A Longing For Childhood
A Longing For Childhood3 mins 12.6K 3 mins 12.6K
This is the twenty-fourth day of the countrywide lockdown against Corona. In my writings during the ongoing lockdown, I have been writing mostly about the daily activities under lockdown. Enough of lockdown talk! Today I want to tell my dear readers if there are any, a story from my childhood. Here it goes:
"Bhushan, let us go this way today. I will show you a different route to my house”, Vikas called me riding behind me on his bicycle. It was during the early eighties. I was returning home from our D.C.Model Middle School on my bicycle along with my friends Himanshu and Vikas. Our school was about four kilometers from our homes. Our homes were all nearby on different streets. Daily we followed a fixed path to reach our homes.
That day we took a detour on the insistence of Vikas. On the way, I saw an old shop, that caught my attention, as one old shopkeeper was sitting inside, with few things on the shelves. I forgot about that shop on reaching home.
After some days, we again went that way of returning home, I again saw the old man inside the shop which was in a dilapidated condition. I decided to have a look inside. We parked our cycles and went inside the shop. He was having some trinkets, confectionery and wooden/earthen toys on offer. It seemed that few people ever visited his shop. I had a deep feeling for the old man that how he may be meeting both ends meet. We had already spent our pocket money in school, so we could not purchase anything and left the shop with a heavy heart. We Stopped outside the shop and decided to help the poor fellow. We were getting rupee one pocket money daily. We decided to spend the three rupees at our disposal at the old shop every alternate day. We would buy anything even if we didn’t need it just to spend money at that shop. I don’t think this paltry sum could have helped him, but this was all we could do and prayed to god for some more customers for his shop. Sometime in 1983, I won third prized in national level coloring competition organized by the magazine, “Madhu Muskan”, in collaboration with Camlin India Pvt. Ltd. The prize money, Rupees five, was delivered to my school address in my class. My class teacher Miss Santosh Gagneja asked me, “How are you going to spend this prize money, as this is very valuable for you”. I knew where I was going to spend those five rupees. On the way back home, we stopped at the old shop and spent the five rupees at the shop. That day I was feeling ecstatic about having won the prize and a little smile on the face of the old man. I kept visiting the shop with my friends till our transfer from Fazilka in Dec ’84. I could not visit Fazilka after Mar ’85 till this day, when I went to take my final exams of the eighth standard. The mind still longs for visiting my school and going on the cycle the same way to the old shop, parking my cycle outside the old shop and to peep into the days gone by!
The "Longing" continues, more so when we are waiting for our freedom from the lockdown.