Those little instances as a child at school, amongst friends, family members and in public spaces which when discussed today, make you feel like going back in the past and staying there…no matter how embarrassing or stupid they were!
Though weird, stupid, kidish or whatever it maybe…do you long for those days?? Why?? Because life was too different then!
Even today I remember that when I was a child, my grandparents used to tell us stories about how easy and cheap and reasonable it was to live a good life during their days!
Even today, my dad tells me “When I got engaged to your mom, our first date was a dinner at Gaylord’s and an ice cream at K Rustom and a cab drive back from there to Sion, and the total expenditure was around 10 Rs!!!!!!!!!”
In those days when my dad was in college, he used to have a complete breakfast at the college canteen in 12 annas! And he often used to refer to those days! As a kid, I used to wonder that what’s so fascinating about “those days” that our grandparents and parents never wanna stop thinking about?
Today, when I am on the verge of stepping into my early 30’s I now understand the importance of “those days”.
My “those days” were like everybody else’s…were brilliant! Here is a small compilation of my brilliant “those days” which I am sure most of you must have encountered…
My bus ticket cost (half ticket as they call) was 25p which went to a max of 0.50 p.(Full ticket) in 10 years of my school education. Since my school was at a minimum fare distance, we could afford to sometimes share a rickshaw amongst 4 or 5 of us because the minimum fare that time was Rs. 5. At times, my friend and I, who were regular travellers, would skip bus or rickshaws to save money so that we could have a big perk chocolate (which has 2 slabs, one for each of us) for Rs.5.
On the last day of our exams, we would get Rs.10 from our parents so that we can enjoy ourselves or rather celebrate the end of exams. Those were utilized in having a plate of idli/dosa and a cold drink at a nice AC restaurant.
Aaaah! Life was beautiful! and moreover, it wasn’t that expensive!
Now comes the 2nd stage…College…tickets cost Rs.2 or so, rickshaw cost Rs.8 minimum fare…perk chocolates are once in a while…expenses increase as there’s college canteen expenses, pani puri and dabeli expenses, once in a while movie expenses. A movie then used to cost Rs.20 to Rs.30 a ticket…fortunately, there were no multiplexes then who could mint money not only on the movie tickets but also on the food on sale there!
Hmmm…life was good and still enjoyable!
The 3rd stage…I completed graduation and landed with my 1st job! I was a proud earning member of my family now…at least being able to manage your own expenses is an achievement!
All these places still existed…though not much frequented…My restaurant, canteen, stalls etc where I had food got replaced with McDonalds, Domino’s pizza, Subway, etc. Parks, Gardens, picnic spots where there was technically no expense during childhood, got replaced with restobars, pubs, etc. Theatres got replaced by Multiplexes…I was earning for God’s sake…I had full rights to spend!
Ok…Life was ok! Not bad!
The 4th stage…the present stage…the stage where you’re a responsible adult of a democratic country…where your accountable for everything you do in life…where there’s all the freedom of the world, but where’s the world??
Perk chocolate?? I don’t remember when did I last see it…I know of Lindt, Ferrero Roche! I don’t remember when was the last time I saw a movie in a standalone theatre…multiplexes probably charge also for the air we breathe in there!
The rickshaw fare today is Rs.11 (minimum)…I thought driving a hatchback was cheaper…and indeed it was, till the petrol prices shot up again!
Going to fancy places for dinner is a once in a while affair…unlike in childhood, when it used to be every weekend! Rather, cook something fancy at home…the feeling would be very much like a fancy dinner because of the amazing prices of fruits, vegetables, etc.
A tooth extraction or replacement costs a minimum of Rs.1000. It was so easy as a child to break them while playing! Free!!!My maid tells me the other day, that we could at least afford to cook chicken on a Sunday for a feast…now even cooking eggs is a passé!
Humph! Life is difficult!
India is growing…and we are shrinking! We are moving towards life and Life’s moving away from us! Another decade would pass by and then we too would be telling stories to the next generation…”Those Days”!