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Childhood (Slice of Life)

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Every other day we read horrifying stories of child abuse in some form or the other. It hurts and angers. How can people be so evil? I wonder at the minds of such people who love to torture children. It is not really surprising, because humans are the only animals who inflict pain for the sake of pleasure. My friend remarked that God does not have eyes to see such actions. And there are no answers to many such questions. I remember reading in a book by Paul Theroux about child prostitutes. He writes about a little girl in a brothel. He could never forget her with a soft toy in her hand and her frightened look. What is really tragic is that these children have no childhood at all.

Memories of our childhood come to mind. We used to spend every summer vacation in our grandparents’ place. Two whole months of fun. Long ago days, but those memories are fresh. Coming to the present, our daughter was telling us about our grandson’s activities. He will be four next month. He has learnt the art of manipulation. He knows when to ask for something he desires: he is aware of the times when his parents cannot refuse him. Of course, we as grandparents think he is very clever. How do children learn this art? I remember what my father had written about getting money from his father to buy a magazine.

During his childhood (in the 1940s) my father loved a Kannada magazine called Koravanji. He writes:
“It was a humorous magazine, full of stories, jokes and cartoons. Each made you laugh and smile. We were eagerly waiting for Koravanji to appear in the bookstalls. It was priced at four annas. The present generation cannot understand this. Four annas means one-fourth of a rupee or the present day twenty-five paise. Now, the twenty-five paise coin itself is not there. But, at that time, for us children, the problem was how to get this money to buy the magazine. We did not have the courage to ask our parents for this money. But I discovered a method. My father was good at playing tennis, and an expert at playing bridge, a game of cards. There was a club, not far from our house. It was called Cosmopolitan Club. It had a tennis court and a small building with a large verandah, where the members played cards.
“My father went to the Club every evening after returning from the school. First, he played tennis. Then he climbed the steps of the Club verandah, where three of his friends waited to play bridge. They played for small stakes, one anna for 100 points. My father used to say that playing bridge without money on the table was no joy. When Koravanji appeared in the bookshop, I went to the club to watch them play tennis. I was allowed inside the Club, as the Club attendant, Mr Singh, knew me. After my father and his friends started playing cards, I did not leave. Perhaps, this disturbed my father. He called and asked me, “What is the matter?” I uttered the word, Koravanji. And he quickly gave me four annas. I left the Club and went to the newspaper shop, not very far away, and purchased Koravanji. Then, for a long time, one could see a large smile on my face. Koravanji has disappeared now. What a loss!”

Childhood, a time when children have no worries, they live in the present. They do not think about the past or worry about the future. But, for so many children all over the world there is no childhood. They become adults long before they reach adulthood. A real tragedy and so unfair.

“One of the luckiest that can happen to you in life is, I think, to have a happy childhood.”              – Agatha Christie

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My father passed away last September, our grandson was born in July 2013. My father enjoyed the company of his great grandson for two years. 🙂

Childhood (Slice of Life)

By Lakshmi Bhat

I am a person who believes there is not enough darkness in the world to extinguish the light of a small candle.
We live in a small place in South India. I love reading, blogging, stitching, traveling, photography, listening to people and many other things which make life so very nice and interesting. Blogging is a fun experience, it has brought me into contact with people in different parts of the world and it is good to read about their everyday life. In spite of the differences there is a sameness which is fascinating.
I have learnt and am learning something everyday. I have learnt to write haikus. I enjoy combining the thought and the number of syllables. I have always read books and I was happy to write short fiction. I had thought I would not be able to do so. Stream of Consciousness and photo challenges are fun too.
Yes, there is so much in life that is sad and that hurts us. Many a time I wonder why life is so unfair to so many. We all have problems in life but the problems of many seems unbearable. This makes me feel so helpless. It is not possible to help everyone but we can do our bit, we can do something to help some in whatever way we can. I am doing something in my own way. Twice a week I go to a home for the mentally challenged . This has enriched my life.
There have been many challenges in life and we have faced them with a positive approach. Our grandson and granddaughter have made life so much more richer.

20 replies on “Childhood (Slice of Life)”

We believe that for all the evil things happening in the world is the work of the devil with the cooperation of the people involved. We believe in the spiritual warfare happening on earth between the forces of good and evil.

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Thank you Derrick 🙂 I will try to see if I can get to read Danny and Beano online. We used to read Phantom and Mandrake and Indian stories in a comic publication called Amar Chitra katha. Regards.

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I loved how you interwove the childhood days of the past and the present. I feel the present day children are devoid of the small pleasures and joys that we enjoyed in simple things. Annual vacations were always to grandfathers house where all the cousins would come and we would have such a wonderful time!

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My parents were child abusers, and I have never understood why they didn’t see us as precious. I love being a mom and now a grandmother and I would do anything to protect children. I loved the images of your dad and child.

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That is really sad, it is difficult to imagine how people can behave so. How old are your grandchildren and they are lucky to have you for a grandmother. I am glad you liked the photos 🙂 Regards, Lakshmi

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