This is one meme that may take a while. Ever since I was tagged by Smita, I’ve been thinking about my childhood and trying to figure out which memories to write about. 25 years feels a long time (Those of you over 25, don’t have a go at me…). I’m going to try and see how much I can remember…and how much I want to share…
All By Myself:
Until I was about 5 years, my family and I lived in this little place in Oman. Unfortunately, this place was so tiny, it didn’t have a school. So I went to India to do my junior and senior kindergarten years. Mum and I would go to India and live with her parents while I attended school. Dad was still working in Oman. Anyway, the one thing I remember vividly is travelling by aeroplane all by myself when I was 3 years and some months. My mum joined my dad when I still had school and I was being looked after by my grandparents. Anyway, to cut a long story short, in the school holidays I was to rejoin my parents in Ibra and so my grandparents dropped me off at the airport under the care of this airhostess and I flew from Bombay to Oman by myself while my parents picked me up at the other end. I still remember all the attention I got from the air hostesses. I remember getting stuff to colour in, getting chocolates, having a window seat and basically being spoilt rotten. It pays to travel by yourself as a child! 😉
I think it was when I was about 7 or 8. Three friends and I in Salalah decided to go trick or treating. I dressed up as a clown and we were to meet up at one of my friend’s place. It was pretty dark and the four of us started walking towards the back of her house to take the short cut to the other houses. It was pretty dark and since it was a narrow path, we were walking in a line. The next thing I know, we hear this dog barking. Now, one thing you must know is that dogs were banned in Salalah and someone said this was a rabid dog. So we screamed and started running back towards her house. And then…I tripped. And I screamed because I thought the dog was going to maul me. But it didn’t. I vaguely remember it coming close to us but my friend’s mum came out and I think the light scared it off. Funnily enough, you would think I’d have been scarred by that incident but I still love dogs.
Some of my memorable childhood days in Salalah were spent riding my bike, swimming, going to the beach and most importantly, playing football (or soccer as most of you may know it as). I started playing socially with some of the bigger boys where we lived. I think that was because my friend’s older brother was one of those boys. Two incidents stand out vividly of my football prowess. One was when I was goalie. Picture this: tiny 6 year old girl. (And yes, I was tiny…I’m 5 feet now, so you can imagine what I was like at 6!). And then there’s this boy who is 11 or 12 and on the bigger side…he runs..he shoots the ball towards the goal…and me (trying to be heroic) I jump up to stop it…and I do. But…it hits me wham right on my tummy. And I cry. But only for a bit because everyone reminded me of my awesome save! The other incident was the tiny me tackling the ball and managing to steal it from a much bigger guy…wait for it…but running under his legs. Yes…he was very tall. And the other boys didn’t let him forget that incident easily. How a little 6 year old girl managed to steal the ball from him.
I loved my bike. And more importantly, loved riding with my friends. I still remember how we would all wake up around 6 in the morning during the summer holidays in India and then ride around our suburb. We would try out different routes to ‘explore’ the area. Sometimes during the extremely hot days, we would bring 2 rupees and buy one of those ice lollies. My bike was a big part of my life…until I was around 14. And then, for some reason, I just stopped. I regret it now. And I would love to buy me a bike now to ride around and explore.
I was obsessed with Shahrukh Khan. Especially after Kabhi Haan, Kabhi Naa and Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. A close friend and I were so obsessed we would repeat the dialogues from the movies and try and enact it too. When I think back now all I can say is: What the fuck was I thinking???! Luckily this obsession ended around age 12 when cricket took over.
My journey with cricket is a huge part of my adolescence. I still remember in the 1996 world cup telling my dad I didn’t understand this “stupid game” and that nothing would possess me to watch it. Following that, and seeing the Aussies (Steve and Mark Waugh being my first favourites), I probably followed cricket even more than my dad. And annoyed the rest of the family with it of course. My love for cricket translated into playing with friends in the evenings as well as playing socially at school. There were no teams for girls and so I never did play the game as ‘professionally’ as I would have liked to. But I continued to play until coming here to Australia. Yes. Until I was 21. I was fanatical about following matches as well. While at school, some of us would constantly try and get score updates (I can’t remember how though, given that we didn’t have mobile phones!) 1999 was great because I watched every single game of the World Cup since my Year 10 exams were finished. Unfortunately, it’s due to that I also put on oodles of weight. Watching cricket, eating chips and not doing anything active leads one to become fat. Wish I’d known that back then!
My sister and I had some great moments together despite our fights early on. During adolescence, we got closer and Scrabble was one of the games we absolutely loved. I initially loved it because she was easy to beat. She is after all, 5 years younger than me! But as she improved, we still continued to enjoy the game and the giggles that came along with it. There were a lot of other board games too and I still remember how we’d play on a hot Sunday arvo or during the summer holidays in the arvo when mum was taking a nap. Ah, those were the days.
After the Year 10 exams (age 15), my friends and I went to the city (South Bombay) by ourselves for the very first time to watch ‘You’ve got mail’. The movie was my idea and it was a huge thing for us travelling all the way by ourselves. And I for one was nervous. Not because of the travel. But because I worried about them liking the movie! I still remember not being able to relax until the intermission because I kept thinking “What if they hate the movie…it will be my fault“. And yes, I know I take on a lot of responsibility for things I don’t need to! It’s funny to think though, that that was my first time into the city and some weeks after that I joined a college in South Bombay resulting in me travelling a whole hour each way from my suburb to the city for 5 years. It became a part of my life…
And that’s about it. It’s not that I don’t have other memories. I have several. Some good. Some not-so-good. At this time though, this is how much I feel like sharing. It’s my life. And I’m satisfied with it.
And of course, any one else that would like to share…
Until next time,