Have dinner; talk etc. some my elder cousins (sisters) used to scare the younger ones (like me who had gathered from all parts of India to our nannies place) by reciting some scary stories. Anyways it was all pure quality fun. Childhood days were so good, i wish i could go back and have some more fun🙂
Image: Raj comics characters