I remember when we were kids we hardly celebrated Children’s Day the way it is celebrated now. At the maximum we would have a holiday in school and next day we would get sweets distributed by the teachers in the assembly. That’s how we celebrated 14th November.
However, we celebrated children’s day every single day. We were carefree and happy souls who were enthusiastic about tiny joys of life. Be it playing few extra minutes or getting a candy from that neighborhood aunty for no reason, or be it those eagerly awaited train journeys to visit grandparents, during every holiday.
Train journeys were particularly our favorite. The fights for the window seat, keeping an eye on the moving horizon, the daily hawkers selling local goodies, conversation with random strangers without the fear of harm. All of it were so special that it makes me nostalgic every time I go back in time.
I remember one of those numerous train journeys particularly. Specially because it was so entertaining, thanks to my little sister. She was around three years old at that time and I was 14 years old. We were traveling to our grandparents home during the winter vacation. After the usual fights for the window seat, we settled in.
Mom and Dad were struggling to keep her entertained, during this 3.5 hours train journey. Anyone who has traveled with a toddler in the 90’s would know how difficult it can get, that too when it is an over hyper kid. Obviously, there were neither mobiles nor her favorite toys or books to entertain her.
What I saw in the next 3 hours was nothing short of a spectacle! My sister had learned to talk quite early and by the age of three she could sing full Bollywood numbers with a lot of expressions and rhythm, so what words were not clear? My parents started prompting her to sing and she, excitedly obliged. Seeing this child wonder singing away to glory all other co-passengers got excited, they gathered around her to encourage her.
The more they cheered, the more she sang with vigor. It went on for about an hour. Then she got bored. She said, she wants to talk to people. So Mom and Dad asked her, who does she want to talk to? To which she pointed out to a grey haired elderly person and said “I want to talk to this grandpa”. Seeing my parents hesitating, grandpa volunteered to talk to her. They both conversed to their heart’s content. Seeing a three years old conversing with the elderly person felt comical to me.
After she got bored talking to this him, she wanted to play with a 5 years old kid in the next coupe. Mom accompanied her, while she played with the other kid with a lot of enthusiasm. Then she decided to play with the co-passenger uncle who was sitting next to us. This continued still we reached our destination. By the time we got off the train, she has made entire compartment her friends. They all waved us goodbye cheerfully.
Looking at her ease of getting along with anyone and everyone, I as a teenager wondered, this girl must be crazy! How can she get along with people from such varied age groups, that too effortlessly?
Now when I look back at this incredible train journey, I feel my three years old sister taught me a lesson that day on how to converse with people from various walks of life… no matter what’s their age. When the entertainment became learning I didn’t even realize it.
It was one of those memories from my childhood I think is share worthy.
How do you like this one? Do you have such memories. Would you like to share them with me?
Wish you all a VERY HAPPY CHILDREN’S DAY!