drumroll Aaaaaaand it’s back… the monthly #BlogAlong link up. The 3Girls thought a lot about this months topic.. a lot! There were so many ideas in our head. We wanted to celebrate the fact that each of us is in a birthday mood, as Upasna’s went by last month, and Pooja’s is just around the corner, and mine will round it off closer to the end of the month. So we wanted to have a birthday flavour to the post. We oscillated between birthday parties, birthday cake (yumm), birthday memories, and from there we went on to places you celebrated your birthday. But try as we might, we just could not zero in on any one idea.
And then we decided to have a post around memories. We talked about comfort food last month, and it was such a greedy yet nostalgic ride through the memories of home, travel and leisure. So it kind of made sense to continue the nostalgia of our last months #BlogAlong by asking all of you lovely people to share some more memories with us. Hope you don’t mind :)
This month the theme is THINGS THAT DEFINED YOUR GROWING UP YEARS. The idea behind the theme is to share the poster moments in your mind-map of your growing up years. You can take this theme and go anywhere with it. Talk about the pop songs of your childhood, the movies that drove you crazy, the fashionistas you followed, the family moments, the vacations, the games we played, school times, college times. Whatever are the things that defined your growing up years, the things that you recall as the best times of the years gone by, let’s talk about them. It could be one, it could be many.
As I was getting down to write this post, I happened to see this video that asked 3 generations what they did for fun, when they were growing up. The answers that came from the youngest generation were sad but not unexpectedly so. The grandparents talked about blueberry picking, going fishing with friends, while the parents were in raptures talking about the forts they built in their backyards, or rounding up their friends and playing hours of catch, hide’n’seek and sports. But their kids talked about video games, texting, watching videos, using their tablets, and it conveyed an overall lack of curiosity about nature, and just experiencing the physical joy of being a child. I don’t want to sound boorish but I was quite dismayed about it.
Don’t know what the future holds for the kids of tomorrow, but I really want to keep holding on to my childhood memories that are a part of me. And bore my kids with them, when I have them (the kids, not the memories).
Read on for the Things That Defined My Growing Up Years:
1. The fauji trunk
I am a fauji kid. And a proud one at that.
My dad is an officer in the Indian army (army = fauj), and I am an army kid, and the most indelible part of my childhood years has to be this important piece of luggage. As is the custom with defence families, we had to travel to new locations, or postings as we called them, every 2-3 years, and these trunks carried all our precious belongings and the assorted paraphernalia. The most exciting part of a new posting would be when we started packing up the house (I am sure my mom would not agree). I would wait for the trunks with my collection of books to be opened, and then get lost in them for the next few days. My Grimms fairy tales, the Potter series, the classics….My brother and I would also attack the ‘toy trunk’ as we called it because it had such treasures that we hadn’t seen in ages (as per us, even though it was just a year or 2 since we had seen them last).
The other thing I remember about these trunks were that before every new posting, they would be repainted and my dad’s name and rank, along with details of previous posting and the new one would be painted on. Our very own steel boarding passes or travel diary. These trunks used to be all over the house and the balcony and the garage, and for me, when I look back to my growing up years, I always remember these trunks very fondly.
2. Chacha Chaudhary
Books are probably my first childhood love. My earliest memories in life are of reading. I would read everything and anything. The first classic I fell in love with, at the age of 7, was A Tale Of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. And I will never forget the first signs of empathy that stirred in my heart when Sydney Carton sacrifices himself.
However, growing up, I was obsessed with Chacha Chaudhary comics.
As a kid, I had the biggest collection of Chacha Chaudhary comics, I kid you not. For those of you who don’t know these comics, Chacha Chaudhary was an Indian comic legend, created by Pran. Chacha means Uncle and Chaudhary was his surname (given name). Chacha was the smartest man on the planet, and his ‘mind worked faster than a computer’ and along with his sidekick Sabu (the man from Jupiter), used to solve problems and hunt down the bad guys. Sabu was so much fun too; every time someone made Sabu super angry, he would lose his cool and somewhere on the planet of Juipter, a volcano would erupt. Hah, what FUN!
My mom actually told me that the reason I had such brilliant Hindi speaking and writing skills at that age was because I used to devour the Chacha comics. So there you go, some good DOES come out of reading comics.
