For someone nearing their quarter life crisis, reminiscing about childhood works like a balm for the wounded soul. Those days when we felt as light as a feather, when people meant what they said, when tears were not meant to be hidden and when dreams were to be lived.
The golden days
People who spent their childhoods before technology and the the internet took over would remember how the thought of completeing homework and meeting friends in the evening would invigorate us. Playing for long hours and returning only when parents threatened to disown us was a tenet of our times.
Technology hadn’t made its way in our lives. So, we saw only what we were made to be see.
Schools friends were meant to be met at school. Friends in the neighbourhood didn’t know how we were at school. Life was simple unlike today’s times when every child carries an online identity.
Demands made to parents were simple. A good score in exams got the ticket to latest movie. The pressure to excel did not wreck us. Competition among friends was there but friendships took priority.
We brimmed with energy and ideas. World seemed a good place to thrive. The excitement to take over the world was always there.
Is “growing up” overrated?
But “All good times come to an end” and we grow up. It is not the phrase “growing up” but its interpretations that irk me. For a lot of people, growing up is when you attain a certain height and physique. For others, it is the completion of your formal education that signals the cessation of your childhood and commencement of youth. Or is it a sense of maturity that gets ingrained in your behaviour?
Whatever growing up means, one thing that makes most sense is that it is preceded by a beautiful passage that’s solely ours and it is difficult for anyone to dictate how we cross and reach the other side of it.
Given the unrelenting pressures and sameness of the adult life, it feels good to know that at least those passages are completely unique to us.
Retaining our childishness
Let’s admit it! It is difficult to get rid of those childlike habits that used to set us apart. The heart does break, on realising that those unique traits get brushed aside in the race called “life”.
But there are some who still choose to retain and preserve that side. Those people who never miss a chance to get drenched in the rain, the ones who jest to lighten up the atmosphere around them.
We might mock at and belittle them. But deep down the heart, we all envy that childlike enthusiasm some dare to carry.
And we need them to make us realise that it feels good to connect with our real selves and expose our vulnerable sides And so, this Children’s Day, let us resolve to pamper the child inside us and give it a chance to express itself. Who knows what that child can mend and revive?
The views expressed in the column are author’s own.