It’s summer here in India and most of the school children have a summer vacation. I observe children around doing different things in summer. Most of them don’t do different things as I used to do.
It’s nice to observe them and remember what I used to do when I was a school going, child. I was in school from 1985-1995 and the time was pretty different. There were a lot of physical activities mixed with technology.
My parent believed that vacations are for recreation and would inspire me to explore my self and have fun in the summer vacation.
The first thing to do in the morning was to hire a bicycle for one hour. I rode that bicycle all around my area. I loved to ride the bicycle fast and sometimes hands-free. It was such fun. I also remember breaking so many bones trying to learn the art and craft of cycling well.
Do you know what was the cost?
INR 1 for one hour!
On my cycling route, there was an ice-cream shop. I used to buy some ice candies for myself, enjoying different flavors every day. The cost of these ice candies back then was a mere INR 0.25 per piece.
Once home, mother used to serve me a popular soft drink of that time. We always had 2-3 flavors made in a 1-liter bottle. It went well with water, soda, and milk. I still love Rasna. It has so many fond memories attached to it.
After drinking the soft drink, I would go out to play some outdoor games. I wasn’t fond of cricket but had to participate as all other friends would play it. However, I also participated in many other outdoor games we used to play in those days.
Before delicious homemade lunch, popular Hindi film songs of that era, on my personal walkman, was a tradition. It was such luxury to have a walkman in those days. Father has saved a lot to get me this gadget. I used to pop in my favorite audio cassette that had 10 songs on side A and 11 songs on side B.
After sumptuous lunch made my mother, I would go to sleep for a few hours. I haven’t had that type of sleep after I lost my childhood.
After getting up, I would go to my friend to play video games on Atari that was a popular video game console in those days. I remember playing Mario, Pacman, and Contra that were my favorite games.
The quality was not that great but it was so much fun. I and my friend became best friends after playing here video games together.
In the evening time, my favorite breakfast was Maggi noodles. One packet almost every day. I just loved it and love it still. I used to prepare it myself with different variety each day.
After eating the snacks, I went outside to play outdoor games. We played many other outdoor games other than cricket. I loved them all!
Just before dinner, I would play games on Nintendo that was a popular game console of those times. I had some personal games gifted to me by my father and uncle after they came back from their brief stint in some foreign country.
The day would always end with a Bollywood or Hollywood film. Our family would hire a video cassette every day and we would all sit together to watch the film till late at night. The video cassette and the VCR days were so phenomenal.
Remember the rent?
INR 10 for a full day!
Whatever I wrote might seem to ancient to some from the younger generation but it was a daily routine for most of the children back then; at least in India. I don’t know how children in foreign countries spent their summer vacation. It would be so nice to read the experiences.
I had a wonderful childhood. It was a mixture of physical activities and technology. It was pure joy and I hope you enjoyed reading my experiences with my childhood in the last decades of the 20th century.