3. The Harry Potter series
How can I talk about my growing up years and not talk about the Harry Potter series, my first initiation into the world of a series of fantasy fiction and alternative realities. Of course I had read Enid Blytons Wishing Chairs, and Faraway Trees,, and then there was Tolkiens LOTR but Potter was the iconic read for me, the one that got me hooked to the whole concept of reading series and trilogies. I will never forget the memory of the first time I read it, back in 2000. And till 2007, when the Deathly Hallows came out, it was a constant companion from teendom to early adulthood.
The midnight discussions of whether Harry would survive, is Snape evil or good (I was always in his corner), are Harrys parents alive, crying my eyes out when Sirius died ( I am welling up now too).. Potter is such an important part of my growing up. And I can’t wait to share the excitement with my kids, when the time comes.
4. The mandatory summer vacation trip to visit grandparents
As I told you before, my dad is in the Indian Army and we would be staying in far flung places all across the length and breadth of India. But come summer vacation time, and we would pack our bags and go visit the grandparents. One trip to Delhi to meet the maternal grandfolks, one trip to Shimla to meet my massi (mom’s sister) and cousins, one trip to Yamunanagar to meet the paternal grandfolks and my chachu (dad’s younger brother).
Summer days filled with reading, eating yummy food, listening to mom, my maasi and naani (maternal grandmom) gossip, getting pampered by the grandparents… aah, those were the days.
5. Madhuri Dixit
Main Madhuri Dixit banna chahti thi. There… it’s out now. For the unintiated, Madhuri Dixit is a Bollywood star and she was gorgeous. Brilliant smile, excellent dancer, and gorgeous, she was just perfect. Still is for me!
And for those of you who don’t know Hindi, I just admitted to the whole wide word that I wanted to be Madhuri Dixit. Like totally! But so did every other girl in middle class India back then. I used to dance in front of the mirror, on her songs and copy her expressions and dance moves. Ha-uh she was perfection to me. Still is. They don’t make them like this anymore.
‘Made in India, made in India, ek dil chahiye that’s made in India’ Alisha Chinai was da bomb back then! The 90’s had some incredible pop music by Indian artists. Okay, maybe not incredible incredible, but that’s what I remember. Songs by Alisha Chinai, Biddu, Dj Aqeel, Bally Sagoo were what we danced to in our kiddie and teen birthday parties. The music used to be so funky, and on top of that the videos were so exciting. They would feature supermodels like Milind Soman, Arjun Rampal, Jas Arora…. sigh all those dreamboats!
This is what I am talking about (Check out at 2:26 and 3:39)
I wasn’t into international music as a teen but give me a cassette (remember those?) filled with chartbusters like Boom Boom, Gud Nalon Ishq Mitha, O Sanam and I could dance on for hours. In fact I still can :)
7. My dogs
I miss having a dog around. A big part of my growing up years was the company of my dogs. I have always had a dog in the family, from age 5 when we got our first Pixie the dachshund, till age 27, when I lost my old cutie Caesar. These Dachshunds and Dobermans of mine were family and I miss them so. Even my grandparents had dogs so these woofy brethren of defined a big part of my growing up years. I would talk to them, confide in them, clean up after then, and in their last days have taken care of them.
My brother has a Great Dane now, Mufasa, that even I stake a claim on, but for me the childhood years were about the family dogs. And sometimes it feels that with the passing away of my Caesar, the last of my memories of my childhood went by.
I miss having a dog around….
Phew, so my childhood was defined by pop songs, gorgeous actresses, even gorgeous supermodels, books, and dogs. And I work in IT. Haha.. If there was ever a mismatch.
Anyhow, hope you enjoyed my ramblings on The Things That Defined My Growing Up Years. Now I can’t wait to read yours. So add your post now to the monthly #BlogAlong and let’s have a party this month.
I am going to leave you with another Indi pop classic until then
This post is a part of the 3 Girls and a #BlogAlong monthly link-up party, co-hosted by Upasna from Life On My Plate, Pooja from A Bit Of This And A Lot Of That and Shruti from MszKnowitall. This month’s theme is Things That Defined Your Growing Up Years and it’s time to dig out the treasure troves of memories and iconic moments!
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