Have you ever wondered how as children we always wanted to grow up?
Talks of 'that school', own baths, writing with a pen, all the activities that proved that we had grown up were sought after. To be big, grown up, a 'big brother' was cool.
I remember the chanting of 'Bramharpanam'. The 7th standard guys were 'called for lunch' last. We were given the mats that were near the wall. We would all put out backs straight and say 'Bramharpanam' in a bass voice, sounding like puppies trying to roar.
And then Own Bath. Fifth standard was probably the worst of all the years. You were grown up enough to start hitting on 12th standard girls, but everyday for half an hour, you were at the mercy of amma, stripped off all your prestige. And then, come 6th standard, and we would arrive with buckets and mugs, and our initials written boldly on them. And even then, after you have had your 'own' bath, your hair was combed.
Sitting in the lines during Sports and watching 'big brothers' perform their activities. And then coming back to the hostel and enacting all the stunts again. Or looking at those ultra fair form boys with green stubbles, and then touching your own chin and realising that's a long way off.
And getting to write with ink pens. Fighting for Hero pens and proudly showing off ink stains on the shirt pockets, and Bluetooth in our mouths. And placing 'orders' for items crucial to the country's economy, like Natraj Plasto 621 Eraser and Luxor Sketch Pens.
It was always about growing up.
And now, I am grown up. I have my own bath everyday (well, almost), I have a different kind of Bluetooth in my pocket, and shaving is a pain. And now that I have done everything I wanted to do as a child, I want to go back.
I think elders realise the value of Children's Day more than the kids themselves. The poor guys are bombarded with boring stories of Chacha Nehru and stuff. We veterans, meanwhile, are cruelly reminded of an age when nothing was more important than getting hold of the magnet and radium.
Happy Children's Day, oldies!!