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There are far more than 5 things that I miss from my childhood but it’s good to start somewhere, so why not with five?
This morning, my daughter Gy and I decided to walk down to a breakfast joint not too far from home. Ordinarily, I would have taken out my trusty scooter and been there in under 2 minutes, but the morning was welcoming and lazy enough for us to stroll hand in hand down the street, work up an appetite and savour the taste of hot masala dosas right off the tava.
As we walked back home, our thoughts on the just-finished meal and our eyes taking in the sights by the side of the road, Gy stopped ever so often to point out something in excitement. First, it was a black and white mongrel who trotted ahead of us and looked so carefree. Next it was a capricious little yellow butterfly that flitted around us , teasing us with her dance of abandon. Finally, it was the most adventurous little squirrel who darted swiftly and bounded across walls in an attempt to eat up all the grains at his disposal. We stopped and gazed at him in delight as his tiny paws held up something to his eager mouth which worked like a dynamo, relishing the food.
Walking the rest of the way home, my mind harked back to things from my childhood which are either redundant or extinct today. Oh, they exist all right, but they seemingly have little practical value.
This was one of my most prized possessions. I recall having one at every stage of life. Jumping out of bed to switch it off, changing the battery when it slowed down and just looking at it through the day made me feel so grounded and in the moment.
Today, my smartphone has an inbuilt alarm clock, with multiple recurring alarms. It’s just not the same thing.
I must have been in grade 7 when I first laid hands on a scientific calculator. My dad bought me one after my final exam since it was finally mandated as a part of the syllabus. It was a thrill to punch in numbers, watch the magic of addition and complex division come together to give us the answer.
Today, my smartphone has an inbuilt calculator. The charm is gone.
This is one of the things I miss the most! Walking down the street to post a letter, an inland card, a postcard, an aerogramme, oh the sheer joy is indescribable! It was also one reason I did the snail mail challenge with my blogging group, an act that was received with much favour!
Today, I can send an e-mail using my smartphone. It’s instant, it’s lightning fast and the recipient receives it immediately. There’s something a bit unsettling about that.
To be honest, I still have a land line at home. I still use it to make phone calls, but it works more as a convenient option rather than the only available solution. Long calls without worry of radiation, smothered giggles exchanged with girlfriends, heart-to-heart conversations with that one true love of your life, ah, the memories are unending.
Today, I have a smartphone. Somehow, I don’t feel so smart though.
You may wonder why I give credence to things, these material objects, in an age where we are moving forward and away from material pursuits, minimalist living and evolved life experiences.
Truth be told, I find that some of my best memories of life were formulated at a time when I had these simple and easy things to lay my hands on. It is also one of the primary reasons I keep Gy away from devices like the smartphone, the Tablet, the computer and the TV. She uses them all, but minimally and with supervision.
Today, we have every convenience imaginable but life is so very complicated.I think I know what I miss the most- the fact that life was actually pretty simple back then.