I remember the tea estate picnic. Met a classmate of my elder cousin who was studying in a residential school. We got so lost in out talks(about the school, comics, G.I.Joe, etc.) we actually got lost in the tea garden. I was in class 3(or maybe 4), and he was a little older. We were scared, and still, the adventure bug had bitten us. I distinctly remember reading about huge pythons caught in tea estates(and was hoping to see one, i guess)… Well, nothing happened! We stumbled into a group of people(from out picnic party) who had gone to get some supplies, and they brought us back to the site of the picnic..
On many other occasions, I remember going to Udaipur(not in Rajasthan, but in Tripura) for vacations, to stay with my uncle and cousins. The three of us(me, and my 2 cousins) had this uncanny knack for planning! We always used to plan. Plan for a trip to Shipaijola(A reserve forest nearby), or to Agartala(Where I lived), or just a simple walk outside the house. We used to plan these, sitting together in the sunlight or the shade, savoring some delicacy made by my aunt, or while watching Phool aur Kaante(My elder cousin’s favourite movie at that time – must have seen it a 100 times). The plans may never have actually been fulfilled, but till date, we still plan. Just last week me and my elder cousin planned to meet at Agrtala, next year, for the Agartala Book Fair. LOL!
I remember seeing the small red fishes devouring the make-shift fish-food I would throw to them while I would visit the lake in the middle of Shillong(I have no idea what its called, and I didn’t bother googling!). I would assist the boy(s) at the hotel, as they would carry water into the rooms, or take room service orders, while my parents went for their training/exams. I was too young at that time, but I still have these memories in my head. The drifting clouds around Cherrapunji and Mawsynram, the intermittent rain, the view of the Bangladesh plains far below, the numerous small streams, and the ingenious bamboo-pipelines to carry water from them to the villages, these are images permanently pasted in my head.
The trips to Lachhmanjhoola, Haridwar, Deegha(dad taught me to use cutlery), Poori, Kolkata, Gangtok, and so many other places in those days, are memories which I will cherish forever.
Met many people, made a lot of friends, and forgot and lost them as I grew up. These(and many many more) are the memories of childhood that are stuck in my head, which soothe my frayed nerves when times are rough. Thank you mom and dad, my cute li’l bro, uncles and aunties, didi and dada, friends and their families, who helped in creating these memories.