Growing up in Goa
My Monday Musings about the early days in GOA:
As a child, I used to find Monday as most menacing. After finishing the school on Saturdays, I used to toss the school bag in the corner of the room – and rush to play with my friends. My pet dog, Jackie, used to accompany me on my sojourns. Off with the bike, for a long, long ride. Influenced by Ms. Enid Blyton’s books – the Secret Seven, Five Find-outers and what not – my friends and I never forgot to bring the picnic lunches with us. We used to share / exchange the food items – and used to longingly go over the fact that we were missing the ‘root-beer’.
“I wish I were in England – drinking the root-beer with the cheese sandwich would be heavenly feeling” – I said and burped.
“Just for root-beer, you would forsake your own country?” that was Hemant questioning my loyalty to the country – which he still continues as in his opinion – I dumped Indian citizenship for Canadian!
“Guys, calm down – it’s too hot to even argue. Look at Jackie – he is grinning at both of you” that was our would-be Advocate Satish – trying the reconciliatory route. Needless to say, he was imitating one of the characters in one of the series by Enid Blyton.
Growing older, our interest in Blyton (England) was replaced by comics – Archies, Richie Rich, et al (American). And we spent hours on gloating on the advertisements which would be in such comic books. We used to wonder and argue about X-Ray glasses which enabled one to look at the ‘under-garments’ of your friends; and have ‘dragon-pets’ which virtually required no feeding, but were very much alive. How, why, possibilities and threats – all were discussed; and our focus moved from England to America.
“One day, we will test these advertisements. But I believe that they are all hoax. X-rays will penetrate everything and will show you only the bones. And the pet which requires no feeding – must be immobile rock!”
This was the outcome of our research. In those days, internet was only read about; and the mighty ‘Google’ was yet to be born. The Library and encyclopaedia (Encyclopaedia Britannica and Encyclopaedia Americana were the top hits) were the only sources of information for us. Discussing with elder sibling and or parents was a taboo –and would definitely result in ‘no more comics’ or such other harsh punishment.
Hemant – the Casanova was our Reggie (though he would have liked to be called Archie); whereas the impish sprite- Satish was branded Archie. For no fault of mine, the group christened me as ‘Jughead’ – though I had definitely set my eyes on being Dilton! We learnt right at early stage that we don’t get what we yearn for!
Growing older, and mature (?) – our interest waned in the ‘childish stuff’ – and we graduated to D. H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover, Charles Devereaux’s Venus in India, Sigmund Freud’s Theory of Dreams, and the works of Harold Robins and an author who used to call himself (or herself) as Anonymous!!! It appeared that the Anonymous author was very much influenced by pronouns – and his (her) books had the names such as “I”, “We”, “Us”, etc. Really!
No video games, no texting or messing around with cell-phones with selfies or whatsapp! Plain and simple long bike-rides, followed by heated discussions on various topics under the sun and in the ‘dark’.
But then its matter for another post – for yet another day! Back to present – even after ‘more than half-a-century’ of my life, I find Mondays as difficult as I used to find them as a child. Someone has said that Sundays should have forty-eight hours (instead of usual twenty-four hours) to enable people like me to fortify themselves for Mondays.
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