I am John. I am a software engineer. During the pandemic, I started working from home. I hardly get time to spend on myself, but today I thought to deliberately take some time and refresh some of my childhood memories.
I was born in an idyllic village in the southern part of our country. Back then, I was a happy child. I used to enjoy my life to the fullest. I still have some memories of my childhood, which still makes me laugh. I still remember strolling in the park with my friends in the morning. I can still feel the cool breeze coming from nowhere and striking my face and installing energy in me and enthusiasm in me.
The best part of my memories is of school life. We used to go with enthusiasm to school and stand like brave soldiers in the school parade. We enjoyed being scolded by the teachers for our mischievous activities. We used to spend more time teasing other classmates than listening to the class. I still remember the headmaster summoning us for the previous day mischief. I remember coming back home from school and letting everyone know: the kings are back. Our bicycles used to move faster than the motorcycle or car passing by us. My mother used to wait at the doorway looking for us to come and when we appeared, her smile on the face was enough to refresh us. It was enough to make us lose our tiredness and instil in us the feeling of happiness. The smell of the Tea from Teapot was heavenly.
I still remember pretending studying when my father comes back from work. Me and my siblings used to fear him the most. He used to look angry on the outside but from inside he was softer. I still remember sliding from the backdoor to meet friends. We used to sit near one of our friends home and gossip about all day. The thing we used to enjoy the most was not gossiping about our experiences but the feeling of being together. We knew whatever the situation is we are all together. we were like a gang, we used to play together, eat together, get scolded together.
Sundays were the most awaited days. It was the day we used to go for a battle, a cricket match. we used to have a match with other class students. I still remember bathing with sweat under the hot sun, fielding on the border, but the ball rarely came to my side. I used to bat for only three or four balls because either they used to be the last balls of the innings or I used to get bowled.
I used to enjoy vacations a lot. we used to go to our relatives home, meet with cousins, meet with their friends and again the same thing, playing the whole day. Our parents used to scold us for getting late for meals. I still remember, sleeping with cousins in one room and listening to their stories, good or bad, and passing the opinions about what they should have done about it. I remember getting disheartened while coming back home because it was the end of the vacation, nevertheless, we knew we will unite again, the next vacation and enjoy even more.
I feel subdued when I think of my childhood. I sometimes think of creating a time-machine and escaping back to my childhood and never returning back. I know it’s not possible, but sometimes my memories help me go back in time and enjoy all those colourful moments. I still have some souvenirs of my childhood: old photographs with my parents and friends, a cricket bat and so on. It feels disheartening looking at myself, how my colourful life has now turned to a black-and-white image.
It feels impossible to find courage to pick up the phone and call my childhood’s BFFs. It has been years not meeting them and their faces started to blur in my memories and their names started to disappear. It feels bad thinking once so-called always-together friends are now just strangers.
I spent a lot of time in front of the screen because my work demands me to do so and I can’t escape. Sometimes, it feels like someone has tied heavy object to my eyelids. I know my job has a tremendous effect on my health in a long run, but I have to do it, at least for my family. People say, “John, You are so lucky to get a high-salary job, I wish I had the same job like yours”, but I know how content I am with the job and life. People see my jovial outside, but they don’t know that I was just pretending, pretending happiness. My life is just imprisoned between these four-walls. I am failing to keep track of time. The days are feeling shorter. I can’t describe how fast time is flying. Days are going unnoticed. My energy is getting wasted. I don’t want to be like a typical old man, who sits on a park bench rueing his younger self and thinking about how he wasted his time and energy. I want to escape from this world to another world, where I have nothing to worry about, nothing to feel bad about, where everything feels good, where everyone lives in the physical world rather than the mobile-phone or so-called digital world. I want to escape from this darkness to the light of hope.
Yes, I want to go to my childhood again. Yes, I want to re-live my childhood again. Yes. I want to be a child again.